Protection Team Leader (Legal)
The Danish Refugee Council assists refugees and internally displaced persons across the globe: we provide emergency aid, fight for their rights, and strengthen their opportunities for a brighter future. We work in conflict-affected areas, along the displacement routes, and in the countries where refugees settle. In cooperation with local communities, we strive for responsible and sustainable solutions. We work toward successful integration and – whenever possible – for the fulfillment of the wish to return home.
The Danish Refugee Council was founded in Denmark in 1956, and has since grown to become an international humanitarian organization with more than 7,000 staff and 8,000 volunteers. Our vision is a dignified life for all displaced.
All of our efforts are based on our value compass: humanity, respect, independence and neutrality, participation, and honesty and transparency.
DRC has been operating in Iraq since 2003 and in Northern Iraq since 2010. It is currently implementing a broad range of activities relevant to conflict-affected communities and persons. The activities are categorized into ten sectors: Shelter and Non-food Items, Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH), Livelihoods, Protection, Mine Risk Education, Camp Coordination, and Camp Management (CCCM).
Overall purpose of the role:
- Ensure overall technical quality and oversight of the planning, implementation and follow up of legal aid activities (legal information provision, counselling, assistance and representation) being implemented by team.
- Supervise Protection team members, including Protection Officer (Legal) and Protection Assistant (Legal), and provide technical guidance and provide necessary capacity building to team members.
- Develop and maintain good relations with the persons of concern, relevant stakeholders and other humanitarian actors to support adequate implementation and coordination of DRC’s protection activities.
- Under the supervision of the Project Manager – Protection, lead and manage the Legal team (i.e. lawyers) including people planning, working hours, performance, well-being and development.
- Ensure effective planning and maintain oversight of the implementation of DRC’s legal aid activities (legal information provision, counselling, legal assistance and representation), and actively coordinate with CBP/PSS, case management teams, and other DRC sectors for referral pathways.
- Ensure and monitor quality of legal aid provided, in accordance with DRC legal case management standard operating procedures, national laws and international international protection standards.
Programming & Operations
- Ensure the successful delivery of high-quality legal aid to people of concern of different ages (youth, adults and older persons), gender (men and women) and abilities (including persons with disabilities).
- Supervise Protection Officers (Legal) and Protection Assistants (Legal), ensure that all activities are implemented in accordance with SOPs, DRC protection standards and the most up-to-date legal procedures in Iraq.
- Remain up-to-date on legal procedure and policy developments (consolidating inputs from Legal team and stakeholders), update team guideline documents as needed.
- Facilitate the cases referred internally from DRC, externally from other agencies (including CCI cases), allocate those cases among Legal Officers and provide feedback to referring agency; refer cases externally to legal partners working in areas out of DRC’s area of operation.
- Coach Protection Officers (legal) by providing technical guidance on legal procedures, policy and judgements, as well as based on DRC guidance notes and best practices.
- Provide feedback to Project Manager - Protection on technical gaps in the thematic area of DRC programming, identifying legal aid gaps and opportunities for program growth.
- Ensure Protection team (legal) is regularly reviewing approach and opportunities (including through regular outreach) to identify vulnerable people (reaching all AGD groups) in need of legal aid.
- Organize community consultations / legal assessments to identify community legal needs.
- Provide feedback to Project Manager - Protection on technical gaps, protection tools and the capacity building needs of the Protection Team -Legal . Provide support to the Project manager on capacity building activities where necessary.
- Responsible for recruitment of legal staff and monitor timely induction and capacity building of newly recruited Legal Team members to ensure quality and accountability.
- Conduct legal case review and supervision; ensure team updates and maintains legal case files, legal database and legal tracker (or other IM tools), following DRC Standard Operating Procedures and ensuring clients’ data and confidentiality are protected.
- Review and approve weekly and monthly work plan for Legal staff, including standardized circuit schedule for mobile activities/legal outreach to ensure timely implementation legal aid activities and follow-up on achievement or protection project targets
- Support the implementation of monitoring and evaluation tools; support analysis of legal data and report on issues in the implementation of the program.
Coordination and representation
- Develop and maintain effective working relationship with relevant stakeholders including court entities and civil affairs directorates (CAD), community leaders and service providers.
- Represent DRC at meetings and other relevant technical coordination meetings such as Legal Task force, HLP sub-cluster, or other relevant coordination fora.
- Collaborate with relevant internal and external technical experts in the development of evidence-based legal advocacy, protection reports, guidance notes and capacity building materials.
- Ensure integration with other DRC sectors, including economic recovery, shelter and infrastructure and Humanitarian Mine Actions.
- Advocate for the needs of vulnerable individuals both internally and through coordination mechanisms through evidence-based advocacy.
- Support the Project Manager - Protection drafting protection project proposals by providing field-related inputs.
- Participate in preparing monthly/quarterly/annual highlights/reports and proposals and budgets for donors.
- Oversee and ensure achievements of targets according to DRC and donors’ requirements.
- Maintain ongoing communication with MEAL department and support monitoring and evaluations of protection projects and protection activities.
- Support Project Manager – Protection with project planning including work plans, procurement and budget management for the activities under his/her supervisions.
- Ensure the approved payment procedure for legal fees (with the required supporting documentation) is followed by all team members.
- Initiate relevant procurements and ensure their execution.
- Support the monitoring of financial commitments and expenditures against budgets and provide timely feedback on budget follow-up.
- Plan and coordinate proactively logistics and movements of staff from and to different operational areas
- Ensure compliance with DRC guidelines and policies on HR, admin, finance, and supply.
- Ensure adherence to DRC national staff policy guidelines and Code of Conduct.
- Ensure compliance with DRC AGD policy and AGD programmatic minimum standards.
- Ensuring compliance with the zero-tolerance to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse policy.
- Perform any other relevant tasks as requested by the Project Manager - Protection
Experience and technical competencies: (include years of experience):
- Minimum 1 year of management experience at a mid to senior level in the field of humanitarian response and IDP protection
- Minimum 5 years of practical experience in legal sector, working for an I/LNGO and providing quality legal assistance and representation for populations of concern
- Significant knowledge of Iraqi legal framework for the protection of IDPs; understanding of International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law; Housing, Land and Property (HLP) rights, particularly within the Iraq context.
- In depth understanding of protection principles and minimum standards
- Strong written and oral communication skills, effective in representation and liaison with external parties.
- Proven management skills and a competence in people management; Additional experience providing technical support and training to Legal officers preferred.
- Commitment to learning and implementing organizational policies and procedures.
- Ability to maintain confidentiality and prioritize the safety and dignity of beneficiaries at all times.
- Ability to work flexible hours.
- Excellent skill in MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
- Fluency in Arabic
- Full professional proficiency in English
Education: (include certificates, licenses etc.)
- -University Degree in Law – higher degree are asset and
- -Registration with the bar (level C)
Languages: (indicate fluency level)
- English is required
Key stakeholders: (internal and external)
- DRC staff
- CADs and Court houses officials
- Persons of concerns
- Other actors working staff
- Contract length: 3 months with possibility of extension subject to funds
- Salary Band: G
- Designation of duty station: Baaj with Roving to surrounding area
- Start date: As soon as possible.
- Salary and conditions will be in accordance with Danish Refugee Council’s Terms of Employment for Nationals; please refer to drc.ngo under Vacancies.
In this position, you are expected to demonstrate DRC’ five core competencies:
- Striving for excellence: You focus on reaching results while ensuring an efficient process.
- Collaborating: You involve relevant parties and encourage feedback.
- Taking the lead: You take ownership and initiative while aiming for innovation.
- Communicating: You listen and speak effectively and honestly.
- Demonstrating integrity: You act in line with DRC’s vision