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Interested in an Exciting International Human Rights Career? Come Work With Us!

3 September 2020.

The Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) is seeking a Legal Officer to begin working with us as soon as possible. We are looking for a successful, highly motivated person who will work from Halifax, Canada. The successful applicant will be rewarded with exciting legal work in countries all over the world, high-level representational opportunities and the chance to participate in a wide range of different types of activities.

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, freedoms of association and assembly and the right to participate, as part of a small, dynamic human rights organisation with a unique mandate. The position combines legal analysis and top-level 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 (although this is currently subject to COVID-19 restrictions).

We expect the Legal Officer to be based out of our office in Halifax, Canada, subject to arrangements being made that are consistent with 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:

    • Supporting Myanmar’s democratic transition, including by fostering the development of a robust and independent media sector and drafting new laws governing broadcasting, digital speech and the press.
    • Providing training and support to journalists, lawyers, judges and activists in different countries on media law and human rights issues.
    • Providing expert input into legal development and reform processes in a range of countries, such as Vietnam, Samoa and Jordan.
    • Supporting strategic litigation on the human rights issues we focus on.
    • 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, particularly 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 and concise position 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, social and educational backgrounds.
    • Ability to work effectively, often under pressure, to tight and demanding deadlines.
    • 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 speech, such as net neutrality, Internet shutdowns, etc.
    • 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 28 September 2020 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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