Law Clinic: Litigation, legal advice and support
Through the Law Clinic, the FXI has provided easily accessible legal advice on freedom of expression, including artistic freedom, academic freedom, freedom of the media and the rights of people to gather and protest. The FXI Law Clinic has built the body of law on freedom of expression by making use of high impact litigation and Constitutional Court cases that have assisted in defining the right to freedom of expression. The FXI Law Clinic makes the courts more accessible to ordinary citizens and organisations whose rights to freedom of speech and expression and access to information have been supressed.
Brief history of the FXI Law Clinic
The Media Defence Trust was established in 1989 in response to the wave of state action against the media, such as the closure of newspapers and detention of journalists. In its six years of establishment the Media Defence Trust was the sole supporter and defender of independent media and journalists. The Media Defence Trust was incorporated into the FXI in 1994, at the request of its administrators, and became the Defence Fund of the FXI. The Defence Fund was re-launched as the Freedom of Expression Defence Fund in 1997 to reflect the broadening of its role to include all cases involving freedom of expression and access to information. The Freedom of Expression Institute Law Clinic was established in 2005 and is accredited by the Law Society of South Africa.