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Online Internship Opportunity with CMDS’ Anti-SLAPP Research Group [3 Vacancies]: Applications Open

Anti-SLAPP Research Group “Silenced by Lawsuits” at CMDS is accepting applications for remote intern positions.

About SLAPP Suits

SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) suits are essentially techniques of intimidation, censorship and harassment used to silence critical speech and in order to undermine the right of individuals and groups to engage in public participation on matters of public interest.

These suits can take the form of various legal actions, of both civil and criminal nature, but they all have certain common features that help us detect them. Generally, such suits are without merit and are often vexatious in nature. They present a claim for exaggerated damages and seek to make litigation an expensive and time-consuming business. SLAPP suits are manifestly characterized by vertical power imbalances between the plaintiff and the defendant.

In some cases being usually filed by powerful participants, such as public officials, corporations and high-profile businesspersons against individuals or organizations that express critical positions on matters of public interest. SLAPPs target a wide range of public watchdogs, from journalists, activists, NGOs, human rights defenders to academics. Thus, anyone who speaks out in the public interest and holds the powerful to account is a potential victim of SLAPPs.

Even though SLAPPs have been a long-standing problem worldwide, this issue has seen a drastic increase in magnitude in recent years. What makes this threat to critical speech particularly concerning is the fact that it is carried out through the abuse of law and judiciary, making SLAPPs a serious threat to freedom of expression as a fundamental human right and a threat to democracy the rule of law.

Details of Anti-SLAPP Research Group Internship

The interns will be responsible for data collection and data analysis for the project. Preference shall be given to students in their 1st year of the two-year Master’s programs. Students who are approaching the final year of their Bachelor’s programs are also encouraged to apply. Knowledge of English and a Council of Europe language is a must. The positions are part-time and unpaid. We are looking for two types of interns:

  • 2 interns who are students of Economics, Economic Policy, Sociology, Anthropology. Required skills:
    • Proficiency with MS Excel
    • Basic knowledge of Python, R or any other programming language (not necessary but desirable)
    • Basic knowledge of STATA or any other statistical software package (not necessary but desirable)
  • 1 intern who is a student of Human Rights Law. Required skills:
    • Proficiency with MS Excel
    •  Proficiency with Legal Research Databases
Duration

The duration of the internship is 3 months, with 25 hours/week of work (subject to discussion).

Reimbursement

The team will reimburse all necessary out of pocket expenses related to project related expenses.

Academic Prerequisites

Students of Economics, Economic Policy, Sociology, Anthropology or Human Rights Law. Preference shall be given to students who are in their 1st year of the two year Master’s programs. Students who are approaching the final year of their Bachelor’s programs are also encouraged to apply.

Linguistic Prerequisites

English + a Council of Europe Language

Application Procedure

If interested, please send your CV and cover letter to cmds[at]ceu.edu. Applicants will be interviewed, which will be followed by a data reading session.

The primary responsibility of the interns will be to assist with the research, identification and collation of SLAPP cases in Council of Europe Countries and track the developments in the CoE. The interns are required to attend weekly online meetings. The interns should have exemplary research skills as they would be critical in researching in a linguistically diverse region such as the Council of Europe.

Working closely with the research team, interns will have the opportunity to refine their research skills and further develop their understanding of SLAPP cases and their impact. Interns will gain valuable work and research experience in a fairly new and very important legal field. Interns will be credited in publications involving their work.

Read more about the research group and about SLAPP here.

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