Legal Action Worldwide (LAW) is expanding and has created an exciting new post – Head of Litigation.
You will manage LAW’s investigations and legal cases on behalf of survivors, victims and their communities in national, regional and international courts, tribunals and UN mechanisms, related to LAW’s work across Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. A key focus will be ensuring that the needs of the victims, survivors and their communities are prioritized throughout.
Reporting directly to the Executive Director, you will assist with the implementation of LAW’s vision and direction of its litigation and investigations portfolio. You will work closely with LAW’s country programme managers as well as partners and our roster of experts to jointly identify litigation opportunities. You will ensure that investigations and cases are of the highest quality and filed in a timely manner, in line with the strategy and objectives of the case.
Your work will involve all aspects of public international law (criminal, international human rights and humanitarian law) as well as national law across multiple jurisdictions. Litigation and legal aid cases may include initiatives related to national criminal and civil courts, regional courts and tribunals, international courts and tribunals (including the International Criminal Court), and communications to UN Human Rights mechanisms, the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights and other relevant mechanisms. The role may include representing cases in courts/tribunals and assisting national lawyers in court. You will draft submissions and communications made on behalf of victims, as required.
The work will be diverse and challenging. If you are looking for your next challenge and the opportunity to make a real difference, then this position is right for you.
Our vision for this role: To ensure that LAW’s investigations, legal aid, litigation and reports are ground-breaking, creative, victim and survivor-centred and of the highest quality and professional standards.
BACKGROUND ABOUT LAW
LAW is an independent, non-profit organisation comprised of human rights lawyers and jurists working in fragile and conflict affected areas in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. LAW has a particular focus on gender equality and sexual and gender-based violence, the rule of law and accountability and transformative justice – working to bring justice to those who need it most.
LAW’s portfolio includes multiple ground-breaking cases, which utilise creative legal strategies on behalf of victims and survivors from some of the most challenging contexts, representing more than 1000 clients. These include inter alia, a first of its kind criminal case on behalf of a migrant domestic worker in Lebanon arguing slavery, slave trading, torture, racial and gender discrimination; the first complaint against Ethiopia on the situation of Tigray at the African Commission; a General Allegation and communications to the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances on behalf of Syrian victims and survivors; multiple victims’ submissions to the International Criminal Court on behalf of Syrian, South Sudanese and Rohingya victims; A complaint to the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission on behalf of a Rohingya widow and victim; and the first submission against the South Sudan at the UN Committee on the Elimination Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) on behalf of 30 women and girls aged between 12-42 years. Additionally, LAW undertakes in national courts in Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Somalia and South Sudan, representing hundreds of victims and survivors.
LAW’s ground-breaking work has received international media coverage, including in the New York Times, the Times of London, the Guardian, Al-Jazeera, BBC News, France24, The Independent, Voice of America, Huffington Post and Foreign Policy.
MORE ABOUT THE POSITION
Where? We would prefer the position to be based in the Geneva, Switzerland but The Hague, The Netherlands will also be considered. Regular travel will be required.
We prefer this position to be full time but again we may be flexible for the right candidate.
Salary: Competitive rates of pay apply.
Overview: You will manage LAW’s legal aid and strategic litigation cases across multiple countries. You will have weekly meetings with relevant team members overseeing legal aid cases. You will not only review the files but will also be drafting pleadings/communications/victims submission on a regular basis. LAW provides legal representation to more than 1,000 clients and you will oversee our lawyers to ensure that victims and survivors receive high-quality, accurate, ethical and constructive legal advice. Importantly, you will be drafting and reviewing LAW’s legal analysis within our reports and ensuring that reports are of the highest standard.
Legal aid and case management: Provide day to day support to programme staff undertaking legal cases to pre-empt and troubleshoot potential challenges, ensuring that all files follow LAW’s internal procedures and policies, and are rigorously and accurately documented.
Reports: Maintain LAW’s reputation for high quality reports by undertaking editorial review of all reports before publication and ensure that they are well and accurately drafted.
Investigations: You will coordinate and implement targeted investigations including interviewing LAW clients, as well as victims and survivors, and witnesses of serious human rights violations and international crimes. Review investigation plans; including plans for identification of witnesses; pre-screening; interviewing victims and witnesses and risk assessments, and ensure that adequate referrals are undertaken. Note: given LAW’s thematic focus, those interviewed are frequently victims and survivors of sexual and gender-based violence and may be minors. Advise on storage and management of information gathered. Support collation and analysis of findings and provide high quality legal analysis.
Strategic Litigation: Support, where needed, programme teams in identifying opportunities for strategic litigation. Planning and drafting case files, communications and submissions for strategic litigation, ensuring that the content prepared is of the highest possible quality and meets required evidentiary standards. Supporting LAW programme staff to ensure the maximum possible involvement by LAW clients in the case; clients should enjoy ownership of the case and should be able to express their views throughout the process including on redress/ reparations (compensation). Clients should receive regular updates about the progress of the case and possible outcomes of litigation.
Training: Identify and undertake relevant professional development of programme staff as well as contributing to LAW’s internal training programme.
Resource mobilisation: You will be requested to review/draft funding proposals where relevant and/or provide briefings to member states/UN as required.
- An advanced degree in law and bar membership (either as solicitor, barrister, advocate or equivalent), with demonstrated experience of undertaking litigation. Experience in representing victims in criminal criminals preferred;
- Ten years relevant experience, including experience representing representing victims and survivors of serious human rights violations and experience of interviewing vulnerable/ at risk victims, survivors and witnesses required;
- Demonstrated experience and skills of supervising and supporting teams as well as providing clear directions;
- Track record and experience of strategic litigation and excellent political judgment and contextual awareness;
- Demonstrated knowledge of human rights law, international criminal law, humanitarian law and public international law;
- Excellent organisational skills, including ability to effectively manage multiple projects in a fast-paced environment and to effectively problem solve and troubleshoot;
- Exceptional written and oral communication skills in English;
- Flexibility and ability to work simultaneously on a wide range of tasks and projects; ability to prioritise tasks, particularly under pressure, and to meet tight deadlines.
How do I apply?
The closing date for applications is 9am (Geneva time) on Tuesday 15 March 2022.
Please submit your CV and covering letter outlining how your previous experience and skills match this role (neither exceeding 2 pages of A4) to: email@example.com. The heading of the application should read ‘Head of Litigation.’
At LAW we are strengthened by the diversity of our colleagues reflecting the people and communities that we represent and support. Our team includes many nationalities with diverse professional backgrounds, skills and knowledge. This enables us to deliver and understand the cultural and political contexts on the ground and to tailor our support effectively and appropriately. Women lawyers with experience representing at-risk clients are particularly encouraged to apply.
Competitive salary will be offered.
To learn more about LAW please visit our website: www.legalactionworldwide.org.