October 27, 2014

UNESCO and Knight Center offer course for Mexican judges about the international legal framework for freedom of expression

With the support of the Supreme Court of Mexico, through the Mexican Association of Imparters of Justice, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas of the University of Texas at Austin and the UNESCO Chair at Ibero-American University, offer the online course “International Framework for Press Freedom and Protection of Journalists” aimed at judges and other operators of justice in Mexico.

The course, completely online and free, will be taught from November 3 to December 7, 2014 by Catalina Botero, Frank La Rue and Miguel Rabago Dorbecker. Botero recently left the position of Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Orgaization of American States (OAS), while La Rue has just completed his term as Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression at the UN. Rabago Dorbecker is Professor of Law at Ibero-American University in Mexico City and has specialized in human rights.

Judges and other judicial officials in Mexico can click here for details and to apply for the course. Those who meet the requirements are eligible to receive a certificate of participation.

This is a pioneering training program in Latin America and could be offered subsequently in other countries in the region. This is the result of cooperation between the Rapporteurs on Freedom of Expression of the UN and OAS, UNESCO, the UNESCO Chair at Ibero-American University in Mexico City and the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin.

The Mexican Supreme Court, in collaboration with the UNESCO Office in Mexico, has supported the program and made a call from its website so that judges and other judicial officials in the country can register.

This is a massive open online course (MOOC) designed only for judges and other judicial officials in Mexico. Like other MOOCS offered by the digital platform of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, it is an asynchronous program, which means that each participant can choose the days and hours that suit her to do the activities that make up the course, such as watching the video classes, reading the texts and interacting in the discussion forums.

The course consists of five weekly modules, each of which begins with the presentation of a brief video class taught by Catalina Botero or Frank La Rue, followed by comments from Professor Miguel Rabago. Course participants will be invited to read a selection of texts listed for each week and participate in discussion forums, responding to a question or theme proposed by the instructors and commenting on at least one of the responses from fellow students taking the course.

By entering, participants can immediately access the “Introduction” module, where initial course videos are available. In the first video, Miguel Rabago makes a generation introduction to the issue of freedom of expression and protection of journalists in Mexico. Frank La Rue explains how the theme of the course is within the universal system of human rights in the United Nations, while Catalina Botero explains in another video how to operate the Inter-American Human Rights System.

The five weekly themed course modules are:

Module 1: Criminal Law and Freedom of Expression (Taught by Catalina Botero)
Module 2: Violence against journalists and the role of the Judiciary in these cases (Taught by Frank La Rue)
Module 3: Access to information and freedom of expression (Taught by Catalina Botero)
Module 4: New challenges to freedom of expression created by the Digital Revolution (Taught by Frank La Rue)
Module 5: Diversity and pluralism in the media (Taught by Frank La Rue)

Registrations open at http://open.journalismcourses.org/libex.html