Validity Foundation - Mental Disability Advocacy Centre

Vacancy – Litigation Officer

Validity Foundation is seeking an experienced lawyer specialised in disability rights litigation to join the team as a full-time Litigation Officer. The successful candidate will be responsible for creating meaningful change for people with mental disabilities under each of our three campaigns. The Litigation Officer will use litigation in collaboration with advocacy staff and partners towards this end.

Note: Candidates must hold the right to reside and work within the European Union; preference will be given to people who self-identify as having a disability.

 Role Description

Across Validity’s European portfolio, the lawyer will help identify where litigation has the potential to advance Validity’s strategic objectives and manage cases to achieve that change. The Litigation Officer will work closely with national lawyers who represent our clients in courts to provide support, set strategy, agree arguments and draft international submissions so as to ensure strategic impact. A key component of the role includes identifying and capitalising on opportunities to compel implementation of judgments at national, regional and international levels.

The Litigation Officer will have a sound knowledge of litigation processes in at least one European jurisdiction and be able to adapt this knowledge in a flexible manner to diverse contexts. S/he will be able to manage litigation partnerships in a collaborative manner with minimal supervision to achieve specified strategic objectives. S/he will be adept at translating a broad vision for change into concrete actions, keeping the bigger picture in sight, and adapting work swiftly and decisively when necessary.

Qualifications and experience

  • Postgraduate degree in law, human rights, rule of law, justice or related field (or an undergraduate degree plus a minimum of three years’ relevant work experience).
  • Minimum three years’ experience working in the field of human rights and/or disability law or related field of which at least two years must be at regional or international level.
  • Minimum one year experience in national litigation.
  • Highly desirable: Membership of a national Bar association.
  • Highly desirable: knowledge and experience of law and/or disability in Central and Eastern Europe.
  • Desirable: Experience as a person with, or working with people with, mental disabilities and experience working with people from different cultures.

Knowledge, skills and attributes

  • The highest commitment to Validity’s mission and campaign goals, with a clear understanding of the need to end discrimination and promote equality for persons with mental disabilities.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English; proficiency in one of the following languages highly desirable – Czech, Romanian, Slovak, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Slovenian.
  • Strong understanding of disability rights and international law, particularly the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the European Convention on Human Rights.
  • Knowledge of EU law and the CJEU an asset.
  • Excellent English legal writing skills.
  • Creativity and confidence to design and implement impactful litigation.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, with the ability to work well with a wide variety of stakeholders in a multi-lingual, international environment.
  • The ability to make sense of imperfect and ambiguous information and to work across languages with translation.
  • A proactive and highly-organised approach to managing multiple and competing priorities within a fast-paced working environment, maintaining attention to detail within strict deadlines.
  • Strong and clearly evidenced analytical skill, with the ability to assess law and public policy, identify key legal duty-bearers, and develop innovative legal solutions.
  • A confident yet diplomatic approach exhibiting strong professionalism at all times with colleagues and externally.

Send your CV in English with a cover letter describing your suitability and motivation, and your salary expectation for the position to by 17:00 CET, 10 January 2021. The subject line of the email should read “Application: Litigation Officer”. The cover letter should set out clearly how you meet each of the requirements in the job description – please see attached.