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International Consultant to provide recommendations for the amendments of the Law on free legal aid from the perspective of children

Podgorica

  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Podgorica
  • Grade: Consultant - Contractors Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Legal - Broad
    • Children's rights (health and protection)
  • Closing Date: 2022-08-21

UNICEF Montenegro is recruiting an International Consultant to provide recommendations for the amendments of the Law on free legal aid from the perspective of children .

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential. 

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone. 

And we never give up. 

For every child, a fair chance 

According to the Convention on the Rights of a Child (Article 12) “States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.” For this purpose, a child shall in particular be provided the opportunity to be heard in any judicial and administrative proceedings affecting a child, either directly, or through a representative or an appropriate body, in a manner consistent with the procedural rules of national law. Children must be able to express their views, opinions, and concerns and to actively participate throughout the justice process, provided it is in their best interests to do so. To put this into practice, justice proceedings must be specifically adapted for children, and they must receive adequate information about the process, the choices they have and the possible consequences of these choices. The right of the child to remain silent and not to participate is equally important.
International standards guarantee the right of every child to access legal aid, and the legislation of countries in the region knows a similar solution. The Law on legal aid of Montenegro (Official Gazette, 020/11, 020/15) envisages provision of legal aid to people in contact with the law based on the financial status of the applicant. Thera are exception of only four categories (victims of trafficking, victims of domestic violence, children without parental care and persons with disabilities), which are recognized as privileged beneficiaries of free legal aid, without an evaluation of their financial standing. Still, free legal aid is still not available to all children in all procedures in which public authorities decide on their rights and legal interests. The law still does not provide for the possibility of free legal aid in administrative proceedings, which means that persons with low financial status remain without free legal aid, until the stage of the administrative dispute is reached. Such a legislative approach, which is primarily based on the type of procedure, and not on the rights protected by that procedure, is not in accordance with the established standards and practice of the European Court of Human Rights.
When it comes to access to free legal aid, the key problem is related to the insufficient coverage of the Law on Free Legal Aid, the very small number of children who benefit from this right. Since the implementation of the Law on Free Legal Aid in 2012, children without parental care have submitted only two applications for free legal aid (in 2015 and 2018), with only one application being approved. There are no precise data on the total number of children who used the institute of free legal aid, including children from other priority categories of users defined by the Law on Free Legal Aid.
The EU Report to Montenegro for 2020 and 2021 Progress Report stated that Montenegro should in particular ensure a better and more systematic access to justice, complaint systems and free legal aid for victims of human rights violations and victims of crime, and vulnerable groups, such as persons with disabilities; minorities, including Roma and Egyptians; and women and children victims of violence.
Ministry of Justice of Montenegro is in the process of amendments of the Law on legal aid for which the Council of Europe is providing technical support. Since the perspective of child rights and guaranties are very important to be strengthen in this Law, UNICEF will engage international expert to provide recommendations and best practice to the Working group of the Ministry of Justice, so to better align the Law on legal aid with the UN, COE and EU instruments and standards. UNICEF will furthermore coordinate with the Council of Europe and its experts to ensure that the two processes are complementary.

How can you make a difference? 

The purpose of this assignment is to improve the status and rights of children in contact with the law to receive free legal aid in line with UN, CoE and EU instruments and standards in the area of child rights. The objective of this activity is to provide recommendations to the Working group of the Ministry of Justice in the process of revision of the Law on free legal aid.

The methodology will include:

  • desk review of the relevant international and regional standards, legislative and policy documents; 
  • consultations with the Ministry of Justice, judiciary and UNICEF on the content and structure of the Report with recommendations; 
  • presentation of the Report to the Ministry of Justice and professional audience;

Scope of Work:
Under the direct supervision of UNICEF Child Protection Officer, the consultant is expected to undertake the following tasks:

  • Desk review of all available relevant international standards and best practices, national strategic, legal and other documents (reports, analyses, data) on provision of intensive support to families to prevent family breakdown (5 days); 
  • Preparation of a brief review/overview of best practices in the EU and other countries in provision of free legal aid to children (4 days); 
  • Consultations with the Ministry of Justice, judiciary, Council of Europe and UNICEF on the content and structure of the Report with recommendations; (3 days); 
  • Development of the Report which will include international standards on rights of a child on free legal aid, comparative analysis and best practices of the countries, recommendations for the amendments of the Law on free legal aid with concreate Law articles solutions drafted; (7 days); 
  • Presentation of the draft Report to the Ministry of Justice and professional audience; (2 day); 
  • Development of the final version of the Report with recommendations for the amendments of the law on legal aid (2 days);

Having in mind above, it is expected from consultant to deliver following:

Work Assignment Overview

                                                                                                                                                                                      Tasks/Milestone:                                    Deliverables/Outputs:                                         Timeline                         

Desk review of all available relevant international standards and best practices, national strategic, legal and other documents (reports, analyses, data) on provision of intensive support to families to prevent family breakdown (5 days);

Desk review conducted

By 10th September 2022

Preparation of a brief review/overview of best practices in the EU and other countries in provision of free legal aid to children (4 days);

Brief comparative analysis/overview of best practices prepared

By 15th September 2022

Consultations with the Ministry of Justice, judiciary, Council of Europe and UNICEF on the content and structure of the Report with recommendations; (3 days);

Interviews and consultation with stakeholders organized

By 18th September 2022

Development of the Report which will include international standards on rights of a child on free legal aid, comparative analysis and best practices of the countries, recommendations for the amendments of the Law on free legal aid with concreate Law articles solutions drafted; (7 days);

Draft report developed

By 26th September 2022

Presentation of the draft Report to the Ministry of Justice and professional audience;  (2 day).

 

Presentation delivered  

By 01st October 2022

Development of the final version of the Report with recommendations for the amendments of the law on legal aid (2 days);

Comments included and document finalized

By end November 2022

 

Slight changes in the timeline are possible and, if needed, will be agreed with UNICEF.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  • Advanced university degree in legal, social work, psychology, social policy or a similar technical field; PhD in law will be considered as an advantage; 
  • Proven experience of ten (10) or more years of experience in human rights and particularly child rights from the perspective of EU, UN, CoE standards and Eu Acquis framework in relation to children; 
  • Experience in developing research papers and analysis from the legislation and procedures with specific knowledge of child protection field; 
  • Familiarity with legal context of Montenegro in particular with access to justice and child friendly justice legislation and judicial context will be considered as an advantage; 
  • Excellent writing and communication skills. 
  • Good knowledge of local language. 
  • Previous experience of collaboration with the UN is an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate… 

UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA).  To view our competency framework, please visit here

Payments: The payments will be made upon successful completion of the deliverables and submission of invoices.

UNICEF reserves the right to withhold all or a portion of payment if performance is unsatisfactory, if work/outputs is incomplete, not delivered or for failure to meet deadlines.

Mandatory e-learning:

Upon conducting the recruitment process and prior to the signing of the contract, the consultant will be required to complete the following online courses: Ethics and Integrity at UNICEF, Prevention of Sexual Harassment and Abuse of Authority (PSEAA), and Sexual Exploitation Abuse (PSEA). 

Consultants and Individual Contractors must complete the following course before commencement of any travel on behalf of UNICEF. 

  • BSAFE security training

Any consultant or individual contractor who is issued a UNICEF email address must complete the following courses no later than 30 days after signature of contract: Fraud Awareness, and Information Awareness Security Course (only for consultants/individual contractors with a UNICEF email address). The above courses can be found on Agora through the following link: AGORA (unicef.org). All certificates should be presented as part of the contract.

Selection method: The proposal will be evaluated against the following criteria:

A) Technical criteria – Technical evaluation process / Maximum points: 70
1. Technical Criteria – 70 % of total evaluation– max. 70 points
• Education: 20 points
• Previous experience: 25 points
• Technical questions at the interview: 20 points
• Other: 5 points

Only candidates who obtained at least 70% of points from the technical part (who will score at least 49 points) will be qualified for considering for financial proposal evaluation

B) Financial criteria – evaluation of financial proposal - Maximum points: 30
The applicants are requested to submit their financial proposal consisting of a professional fee only for the services to be provided.
• Financial scores will be calculated using the formula [lowest offer / financial offer of the candidate x 30].

Selection note: All applicants will be screened against qualifications and requirements set above. Candidates fully meeting all the requirements will be further evaluated based on the criteria below. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process. Persons with disabilities, particularly women with disabilities, are strongly encouraged to apply.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.

Remarks:

- Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service; 

- Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.

- The selected candidate is solely responsible to ensure that the visa (applicable) and health insurance required to perform the duties of the contract are valid for the entire period of the contract.

- Selected candidates are subject to confirmation of fully-vaccinated status against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) with a World Health Organization (WHO)-endorsed vaccine, which must be met prior to taking up the assignment. It does not apply to consultants who will work remotely and are not expected to work on or visit UNICEF premises, programme delivery locations or directly interact with communities UNICEF works with, nor to travel to perform functions for UNICEF for the duration of their consultancy contracts.

 

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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