LEGAL FELLOWSHIP: 2023-2024 – London or The Hague
REDRESS is seeking Legal Fellowship applications from excellent graduates, postgraduates and individuals in the early stages of their careers with a strong background in international human rights law to contribute to REDRESS’s work in either London or The Hague.
REDRESS is an international human rights organisation that pursues legal claims on behalf of survivors of torture in the UK and around the world to obtain justice and reparation for the violation of their human rights. We empower survivors to access justice through human rights cases against governments, civil cases against individuals, and criminal 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.
We partner with national NGOs to develop the campaign, including medics, lawyers, advocates, and activists. We also work collaboratively with other international organisations within the anti-torture movement, work with States to ratify the Convention against Torture, co-ordinate international advocacy, provide training to judges and prosecutors, prevent torture in detention settings, engage with justice mechanisms, and those who mobilise the general public.
REDRESS’ five programmes of work are: Justice, Reparation, Discrimination, Dissent, and Solidarity.
About the Fellowships
Legal Fellows at REDRESS are exposed to all aspects of working at a human rights organisation. The work typically includes:
- Undertaking legal and policy research at the national, regional and international level;
- Developing policy positions and drafting legal and policy reports;
- Networking and attending meetings with high-level stakeholders;
- Developing advocacy strategies and drafting advocacy briefings;
- Drafting submissions before regional or international courts and UN mechanisms;
- Organising events;
- Assisting with fundraising and communications work; and
- Administrative tasks as required.
In addition, fellows sometimes have the opportunity to be involved in casework, but this cannot be guaranteed. As REDRESS is a relatively small organisation, fellows take an active role in all aspects of our work and have the opportunity to get fully involved in our projects, supported by REDRESS staff. Fellows are treated as valued members of the team and make a meaningful contribution to REDRESS’ work.
Examples of tasks undertaken by previous fellows include:
- Drafting witness statements and legal submissions to UN bodies and human rights courts;
- Drafting legal/policy submissions to government seeking the imposition of human rights sanctions on perpetrators of human rights abuses;
- Researching and drafting published reports and blogs; and
- Meeting with victims, high-level government representatives, and UN Special Procedures Mandate Holders.
Qualifications and experience
The following are essential:
- A qualification in law (this can be an LL.B, LL.M or J.D).
- An LL.M or strong background in human rights law.
- Strong research skills.
- Fluency in English.
- Strong drafting skills in Englilsh.
- Strong organisational skills.
- An ability to work independently with minimal supervision.
- A demonstrable commitment to the rights of victims of human rights abuses.
The following are desirable:
- Knowledge of and/or experience in the functioning of international human rights treaty bodies and UN mechanisms.
- Knowledge of and/or experience in the functioning of regional mechanisms including the Inter-American system or the African system.
- Knowledge of and/or experience in the functioning of the ICC.
- Knowledge of international criminal law.
- Previous experience working on torture issues.
- Good knowledge of languages other than English, in particular Arabic, French, Spanish or Dutch.
Fellowships are full-time and typically last a maximum of one year and a minimum of four months.
Legal Fellowships at REDRESS are unpaid. Legal Fellows must have funding to cover the full costs of the fellowship from a university, college, professional training programme, regional or national government or another institutional source of funding. REDRESS has previously hosted Legal Fellows funded through Harvard, Columbia and Berkeley universities.
Applicants without such funding are asked to apply instead for REDRESS’s separate Internship Programme. More details are available here.
For Fellows working from the UK REDRESS office, REDRESS is able to provide a certificate to sponsor a temporary-charity worker role, although the candidate would need to make the application themselves and cover any costs involved to apply for a Tier 5 VISA. For REDRESS Netherlands, REDRESS can apply for a governmental residence permit application, but candidates will need to cover the costs to apply.
How to apply
If you would like to be considered please send an email to [email protected]. The email should:
- include “Legal Fellowship application” in the subject heading;
- indicate your available start date and proposed length of the Fellowship;
- indicate your preference for working remotely or from a REDRESS office;
- specify if you have a preference for a particular office (London or The Hague);
- specify your location and time zone if you are working from home;
- specify what source of funding you have;
- your CV;
- a brief covering letter highlighting your key skills; and
- a short writing sample, for example a university essay or piece of recent work that you are able to share with us.
Applications can be received on a rolling basis.
Interviews will take place in the weeks 05 – 16 September and 17-28 October. If you need to interview outside of these dates, please note this in the application and provide reasons.
Equal Opportunity Policy
REDRESS is committed to ensuring impartiality and equality of opportunity. We will not discriminate when selecting candidates for Fellowships. REDRESS will ensure that each candidate is assessed only in accordance with the candidate’s merits, qualification and ability to perform the relevant duties required and against fair skills criteria.
REDRESS expects everyone to respect the rights of the individual to enjoy a workplace free from prejudice, harassment and discrimination. REDRESS encourages disclosure of disability by candidates to the Fellowship Programme without prejudice. We believe this information enables staff to ensure that health and safety issues are considered and offers the opportunity to explore any additional needs applicants may have. All information will remain confidential to the REDRESS team.