Home USA vacancies No password required - Legal Officer - International Justice, OSF, London or New York
Sunday, 23 April 2017


Members' Access

Free Email Newsletter

You can subscribe to our weekly newsletter for free. Please email us with your name and  email address and we will email you our weekly newsletter.

- Legal Officer - International Justice, OSF, London or New York

Department Open Society Justice Initiative

Location London or New York

Application Deadline May 3, 2017


The Justice Initiative, an operational program of The Open Society Foundations, uses litigation and other forms of legal advocacy to empower people, defend the rule of law, and advance human rights. Through litigation, advocacy, research, and technical assistance, we promote and defend accountability for international crimes, combat racial discrimination and statelessness, support criminal justice reform, challenge abuses related to national security and counterterrorism initiatives, expand access to and exercise of freedom of information and expression, and confront corruption linked to the exploitation of natural resources.


To our activities we bring deep and varied practice of litigation and other forms of legal advocacy, familiarity with legal and related political fora, substantive knowledge of human rights issues, and issue- and place-specific expertise and experience. We collaborate with a community of dedicated and skillful human rights advocates across the globe, and form part of a dynamic and progressive justice movement that reflects the diversity of the world it inhabits. More information on the Justice Initiative and its activities can be found at www.justiceinitiative.org


To pursue and promote international justice, we focus on two stands of work: strengthening the International Criminal Court (ICC) and increasing the prosecution of grave crimes before national courts. Our work in support of the ICC aims to strengthen the tribunal’s policies and practices to facilitate efficient and independent grave crimes proceedings, adequate consideration of location context, and effective engagement with affected communities.


At the national level, we utilize documentation and research, litigation, monitoring, [legal] advocacy, and legal and technical assistance to bring about genuine prosecutions for grave crimes before domestic courts. Specific initiatives include improving civil society’s practices on documentation of and submissions on grave crimes before the ICC; providing investigative and prosecutorial technical assistance to state authorities; and administering the IJ Monitor, a trial monitoring website that provides accurate and reliable information on grave crimes trials before the ICC and selected national jurisdictions and  provides a platform for victims and affected communities to express their views about the proceedings.


Job Profile

We are seeking an experienced and committed Legal Officer to help advance our global work on promoting and protecting international justice. Based in New York or London, and reporting to the Senior Managing Legal Officer for International Justice, the Legal Officer will be broadly responsible for supporting efforts to bring about genuine prosecutions for grave crimes at the national, regional or international level in selected locations.


This role requires not only specialized knowledge of the field of international justice, but also successful experience in utilizing  legal and other advocacy tools to achieve our organizational objective of demonstrably strengthening the fairness, effectiveness, efficiency, and perceived legitimacy of selected criminal justice mechanisms and proceedings addressing international crimes.


Essential duties and responsibilities will include:


Developing and implementing strategic initiatives to support the effective functioning   of mechanisms delivering criminal justice for grave crimes

Analyzing evidence and assessing the legal elements of grave crimes in different contexts with a view to potential criminal investigation and prosecution, including the collection and review of relevant civil society documentation of grave crimes for use in domestic and international criminal prosecutions.

Researching and drafting reports on issues concerning the international justice field, such as witness protection, evidence, and other topics relevant to the effective investigation and prosecution of grave crimes, and utilizing those reports as an advocacy tool to improve the quality of justice for grave crimes.

Drafting legal arguments and providing legal advice and/or legal representation with a view to submission of cases by civil society for investigation and prosecution by the relevant authorities.

Facilitating and strengthening relationships between civil society actors and courts dealing with grave crimes, and supporting local partners in the provision of information to courts at various stages of analysis, investigation and/or litigation, with a view to contributing to the effective investigation and prosecution of those crimes.

Developing and contributing to OSJI’s advocacy strategies relating to specific grave crime cases and specific criminal justice mechanisms,

Candidate Profile

Law degree, and at least seven years’ experience as a legal advocate in the international justice or other relevant field, including experience with international or hybrid courts or a national criminal justice system dealing with grave crimes. Legal practice qualification is desirable.

Demonstrable knowledge of and experience with international criminal/humanitarian law, and the practice and jurisprudence of international and/or hybrid courts, especially in countries and regions where grave crimes have been committed

Prosecutorial, investigation or litigation experience Proven legal writing and advocacy skills

Fluency in English, and working knowledge to a professional standard of at least one of the following languages required: Spanish, French, Russian, Arabic

Excellent political judgment and the proven ability to develop and carry out innovative advocacy strategies

Strong analytic and organizational skills

Excellent oral advocacy and communication skills

Excellent interpersonal and communication and networking skills, with a proven ability to work as part of a multi-cultural team

Ability to effectively manage multiple projects in a fast-paced environment

Extensive travel and possibility of extended periods of stay in project countries

Please note, you must include a cover letter as part of your application. Applications without a cover letter will not be reviewed. ​ ​


Work Environment and Physical Demands:


Essential functions are typically performed in an office setting with a low level of noise.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


We are strengthened by the diversity of our colleagues across the Open Society Foundations, and we welcome and actively seek applications from people of all cultures, backgrounds, and experiences.



Job posted on 4th April 2017

Please mention Political Jobs when applying to this position