Legal Adviser - Legal and Constitutional Affairs Division
The Legal and Constitutional Affairs Division (LCAD) is the lead division of the Commonwealth Secretariat promoting the rule of law in Commonwealth Countries in order to strengthen democratic governance and achieve sustainable (as well as people-centred) development. The primary responsibilities of the LCAD are to:
- facilitate legal expertise and cooperation in the areas of constitutional law, combating trans-national crime, international law; and other emerging areas of the law mandated by Member Countries;
- assist countries in the fulfilment of their international obligations under a variety of multilateral treaties and conventions;
- increase national capacity for the legal, constitutional and judicial (including access to justice) reform in the administration of justice;
- promote good governance in the context of the Commonwealth (Latimer House) Principles;
- contribute, as required to the developing of integrated Technical Assistance to Member Countries on priority basis;
- organise meetings of Commonwealth Senior Officials of Law Ministries (SOLM), Law Ministers of Small Commonwealth Jurisdictions (LMSCJ) and Commonwealth Law Ministers Meetings (CLMM);
- provide in-house advice to divisions of the Secretariat and;
- provide legal representation to the Secretariat at the Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal (CSAT) and UK Courts. In performing these functions the Director is supported by staff in his immediate office, Legal General and two sections – the Criminal Law Section (CLS) and the Justice Section (JS). The LCAD places high priority in collaborating with strategic partners for the effective delivery of its work.
The Legal Adviser provides support and assistance to the Director and works as a member of the LCAD team and in collaboration with colleagues and partners to accomplish the Rule of Law programme under the aegis of the Commonwealth Secretariat.
The Legal Adviser has principal responsibility for the production of the LCAD flagship publication – the Commonwealth Law Bulletin (CLB). Other responsibilities include:
- the design and delivery of capacity building programmes aimed at a progressive reform of criminal law, administration of justice and judicial systems in Commonwealth Countries in compliance with the mandates of the Criminal Law Section and the Justice Section;
- providing legal advice to the Secretariat and serving in a variety of capacity as required;
- assisting the director in the organising of the meetings of Commonwealth Senior Officials and Commonwealth Law Ministers Meetings;
- dissemination of legal information and exchange of knowledge on Commonwealth Secretariat intranet/website;
- represent the Commonwealth Secretariat at relevant international fora as required; (vi) other responsibilities as assigned.
The Legal Adviser collaborates closely with Secretariat colleagues in discharging his/her responsibilities, particularly those divisions contributing to the rule of law programmes such as the Political Affairs Division (PAD), the Governance and Institutional Development Division (GIDD) and the Special Advisory Services Division (SASD). The Legal Adviser also collaborates with external partners delivering programmes relating to the Rule of Law.
The post-holder will:
- Develop, Design and implement strategic projects to integrate and increase legal reform in assigned areas of administration of justice, legal empowerment and access to justice in Commonwealth Countries. Develop training programmes for capacity building in Commonwealth Countries
- Provide legal and policy advisory services to the Secretariat.
- Conduct needs assessment in assigned areas of legal and judicial reform in Commonwealth Countries, evaluate capacity and develop suitable Technical Assistance Plan based on priority needs. Conduct post reviews of assistance.
- Analyse request for technical assistance in collaboration with Secretariat colleagues and advise on strategies based on priority needs.
- Participate in high-level advisory missions to address issues relating to the rule of law and democratic governance. Provide strategic advice to facilitate the development of an integrated programme of technical assistance and capacity building.
- Research and edit manuscript of the Commonwealth Law Bulletin (CLB) for content and organization to ensure accuracy, currency, relevance conformance, accessibility and timeliness. Write material as required.
- Establish and build a network of legal professionals/organizations and legal and judicial institutions in Commonwealth Countries for the acquisition of legal materials for the CLB. Liaise with printers, proof readers and subscribers as necessary, and ensure timely delivery of manuscript. As required, develop and implement plans for CLB enhancement
- Identify areas for policy innovation, provide advice and make presentation to the meetings of Commonwealth Senior Officials and Law Ministers;
- Represent the Director and the Secretariat at meetings, conferences, seminars and training programmes;
- Assist the director in developing/implementing strategies and organizing the meetings of Commonwealth Senior Officials and Law Ministers;
- Assist the director in overseeing the programmatic and administrative tasks necessary for the functioning of the Division
- Work on other matters, initiatives and programmes as assigned by the Director from time to time.
- Good honours degree in law and admission to practice as a barrister or solicitor in a Commonwealth country
- Masters degree in law or related subject
- Minimum of ten years post admission practice experience as a lawyer and experience in assessing, designing, managing and evaluating rule of law assistance programmes within the development context;
- thorough background in research, legal analysis and the provision of legal advice in complex matters
- proven ability to construe and apply statutes, select and digest legal materials for publication
- experience in producing materials for use by practitioners and for workshops, conferences and in-house training needs in a development context
- strong project management skills with the ability and experience in designing project documents and budgets and coordinating international programmes within a development context;
- Experience of working with international organisations in an in-country environment
- Representational experience in multilateral fora and practical experience in matters relating to the rule of law
- Experience in legal policy development
- Experience in providing professional training and development
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