Honorable Mention
Access to Justice

Media and Journalism
Political Process Monitoring

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Social network pages were deleted due to labelling of The First Department as a project of an ‘undesirable’ organization by the Russian government

Photo by: Georgy Maletz

Human Rights Friendly Community Program: conducting legal needs surveys through local initiatives to develop local justice solutions


The Approach
The First Department was an informal association of lawyers and journalists in Russia. Our main goal was to protect the right to information (RtI) via litigation and awareness-raising. Our specialty was sensitive, partly classified criminal cases, such as high treason, espionage, and disclosure of state secrets. Additionally, we provided legal advice on a variety of topics related to the RtI and government openness. Our cross-platform niche media focused on the interaction between the state and society, educating citizens on work of government bodies, ways to exercise basic rights, novelties in legislation, and significant criminal cases.