Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (ISLA) Current Available Job Opportunity

Posted on :

12 Sep, 2019

Category :

Legal Jobs in South Africa

An exciting employment opportunity is available to aFrancophone Africa Lawyer who is a confident self- starter looking to make a contribution to the advancement of human rights, especially in the field of women’s human rights and sexual rights.


Job Title: Francophone Africa Lawyer
Location: South Africa

About the organisation:

The Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (ISLA) is a feminist and Pan-African organisation that aims to contribute to the development of jurisprudence on women’s human rights and sexual rights on the continent. ISLA aims to develop jurisprudence before domestic courts, the African Human Rights Systems and UN treaty bodies on ISLA’s thematic areas of focus areas. ISLA provides legal representation and support to those who seek to hold states accountable for violations of women’s human rights and sexual rights. ISLA nurtures, facilitates and supports a culture of social justice lawyering by helping to develop a critical pool of strategic litigation lawyers and feminist lawyers in particular. ISLA provides quality and long-term support to individuals and partner institutions who work on strategic litigation focusing on ISLA’s thematic areas.

About the position:

  • The ISLA team is looking for a Francophone Africa Lawyer
  • The key responsibilities of the Francophone African Lawyer to be the lead lawyer in cases from Francophone Africa and to also provide leadership of the programme. The lawyer will work closely with members of the Litigation Unit, other ISLA staff, interns, and partners.

About the work :

The selected candidate will do the following:

Programme Management

  • Demonstrate an ability to make a strategic and dynamic approach to the use of law as a tool for the promotion of human rights.
  • Research substantive issues of comparative and international human rights law and practice.
  • Draft clear and concise legal memoranda, briefs and opinions.
  • Works with thematic leads to develop cases from Francophone Africa.
  • Provide legal representation on cases before domestic, regional and international human rights fora from Francophone Africa across ISLA’s thematic areas (namely Violence Against Women, Women’s Land and Property Rights and Sexual Rights).
  • Develop processes and procedures for the Litigation Unit that create an enabling environment for strategic litigation to happen across countries.
  • Work with the knowledge production and capacity strengthening to develop programme materials
  • Working with translators and interpreters to ensure that programmatic documents are available in English and French.

Co-Management of Litigation Unit

  • Work in a coordinated manner with leaders of ISLA’s programmes in order to establish the Litigation Unit.
  • Co-facilitate the Litigation Unit to be self-managed through regular meetings and interactions as well as joint planning.
  • Work closely with the Strategic Initiatives Manager in the delivery of key programmes and especially the RHRIS Litigation Institute.

About the person:

This position will be suited to an individual who has:

  • A legal degree and admission to legal practice in Francophone Africa and an advanced degree on human rights, gender or a relevant subject.
  • Strong research and exceptional writing skills.
  • Keen analytical ability.
  • Meticulous attention to detail.
  • Substantial experience using constitutional, regional and international human rights law, with preference to candidates who have had such experience in litigation.
  • Experience working in regional legal cases, particularly in Francophone Africa.
  • In-depth or sophisticated understanding of international and comparative human rights mechanisms, and institutions.
  • Knowledge and understanding of women’s human rights and feminist analysis.
  • Fundraising experience, including demonstrated ability to cultivate relationships with individual donors, is beneficial.
  • Contributing to strategic and operational planning of the organisation and to organisational development.
  • Undertaking strategic litigation work within ISLA’s mandate in collaboration with colleagues.
  • Facilitating capacity strengthening workshops on ISLA’s programmes, international human rights law, and practice.
  • Providing support for interns, volunteers and staff members as needed.
  • Representing the ISLA and its programmes as required.
  • Supporting the work of ISLA’s programmes as is required.
  • Fluency in English and French.

Other information about the position:

Preference will be given to qualifying applicants who:

  • Are women.

This role reports to the Executive Director.

Skills and Knowledge Required

  • Fluency in English and French.
  • Supervisory experience as well as experience in coordinating and managing projects.
  • Evidence of being a self-driven, resourceful person who is able to manage and coordinate teamwork well.
  • Experience in contributing to the overall strategic planning of an organisation.
  • Exhibit the highest standards of excellence and integrity, and display, at all times and to all persons, a courteous, professional and cooperative attitude.

Other Essentials Specific to the Job

  • Able and willing to travel occasionally within and out of South Africa.
  • Commitment to the overall aims and values of ISLA, feminism and Pan Africanism
  • Expectation of occasional work outside regular weekday hours, as required to do the job.


This position offers a competitive salary, up to R875,000, per annum, (total cost to company, and commensurate with experience

Important Application details:

To apply for the position, click here to complete the application form. The ISLA’s job application form replaces the need to submit a CV as we prefer to have standardised information provided to us by all candidates. Please complete this form in as much details as is possible. Once you submit, the form is received by ISLA’s recruitment team who will evaluate your application and provide you feedback on your application status and further requirements. Please complete the form before the closing date specified in the advertisement. Late applications will not be considered.


Application Deadline: 30th September 2019

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