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Monday, September 21, 2015

Advocacy Officer Open Society Foundations - Open Society Justice Initiative London, United Kingdom

Advocacy Officer

Open Society Foundations - Open Society Justice Initiative

London, United Kingdom

The Open Society Justice Initiative uses law to protect and empower people around the world. Our approach is based on the foundations of international human rights and international humanitarian law, and focused on securing legal remedies for abuses, and the effective enforcement of the rule of law. 

Through litigation, advocacy, research, and technical assistance, the Justice Initiative promotes human rights and builds legal capacity for open societies, and fosters accountability for international crimes, combats racial discrimination and statelessness, supports criminal justice reform, addresses abuses related to national security and counterterrorism, expands freedom of information and expression, and stems corruption linked to the exploitation of natural resources. 

We recognize that changes in laws and institutions are incomplete without changes in how people think about the law’s relevance to their daily live, and collaborate with a community of dedicated and skillful human rights advocates across the globe, part of a justice movement that reflects the diversity of the world it inhabits. 

Our staff are based in Abuja, Amsterdam, Bishkek, Brussels, Budapest, Cape Town, The Hague, London, Mexico City, New York, Paris, Santo Domingo and Washington, D.C. 

Based in the London office, the Advocacy Officer will develop and implement advocacy strategies and tactics on a broad range of issues, primarily in Europe, although this position does not include advocacy in Brussels, as OSF has a dedicated office there. 

The Advocacy Officer will work to advance Justice Initiative goals and priorities, including advocating for the implementation of decisions from regional and national courts, in collaboration with local colleagues; supporting colleagues, institutions, and structures promoting human rights, justice and the rule of law at the national level; identifying promising legal arguments; developing advocacy materials and events; and developing arguments utilizing international law combined with a sharp political analysis to advance the Justice Initiative’s priorities. 

Work is carried out independently/under general supervision, and reports to the Justice Initiative Advocacy Director.

Essential duties and responsibilities will include the following:

  • undertake advocacy primarily in Europe; work with a wide range of project teams to identify and undertake key opportunities in national, regional (especially Council of Europe) and international (Geneva) forums around Justice Initiative priorities;
  • undertake advocacy around Justice Initiative’s litigation and in support of implementation of judgments (European Court of Human Rights, Court of Justice of the European Union, and others) and norms;
  • provide advocacy support to specific thematic project teams (e.g. antidiscrimination, freedom of information/expression, anticorruption) working in Europe and across the world;
  • liaise with colleagues and partners to stay abreast of legal and political developments in thematic areas of interest to the Justice Initiative;
  • conduct research and analysis for use in advocacy materials;
  • develop and strengthen relationships with civil society partners, government, court and institutional officials, academics, and OSF colleagues working on related issues;
  • draft reports, briefing notes, and formal submissions to regional and international institutions;
  • draft advocacy publications for many audiences, from government officials and diplomats to the general public;
  • organize consultations, briefings, and other events to implement Justice Initiative goals;
  • serve as an integral member of the Justice Initiative Advocacy Team;
  • develop project strategy plans and budgets;
  • undertake impact assessments of work;
  • undertake administrative tasks to support advocacy efforts as described above;
  • significant travel required;
  • perform other duties as assigned.

Candidate Profile

A law degree and at least six to eight years’ experience undertaking advocacy focused on legal issues and institutions in European forums, either national or regional, or both. The ideal candidate also will have litigation experience as well, either as a litigator or conducting advocacy in the context of litigation. This position does not include advocacy in Brussels, so experience undertaking advocacy solely in Brussels, while useful, is not sufficient.
  • NGO experience essential, ideally within a human rights and/or legal organization;
  • advocacy experience required and litigation experience, in addition, preferred;
  • knowledge of international human rights law and institutions;
  • knowledge of European human rights forums required, and prior experience with Council of Europe bodies preferred;
  • experience working on at least one of the Justice Initiative’s thematic areas highly preferred;
  • experience working in or around complex institutions highly preferred;
  • exceptional legal advocacy skills: analysis, persuasive communication, strategic thinking, strong execution;
  • demonstrated record of accomplishment in seizing and capitalizing on advocacy opportunities;
  • ability to engage human rights problems from both intellectual and pragmatic perspectives;
  • superlative written and oral communication skills, with cultural communication differences;
  • proven ability to develop strong relationships with a wide range of actors from diverse cultural, geographic, economic, political, and social contexts;
  • deep knowledge of key legal frameworks, institutions, organizations and networks in the field;
  • ability to craft and make advocacy arguments at both a “big picture” and a highly detailed level;
  • ability to work effectively work as a team member as well as independently, with a high degree of self-motivation and ability to set and meet goals;
  • fluency (oral and written) in both English and an additional European language (French or Spanish preferred) required.

Application Instructions

Please answer the questions in the online application and upload a Cover Letter and CV/Resume.

Closing date: 29 September 2015.

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