Friday, 22 March 2019

UN in your language

UNHCR Vacancy: Litigation Consultant for project on strengthening judicial engagement and support to asylum lawyers in Europe


  • Contract type: Individual Consultant
  • Category/Level: N/A
  • Project/Consultancy title: Litigation Consultant for project on strengthening judicial engagement and support to asylum lawyers in Europe
  • Contract Duration: 105 days (each day corresponding to 8 hours) over the contract period /
  • Expected start date: 01/04/2019 – expected end date: 31/12/2019
  • Duty Station: Home-based
  • Closing Date: 15 March 2019 at midnight


Organizational context and General background of assignment:

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is an intergovernmental organization with a mandate to protect refugees and stateless persons worldwide. UNHCR works with States, civil society organizations and other actors to address issues of concern which fall under its mandate.

Continuing restrictive developments in the legislation and practice of several European States, many of which are at variance with international and European refugee and human rights law standards, are of particular concern to UNHCR. They affect a number of fundamental rights of persons in need of international protection including, notably, access to territory, access to fair and efficient asylum procedures, reception conditions, property rights, the protection from unlawful and arbitrary detention, family reunification and integration. In this context, judicial engagement has become one of the most critical avenues for UNHCR, sometimes even the only one, to address these issues.

It has become evident that closer cooperation and coordination with the legal practitioners who play an instrumental part in terms of identifying, representing and building strategic cases is needed in order to ensure the judiciary address these negative trends through progressive case law. The proposed recruitment of an experienced practicing lawyer, as a Litigation Consultant, is therefore primarily intended to facilitate the timely identification and strategic litigation of precedent-setting cases before national and supranational courts in Europe, provide on-going support and advice to lawyers (primarily through the channel of the ECRE/ELENA on-line Forum) and through training and participation in workshops as an expert.


Functional expertise and responsibilities:

The activities of the Litigation Consultant, under the close supervision of UNHCR, will consist mainly in:

  • Coordination with international and local lawyers in Europe with a view to identifying asylum cases linked to UNHCR’s global and regional strategic litigation priorities to be litigated at the national and supranational level (European Court of Human Rights and Court of Justice of the EU) either directly or indirectly through provision of legal advice and support to asylum lawyers in pursuance of their legal representation to asylum seekers (in particular on the procedural aspects and legal argumentation) at national and regional levels;
  • Provision of legal advice and support to lawyers who post queries on the ECRE/ELENA on-line Forum;
  • Production of relevant legal briefs to be shared with lawyers and uploaded to the ECRE/ELENA Forum;
  • Engaging in training on EU Asylum Law at training events and participating in an expert capacity at relevant workshops.


Expected deliverables:

Expect minimum outputs are as follows:

  • Cases litigated/lawyers directly supported on litigation = 15
  • Lawyers provided with legal advice and support = 90 (number of users on the ECRE/ELENA Forum)
  • Legal briefs produced = 8
  • Lawyer and related stakeholders trained = 250 – 300

The reporting requirements are as follows:

  • Monthly narrative and statistical reports (templates to be provided);
  • Monthly time-sheets (template to be provided);
  • Mid-year narrative and statistical report by 30 June 2019;
  • Final narrative and statistical report by 31 December 2019.


Required qualifications and experience:

  1. Education
    * Advanced University degree in Law

  2. Work Experience
    * Practicing lawyer, preferably with extensive knowledge of the ECHR and EU asylum standards demonstrated by successful litigation and training activities at the national and supranational level
    * Pan-European network and contacts with international and local asylum lawyers
    * Member of the Migration and Asylum Committee of the European Bar Association (CCBE)

  3. Key Competencies
    * Fluent in English (written and spoken) including specifically in the field of European asylum law
    * Fluency in French will be an asset
    * Excellent communication skills
    * Ability to work independently and on own initiative
    * Communication and drafting skills in the legal field
    * Sound computer skills
    * Complies with UN core values

[Candidates are invited to send a motivation letter and UNHCR Personal History Form (available here: prior to the closing date to the following email address: [email protected] Please include the project title and vacancy number in the subject line.]

The United Nations in Brussels UN Brussels Team Facebook page (small facebook in-house logo) UN Brussels Team Twitter page (small twitter in-house logo)

UN Brussels Team - banner

The United Nations team brings together 26 specialised agencies, funds and programmes spanning the development, humanitarian and human rights work of the UN. The team works to build understanding and support for UN system activities within the EU institutions and amongst a wider public in Europe.


facebook32x32 Dblue flickr32x32 Dblue twitter32x32 Dblue YouTube32x32 Dblue linkedin 32

eucareers     facebook32x32 Dblue twitter32x32 Dblue

The EU Institutions employ 40,000 women and men from a wide variety of backgrounds who are united by their passion for Europe.