DFF’s New Grantmaking Process: Better Supporting Digital Rights Litigation
Over a 2.5-year period, DFF has approved more than 40 grants, worth a total of over EUR 1.5 million, supporting the litigation and pre-litigation research projects of 30 different organisations and individuals across Europe.
Last year, we finished our first 3-year strategy cycle, what we informally have referred to as the “pilot phase.” The end of our pilot phase also meant the closure of our first grantmaking process.
For the next phase, we have revised both the types of grants we provide, and the grant application process. We will continue to support strategic litigation to advance digital rights in Europe, only now we are happy to provide grants that can cover long-term projects over multiple court instances.
…now we are happy to provide grants that can cover long-term projects over multiple court instances.
Starting March 2021, DFF will provide two types of grants:
- Litigation track support
Support for litigation of a case through multiple instances, from first instance through to the final appeal, including filing the case with regional courts.
Example: a challenge before the European Court of Human Rights against police use of facial recognition technology.
- Pre-litigation research support
Support for activities to prepare for litigation. This could include legal research, evidence gathering, forum selection or identifying claimants and project partners.
Example: a comparative study between three EU jurisdictions to determine which one offers the best opportunities to address a specific issue under an EU Directive.
Going forward, DFF will only accept grant requests following a call for applications. The first call will be open from 1-31 March 2021. Potential grantees will be able to submit applications through an online platform that will open on 1 March.
Going forward, DFF will only accept grant requests following a call for applications. The first call will be open from 1-31 March 2021
See our website for the full application process, and check out our updated application guides to see what an application entails. We recommend that all interested applicants make use of the guides to start thinking about their applications in advance. We also plan to host open consultation sessions in early March, for people to ask questions about the process.
Why these changes?
DFF was established to provide grants supporting strategic litigation, i.e. litigation that has an impact beyond the parties involved in the case and that leads to legal, policy or social change. However, during our pilot phase, we were unable to provide grants supporting long-term projects over multiple litigation instances. This will now change.
Through the new grantmaking process, which builds on the lessons learned from the COVID-19 Litigation Fund and was the first time we provided grants of this nature, organisations can apply for grants to go through as many instances of litigation as they need.
We hope the new process will allow applicants to more effectively plan their cases over a long period, with the confidence that they will be able to see a case through to the highest level necessary
We hope the new process will allow applicants to more effectively plan their cases over a long period, with the confidence that they will be able to see a case through to the highest level necessary, and also provide an incentive to invest in building long-term strategies, coalitions and campaigns with other partners.
Keep your eyes on our website and social media over the coming weeks for further updates, including the revised application guides and dates for the public consultation sessions. If you have any questions in the meantime please do get in touch with us.