We’re Hiring: Legal Officer, Human Rights Commission

Terms of Reference

Position:Legal Officer, Human Rights Commission
Location :Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Duration:18 months, 3 months probation period
Contract Type:Consultancy Contract
Compensation:Commensurate with experience

About Project Expedite Justice

Founded in 2016, Project Expedite Justice (PEJ) assists survivors of atrocities and serious human rights abuses in seeking justice through all available legal mechanisms. Our three-step model consists of (1) training local organizations in internationally recognized standards of evidence collection, (2) action learning through peer mentoring, and (3) providing independent legal consulting. This model is adaptable and can be applied in conflict and post-conflict situations and to a range of criminal matters and serious human rights abuses. We partner with local organizations that share our mission and goals, and we work side by side with them to empower local communities, identify and link the perpetrators to the crimes or human rights violations, and ultimately, dismantle criminal networks.

Program Description

Launched in 2020, PEJ’s project “Protecting Human Rights and Promoting Justice in Ethiopia through Evidence Collection and Documentation” aims to increase justice and accountability for serious human rights abuses in Ethiopia and improve human rights protection and observation over the next three-years. Specifically, PEJ will work closely with civil society organizations, lawyer associations, human rights defenders, and the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission to build capacity on evidence collection and preservation, as well as case strategy and advocacy. Specific program objectives are:  1) Increased capacity of these groups to investigate, document, and report serious human rights abuses in line with international standards for evidence collection and preservation; 2) increased capacity of groups to pursue accountability measures for serious human rights abuses in relevant legal and non-legal fora; 3) increased coordination and cooperation between civil society organizations and the Human Rights Commission to monitor, document, and report on serious human rights abuses.

Duties and deliverables

The Legal Officer will work closely with the Senior Investigator Lawyer in the Human Rights Commission to provide support on case development and strategy. The Legal Officer will also support the Senior Investigator Lawyer in developing training materials and conducting trainings. Finally, the Legal Officer will also provide support to the Senior Investigator Lawyer on mentoring and advising investigators in the Human Rights Commission. The Legal Officer will also coordinate with the PEJ Ethiopia field office to provide updates on cases and discuss strategy. The Legal Officer will also be responsible for the following duties:

  • Conducting research and drafting legal analysis memoranda on a variety of issues
  • Conducting legal analysis and drafting legal documents
  • Work closely with Human Rights Commission investigators to map evidence and develop case strategies
  • Develop training materials and implement trainings to Human Rights Commission investigators.
  • Provide mentoring and advising support to Human Rights Commission investigators.
  • Providing assistance with case management and document review.


  • Law degree and currently a qualified lawyer
  • A minimum of 3-4 years of legal experience in public international law, including international criminal law and human rights law. Human rights litigation experience considered a plus.
  • Experience in developing and implementing advocacy strategies on human rights issues
  • Experience working in an NGO
  • Experience in drafting legal memoranda and legal documents
  • Experience in evidence analysis and preserving evidence
  • Experience assisting in advising and mentoring investigators and lawyers
  • Experience assisting in conducting and delivering trainings on human rights law
  • Ability to work independently
  • Ability to work in high pressure or complicated work environments
  • Fluency in English and Amharic required. Fluency in additional Ethiopian languages preferred.

If you are interested in applying please send an email with a cover letter and your CV to sophia@projectexpeditejustice.org. Please include the position you are applying for in the subject line of your email.