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Lead Investigator - Ukraine Program (Main Project)

Location: Remote 

Contract type: Consultancy contract 

Compensation: Commensurate with experience 

Term: 18 months 

Deadline for applying: We are looking to fill this position as soon as possible and will review applications on a rolling basis.

I. About Project Expedite Justice 

PEJ, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, was founded in 2016 by Cynthia Tai, a former prosecutor in the U.S. and at the International Criminal Court in the Hague. With an increase in mass atrocities worldwide, PEJ believes now more than ever that there is an overwhelming need to empower local populations seeking justice. By partnering with local organizations, we train lawyers, investigators, and human rights defenders to have the skills necessary to collect and preserve evidence in a manner that meets international legal standards.

Together, PEJ’s staff and Board have decades of experience in international legal matters. Working in partnership with local organizations, we bring evidence of atrocities to the forefront in legal arenas, including international, regional, or national systems.

II. Project Description

Since the beginning of the second phase of the war in Ukraine that started with the full-scale invasion of Ukraine territory on 24 February 2022, there have been indicators that war crimes,  crimes against humanity, and acts that may amount to the commission of the crime of genocide may have been committed.

PEJ’s project “Assessing Accountability Avenues for Ukraine” started in May 2022 by conducting a preliminary assessment to determine the best accountability avenues to pursue and the need for peer-to-peer mentoring and training.

Phase I then pivoted from an assessment to an action plan addressing the overwhelming need to address the pillage of grain and similar food commodities and related damage to the agrarian community and the simultaneous request for accountability in answer to the needs of the agrarian sector and of the prosecution and judicial stakeholders in Ukraine.

Based on evidence harvested during Phase I, PEJ began supporting the agrarian communities by providing technical advice, mentoring, facilitating fixation of losses, processing, preliminarily analyzing and transmitting evidence and prepared the ground to combine its evidence collection with data analysis, with the view of dismantling criminal networks pillaging Ukrainian grain by hoppers and bulk carriers (land-sea-land routes), plundering Ukrainian agricultural resources, and in general victimising a wide range of Ukrainian local communities (farmers, traders, elevator and port operators, etc.

Phase II centers on three overarching activities: (1) evidence collection (investigation) starting from harvesting evidence to data analysis, specifically from agrarian stakeholders from production to transportation; (2) data analysis (OSINT and primary sources - human and documentary); and (3) access to accountability avenues, in both national or international forums.

III. Duties and deliverables

The lead investigators will work directly with PEJs senior management team, under the overall supervision and strategic guidance of the Program Director (Ukraine), the daily coordination of the Program Coordinator and the support of the Senior lead investigator, to manage and implement Phase II  activities and achieve the goals of the project.

The lead investigators will be responsible for:

  • Working to ensure the project meets its goals and deliverables, including but not limited to witness screenings and interviews, evidence collection (HumInt, OSINT, documentary), preservation and consolidation, support and advice to victims’ communities for evidence collection and access to accountability avenues.

  • Participating in the establishment of an investigation plan.

  • Collection of evidence and fixation of losses for possible claims by the agrarian community.

  • Harvesting and consolidating evidence on grain movements to identify crime patterns.

  • Building cases, supporting national and foreign investigations and preparing sanctions submissions

  • Participating in capacity building and trainings for judicial authorities.

The lead investigator will also participate as relevant in the following general PEJ activities:

  • PEJ organizational meetings.

  • Contribute to concept development, proposal writing and other fundraising activities.

  • Conduct research and drafting legal analysis memoranda on a variety of issues to support partners; and

  • Prepare drafts and provide input for regular reporting needs.

  • Report and document all activities related to the project or the organization.

IV. Qualifications 

  • A minimum of 10 years of relevant experience in investigative work in criminal proceedings at national and international level.

  • Work experience gathering evidence, screening and interviewing witnesses (suspects, victims, experts, context) and conducting open source investigation.

  • A vast knowledge and experience of international and criminal law and procedure.

  • A university degree in law, international law, criminal investigation, police studies or related fields. An advanced university degree in the aforementioned field is desired.

  • Substantial field investigation experience is needed and experience managing and coordinating a field team would be an asset.

  • Experience in advising and mentoring investigators and lawyers and/or in designing and delivering training sessions on international criminal law and human rights law.

  • Experience in drafting investigative plans and factual reports and preparing or contributing to legal documents and briefs

  • Ability to work independently and in high-pressure or complicated situations and with diverse and multinational teams.

  • Availability to travel on mission as required.

  • Technological awareness, willingness and ability to learn new technology and work with technology relevant to the job.

  • Working fluency in English is required. Fluency in Ukrainian and Russian is desired.

V. How to apply for this position: 

Please send your

  • CV (max two pages)

  • Cover letter

  • Writing sample

Email with “Application: Lead Investigator - Ukraine” in the subject line.

PEJ is looking to fill this position as soon as possible and will review applications on a rolling basis.

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