RSD Senior Legal Officer, Refugee Legal Aid Program
- Job posted by StARS (St. Andrew's Refugee Services)
Full Time Contract
Details: 7,050 EGP/month, rising to 7,550 EGP/month following successful completion of a three-month probationary period, with 2,100 EGP/year medical allowance and 50 EGP/month pension contribution upon completion of probationary period.
38, 26th of July Street
(near Nasser Metro)
Project Description: Refugee Legal Aid Program
The Refugee Legal Aid Program (RLAP) provides advice and representation to refugees seeking recognition by UNHCR through refugee status determination procedures in Egypt and assists refugees in accessing resettlement to safe third countries. RLAP is seeking a RSD Senior Legal Officer to assist vulnerable refugees in their RSD process.
Under the supervision of the RLAP Director and the RSD Coordinator, the RSD Senior Legal Officer is responsible for the provision of legal advice and representation to urban refugees in matters related to RSD procedures. This includes: assessment of initial requests for assistance; the screening of refugee cases to identify those of heightened vulnerability, specific need, or strategic importance; preparation of detailed written statements addressing accounts of persecution in countries of origin; drafting legal briefs in support of refugee claims in appeal and reopening procedures; supervising and reviewing casework of more junior team members; and managing different aspects of RLAP’s caseload. The RSD Senior Legal Officer is also expected to contribute to advocacy efforts regarding the urban refugee population and to supervise and train volunteer staff. The RSD Senior Legal Officer is a member of a team of approximately 20 legal staff and reports to the RLAP RSD Coordinator.
All duties are carried out under the supervision of the RLAP Director and the RSD Coordinator.
Legal and Technical
- To develop and supervise the screening and intake of potential clients for representation in RSD matters.
- To manage and oversee RLAP’s caseload in RSD matters, ensuring timely provision of assistance and follow-up on client cases as necessary.
- To provide general legal counseling and assistance to refugees regarding their applications for registration, protection, and RSD before UNHCR.
- To prepare clients for registration and RSD interviews and represent clients in such interviews as needed.
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- To draft legal briefs and prepare witness declarations and other evidence in support of RSD appeals and reopening requests.
- To serve periodically as an on-call legal advisor, assisting clients by providing legal advice and assistance on a walk-in basis.
- To prepare and facilitate RSD preparation workshops and Know Your Rights trainings for refugee communities.
- To undertake country of origin research in support of individual claims and for general organizational research purposes and to maintain good working knowledge of the current political and social situations in the countries of origin of RLAP’s clients.
- To assess extra-legal client needs and refer to other StARS teams or external organizations as appropriate.
- To maintain good working knowledge of UNHCR’s RSD policies and procedures.
- To undertake comprehensive case management practices including maintaining and updating electronic databases and records for each client, and keeping detailed notes of all casework activities.
- To adhere to the Nairobi Code of Ethics, the StARS Policies and Procedures Manual, and the StARS Code of Conduct.
- To assist the RLAP RSD Coordinator in development and implementation of team systems, policies, and procedures.
- To assist other members of RLAP and StARS programs regarding issues related to the urban refugee population.
- To attend and contribute to RLAP meetings and other staff meetings.
- To assist the RLAP RSD Coordinator in conducting data and trends analysis of clients approaching RLAP for RSD related services.
- To assist the RLAP RSD Coordinator in conducting data and trends analysis of UNHCR’s Policies and Practices.
- To assist the RLAP RSD Coordinator in establishing written manuals and procedures for the different services provided by the RSD team.
- To build and maintain strong relationships with refugee communities in Cairo.
- To build and maintain relationships with psychosocial and education staff and operational partners.
- To communicate with refugee communities, other service providers, and UNHCR to facilitate the provision of accurate information and advice leading to the fulfillment of refugee rights.
- To assist the RLAP RSD Coordinator and other RSD Senior Legal Officers in conducting intensive one to two week training for new volunteer legal advisors two or more times per year.
- To assist the RLAP RSD Coordinator in the development of supervision procedures and mechanisms.
- To supervisor volunteer legal advisors and legal officers in RSD legal work, including providing guidance on managing workload, reviewing written drafts, and monitoring recordkeeping.
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- To assist the RLAP RSD Coordinator in the management of volunteer caseloads, and the provision of case specific advice.
- To engage proactively in promoting self-care among volunteers and other staff.
- To ensure high quality legal advice and representation and a refugee rights-based approach.
· To undergo probation and regular performance appraisals.
· To communicate regularly with the RLAP Director and the RSD Coordinator, reporting on all major issues and developments in the field and within RLAP.
· To provide case reporting data to the RLAP Director as requested in order to accurately report work to senior management, funders, and others.
· To submit activity reports as requested.
· To promote information-sharing within RLAP and StARS on all issues affecting the populations we serve.
· Other duties as assigned.
Qualifications & Experience
The ideal candidate will be energetic, articulate, and comfortable interacting with diverse segments of society. She or he will have demonstrated a firm commitment to human rights and refugee issues with particular emphasis on vulnerable populations.
· English being the official language of UNHCR Cairo and StARS, the RLAP RSD Legal Officer must be fluent in oral and written English.
· Fluency in Arabic or a refugee language is an advantage.
· Master’s degree in a related field (international development, international law, development studies, Middle East Studies) OR a qualified lawyer in any jurisdiction (J.D., LLB or equivalent) OR a minimum of one year of experience in representing refugees in the resettlement or RSD processes OR two years of experience providing direct representation to indigent people in any setting.
· Excellent legal research and drafting skills.
· Knowledge of UNHCR guidelines and procedures, especially resettlement criteria.
· Knowledge of the general protection situation and vulnerabilities of refugees in Egypt.
· A demonstrated commitment to and sensitivity toward vulnerable or displaced people.
· Ability to live and work in a fluid security environment.
· Proven experience drafting client affidavits and legal arguments.
· Ability to exercise sound legal judgment, well organized, self-motivated, and reliable.
· Demonstrated compassion for refugees and displaced people.
· Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
· Demonstrated ability to work in a team as well as individually.
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A positive attitude and sensitive manner when dealing with clients including a range of interviewing skills for dealing with challenging scenarios, particularly in advocating for survivors of violence, trafficking, torture, and SGBV.
· Experience designing and conducting trainings for non-technical audiences.
· Managerial experience or familiarity with volunteer oversight.
· Life and work experience in the Middle East or Egypt or with an urban refugee population.
· Fluency in Arabic or a refugee language is an advantage.
Hours: Regular 40 hour work week (Sunday – Thursday), and other hours and overtime as required.
Supervised by: RLAP RSD Coordinator
Closing date for applications: 4 March 2018.
Anticipated starting date: 1 April 2018
Initial contract term: 12-months, renewable by agreement of both parties.
This position is subject to a three-month probationary period, at which time the employee’s performance will be reviewed and probation may be extended.
All StARS official benefit policies as stipulated in StARS Staff Handbook Manual.
Level of Language Proficiency
Minimum Education Required
How To Apply
Interested applicants should send a cover letter, CV, and brief legal writing sample to email@example.com. Please write “RSD Senior Legal Officer” in the subject line of the email.