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United Nations Development Programme external Vacancy Announcement
Mar 4, 2010, 17:02
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I. Position InformationTitle:
National Rule of Law Officer
Type of Contract:
Service Contract

Level: NOB
Duration: 12 months (renewable)
Duty station: Bo Southern Province
Date of Issue:
Closing Date:

II. Organizational Context

In the period preceding the 11year protracted civil war, Sierra Leonean society was characterized by a dysfunctional judicial system, wherein most Sierra Leoneans, particularly those residing in the provinces, had limited access to justice. This, coupled with weak rule of law institutions, a perception of a lack of independence of the judiciary, and human rights violations with impunity resulted in poor overall governance resulting in stagnation of development thereby contributing to the hostilities. Post-conflict Sierra Leone continues to be characterized by a dual system of justice, with approximately 70 percent of the population living under the jurisdiction of customary/traditional law that is practised in the majority of the 149 chiefdoms across the country. Access to, and the administration of justice, particularly justice for the poor and vulnerable (especially women and girls), is weak. There is great reliance on traditional dispute resolution methods, i.e. through the paramount chiefs, while the formal justice system is hardly accessed, often due to its distance from the population. In addition, the lack of infrastructure and the difficulty in both access and awareness further hampers the administration of justice by the formal system.To aid in the administration of justice, the Government of Sierra Leone, supported by the British Councils Justice Sector Development Programme (JSDP), developed a Justice Sector Reform Strategy and Investment Plan (JSRSIP) and helped in establishing a Justice Sector Coordination Office (JSCO) under the Ministry of Justice and the Attorney Generals Office. The JSRSIP sets forth a work plan that identifies areas of intervention as well as the main force behind that intervention. This Project falls within that umbrella and endeavours to fill in some of the gaps of the JSRSIP, ensuring coordination and coherence with the other players in the field, while taking stock of UNDPs comparative advantage in its practice areas and building on the previous PBF interventions. This Project has been designed to address the justice and security sector as a whole, through the provision of services in five main areas: Strengthening the national justice system for effective and timely delivery of judicial and legal services to the people; increasing access to justice and rule of law; enhancing the provision of security services at the local level and the civilian oversight and management capacities of security institutions; supporting the prevention and prosecution of sexual and gender based violence cases; and strengthening the national institutions of human rights to monitor the situation of human rights in the country and make recommendations for addressing human rights issues. This shall be carried in consonance with the relevant components and pillars contained in UNDAF, CPAP, and PRSP.In 2008, the UNDP CO in Sierra Leone intervened in the justice and rule of law sectors with an aim towards achieving two goals: providing institutional capacity building support and assisting the judiciary in clearing case backlogs. To that end, the CO undertook several initiatives focusing on logistical and institutional support to the judiciary, training of police prosecutors, support to the National Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone, and giving capacity building assistance to CSOS through the creation of an institutionalized forum.The Justice and Rule of Law Programme will build on the on-going engagements by the UNDP CO in order to have a sustainable impact on access to justice, rule of law, and human rights protection in Sierra Leone. Reporting directly to the Senior Advisor and Project Manager on Access to Justice, Rule of Law and Human Rights, and under the overall supervision of Deputy Country Director, (DCD) the national rule of law officer will provide substantive and operational support to the implementation of the UNDP Access to Justice and Rule of Law programme and assist in the interface between UNDP and the Government of Sierra Leone on a wide range of rule of law and the justice system. The national officer will also be expected to assist the Senior Advisor in working with key national actors, Government, statutory bodies, donors community, other UN agencies, International and local NGOS, etc

 III. Functions / Key Results Expected

The National Rule of Law Officer will substantially contribute to the programmatic development and implementation of the Project.His/her main duties will be as follows:

Provide technical and operational support to the implementation and monitoring of the Rule of Law project;
Provide support in forging partnerships especially with UN agencies, national and international NGOs and donor community;
Support the CO and Government in establishing synergies and partnerships with others actors (national and international) on Rule of Law issues at the strategic, technical and operational levels;
Provide substantive recommendations on capacity building measures to support both the formal and traditional justice systems including customary law officers and chiefs; Support the human rights capacity building of local governmental officials and assist in the provision of technical advice and mentoring on human rights and principles of the justice system to judicial system, law-enforcement and traditional systems;
Initiating but also supporting, by complimenting, gender and GBV initiatives by other actors and partners; Striving to cover all districts and chiefdoms within the assigned province;
Engage in capacity and confidence-building with non-governmental rule of law actors, including consultative and participatory processes with national stakeholders, including womens networks and legal professionals; Assist the Senior Advisor in performing the quality control function of project activities, including assessing impact and effectiveness, tracking outputs and results, and ensure timely and efficient delivery of project outputs through a client-satisfaction approach;
Assist the Senior Advisor in assessing the impact and effectiveness of the assistance through regular consultations with national and international counterparts and stakeholders, regular field visits, analysis and preparation of progress and other required reports;
Participate in the COs programme meetings, providing regular updates and feedback on progress of resource mobilization efforts; and
Perform any additional tasks as requested by the Supervisor.

IV. Competencies

Corporate Competencies: Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UNs values and ethical standards.
Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP.
Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.
Treats all people fairly without favoritism.Functional Competencies: Good knowledge of the Sierra Leone legal/justice system, including the political environment and legal statutes as they pertain to human rights and broader issues of justice.
Ability to work and act under pressure.
Sound political judgment, impartiality, diplomacy and discretion.
Proven ability to establish priorities and to plan, organize, coordinate and monitor own work plan and provide advice and guidance to others; in-depth understanding of divisions strategic direction; resourcefulness, sound judgment and decision-making skills.
Demonstrated sound judgment in resolving issues/problems; ability to proactively seek and recommend sound policy initiatives.
Ability to actively seek to improve programmes/services, offer new and different options to solve problems/meet client needs.
Excellent and effective communication (verbal and written) skills, including ability to prepare reports and conduct presentations by clearly formulating positions on issues, articulating options concisely conveying maximum necessary information, making and defending recommendations; diplomacy and tact; ability to convey difficult issues and positions to senior officials; Excellent interpersonal skills; ability to establish and maintain effective working relations with people in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.
Effective negotiating skills and ability to work with others to reach mutually benefiting and lasting understandings.

V. Recruitment Qualifications


Advanced university degree preferably in law, but also other disciplines such as international studies, development studies or a related field with emphasis on human rights, justice and rule of law. A relevant combination of university law degree, professional training and experience may be considered in lieu of the advanced (Masters) degree.


At least 3-5 years work experience in Sierra Leone or related a post-conflict setting with substantial direct experience on access to justice, judicial reform and/or strengthening of the rule of law. 
Detailed knowledge familiarity of the issues and key actors in the justice sector.
Experience in development work, partnerships building and resource mobilization.
Prior experience within the United Nations, in particular UNDP, is desirable but not a requirement.

Language requirements:
Strong written and spoken English skills. Knowledge of additional UN languages is desirable.

All applications must be submitted to the Deputy Country Director (Operations), UNDP, 76 Wilkinson Road, Freetown, to reach him on or before COB of Wednesday, 17 March 2010, clearly indicating the position applied for on the top right hand corner of the envelope.

© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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