Grant Application Policies

Justice for Journalists Foundation (the “charity”)

Grant Application Policies


  1. Purposes
  2. Mission Statement
  3. Grant Applications
    1. Freedom of Expression Criteria
    2. Qualifications
  4. Expert and Advisory Boards and Trustees
    1. Expert Board   
    2. Advisory Board
    3. Board of Trustees
  5. Successful Grant Applications
    1. Ongoing Monitoring and Website Upload&
  1. Purposes

The purposes of the charity are to promote human rights as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in particular Article 19 and as set out in the European Convention on Human Rights in particular Article 10, and subsequent United Nations conventions and declarations (and other international treaties and laws), throughout the world specifically by protecting the right to free expression by several means including raising awareness of such human rights and promoting public support for such human rights.

The grant programme is administered in support of these purposes in order to raise public awareness of acts causing harm to journalists and other media workers in the conduct of their legitimate duties where such acts have impacted their human rights referenced above.

2. Mission Statement

The trustees are committed to ensure the following policies are applied in relation its annual grant programme to journalists as more particularly described on the charity website and in accordance with the requirements of the Charity Commission and such policies comprise essential checks and procedures to help the trustees;

  1. meet their legal duties in furtherance of the charity’s Objects;
  2. administer the grant programme in a way that identifies and manages risk;
  3. ensure the grant programme is administered in accordance with the policies herein contained and in compliance with all relevant laws.

3. Grant Applications

3.1 Freedom of Expression Criteria

The trustees do note the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and European Convention on Human Rights  do not create an absolute human right to freedom of expression and that there are constraints which are necessary and appropriate. All activities (whether risk mapping, investigative grant consideration and approval or lending support to campaigns undertaken by other charities and like organisations) take these limitations into consideration. That being said the trustees note that formal criteria and processes should be in place to ensure this position is upheld.

The trustees consider the criteria below in restricting freedom of expression in line with recognised authorities on the subject matter. They note that although one has freedom of expression, one also has a duty to behave responsibly and to respect other people’s rights.

The Universal Declaration on Human Rights does not create an absolute right to freedom of speech but it (together with its successor; the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights) sets a balance with a range of other rights and freedoms. These exceptions are further developed in the European Convention on Human Rights and incorporated in UK domestic law in the Human Rights Act 1998.

States may restrict this right if they can show that their action is lawful, necessary, and proportionate for example, in order to:

  • protect national security, territorial integrity (the borders of the state) or public safety
  • prevent disorder or crime
  • protect health or morals
  • protect the rights and reputations of other people
  • prevent the disclosure of information received in confidence
  • maintain the authority and impartiality of judges

For example, views encouraging racial or religious hatred can be restricted or as necessary to protect other human rights.

The trustees recognise that such constraints on the right to freedom of expression can be necessary and appropriate. The charity would not for example issue a grant for any application which ignored any legitimate restrictions imposed as referenced above say for example intended to encourage racial or religious hatred.

In making any determination in relation to the grant programme and the applications considered, the trustees shall always consider as a prerequisite for approval:

  • awareness of the above restrictions on the following basis.
  • Whether a right has been or will be curtailed.
  • Whether any constraints can be justified in terms of Article 10.2 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
  • Whether those constraints are necessary and proportionate.

The trustees shall ensure these criteria shall be stated in the grant application terms so that applicants shall be aware at the outset prior to any submission of an application. The applicant shall be required to confirm it has assessed its application satisfies these criteria.

Any application not satisfying this requirement shall in the first instance be rejected.

By these processes, the trustees shall ensure only applications going through the recommendation processes through the Expert and Advisory Boards satisfying these criteria shall proceed to final determination by the trustees.

3.2 Qualifications

a. All grant applications submitted to the charity must comply with the guidelines and criteria set forth above and in the Investigative Grant Programme conditions on the charityJ’s website. Submissions in the first instance are reviewed by charity’s Grant Application Officer and researchers. Any submissions failing to meet any of the conditions are immediately rejected without further referral to the Board of Trustees and Expert and Advisory Boards. Notwithstanding any confirmation provided by the applicant referenced in 3.1  above, the  charity Grant Application Officer shall ensure all short listed applications satisfy these criteria before submission to the Expert Board. Any short-listed applications which in the opinion of the charity Grant Application Officer do not satisfy these criteria shall be rejected at this stage. If the charity Grant Application Officer is undecided, the application shall be submitted to the Trustees for a determination on this issue. Following such secondary review, the application shall either be rejected or forwarded to the Expert Board for initial content assessment.

b.  Reviews by researchers shall comprise in relation to the subject matter, verification by internet search engines, other open source information avenues and independent verification by other organisations involved in activities of like nature to the charity including those organisations having links to the charity. Additionally, references on the applicant are required for verification.

c. As referred to above, all grant applications fulfilling the Investigative Grant Programme conditions will require independent verification of the subject matter covered by the grant application and the identity of the applicant by JFJ’s researchers. Preference is given to individuals or other media organisations having stringent reporting procedures and a proven track record of successful reporting projects.

d. Shortlisted grant applications are submitted to the Board of Directors for further review.

e. The  Board of Trustees determine a further shortlist of grant applications for review and discussion with the Expert and Advisory Boards (as further described in 4. below).

4. Advisory and Expert Board and Trustees

4.1 Expert Board

  • The Expert Board comprises experienced and internationally respected journalists from print and broadcast media who assess the selected grant applications on the merit of the journalism and budget requirements. Their role is to provide advice and assistance to the trustees in the further selection of approved grant applicants having due regard to the charity’s Objects.
  • The Board of Trustees consider all representations provided by the Expert Board.
  • The Board of Trustees then further shortlist the grant applications for review by the Advisory Board.

4.2 Advisory Board

  • The Advisory Board comprises renowned advocates of freedom of expression and free speech from around the world whose role is to focus on the merits of the selected grant applications to assess those having the most significant impact in terms of furthering the Objects of the charity who then report their findings to the Board of Trustees.
  • The Board of Trustees consider all representations provided by the Advisory Board.

4.3 Board of Trustees

  • Final approval of grant applications is reserved to the Board of Trustees which shall make a final determination within the time limits set forth in the Investigative Grant Programme.
  • The Board of Trustees may reject any recommendations made by either the Expert Board or the Advisory Board but can only accept a grant application fulfilling the Investigative Grant Programme conditions.
  • The Board of Trustees shall review the appointments to each of the Expert and Advisory Boards annually and shall make such changes as the trustees shall approve or as required in the event any member becomes involved in activities which conflict with the Objects of the charity, or in the opinion of the trustees may bring the charity into disrepute.

5. Successful Grant Applications

5.1 Ongoing monitoring and website uploads

  • Following notification of a successful grant application, the charity enters into an agreement regarding the implementation of the grant on the terms contained therein.
  • Following completion of any reporting pursuant to such agreement in each case, no matter is uploaded to the charity website without the prior approval of any one trustee in line with all website upload rules of the charity.
  • All trustees shall formally review all reported activities (risk mapping and all upload materials to the website) on a monthly basis.
  • No materials may be uploaded to the website where the trustees consider such materials do not support the Objects of the charity, or in the opinion of the trustees may bring the charity into disrepute.