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Adviser and Head, Office of Civil and Criminal Justice Reform

Location: Pall Mall, London SW1
Closing date: 17 August 2020

Salary: £88,447 p.a. + benefits

The Commonwealth Secretariat seeks to appoint an Adviser and Head, Office of Civil and Criminal Justice Reform in our Governance and Peace (GPD) Directorate. The Office of Civil and Criminal Justice Reform (“OCCJR”) Section works with member countries to enhance justice transformation. Issues such as backlog of cases, mountains of case bundles excessive use of paper and non-user-friendly case management methods make navigating through cases a cumbersome and highly inefficient experience. The modernisation and digitisation of the justice system is rightly seen as an imperative to the Commonwealth’s future economic growth and social success. Only a working judiciary will operationalise the rule of law, prevent mass migrations and ultimately allow sustainable financial investment and growth.

Reporting to the Senior Director, GPD, the OCCJR Adviser and Head will, in close coordination and collaboration with other Sections and Directorates of the Secretariat, direct the Office in its conceptualization and development of legal tools, law drafting, policy development and advisory assistance to countries on justice transformation, procedural law reform, consistent with the goals and objectives of the Commonwealth Secretariat Strategic Plan.

Responsibilities of the Adviser and Head, Office of Civil and Criminal Justice Reform includes (but are not limited to):

  • Identify salient human and technical aspects that jeopardise the process of justice across the Commonwealth justice systems and elaborate a toolkit/package or template draft legislation for possible enactment to support and guide court transformation processes that focus squarely on enhancing access to justice and harmonising law practice, with the collaboration of relevant stakeholders;
  • Design and implementation of education toolkit for court users as well as changes to the legal training curricula in law schools, shifting legal education towards apprenticeship, moving away from a structure and process-based curriculum toward empirical research on the actual needs of clients and lawyers in the legal system, and a competency-based curriculum with respect to developing the core competencies;
  • Research and develop an innovative approach to civil and criminal justice law reform, leveraging technology, networks and partnerships, share the results with relevant section in order to collaboratively deliver legal tools and technical assistance for member countries;
  • Under the overall direction of the Senior Director, Governance and Peace Directorate, and in cooperation with Rule of Law Section, leading policy development and arrangements for biennial meetings of Commonwealth Law Ministers, Law Ministers and Attorneys-General of Small Commonwealth Jurisdictions, and Senior Officials of Commonwealth Law Ministries;
  • Directing, supervising and mentoring OCCJR professional staff, consultants and interns;
  • Develop strategic partnerships and initiatives with Commonwealth professional organisations, regional and international bodies, on areas of focus for the Office;
  • Prepare policy papers for the meetings of Commonwealth Law Ministers, Law Ministers and Attorneys-General of Small Commonwealth Jurisdictions, and Senior Officials of Commonwealth Law Ministries, and service the meetings;
  • Represent the Commonwealth Secretariat at meetings and international conferences as required.

To be considered, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Attained a Degree in Law from a Commonwealth jurisdiction;
  • Attained a Master’s Degree in Law;
  • A post-graduate qualification in Policy, Civil or Criminal Studies or any similar discipline;
  • A member of a professional body with continuing eligibility to practice law;
  • A minimum of ten years’ all-round experience in law practice;
  • Extensive and in-depth knowledge of Constitutional law, Procedural law and Administrative law;
  • Teaching experience at university or bar school level;
  • Courtroom and senior management experience with evidence of having attained the level of senior associate or equivalent in a reputable law firm;
  • Experience in policy development, legal tools, new justice technologies, blockchain technologies and relevant artificial intelligence packages.

The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 54 member governments and provides guidance on policy making, technical assistance and advisory services to Commonwealth member countries.  We support governments to help achieve sustainable, inclusive and equitable development.

To join us, you must be a citizen of a Commonwealth country.

Closing date: 17 August 2020 at 17:00 BST
 

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