Ford Foundation Grant to Support Work by UCI Law Professor


IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 18, 2015 — The University of California, Irvine has been awarded a $100,000 grant by the Ford Foundation to support the work of UCI Law Professor David Kaye, the United Nations special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression and director of UCI Law’s International Justice Clinic.

With the assistance of clinic students, Kaye reports to the United Nations on key issues in freedom of expression worldwide, such as the safety of journalists, attacks on the expression of vulnerable groups, and restrictions that undermine online expression and opinion. The Ford grant will fund a two-year fellowship at UCI Law, providing essential staff support so that Prof. Kaye may expand projects to advance freedom of expression on the Internet, including by exploring the human rights standards that should apply to corporate actors in the Information and Communication Technology sector and working to promote online freedom for vulnerable communities.

“Ford Foundation is committed to supporting those who work for Internet public policies in line with human rights norms,” said Alberto Cerda Silva, program officer for Internet Freedom at the Ford Foundation. “We know freedom of expression is one of those key rights at stake in the Internet, and supporting Professor Kaye’s work is supporting an initiative to promote freedom of expression worldwide as a core value in modern societies.”

The International Justice Clinic involves at least 16 UCI Law students annually working on human rights projects in a variety of areas. The clinic has built up expertise working with activists, academics, technologists, diplomats, international civil servants and policymakers around the world. Its overall mission begins with education: providing students with the opportunity to practice human rights law, research and advocacy in real-world settings.

“This grant from Ford adds incredible value and capacity to our work,” Professor Kaye said. “It’s also much more than funding. Ford staff provide crucial input and access to a vast network in civil society around the world.”

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