Monday, April 11, 2016

Legal and Policy Officer , Fair Trials Europe

Brussels, Belgium

RESPONSIBLE TO: Regional Director (Europe)
LOCATION: Fair Trials Europe
Rue des Deux Eglises 39
B-1000 Brussels
(with regular overseas travel)
HOURS: Full time (35 hours per week). Evening and weekend work will be required from time to time
SALARY: €38,000 to €48,000 gross (including holiday pay)


As part of Fair Trials Europe’s team in Brussels and as a member of the wider legal and policy team, to contribute to Fair Trials’ work to improve respect for fair trial rights in Europe through a wide range of legal activities, including: assistance in individual cases, legal publications, research, strategic litigation, policy work, training, capacity building and the maintenance of an active legal network.



  • Keeping abreast of developments in Europe on issues relevant to Fair Trials’ work, identifying opportunities and ensuring Fair Trials’ law reform work is well-informed and accurate;
  • Working with the Regional Director (Europe) to develop partnership projects;
  • Designing research methodology and coordinating research projects to support campaigns, often in partnership with a range of local NGO partners;
  • Becoming a recognised expert in key areas of Fair Trials’ law reform work.

Casework and assistance

  • Managing incoming requests for help to ensure the ongoing and timely provision of advice, assistance and referrals to help people exercise their right to a fair trial; identifying areas of need for advice and information for members of the public; and contributing to the production of notes of advice and information;
  • Supporting work to identify, develop and document individual cases for public campaigns, policy submissions and/or impact litigation and contributing to in-depth assistance work on individual strategic cases;
  • Building effective and supportive relationships with individuals (clients and probono supporters) in strategic cases and ensuring clear expectations;
  • Maintaining accurate and complete hard-copy case files and electronic records. 

Policy Work

  • Monitoring domestic and regional legal developments in Europe and identifying opportunities for Fair Trials to inform the relevant legislative processes;
  • Analysing external policy documents and actual and proposed legislation Authoring reports and other policy documents for publication;
  • Working with the Regional Director (Europe) to develop and maintain relationships with policy makers and their advisers, particularly within the EU institutions.

Strategic Litigation

  • Working with the Regional Director (Europe) to develop strategies for both domestic and regional litigation which will further Fair Trials’ strategic aims;
  • Drafting or coordinating the production of third-party interventions, amicus curiae briefs and applications to international human rights monitoring bodies. 

Networks and Training

  • Building and maintaining relationships with partner organisations in the delivery of Fair Trials’ legal and policy work and with Fair Trials’ EU-wide experts network, the Legal Experts Advisory Panel;
  • Organising and contributing to Fair Trials’ networking activities and capacity building work including drafting written materials, chairing meetings and producing meeting reports;
  • Keeping members of Fair Trials’ networks and other key contacts informed about Fair Trials’ law reform work and developments in strategic priority areas;
  • Contributing to the development and delivery of online and in-person training for lawyers and other experts.


  • Supporting work to raise awareness of Fair Trials’ European legal and policy work including producing content for Fair Trials’ website and publications;
  • Supporting work on public campaigns, including: campaign planning, production of materials on individual cases; reviewing campaign publications; and identifying target audiences;
  • Representing Fair Trials externally at policy meetings and conferences, through public-speaking, in specialist publications and, as appropriate, in the media.


  • Project management of Fair Trials multi-country projects in Europe, coordinating project activities by Fair Trials and partners;
  • Contributing to the drafting of funding applications and funder reports;
  • Working with the Regional Director (Europe) and the wider Legal and Policy team to monitor the effectiveness and impact of the legal and policy work, including by obtaining feedback of key stakeholders on the information and assistance Fair Trials provides to ensure its continued improvement.


  • Ensure that the contacts database contains accurate and up to date information on European legal and policy contacts;
  • Carry out any other duties commensurate with the post;
  • Promote and implement Fair Trials’ equal opportunities policy in all aspects of work.


  • Legal training to at least degree level;
  • A good understanding of fair trial issues, criminal law and international human rights;
  • A sound understanding of the various methods by which campaigning organisations achieve change and experience in a policy related environment;
  • Confident and assertive, while approachable and sensitive to the needs of clients;
  • A good understanding of parliamentary processes at a domestic and EU level and of international and regional human rights monitoring and enforcement bodies;
  • Excellent legal analytical skills and the ability to scrutinise legislation, policy proposals and legal decisions;
  • Experience of conducting human rights related research and analysing results;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills - able to convey complex legal;
  • arguments and principles clearly and succinctly to a non-legal audience;
  • A team worker, able to build effective relationships and work collaboratively with people across, and outside, the organisation;
  • Experience of coordinating workshops and seminars;
  • Experience of drafting funding applications and grants management;
  • Highly organised with excellent time-management skills;
  • A quick learner used to working well under pressure;
  • Self-motivated and able to work with minimum supervision;
  • Willingness to be flexible according to the current demands of the organisation;
  • Committed to offering a high-quality service with excellent attention to detail;
  • Willingness to travel;
  • Exceptional written and verbal communications skills, with fluency in English and one other European language;
  • Right to work in Belgium.

About Fair Trials

Fair Trials is an international human rights NGO, which exists to build respect for the human right to a fair trial in criminal cases. It pursues its vision of a world where every person’s right to a fair trial is respected by: (a) providing information and referrals to accused people; (b) coordinating a growing network of fair trial defenders and delivering legal training; and (c) tackling the big issues in criminal justice through research, campaigns, policy work and litigation.

Fair Trials Europe

Fair Trials has become a leading contributor to exciting developments in the field of criminal justice across the European Union. Fair Trials Europe was established as a nonprofit public foundation in Belgium in 2014, to act as Fair Trials’ hub of expertise in Europe. It is, itself, at the heart of an engaged EU-wide network of over 150 criminal justice and human rights experts (the Legal Experts Advisory Panel, LEAP) which it coordinates. Fair Trials Europe is now ready to expand its activities, grow its staff team and to become more operationally and financially independent.

The office and the team

Fair Trials currently has offices in London and Brussels (Fair Trials Europe), and is due to open a base in Washington, D.C. in Autumn 2016. Its staff structure comprises 15 staff, of which five will be employees of Fair Trials Europe, based in Brussels. Building on its experience and trackrecord in Europe, Fair Trials is in the process of extending the geographical reach of its work.

Salary and conditions

The post of Legal and Policy Officer is full time. The gross salary is €38,000 to €48,000 per year.
There will be 25 days’ paid holiday each year (plus bank holidays) and a 5% pension contribution. The role is based in Brussels with regular overseas travel.

To apply

Please send a CV and cover letter electronically to no later than 5pm on 29th April 2016. Applications received after this will not be considered. Please clearly include your name and “Legal and Policy Officer” in the subject field of the email.
Your CV and cover letter should include:
  • Your name and contact details;
  • Your educational history, including universities/colleges attended with dates and significant qualifications obtained;
  • Your employment history, including all significant posts you have held – with dates, the names of the employers, and a description of the main duties, together with your present or most recent salary, and your contractual notice period. (You should also explain any significant gaps, e.g. covered by travelling, self-employment etc.);
  • An explanation of why you would like the job; the qualities you would bring to it; how you would approach the task if you were you awarded the post;
  • The names and contact details of two referees who know your work, who may be contacted if you are short-listed;
  • Information about how you learned of the post.
If you have any queries, please send them to the same email address or call Rosalyn Salmon on +44 (0)20 7822 2370.

The selection process

We will aim to inform short-listed candidates by 6th May, with interviews for short-listed candidates being held at Fair Trials’ offices in Brussels on 11th and 12th May. For those unable to attend the interview in person, Skype interviews will be possible. 
Fair Trials is conducting this appointment on equal opportunity principles and will welcome applications from candidates who can fulfil the requirements of the post irrespective of race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability.
The personal data which you have provided, and which we may request, in connection with your application, will not be retained beyond 12 months should your application be unsuccessful. If you are appointed, your personal data will only be used for the purposes of human resources management.

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