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 General Counsel:


 16 October 2009 | visits 491


The International Commission of Jurists is an international non-governmental organisation dedicated to the primacy, coherence and implementation of international law and principles that advance human rights. It is composed of eminent jurists from around the globe and has national sections and affiliated organisations in all continents. What distinguishes the ICJ is its impartial, objective and authoritative legal approach to the protection and promotion of human rights through the rule of law. 

The ICJ seeks to recruit a General Counsel to lead the Legal and Policy Office of the International Secretariat based in Geneva. 
The successful candidate must be a jurist of high standing with a proven record in advancing human rights through the rule of law. The position requires significant experience in the management of a dynamic and growing organisation. The candidate will have a comprehensive knowledge of the developments and challenges in international human rights. The person must be an energetic and results oriented leader who demonstrates strategic thinking as well as sound judgment. 
The General Counsel is the Director of the Legal and Policy Office of the International Secretariat of the ICJ. He/she acts under the supervision of the Secretary-General and the Deputy Secretary-General and reports to them. The General Counsel has the following responsibilities:
• Provide strategic direction, leadership and management of the Legal and Policy Office;
• Advise the Secretary-General on legal and political developments relevant to the ICJ and on immediate and longer-term objectives and advocacy strategies for the ICJ;
• Legal policy: Develop internal ICJ legal policy positions and external policy papers, including where necessary background reference documents and legal studies, on legal issues as decided and requested by the Secretary-General and/or the Deputy Secretary-General;
• Legal “clinic” and staff legal training: Provide expert legal advice to, and tutoring of, legal staff, according to the thematic and geographic division of work, and develop and implement a programme of training to ensure staff have the necessary legal knowledge, including training new staff as part of training and induction programs and training existing staff as the need arises;
• Strategic litigation: Working with all relevant staff, be responsible for, and coordinate, the development and implementation of a strategy and plan for the ICJ’s growing ‘strategic litigation’. This will include amicus curiae briefs and other third party legal submissions at the national, regional and international levels. As appropriate, draft amicus curiae and other submissions;
• Quality control, legal revision and approval: Provide quality control by providing legal revision and approval of the ICJ’s external documents;
• Standard setting and IGO work: In coordination with the International Law and Protection Program (ILP):
1. Work on new international standards, help ILP in their standards setting strategies, activities and identify and develop new legal areas, which require standards setting exercises;
2. Support the UN human rights treaty bodies, developing and implementing strategies and drafting documents and submissions (country situations; General Comments and individual cases). When documents or submissions are drafted by other staff (i.e. Regional Programme or ILP staff relating to individual countries, as appropriate), the General Counsel will review the documents/submissions;
3. Support the UN human rights treaty bodies’ reform, developing and implementing strategies and drafting documents and submissions. When documents or submissions are drafted by ILP staff, the General Counsel will review the documents/submissions;
• Rapid response and temporary capacity strengthening: As directed by the Secretary-General or the Deputy Secretary-General, provide additional senior legal capacity and leadership: (i) to enable a rapid response to a country situation, and (ii) temporarily to strengthen the legal capacity of a particular team;
• Representation and missions: Represent the ICJ externally. This will include liaising with governments, inter-governmental organizations and the legal and human rights communities. Also representing the ICJ by carrying out media work, leading and participating in ICJ missions, delivering public speeches and otherwise raising the public profile of the ICJ;
• Senior Management Team: Participate as a Programme Director in the collective management of the ICJ;
• Fundraising: As part of the Management Team contribute to the financial oversight of the organization. Assist the Secretary-General and the Deputy Secretary-General, as requested, to develop and implement fundraising strategies, including representing the ICJ to donors.
• Other responsibilities: Carry out other appropriate responsibilities as requested by the Secretary-General or the Deputy Secretary-General.
The successful applicant will have:
• Minimum of 15 years experience as a human rights lawyer, with a degree in law. Further academic studies in international and human rights law highly desirable.
• Demonstrated commitment to human rights;
• Minimum of six years progressive experience working with the United Nations human rights system, especially the human rights treaty bodies and the former UN Commission on Human Rights and its special procedures. Experience working with regional human rights systems is highly desirable;
• Excellent applied knowledge of international human rights law and international and regional human rights jurisprudence. Experience of litigation before international or regional human rights systems is highly desirable, as is other practical legal and advocacy experience at the national level working for the implementation of international human rights standards and to end and prevent human rights violations;
• Good knowledge of international humanitarian law and criminal law.
• Excellent political judgment and the proven ability to develop and carry out innovative advocacy strategies;
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills;
• Minimum of four years program and staff management experience;
• Able to work in English and French or Spanish;
• Ability to work under pressure to deadlines, in a complex, dynamic and changing work environment, as part of a multi-cultural team, working internationally.
The ICJ is an equal opportunities employer.
APPLICATIONS close on 27 October and should be addressed with your resume to: 
Ref: General Counsel
Or by post: International Commission of Jurists, P.O. Box 91, 1211 Geneva 8, Switzerland.
Please appreciate that only short-listed candidates will be contacted. We cannot answer phone enquiries, thank you for your understanding.

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