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National Legal Adviser – Sri Lanka

Colombo (Sri Lanka)

  • Organization: ICJ
  • Location: Colombo (Sri Lanka)
  • Grade: Senior
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Legal - Broad
  • Closing Date: 2020-11-30

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The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) is a global network of judges and lawyers united in affirming international law and rule of law principles that advance human rights.

The ICJ is seeking to recruit a National Legal Adviser who will manage the legal component of the Building Resilience, Inclusion, Diversity and legal Gains for SOGIESC Equality in Sri Lanka (BRIDGE) project in Sri Lanka. The position will be based in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

The ideal candidate is a dedicated human rights lawyer with a strong knowledge of international human rights law and standards, with practical experience of human rights legal advocacy.


The National Legal Adviser will be the main focal point for ICJ in Sri Lanka. The National Legal Adviser will report to the Regional Director, and work under the supervision of a Senior International Legal Advisor. The National Legal Adviser has the following responsibilities:

Research and Publications:

  • Lead the review of laws, policies and regulations that discriminate against individuals based on SOGIESC for ultimate publication of a report in English, Sinhala and Tami
  • Lead the research and development of three emblematic case portfolios;
  • Conduct research and publish analytical briefing papers, opinion editorials and press statements on laws and policies in Sri Lanka that explicitly discriminate against people based on SOGIESC; Monitor and analyse legal and political developments in Sri Lanka that relate to LGBTI rights and access to justice.
  • Lead drafting of the final report that will analyse data on HR violations lived by LGBTI people in Sri Lanka;

Workshops and Trainings:

  • Lead drafting of a training curriculum on differing aspects of the domestic and international law impacting on the lives LGBTI people in Sri Lanka;
  • Lead the designing and organizing of legal clinics, workshops or training sessions for the local partners and Human Rights Defenders to understand in depth the laws and practices that discriminate against individuals based on SOGIESC; and international human rights instruments that protect the rights of LGBTI persons (using the training curriculum);
  • Engage with the Sri Lanka Judge’s Institute and other stakeholders to organize a judicial dialogue in Colombo;

Program Implementation and Management:

  • Support organizing of and actively participate in quarterly Program Management Committee meetings and any other monitoring and/or evaluation activities;
  • Compile the quarterly narrative report from all the partners and develop a program report on a quarterly basis to submit to the South Asia Program Manager; assist Finance and Administrative staff to ensure accurate and timely reporting of all relevant budgetary expenditures and periodic administrative reports and; assist Programme and Grants staff in reporting to the ICJ’s senior management, donors and national partners on the project’s activities, outputs and results.
  • Act as a technical resource person for all the partner’s legal needs related to the program and lend technical support to partner’s training activities (no litigation work is required);
  • Represent the ICJ externally, develop and maintain relations with governments, donors, inter-governmental organizations, NGOs and the judicial, legal and human rights communities, prepare press release, deliver public speeches and otherwise raise the public profile of the ICJ;
  • Provide logistical and administrative support to the ICJ South Asia team during monitoring, evaluation and research missions or other visits, as necessary;
  • Steward and strengthen partnership between ICJ and the judiciary and lawyers’ groups in Sri Lanka. Strengthen collaboration and partnerships between ICJ and national groups in Sri Lanka that work on women’s human rights;
  • Actively maintain supportive working relations and seek opportunities for joint work with the staff of other regional and international programmes;
  • Supervise the work of relevant consultants and interns;
  • Assist with other ICJ activities at the request of the Asia Pacific Regional Director and South Asia Programme Manager.


The successful candidate will have:

  • A Degree in Law, with emphasis on Human Rights, Public Policy, or Development. An advanced degree in international human rights law or international humanitarian law is mandatory.
  • Three to five years progressive relevant experience as a lawyer or human rights advocate in Sri Lanka. Any work on LGBTI rights in Sri Lanka, regionally or globally will be a definite strong asset.
  • Experience in managing human rights or development programmes in the field
  • Good knowledge of international human rights and humanitarian law and international and regional human rights jurisprudence;
  • Demonstrated commitment to human rights and the rule of law;
  • Fluency in English with proven legal writing and editing skills. Fluency in Tamil and Sinhala are preferrable and in Tamil or Sinhala are considerable;
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office: Word, Excel, Powerpoint and should be independently able to work with most common data, email and internet software and applications;
  • Strong analytical skills and planning and organizational skills;
  • Proven Communication skills;
  • Teamwork and interpersonal skills;
  • Openness and flexibility, capacity to adapt to changing priorities and needs;
  • Punctual and able to respect deadlines.

The ICJ is an equal opportunities employer and offers a competitive salary package.

The deadline for applications is on 30 November 2020. Applications must be addressed with your resume, a cover letter, and names of at least two references to:

Please appreciate that due to the volume of applications, only short-listed candidates will be contacted. The ICJ is unable to respond to phone enquiries.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
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