Legal Officer: Asset Recovery and Sanctions

REDRESS is recruiting a full-time Legal Officer to be based in London for a two-year contract (with the possibility of an extension) to support our casework and develop a new project to pursue asset recovery for the purpose of providing reparations to survivors of torture, and use the international sanctions framework against perpetrators.

Closing date

Thursday 2 April 2020

Who we are

REDRESS is an international human rights organisation based in London and The Hague that represents victims of torture to obtain justice and reparation. We bring legal cases on behalf of individual victims of torture, and advocate for better laws to provide effective reparations. Our cases respond to torture as an individual crime in national and international law, and as a human rights violation with state responsibility. We apply our expertise in torture, reparation, and the rights of victims to national and international courts. Through our victim-centred strategic litigation we are able to have an impact beyond the individual case to address the root causes of torture and to challenge impunity. We conduct research and advocacy to identify the changes in law, policy and practice that are necessary. We work collaboratively with international and national organisations and grassroots victims’ groups.

The Role

REDRESS has launched a new initiative to respond to the connection between grand corruption and torture, by taking action to seize the corrupt assets of high-profile torturers and have them assigned as reparations for the benefit of their victims. We are exploring the viability of legal routes to seize corrupt assets, as well as researching individual situations where such claims could be tested, and building connections with the civil society and professional partners who we will work with.

At the same time, the project will highlight the critical role of the UK as an enabler of global corruption by inviting the government to sanction the assets of human rights violators who have assets in the UK.

Based in London, the Legal Officer will be required to:

  • Support our casework seeking accountability for survivors of torture, by developing evidence and legal claims, particularly for survivors in the UK.
  • Develop and deliver a complementary policy response, through advocacy to relevant national governments, regional bodies, and the United Nations.
  • Engage with the families of torture survivors who are still detained abroad, to provide them with support and involve them in the legal claims and policy response.
  • Develop innovative legal strategies for targeting the assets of perpetrators of torture, as a means of seeking accountability and providing reparations to victims.
  • Engage with sanctions mechanisms in the UK and elsewhere as a method of accountability for victims of torture.

The position is expected to contribute to the work of REDRESS as follows:

  • Litigation. Assist in the preparation and delivery of strategic litigation on behalf of clients of REDRESS and partners, through (where necessary) client care, legal and factual research, questioning witnesses, evidential analysis, and drafting of submissions.
  • Legal Advocacy. Assist in the policy analysis and 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.
  • Project Management. Deliver innovative and effective projects that further the strategic objectives of the organization. Contribute to the drafting of funding proposals, financial reports, and donor reports.
  • Case Management. Assist with the management of our casework by keeping electronic and paper filing and carry forward systems up to date and maintaining casework statistics.
  • Professional Responsibility. Maintain the highest ethical standards, including for direct representation of clients, and case management.
  • Collaboration. Work collaboratively with other legal and programme staff. Supervise legal assistants and interns.
  • Training. Assist in the delivery of 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 Legal Officer is also expected to carry out such further duties as may reasonably be requested from time to time by REDRESS.

Essential Competencies

The ideal candidate will have the following experience:

• At least three years relevant experience.

• Advanced degree specialised in international law or human rights law, or equivalent experience.

• Proficiency in international law, human rights, or international criminal law.

• Demonstrated proficiency in legal drafting and editing; demonstrated competence in non-legal drafting.

• Experience at delivering projects and managing project budgets.

• Experience working with NGOs and other stakeholders in developing countries, including working overseas.

• Experience in public speaking to a variety of audiences.

• Experience managing interns.

• Fluency in written and oral English.

Desirable Competencies

The following competencies are desirable:

• Licensed to practice law through bar membership or the equivalent

• Fluency in a language other than English, in particular French, Arabic or Spanish.

Personal Attributes

To work for REDRESS, the candidate should have the following personal attributes:

  • Comfortable working with victims of human rights abuse with a range of special needs.
  • Comfortable to work with a wide range of personalities.
  • Energetic, resourceful, good strategic thinker but also willing and ready to take a hands-on role.
  • Highly efficient and organised, with an ability to multi-task.
  • Able to understand and support the aims, objectives and values of REDRESS and reflect them in all aspects of work.
  • Able to think and work strategically, creatively, and under pressure.

Reporting: The position reports to a Legal Advisor under the overall supervision of the Head of Law.

Hours: Full time (35 hours a week). Evening and weekend work may be required from time to time. REDRESS has a flexible working policy that allows for some working from home.

Duration: This is a two-year position, supported by project funding. If further funding is forthcoming the position might be extended.

Location: The REDRESS office in London.

Salary: This is a B-level ‘officer’ position, with an initial salary range (B1-B3) of between £30,435 and £35,000. There is at least a cost of living increase annually.

Probation: There is a three-month probationary period, which can be extended to six months.

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: The candidate must have the right to live and work in the UK. For EU citizens without settled status, REDRESS will support any application that might be necessary to remain in the UK after 31 January 2021.


The closing date for applications is Thursday 2 April 2020. First interviews will take place on Wednesday 8 April. Final interviews will take place on Friday 17 April.

How to Apply

Please send to [email protected]: A cover letter explaining your interest in REDRESS and your qualifications for the role, a curriculum vitae, a two-page writing sample (such as a portion of a legal memo or submission authored by the applicant), and the names and contact details of two references (these will only be approached in the final short-listing process).