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Interested in an Exciting Career as an International Human Rights Lawyer?

10 November 2021.

The Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) is looking for a successful, highly motivated person to begin working with us as a Legal Officer starting in January 2022 or shortly thereafter.

The successful applicant will be rewarded with exciting, cutting edge legal work in countries all over the world, high-level representational opportunities and the chance to undertake a wide range of different types of activities, working as part of a small, dynamic human rights organisation with a unique mandate.

The Legal Officer will have a range of responsibilities related to safeguarding human rights, with a focus on freedom of expression, the right to information, the freedoms of association and assembly and the right to participate. The position combines top-level legal analysis and standard setting research with on-the-ground campaigning across the Global South, in collaboration with a diverse range of activists, partners and subject matter experts. Direct advocacy is an important part of CLD’s work, and the position includes opportunities to engage with policy-makers at the highest level, as well as to dialogue with the world’s foremost experts on human rights. The position includes travel opportunities, as well as representing CLD at various international conferences and meetings (subject to COVID-19 restrictions).

We expect the Legal Officer to be based out of our office in Halifax, Canada, again subject to the current rules relating to COVID-19.

About the Organisation

CLD is an international human rights organisation based in Halifax, Canada, which provides expert legal services globally on foundational rights for democracy, with a particular emphasis on freedom of expression, freedom of association, the right to information, digital rights and the right to participate. Our major ongoing projects include:

    • Providing training and support to journalists, lawyers, judges and activists in different countries on media law and human rights issues. Currently, this includes developing a MOOC on the right to information for UNESCO and providing training on freedom of expression for judges in Jordan.
    • Providing expert input into legal reform processes in different countries, currently including Vietnam, Samoa and Jordan.
    • Supporting strategic litigation on the human rights issues we focus on.
    • Supporting the development of networks of media lawyers in several countries globally.
    • Maintaining a global ranking of right to information laws (RTI-Rating.org) and a methodology for assessing the quality of implementation of right to information laws (RTI-Evaluation.org).
    • Campaigning against global threats to digital rights, such as mass surveillance, Internet shutdowns and efforts to undermine encryption and digital security.

Essential Qualifications

    • A law degree (LL.B or J.D. or equivalent).
    • Knowledge of human rights law, ideally including freedom of expression and the right to information, and awareness of mechanisms for the protection of human rights.
    • Excellent written and spoken fluency in English, including an ability to draft complex legal and policy documents for a high-level audience, as well as clear statements for general public consumption.
    • Strong analytical and research skills, including the ability to assess legislation and policies against international human rights standards.
    • Strong public speaking skills, including being comfortable addressing large audiences.
    • The ability to travel internationally.
    • A keen interest in and openness to other cultures, and an ability to collaborate with people from a range of cultural, religious and social backgrounds.
    • Ability to work effectively, including under pressure.
    • Strong interpersonal skills and comfort managing small teams.

Preferred Qualifications

    • A degree in another field relevant to our area or work (journalism, digital technology, international development studies, etc.).
    • Prior experience working or volunteering in the human rights field, including on freedom of expression or the right to information.
    • An understanding of legal and technical issues relating to digital rights issues.
    • Some experience having lived or worked in the Global South.
    • Some basic accounting skills, such as how to develop and administer budgets.
    • Some experience developing grant and funding proposals, or experience establishing and maintaining relations with international donors.
    • Knowledge of additional languages, in particular Spanish or Arabic.

Those interested in applying should send a copy of their resume, cover letter and latest law school transcripts (unofficial are acceptable) to laura@law-democracy.org. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled but we will start reviewing applications on 1 December 2021 and will prioritise applications received by that date.

The salary range for this position will be CAD 60,000-70,000 depending on experience. The position is a full-time, one-year contract subject to renewal. The language of work is English. For a description of job duties, see Legal Officer Job Description.

The Centre for Law and Democracy is committed to diversity and is an equal opportunity employer. We value and encourage all applicants without regard to race, colour, religion, gender, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other legally protected ground. This commitment applies to all aspects of employment, including hiring, transfer, promotion, compensation, eligibility for benefits and termination.

Centre for Law and Democracy
39 Chartwell Lane
Halifax, N.S., B3M 3S7

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