Legal Officer: Ukraine Sanctions and Reparations – Location: London or The Hague (hybrid working)
REDRESS is recruiting a Legal Officer to deliver a project on Magnitsky Sanctions relating to Ukraine, together with asset recovery and repurposing of confiscated assets for the purpose of paying human rights reparations. We are seeking applications from mid-level lawyers with some previous experience in human rights law to contribute to this work.
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 against 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 30 staff, 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 Reparation programme we work to secure the delivery of effective reparation for survivors of torture, including through compensation and the introduction of practical measures to implement international standards for satisfaction, rehabilitation, non-repetition, and restitution. Through litigation and policy advocacy we develop and implement national legal frameworks that deliver reparations for individuals and communities.
Through the Justice programme we to promote access to justice for survivors of torture as an essential part of their recovery. We bring 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.
The war in Ukraine has created an unprecedented will to use seized assets to pay reparations to the victims of the war. Russian dirty money has now been frozen across the world. Governments are talking about new laws to allow for the repurposing of assets. Public commitments have been made for these assets to go not to governments, but to victims and civil society. The victims and survivors of the war in Ukraine have the right to personal reparations under the UN Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to Reparation, distinct from war reparations that might be payable at an inter-state level. There is a particular need for reparation and rehabilitation for survivors of sexual violence in the conflict.
REDRESS will respond to this with a project to focus on the effective use of Magnitsky sanction in relation to Ukraine, and to push for the confiscation of assets and their repurposing as reparations. The project will build on our existing work on Magnitsky Sanctions and Asset Recovery which we have developed over the last two years, and REDRESS’ recognised expertise in reparations.
The main responsibilities of the role are:
- Seek new designations under the UK human rights sanctions regime relating to Ukraine through drafting casefiles on core international human rights violations, including conflict-related sexual violence.
- Support partner NGOs in Ukraine.
- Undertake analysis of, and draft reports on, proposals for asset repurposing relating on Ukraine in the UK and other jurisdictions, and develop policy recommendations for their effective operation.
- Work closely with other REDRESS staff to build support for the confiscation and repurposing of assets, including into new and existing Trust Funds, including specific funds for survivors of conflict-related sexual violence.
- Coordinate an informal coalition of NGOs, victims’ groups, policy-makers, pro bono lawyers, and other stakeholders.
The Legal Officer will contribute to the work of REDRESS as follows:
- 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.
- Work collaboratively with other legal and programme staff. Supervise legal assistants and interns.
- Assist in the delivery of training programs for specific projects where needed.
- 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 organisation, 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 a mid-level position, and so we expect candidates to have directly relevant experience.
The successful candidate will need to have the following competencies:
- At least three years relevant experience.
- Degree in law.
- Proficiency in international law, human rights law, international criminal law or sanctions law.
- Demonstrated proficiency in legal and non-legal drafting and editing.
- Interest in international relations and foreign policy.
- Fluency in written and oral English.
A strong candidate will also have other desirable competencies:
- Language skills in Russian/Ukrainian.
- Previous experience relating to Russia or Ukraine.
- Previous experience working on conflict-related sexual violence.
- Licensed to practice law through bar membership or equivalent.
- Advanced degree specialised in international law, human rights law or international relations, or equivalent experience.
- Interest in and knowledge of policy making.
- A strong understanding of UK politics and foreign policy.
- Experience at delivering projects and managing project budgets.
- Experience working with NGOs and other stakeholders in developing countries, including working overseas.
- Experience documenting cases of human rights violations or working with survivors, including survivors of conflict-related sexual violence.
- Experience managing interns or trainees.
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 is part of the Reparation and Justice teams, and will report to a Legal Advisor.
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 or The Hague.
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 asked 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 mid-level ‘officer’ position, and the salary is either B1 (£31,712) for those who meet the experience requirement, or potentially B2 (£34,091) for those who have more experience.
Duration. The contract is for a fixed-term of 12 months, but is expected to be extended, subject to funding.
Start date. The position would start as soon as possible.
Probation. There is a six-month probationary period.
Pension. REDRESS offers a pension contribution of 10% of salary (different terms for the Hague).
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 (different terms for the Hague).
Status. The candidate should have the right to live and work in the UK or the Netherlands. 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 28 September and will be on-line.
- Final round interview will take place on Wednesday 5 October and will be 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, (d) your preferrd location.
- 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 5 October 2022