Africa Litigation Manager

at Validity Foundation
Published March 27, 2022
Location Nairobi, Kenya
Category Legal  
Job Type Full Time  

Description

 

Validity Foundation (formerly the Mental Disability Advocacy Centre – MDAC) is looking for an Africa Litigation Manager.

 

The Africa Litigation Manager is responsible for creating strategic impact towards achieving legal capacity, independent living and inclusive education for persons with disabilities in Africa, in particular in Validity’s key countries: Kenya, Uganda and Zambia. In close collaboration with national level lawyers and partners, the Africa Litigation Manager identifies opportunities to place Validity’s legal expertise at the disposal of movements of persons with disabilities. Using each of Validity’s “Modes of Action” as set out in our Strategic Framework 2020 – 2025, the post-holder will ensure that their work complements and supports Validity’s wider strategic aims in close coordination with staff working in Europe and Africa.

 

The Litigation Manager will have a sound knowledge of litigation processes in at least one European jurisdiction and be able to adapt this knowledge in a flexible manner to diverse contexts. The post-holder will be able to manage litigation partnerships in a collaborative manner with minimal supervision to achieve specified strategic objectives. The successful candidate will be adept at translating a broad vision for change into concrete actions, keeping the bigger picture in sight, and adapting work swiftly and decisively when necessary.

 

Role Description

 

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 Co-Executive Director (Litigation) 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.

Creates innovative opportunities to influence international jurisprudence at the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the African Court of Human Rights, the East African Court of Justice and UN Treaty Bodies, and drafts international legal submissions.

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.

Keeps the Co-Executive Director (Litigation) abreast of developments in a timely fashion, raising opportunities and risks as they occur.

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.

Establishes Validity as a resource for thought-leadership in legal argumentation through, among other things, legal publications and organising thematic roundtables / discussions for lawyers on disability law, discrimination, legal capacity, detention, access to justice, torture and ill-treatment, and related issues.

Coordinates a range of diverse stakeholders through regular litigation surgeries on specific Validity cases so as 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 to provide disability law expertise, embed disability rights in larger advocacy movements, and ensure that Validity’s work takes an intersectional approach.

Serves as a disability-rights watchdog

 

Drafts info-bulletins, press releases, legal articles and other communications for public dissemination.

Carries out monitoring missions to places of detention, identifying cases and publishing monitoring reports.

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.

Other

 

Works closely with Validity’s Africa Advocacy Manager, other staff and partners to co-create strategies for change in each of Validity’s focus areas of work (legal capacity, community living, and inclusive education).

Cooperates closely with the Africa Advocacy Manager and non-litigation staff to support advocacy and related activities.

Manages, controls and reports on a delegated budget for approved activities in strict accordance with Validity’s finance policy, grant obligations and approved project plan, in coordination with Validity’s finance and administrative staff.

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 Co-Executive Directors.

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 (travel is dependent on the progress of the Covid-19 pandemic).

Carries out other tasks as requested by the Africa Director.

Performs all activities in compliance with, and is bound by, Validity’s internal policies.

Note: Preference will be given to people who self-identify as having a disability. Candidates must hold the right to reside and work in Kenya. This position will be based in Nairobi, Kenya (required: minimum six months physical presence in Budapest, Hungary in first 18 months employment).

 

Qualifications and experience

 

Postgraduate qualification in law, human rights, rule of law, justice or related field (or an undergraduate degree plus a minimum of three years’ relevant work experience)

A minimum of seven years’ experience in the field of human rights and/or disability law or related field of which at least two years must be at regional or international level.

A minimum of three years’ experience in national litigation.

Highly desirable: Membership of a national Bar association.

Highly desirable: Knowledge and experience of law and/or disability in Kenya, Uganda or Zambia.

Desirable: Experience as a person with, or working with people with, mental disabilities and experience working with people from different cultures.

Knowledge and skills

 

The highest commitment to Validity’s mission and campaign goals, with a clear understanding of the need to end discrimination and promote equality for persons with mental disabilities.

Fluency in written and spoken English; proficiency in Swahili, Arabic or French highly desirable.

Excellent English legal writing skills.

Strong understanding of disability rights and international law, particularly the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

Evidenced knowledge and understanding of human rights, disability and development policy in East and Southern Africa, or in at least two key countries covered by this project.

Knowledge of international development aid and mechanisms, the sustainable development goals, the development donor communities in Eastern and Southern Africa, and the 2030 Agenda are highly desirable

Creativity and confidence to design and implement impactful litigation.

Excellent interpersonal skills, with the ability to work well with a wide variety of stakeholders in a multi-lingual, international environment.

The ability to make sense of imperfect and ambiguous information.

A proactive and highly-organised approach to managing multiple and competing priorities within a fast-paced working environment, maintaining attention to detail within strict deadlines.

Strong and clearly evidenced analytical skill, with the ability to assess law and public policy, identify key legal duty-bearers, and develop innovative legal solutions.

A confident yet diplomatic approach exhibiting strong professionalism at all times with colleagues and externally.

Salary: USD 1,500 – 1,800 gross per month

 

How to apply

Recruitment process:

 

Send your CV in English with a cover letter describing your suitability and motivation for the position by email.

The subject line of the email should read “Application: Africa Litigation Manager”.

The cover letter should set out clearly how you meet each of the requirements in the job description.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.

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