Course Introduction

It is with immense pleasure that the IAP, in partnership with UNESCO, announces the forthcoming MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on Prosecuting Crimes against Journalists.

This free, two-week online training course will run from February 27 to March 9, 2023, according to the schedule provided in the section below, and be available in English. The MOOC platform will remain accessible till March 24, 2023, for participants to process the learning material, complete the quizzes, and receive a certificate of completion.

Aimed to stimulate an international dialogue amongst prosecutors, this five-module MOOC will bring together prosecutors and legal professionals from around the world. It will notably build on “Guidelines for Prosecutors on Cases of Crimes against Journalists” developed within the partnership of the IAP and UNESCO in December 2020, which provide insight into the conduct or supervision of investigations, identify stages and determination for proceedings in cases of crimes against journalists, and propose a series of elements to be taken into account to proceed with the investigation and prosecution of these cases. 

The objectives of the MOOC are as follows:

1. To build the knowledge of prosecutors and legal professionals and make them more aware of how to conduct and supervise effective investigations and prosecutions of crimes against journalists and media workers.

2. To develop a more comprehensive understanding of national and regional strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to the protection of journalists and their sources, victims, and witnesses; and

3. To foster regional and international cooperation among prosecutors and legal practitioners for ending impunity of crimes committed against journalists and media workers.

The Introductory Module of the upcoming MOOC is accessible through the course web page to the participants already enrolled in the training course. Please log into the MOOC platform and watch the video speeches/tutorials delivered by:        

  • Mr Guilherme Canela De Souza Godoi, Chief of the Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists Section, UNESCO  
  • Mr Han Moraal, Secretary-General, IAP  
  • Mr Leon Willems, Senior Adviser, Free Press Unlimited  
  • Mr Sabin Ouellet, former Chief Prosecutor, Expert/Trainer  
  • Mr Simon Clements, former Chief Crown Prosecutor, Expert/Trainer  
  • Ms Irina Beridze, Executive Programme Manager, IAP  

During the MOOC, participants will be guided through a series of presentations and exercises broken down into individual lessons. Each Module will end with a quiz including five questions. You will need to get at least four before moving on to the next module. It will be possible to retake the questions without having to go through the whole module again. If you work through the whole course (successfully completing at least 80 % of quizzes), you will receive a certificate of completion. 

Please also note that the MOOC provides a forum for discussions between participants, speakers, and course organizers around the topics of the training course.

We encourage you to sign up for this MOOC now and promote the course with colleagues in your networks -  encourage them to join the community of prosecutors and judicial officers worldwide as it comes together to help end impunity for crimes against journalists.

  1. Introductory Module: February 7, 2023 - PUBLISHED

  2. Module 1: Freedom of Expression - February 27, 2023 - PUBLISHED

  3. QUIZ - Module 1 - Freedom of Expression

  4. Module 2: Role of the Prosecutor in Effective Prosecution of Crimes against Journalists - March 1, 2023 - PUBLISHED

  5. QUIZ - Module 2 - Role of the Prosecutor in Effective Prosecution of Crimes against Journalists

  6. Module 3: Criminal Defamation - March 3, 2023 - PUBLISHED

About this course

  • Free
  • Language: English


Sabin Ouellet

Former Chief Prosecutor, Canada

Simon Clements

Former Chief Crown Prosecutor, U.K.

Description of Modules

  • Module 1 will cover the development of fundamentals about freedom of expression, international and regional conventions, and the role of journalists in a democratic society. The learning objectives are to provide participants with greater comprehension of the Right of Freedom of Expression by understanding the international and regional instruments defining Freedom of Expression, the status of international conventions and treaties and their impact on national laws, and the legitimate restrictions to Freedom of Expression and their limits.

  • Module 2 will cover the role of the prosecutor in the effective prosecution of crimes against journalists. The learning objectives are to provide participants with greater comprehension of the role of the modern prosecutor by understanding the IAP standards on prosecuting, the Guidelines for Prosecutors on cases of crimes against journalists, the work of the prosecutor at the criminal investigation stage, and the legal skills required effectively to assess the sufficiency of evidence test and the public interest test.

  • Module 3 will present the fundamentals about criminal defamation, rule of law, due process of law, the Rabat plan, democracy, and international and regional conventions. The learning objectives are to provide participants with greater comprehension of the fundamentals of criminal defamation by understanding the international standards of governance for democracies, including issues of transparency and accountability, and the principles underpinning the Rule of Law.

  • Module 4 will cover some essential information about practices that journalists use to operate, and the rules around the protection of journalistic confidentiality. It will look at investigative methods to protect confidentiality, and there will also be a section on gender-based offences against journalists. The learning objectives of this module are to provide participants with a deeper understanding of journalistic methods and the protection of their sources by understanding the approach of journalists and the methods they use in the search for truth; and the duty to protect journalistic sources and the scope of that protection.

  • Module 5 will cover evidential issues, elements of international cooperation and best practice initiatives. The learning objectives of this module are to provide participants with greater understanding of the skills required by prosecutors when they address evidential issues; aspects of effective international cooperation between investigators and prosecutors and finally, best practice initiatives involving crimes against journalists.


Chile Eboe-Osuji

Professor, former Judge of the International Criminal Court

Marcela Turati Munoz

Investigative journalist, co -founder of Quinto Elemento Lab

Simon Walker

Chief of Rule of Law and Democracy Section, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, UN

Investigating and Prosecuting Crimes against Journalists, Promoting Freedom of Expression

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