International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) Recent Job Opportunity

Posted on :

31 Jan, 2020

Category :

Management Jobs in South Africa

A rare, exciting opportunity for jurists committed to the rule of law and human rights in Africa. The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) seeks a new Director to lead the organization’s work across sub-Saharan Africa, to bolster respect for the rule of law in African States and through the African Union, and to strengthen Africa’s impact on the development of international law. This full-time position is preferably based in Johannesburg, South Africa, starting with effect from 1 June 2020.


Job Title: Director – Africa Regional Programme
Location: South Africa

The Africa Director will lead the ICJ Africa team of experts who work across the continent to promote the rule of law and defend human rights. The Africa Director will manage relations with key stakeholders including judiciaries (from Chief Justices to magistrates), Bar leaders, legal academics, human rights lawyers and defenders, and civil society in a way that positions and re-affirms the role of the ICJ as a leader in promoting justice and human rights globally. The role further allows the incumbent to link with and leverage the vast network of internal and external experts including ICJ Commissioners to strengthen the rule of law in Africa.

The Africa Director sits in the ICJ management team and will advise and assist the ICJ Secretary General to run the organisation effectively and efficiently. The ideal candidate will have a minimum of a master’s degree in law or its equivalent, with extensive experience and knowledge of public policy formulation, international human rights law, and at least 10 years of demonstrable experience managing an organisation with domestic, regional, and international reach. The candidate should be passionate about defending human rights and comfortable with public engagement and advocacy. We are looking for someone who is a leader with strong legal and political judgment, interpersonal skills, with a strong commitment to equality and diversity.


The Africa Regional Director will be responsible for the overall designing and implementation of the ICJ’s projects in sub-Sahara Africa as well as supervision of all programme staff. Reporting to the Secretary General of the ICJ based in Geneva, the Africa Regional Director will:

  • Help develop, guide and supervise the implementation of ICJ’s work in Africa;
  • Help develop and regularly review the ICJ rule of law strategy for Africa and necessary country strategies;
  • Help ICJ to identify, recruit, nurture and retain talented people and build great teams to discharge the mandate of the ICJ in Africa and beyond;
  • Supervise the work and output of ICJ staff in Africa and evaluate perfomance of staff regularly;
  • Monitor threats to the rule of law in Africa and design and implement appropriate programmes to strengthen the rule of law;
  • Initiate and oversee legal and policy research and analysis of strategic rule of law issues and processes in Africa;
  • Continuously monitor and evaluate the impact of ICJ’s work and ensure that it remains relevant and strategic;
  • Have oversight over the drafting of any periodic reports for the Africa programme;
  • Assist in providing legal and policy guidance to staff in the region;
  • Represent the ICJ in engagements with critical stakeholders in the justice eco-system including government officials, civil society, business and labour as well as with the diplomatic community, donors; regional and international intergovernmental bodies;
  • Assist and engage in fund raising and resource mobilisation for the ICJ;
  • Have oversight over the implementation of all ICJ policies in the Africa Regional Programme including enforcing the ICJ internal control system and safeguarding policies in all the operations;
  • Participating in regular ICJ Directors meeting to help the Secretary General make sound decisions in running the organization;
  • Undertake media work on behalf of the ICJ.


The successful candidate will have:

Education & Experience:

  • University degree in law and a master’s degree in international human rights law or transitional justice;
  • Ten years of legal experience at national and international level, including with non-or inter-governmental organizations
  • Demonstrable experience working with judiciaries in Africa and other justice sector actors.

Essential Skills:

  • Demonstrated commitment to human rights, equality and non-discrimination and the rule of law;
  • Established leader in human rights programming in Africa with a strong network of government, NGO and media relationships across Africa.
  • Demonstrated ability in government relations in Africa.
  • Deep understanding of the main rule of law challenges faced in many African countries and demonstrated ability to design innovative programmes to address justice gaps;
  • Demonstrated ability to use the legal system to protect human rights and foster peace, justice and the rule of law;
  • Excellent legal, political judgment and proven ability to develop and carry out innovative legal advocacy strategies;
  • Demonstrated excellent analytical and writing competency;
  • Strong research and analytical skills;
  • Sound organizational skills and the ability to manage conflicting demands and to meet deadlines;
  • Demonstrated experience managing conflict and building consensus.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work with senior government officials and judicial officers;
  • Strong motivator for colleagues
  • Openness and flexibility, capacity to adapt to changing priorities and needs;
  • Willingness to travel regularly;
  • Operational experience leading a country or regional program that involved working with stakeholders and partners at the global, regional and country levels to support and/or advocate for justice and human rights.
  • Strong written and verbal skills in English is required. Fluency in French, Portuguese or Swahili is an added advantage.

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

To apply 

Applications should be addressed with your CV (not longer than 2 pages), a cover letter and the names and contact details of at least two referees to:

Ref: Africa Programme Director
By email:


Applications Deadline: 15th February 2020

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