Legal Advisor – Dissent
REDRESS is recruiting a Legal Advisor to manage our work relating to Dissent and Discrimination. We are seeking applications from senior lawyers with significant experience in the practice of human rights law to join the small team of senior lawyers at REDRESS.
REDRESS has a diverse team from different backgrounds and with different experiences. Under our Equality Policy, we welcome applications from people of colour, LGBTQI+ people, and disabled people, who are currently under-represented. We will use positive action under the Equality Act 2010 to appoint from these groups if two candidates are equally qualified. We are also trying to recruit globally where UK immigration law permits it.
Who we are
REDRESS is an international human rights organisation based in London and The Hague that pursues legal claims on behalf of survivors of torture in the UK and around the world to obtain justice and reparation for violations of their human rights. We empower survivors to access justice through human rights cases against governments, civil cases against individuals, and cases where we advocate for law enforcement bodies to prosecute perpetrators under the principle of universal jurisdiction.
Our approach is strategic, so that as well as representing an individual we target the policy reasons that enabled the torture to take place, by building a campaign that uses advocacy, community engagement, and communications to influence change.
Our 2025 Strategy identifies torture related to dissent and discriminatory torture as our two thematic priorities. We also support the anti-torture movement through our solidarity programme.
REDRESS has undertaken a process of growth and modernization over the last few years. You can find information about the organization in the latest Trustees Annual Report. We currently have good reserves of nearly six months running costs, and a diverse funding base. We have grown to about 35 staff and fellows, and plan to remain at a similar size while we consolidate. We have upgraded our procedures and policies, and we are developing new commitments to improve staff development, further enhance our diversity, build our survivor-centred approach, and ensure people with lived experience are part of REDRESS.
Through the Dissent programme we challenge torture used to suppress activism and protest. Among others, this has included a project challenging enforced disappearance in Africa, our involvement in the International Platform for Accountability for Belarus, and a new project with the United Against Torture Consortium of leading international anti-torture NGOs that will challenge torture related to dissent and discrimination. Through the Discrimination programme we challenge torture used against marginalised and excluded minorities. This includes projects relating to LGBTIQ+ Torture in Africa, and pursuing reparations for conflict-related sexual violence.
We are seeking a Legal Advisor, initially to oversee and manage our projects relating to dissent and discrimination, although in time the role may focus on other issues as well. The successful candidate will be an experienced human rights lawyer with team management and project management experience. The role will include strategic litigation, but also delivering legal policy and managing projects, and relevant experience will be essential. The position includes working in many different jurisdictions, and delivering legal project advocacy at the regional human rights bodies and at the United Nations, and so global experience is a distinct advantage. The main responsibilities of the role are:
- Overseeing and managing specific multi-year projects relating to dissent and discrimination, working closely with the REDRESS Programme Manager.
- Managing a team of 4-5 legal officers and legal fellows delivering those projects.
- Strategic litigation challenging dissent and discrimination.
- Working with national partners around the world.
- Assisting with the management of financial support to partners under the United Against Torture Consortium.
- Legal policy advocacy at national, regional, and international level on torture related to discrimination and dissent.
- Producing research reports, practice notes, legal briefings, and other publications to progress the litigation and policy advocacy.
The position will contribute to the work of REDRESS as follows:
- Legal Advice and Representation. Conduct strategic litigation on behalf of clients of REDRESS and partners, through (where necessary) client care, legal and factual research, interviewing witnesses, conducting documentation, evidential analysis, and drafting of submissions.
- Legal Advocacy. Conduct policy analysis and policy advocacy in support of the strategic objectives of REDRESS. Work with partners to advocate for legal and institutional reforms or to address systemic challenges. Draft reports, prepare submissions, and advocate to relevant stakeholders in national, regional, and international fora.
- Professional Responsibility. Maintain the highest ethical standards, including for direct representation of clients, and case management.
- Project Management. Develop, oversee, and deliver innovative and effective projects that further the strategic objectives of the organization. Contribute to the drafting of funding proposals, prepare and oversee budgets, and report on projects to donors and the board.
- Collaboration. Work collaboratively with other legal and programme staff. Supervise Legal Officers, junior project staff, and interns.
- Training. Design and deliver training programs for specific projects where needed.
- Partnerships. Foster relations with existing and potential new partners and counterparts around the world on ongoing litigation, advocacy, training, and policy initiatives.
- Representing REDRESS. Contribute to the wider needs of the organization, including communicating REDRESS’ work to a wide array of audiences.
The position is also expected to carry out such further duties as may reasonably be required from time to time by REDRESS.
This is an experienced position, and so we expect candidates to have significant relevant experience.
The successful candidate will need to have the following essential competencies:
- At least seven years relevant post-qualification professional experience.
- Advanced degree specialised in international law or human rights law, or equivalent experience.
- Licensed to practice law through bar membership or the equivalent.
- Proficiency in international law and human rights, with knowledge of international criminal law, the law of torture, the rights of victims, or reparations.
- Demonstrated excellence in legal and non-legal writing and editing.
- Experience in human rights litigation at a national, regional, or international level.
- Demonstrated ability to think strategically, and to develop plans for effective delivery of strategic goals.
- Demonstrated experience developing, budgeting, and implementing legal projects involving international partners.
- Experience working with NGOs and other stakeholders globally, and with regional or international institutions.
- Experience conducting legal policy advocacy at a national, regional, or international level.
- Experience working with survivors of torture or other serious human rights violations
- Experience in public speaking to a variety of audiences.
- Experience managing junior staff, interns, and volunteers.
- Fluency in written and oral English, with skills in a second language highly desirable, in particular French or Spanish.
- Willingness to undertake frequent travel, including to countries with a history of systematic and severe human rights abuses.
- Literacy in social media in a professional environment (primarily Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook).
A strong candidate will also have other desirable competencies:
- Experience working in a civil law system.
- Experience in report writing with prior publication experience.
- Fluency in a language other than English, in particular French or Spanish.
To work for Redress, the candidate should have the following personal attributes:
- Happy to work collaboratively as part of a small and energetic team with a wide range of personalities.
- Highly efficient and organised, with an ability to multi-task, show initiative, solve problems, and take a hands-on role when necessary.
- Able to think and work strategically, creatively, and under pressure.
- Able to understand and support the aims, objectives and values of REDRESS and reflect them in all aspects of work.
- Able to work with victims of human rights abuse with a range of specific needs.
Reporting. The position leads the work relating to Dissent at REDRESS, and will report to the Head of Law.
Hours. This is a full-time position at 35 hours a week. Evening and weekend work may be required from time to time.
Location. The position is based at the REDRESS office in London.
Flexible Working. REDRESS is an “in-person” organisation and we value team work, but we have a flexible working policy which allows for working from home. Staff are currently required to be in the office at least two days a week.
Salary. REDRESS has fixed salary scales, with annual cost of living increases, and the possibility of step increases with strong performance. This is a senior-level ‘advisor’ position at level C of the REDRESS salary scales. The salary is either C1 (£43,371) for those who meet the experience requirement, or potentially C2 (£47,709) for those who have more experience.
Duration. This is a permanent contract.
Start date. The position would start by July or August 2023 if possible.
Probation. There is a six-month probationary period.
Pension. REDRESS offers a pension contribution of 10% of salary.
Holiday. There are 25 days of holiday per year, in addition to UK public holidays. The office is also closed between Christmas and New Year.
Status. Where necessary, REDRESS will apply for a work visa for the United Kingdom for the successful candidate. REDRESS is not able to fund a full relocation package, but may be able to assist with some limited expenses.
Interview process. We expect to do two rounds of interviews. We may ask candidates to make a short presentation as part of the process, but will provide information on that nearer the time.
- First round Interviews will take place on Wednesday 24 May 2023 and will be on-line.
- Final round interviews will take place on Wednesday 31 May 2023 and will be either on-line or in-person at our office in London.
How to Apply
Please upload to our recruitment portal a single PDF file with:
- A cover letter of no more than one page explaining (a) why you would like to work for REDRESS, (b) how you fulfil the personal specification for the role, and (c) how you will contribute to the diversity of REDRESS.
- Your CV or resume.
Please also complete the anonymous Diversity Monitoring Form. We use the information from the form to tell us about the diversity of the applicant pool for each of the positions that we advertise. We keep the conclusions of the analysis for our records, and the underlying data is destroyed three months after the recruitment closes.
Deadline: Wednesday 17 May 2023