Global Freedom of Expression



The 2018 Global Freedom of Expression Prize Nominations Are Open!



The Columbia Global Freedom of Expression Prizes celebrate judicial decisions and legal services around the world that strengthen freedom of expression by promoting international standards. Anyone can nominate court decisions or a legal services that have had a recognizable impact on freedom of expression.

Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger created the prizes in 2015. It is the first prize recognizing court decisions and legal services that strengthen free expression. At a time when freedom of expression is threatened globally, there is a particular need to celebrate victories in defense of this fundamental right.

The prizes are awarded every two years by Columbia Global Freedom of Expression, a Columbia University initiative that seeks to advance understanding of the international and national norms and institutions that best protect the free flow of information and expression in an inter-connected global community with major common challenges to address.

We are awarding the 2018 Prizes in Two Categories

Court Decision Category: the prize shall recognize a decision rendered anywhere in the world that has advanced or strengthened global understanding of international norms of Freedom of Expression and Information. Preference shall be given to decisions rendered in the last 24 months, although older ones may also be considered.

Legal Service Category: the prize shall recognize a legal brief, amicus brief, academic or other publication, anywhere in the world, that has advanced or strengthened global understanding of international norms of Freedom of Expression and Information.  Preference shall be given to services rendered in the last 24 months, although older ones may also be considered.

What we consider in selecting the winners

Kerem Altiparmak, Director of Human Rights Centre, Faculty of Political Sciences, Ankara University, Dunja Mijatovic, Representative on Freedom of the Media, OSCE, Yaman Akdeniz, Professor of Law, Istanbul Bilgi University. Photo Credit: Eileen Barroso / Columbia University

  1. Significant Impact on Freedom of Expression and Information
  2. Sound Legal Reasoning
  3. Global Understanding of Freedom of Expression, including through references to international, regional and non-jurisdictional standards, laws, policies, or jurisprudence

In addition, all nominees in the Legal Service category shall have established a reputation for integrity and a commitment to human rights, rule of law, and legal excellence.

We are inviting nominations from jurists, academics, and non-governmental organizations actively engaged in protecting freedom of expression.  Nominees from around the world are eligible.

Nomination Resources

Important Dates

  • January 31, 2018 – Nominations Close
  • February 1, 2018 to March 5, 2018 – Nominations Review Period
  • March 13, 2018 – Winners are Announced
  • April 26, 2018 – Award Ceremony in New York City