Duties and responsibilities:
Under the supervision of the Executive Secretary, the incumbent provides the Executive Secretary advice on legal and administrative matters as well as assistance to facilitate the functioning of the Executive Secretariat.
- To coordinate the global agenda and give legal advice on special matters and investigations as required by the Commissioners and the Executive Secretary, including but not limited to drafting speeches, conferences papers and other presentations; researching background information and legal issues for investigations, speeches, and articles to be written by the Executive Secretary on a broad variety of human rights matters; following-up on a broad range of issues addressed in meetings with staff or others, matters and cases referred to the Executive Secretary; critically reviewing and annotating all legal memoranda directed to the Executive Secretary; and overseeing the efficient organization of all aspects of the work in the Executive Secretary’s office in close collaboration with the administrative assistant; as well as drafting speeches for the Commissioners and/or coordinating their preparation by other IACHR attorneys.
- On a daily basis, to establish and maintain effective communication channels between the Commissioners and the Executive Secretariat by critically assessing the content of correspondence addressed to the Commissioners and forwarding it together with appropriate background documents, such as legal memoranda, consultations on precautionary measures and other matters.
- To elaborate new practices and procedures to facilitate the Commission's work, including occasional modifications to the Commission's Statute and Regulations, as well as the revisions of practices to increase procedural efficiency and responsiveness.
- To advise petitioners and Member State Missions or Foreign Ministry representative on the application of petition procedures and other aspects of the inter-American human rights system, responding to inquiries on matters related to human rights, providing technical advisory services for other organs or agencies of the Organization, in relation to the preparation and implementation of juridical international instruments in the field of human rights.
- As indicated by the Executive Secretary on the basis of specific situations identified by him/her:
- To establish and ensure the efficient organization of the individual petition system governed by the inter-American human rights instruments, performing assessments on complaints received against Member States, in line with relevant procedures; requesting background/additional information from the parties to fully develop the claims; managing case correspondence, conducting legal research, analyzing claims according to the pertinent systemic norms, coordinating case hearings, drafting case reports setting forth conclusions and recommendations for Commission’s review; as well as carrying out fact finding on situations and cases, and participating in the preparation of publications.
- To proactively collaborate to the preparation and presentation of contentious cases and requests for advisory opinions before the Inter-American Court, inter alia, conducting legal research and analysis, drafting briefs, managing case correspondence, identifying and collecting evidence, coordinating the presentation of witnesses, and partaking in the presentation of arguments and witness testimony before the Court.
- To take a lead role in the organization, coordination and participation in on-site and working visits as well as sessions and meetings away from Headquarters conducted by the Commission, namely: establishing draft programs of activities; managing / overseeing logistical arrangements; facilitating meetings between Commission members and government officials, representatives of local non-governmental organizations and other groups, drafting reports and recommendations for Commission approval and subsequent publication.
- To closely monitor the overall situation of human rights in specific assigned Member States, including establishing and maintaining contacts with sources, collecting and critically reviewing information, coordinating general hearings before the Commission, and consulting with the Commission Rapporteur, as appropriate; as well as drafting special reports on the situation of human rights in assigned Member States and on selected human rights issues, including but not limited to gathering and evaluating data from a wide range of sources, conducting legal research and analysis, drafting of reports for publication, pursuant to Commission approval.
- To engage in promotional activities such as seminars and conferences on human rights issues.
- Perform other related duties as assigned, including replacing and backstopping for others.
Education & Experience :
Essential: Juris Doctor or First University Degree (Bachelor) in Law, International Public Law, Human Rights, Political Science, International Affairs, Business Administration or Sociology issued by a duly accredited institution and 4 years of relevant experience in similar positions at the national and/or international level OR Advanced University Degree (Master) in one of the fields listed above and 2 years of relevant experience. Knowledge of the principles and theories of international public law and human rights law.
Desirable: Experience or knowledge of the OAS mandates and priorities as related to the area of work and/or the dynamics of the Inter-American agenda and system.
Computer Skills: Ability to effectively work using Microsoft Office (e.g. Outlook, Word, and Excel), and other software applicable to the area of work.
Essential – Proficient in English and Spanish (read, write and communicate). Language proficiency examination will be required.
Desirable – Working knowledge of French and/or Portuguese.
Personal Competencies: Client Orientation, Knowledge Sharing, Teamwork, Interpersonal Skills. Ability to clearly communicate in the languages required for the post.
- Knowledge of the Inter-American System of Human Rights;
- Experience working in public service, and governmental entities such as national human rights institutions is an asset;
- Demonstrable excellent communication skills in order to research, design, create and give presentations on different topics related to human rights to varied audiences. Teaching experience in the field of Human Rights is an asset in this regard;
- Demonstrable experience in consultancy and development of projects at national and international institutions related to human rights, as well as academic institutions and Civil Society organizations.
- Publications and collaborations on topics related to human rights;
- Experience in the design of public policy on human rights actions;
- Experience in matters of promotion of human rights and non-discrimination.
The OAS is committed to achieving a diverse staff and therefore will take into account a wide geographic representation as well as gender equity and equality in the selection of candidates.
Please note that the mandatory retirement age for staff members at the General Secretariat of the OAS is 65.