Validity Foundation (formerly the Mental Disability Advocacy Centre – MDAC) is looking for an Africa Litigation Officer.
Validity is seeking a motivated and creative lawyer with an interest and drive to promote the human rights of persons with disabilities in Africa as part of our litigation team. Across The lawyer will work with colleagues and Validity’s partners to coordinate complex and high-impact cases on behalf of persons with disabilities designed to promote systemic changes that give life to international human rights standards. The Litigation Officer will work closely with national lawyers who represent our clients in courts, providing support, agreeing strategy and legal arguments, and contributing to domestic and international submissions to ensure strategic impact. A key component of the role includes identifying and capitalising on opportunities to advocate for implementation of judgments at national, regional and international levels.
The Africa Litigation Officer should have a sound knowledge of litigation processes in at least one jurisdiction in Validity’s key countries: Uganda, Zambia or Kenya. He/she should be able to adapt this knowledge in a flexible manner to diverse contexts (including among common law, civil law and other legal traditions). S/he will be able to manage litigation partnerships in a collaborative manner with minimal supervision to achieve specified strategic objectives. S/he will have the drive and creativity to translate a broad vision for change into concrete actions, keeping the bigger picture in sight, and adapting work swiftly and decisively when necessary.
Deadline for applications: 10 February 2023, 17:00 EAT (East Africa Time)
Job description and person specification: PDF
Provides legal resources to disability rights movements
- Analyses social, policy and legal systems and practices in target countries to identify where litigation can contribute to systemic change.
- Together with national lawyers, maps out litigation pathways and legal arguments to achieve the change sought and submits case proposals to the management team for approval.
- Initiates and manages impactful litigation at administrative, civil, criminal, quasi-judicial and other legal fora in collaboration with national lawyers.
- Ensures clients’ support needs are identified and addressed through direct support or referrals as appropriate.
- Drafts and supervises a range of legal submissions in a range of national and international judicial forums.
- Monitors and records strategic and other impacts of litigation.
- Ensures accurate documentation and maintains comprehensive electronic case files to a high professional standard using Sharepoint, including maintaining the case docket for upcoming activities and ensuring up to date records of case progress using the case sheet for each case.
- Provides legal advice, drafting, information and capacity-building to persons with disabilities, their representative organisations and other NGOs working in the field.
- Drafts legal analyses, inputs into law reform processes and legal advocacy briefs for national and international legal advocacy.
Develops and supports coalitions and movements
- Develops Validity’s networks of litigating lawyers at national, regional and international levels, identifying and creating opportunities for shared litigation.
- Supports the development of a community of young lawyers with an interest in strategic disability litigation at national and international levels through holding regular capacity-building events.
- Coordinates a range of diverse stakeholders and regularly conducts case conferences to ensure robust case strategies and alignment with broader advocacy objectives.
- Proactively engages with OPDs, legal aid organisations and NGOs providing social and psychological support to persons with disabilities to offer legal services and deepen our client-referral networks.
- Actively participates in national, regional and international coalitions and networks on disability, gender rights, racial justice, torture and other relevant topics.
Serves as a disability-rights watchdog
- Monitors implementation of national, regional and international judgments, calling out short-comings and pursuing strategic impact through advocacy, awareness raising and follow up litigation as appropriate.
- Convenes and participates in a diverse range of external events calling attention to human rights violations and seeking redress
- Represents Validity flexibly and to a high professional standard to a diverse range of external partners and stakeholders, with prior agreement.
- Maintains regular communication with national lawyers and other stakeholders.
- Drafts info-bulletins, press releases and other communications for Validity’s website and wider dissemination.
- Maintains regular, effective internal communications with the team in the Validity office and implements a strong collaborative work-ethic with the team and with partners externally, providing support to and seeking support from colleagues when necessary.
- Represents Validity flexibly and to a high professional standard to a diverse range of external partners and stakeholders.
- Cooperates closely with the Advocacy Officer and non-litigation staff to support advocacy and related activities.
- Contributes to reports to Validity’s Board of Directors, donors and other stakeholders as requested.
- Assists in identifying potential fundraising opportunities and preparing fundraising applications and reports as requested by the Management Team
- Implements a strong collaborative work-ethic with the team and with partners externally, providing support to and seeking support from colleagues when necessary.
- Willing to travel regularly within Africa and occasionally internationally
- Carries out other tasks as requested by senior management
Note: Candidates should hold the right to reside and work in Kenya, although consideration may be given to requests for remote-work formats; preference will be given to people who self-identify as having a disability.
Qualifications and experience
- An honours Degree in law and preferably a valid practicing certificate in Kenya.
- Enrolled advocate with rights of audience in the higher courts of Uganda, Kenya or Zambia, with 2 years’ experience post admission.
- Proficiency in working with Microsoft office suite.
- Proven ability to take initiatives in developing relationships, initiatives and options for action that might benefit Validity’s strategic plan.
- Demonstrated professional experience in advancing human rights, and experience in conducting strategic litigation highly desirable.
- Desirable: Experience as a person with, or working with people with, mental disabilities and experience working with people from different cultures.
Knowledge and skills
- Excellent communication skills, oral and report writing
- Excellent interpersonal skills
- Ability to work independently
- Report writing skills
- Ability to work in a diverse environment as a team
- Ability to work under pressure and to make informed and accurate decisions
- Focused and goal oriented
- Analytical skills
- Proven networking skills
- Proactive decision-making skills
- Flexibility, openness and broad-mindedness
Format and fee range: Consultancy contract, up to 128hrs per month. USD 1,200 – 1,650 per month inclusive (dependent on experience)
Location: Nairobi, Kenya, with the possibility of remote work
How to apply
How to apply:
- Applications should be comprised of a motivation letter of no longer than three pages (Times New Roman, 10px, single-spaced) outlining how they meet the person specification for the post, along with a comprehensive CV, and copies of certificates and professional memberships.
- The motivation letter should also clearly specify the applicant’s telephone number and email address, and provide the names and contact details of three professional referees who can comment on the candidate’s suitability for the post, one of whom must be the candidate’s current or most recent employer.
- Completed applications should be sent by email to: email@example.com, with the subject line “Application – Africa Litigation Officer”.
- Deadline for applications: Friday 10 February 2023, 17:00 EAT (East Africa Time)
- Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
- Partial and incomplete applications cannot be considered.
- Persons with disabilities who fulfil the post requirements will be prioritised and are encouraged to apply.
- Candidates who require reasonable accommodations for any stage of the recruitment process may email firstname.lastname@example.org.