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 represents victims of torture in obtaining justice and reparations. We bring legal cases in a range of international courts and tribunals on behalf of individual survivors, and advocate for better laws to provide effective reparations. Our cases respond to torture as an individual crime in domestic and international law, as a civil wrong with individual responsibility, and as a human rights violation with state responsibility.
Through our victim-centred approach to strategic litigation we can have an impact beyond the individual case to address the root causes of torture and to challenge impunity. We apply our expertise in the law of torture, reparations, and the rights of victims, to conduct research and advocacy to identify the necessary changes in law, policy, and practice. We work collaboratively with international and national organisations and grassroots victims’ groups.
REDRESS’ five programmes of work are: Justice, Reparation, Discrimination, Dissent, and Solidarity.
Recent examples of our work include:
- winning the first case of torture by discrimination against an LGBTI person in the Americas at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights;
- representing 7,000 victims of the dictator Hissène Habré in a case against Chad before the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights;
- acting as legal representatives for Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian mother unlawfully detained in Iran;
- advocating for improved reparations for victims at the International Criminal Court; and
- intervening at the UK Supreme Court in a case involving torture in Liberia by a non-state armed group: R v TRA.
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 research at the national, regional and international level;
- Drafting submissions before regional or international courts and UN mechanisms;
- Developing policy positions;
- Assisting with casework, including attending meetings with clients or their families;
- Networking and attending meetings with high-level stakeholders;
- Developing advocacy strategies;
- Organising events;
- Assisting with fundraising and communications work; and
- Administrative tasks as required.
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 Special Procedures mechanisms 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 blogs;
- Conducting trainings and presentations on human rights accountability mechanisms for NGOs; 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).
- A strong background in human rights
- Strong research skills.
- Fluency in English.
- Strong drafting skills in English.
- 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:
- A relevant postgraduate degree.
- Knowledge of the functioning of international human rights treaty bodies and UN mechanisms.
- Knowledge of the functioning of regional mechanisms including the Inter-American system or the African system.
- Knowledge of the functioning of the ICC.
- Basic 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 typically full-time and last a maximum of one year and a minimum of three months.
Legal Fellowships at REDRESS are unpaid. Legal Fellows should have funding 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 or Visiting Professional Programme (depending on experience). More details are available here.
For Fellows working from a REDRESS office, REDRESS is able to sponsor those that require visas to work in the UK or Netherlands. Potential Fellows are advised to apply in good time, as visa applications can take several months.
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 writing sample, for example a university essay or piece of recent work that you are able to share with us.
Applications will be assessed on a rolling basis.
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.