Fair Trials Europe seeks Legal and Policy Officer

Fair Trials Europe 5<y Senior Level  Brussel, Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest, Belgium 16 Aug 2018

Job Description

Legal and Policy Officer

  • RESPONSIBLE TO: Senior Lawyer (Europe)
  • LOCATION: Rue de la Pépinière 10A 1000 Brussels, Belgium (with frequent travel across Europe and occasionally beyond)
  • HOURS: Full time (35 hours per week). Evening and weekend work will be required from time to time
  • SALARY: EUR 38,000 to EUR 48,000 (including 13th month and holiday pay)


  • Serve as part of Fair Trials’ team in Brussels and as a member of the wider Fair Trial’s Legal and Policy team;
  • Contribute to Fair Trials’ legal and policy work aimed at improving respect for fair trial rights in Europe through a wide range of legal and policy activities, including: research and advocacy, strategic litigation and case assistance, networking and training and capacity building;
  • Work with Fair Trials’ Senior Lawyer to contribute to high-quality and coherent legal and policy outputs; with the Campaigns and Networks team to support effective communication about and engagement in Fair Trials’ legal and policy work; and with the Development Team to develop project proposals, seek funding for and report to funders on projects run by the Legal and Policy team in Brussels;
  • Provide legal advice and support to members of the Legal Experts Advisory Panel (“LEAP”), a pan-European network of criminal justice experts managed by Fair Trials.


Research and Advocacy

Directly and with other members of the legal and policy team:

  • Develop and demonstrate expertise in all areas of Fair Trials’ legal and policy work;
  • Support the development of well-informed, compelling and coherent positions for Fair Trials and the LEAP network;
  • Monitor national and regional legal developments in Europe, providing updates to LEAP members and identifying opportunities for Fair Trials and the LEAP network to inform legislation and policies;
  • Lead on specific areas of legal and policy research and advocacy activities, including activities carried out in conjunction with partner organisations from across Europe and/or members of the LEAP network;
  • Participate in conferences and other external events to put forward Fair Trials’ position on key areas for advocacy;
  • Develop and maintain relationships with policy makers and their advisers; and
  • Produce high-quality reports and policy documents.

Strategic Litigation

Directly and with other members of the legal and policy team:

  • Develop strategies for European domestic and regional litigation which will further Fair Trials’ and LEAP’s strategic aims;
  • Support LEAP members through the provision of advice and assistance to ongoing domestic and regional cases, including references for preliminary rulings to the Court of Justice of the European Union;
  • Draft or coordinate the production of third-party interventions, amicus curiae briefs and applications to European human rights and criminal justice monitoring bodies;
  • Provide advice and information for members of the public and contribute to the production and maintenance of notes of advice and information;
  • Work with the Campaigns and Networks to identify, develop and document individual cases for public campaigns, policy submissions and/or impact litigation.

Training and Capacity Building

Directly and with other members of the Fair Trials’ team:

  • Implement various training programs;
  • Contribute to the development and drafting of fundraising applications for Fair Trials’ work in Europe (in cooperation with the Development Team).


Directly and through other members of the Fair Trials’ team:

  • Build strong relationships with practitioners and legal experts across Europe, particularly members of the LEAP network;
  • Build and maintain relationships with partner organisations and legal experts in the delivery of Fair Trials’ legal and policy work;
  • Organise and contribute to Fair Trials’ networking activities and capacity building work including drafting written materials, chairing meetings and producing meeting reports; and
  • Keep members of Fair Trials’ networks and other key contacts informed about Fair Trials’ law reform work and developments in strategic priority areas.


Working with the Campaigns and Networks team to raise awareness of Fair Trials’ legal and policy work including producing content for Fair Trials’ website and publications.

Working with the Campaigns and Networks team on public campaigns, including: campaign planning, production of legal analysis and other materials on individual cases; reviewing campaign publications; and identifying target audiences.

Representing Fair Trials externally at policy meetings and conferences, through public speaking and written contributions in specialist publications and, as appropriate, in the media.


Carry out any other duties commensurate with the post.

Promote and implement Fair Trials’ equal opportunities policy in all aspects of work.



Educated to at least degree level, ideally with relevant post-graduate qualification in human rights, criminology, EU and/or criminal law.


Qualified lawyer with litigation experience required, ideally including significant post-qualification experience in criminal defence work and/or strategic litigation.

Experience designing, implementing and/or coordinating legal and policy-related programs at national or international level would be advantageous.

Experience managing grants from statutory donors and the development of funding applications to them, while not required, is also advantageous.

Experience of coordinating events, workshops and seminars would be desirable.


A good understanding of fair trial issues, criminal law and international human rights.

Professional fluency in the English language required, with fluency in another European language a distinct advantage.

Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to draft highquality legal arguments and to convey complex technical issues clearly and succinctly to a non-expert audience.

Excellent legal analytical skills and the ability to scrutinise legislation, policy proposals and legal decisions. A good understanding of EU legislative procedure would be a distinct advantage.

A sound understanding of the various methods by which campaigning organisations achieve change and experience in a policy related environment.

A team worker, able to build effective relationships and work collaboratively with people across, and outside, the organisation.

Ability to multi-task effectively, including having good planning and organizing skills, and to produce high-quality results under time pressure.


Willingness to travel across Europe, and occasionally beyond.

Right to work in Belgium is required.

About Fair Trials

Fair Trials is an international human rights NGO, which exists to build respect for the human right to a fair trial in criminal cases. It pursues its vision of a world where every person’s right to a fair trial is respected by: (a) providing information and referrals to accused people; (b) coordinating a growing network of fair trial defenders and delivering legal training; and (c) tackling the big issues in criminal justice through research, campaigns, policy work and litigation.

Fair Trials Europe

Fair Trials has become a leading contributor to exciting developments in the field of criminal justice across the European Union. Fair Trials Europe was established as a nonprofit public foundation in Belgium in 2014, to act as Fair Trials’ hub of expertise in Europe. It is, itself, at the heart of an engaged EU-wide network of over 150 criminal justice and human rights experts (the Legal Experts Advisory Panel, LEAP) which it coordinates. Fair Trials Europe is now ready to expand its activities, grow its staff team and to become more operationally and financially independent.

The office and the team

Fair Trials currently has offices in London and Brussels (Fair Trials Europe), and Washington, D.C.. Its staff structure comprises 16 staff, of which six are employees of Fair Trials Europe, based in Brussels. Building on its experience and track-record in Europe, Fair Trials is in the process of extending the geographical reach of its work.

Salary and conditions

The post of Legal and Policy Officer is full time. The gross salary is €38,000 to €48,000 per year (including 13th month and holiday pay). The role is based in Brussels with regular overseas travel (in Europe and, occasionally, beyond).


Please send a CV and cover letter electronically to recruitment@fairtrials.net no later than 5pm on 9 September 2018. Applications received after this will not be considered. Please clearly include your name and “Legal and Policy Officer” in the subject field of the email.

Your CV and cover letter should include

  • Your name and contact details;
  • Your educational history, including universities/colleges attended with dates and significant qualifications obtained;
  • Your employment history, including all significant posts you have held – with dates, the names of the employers, and a description of the main duties, together with your present or most recent salary, and your contractual notice period. (You should also explain any significant gaps, e.g. covered by travelling, self-employment etc.);
  • An explanation of why you would like the job; the qualities you would bring to it; how you would approach the task if you were you awarded the post;
  • The names and contact details of two referees who know your work, who may be contacted if you are short-listed;
  • Information about how you learned of the post.

If you have any queries, please send them to the same email address or call Rosalyn Salmon on +44 (0)20 7822 2370.

The selection process

We will aim to inform short-listed candidates by 12 September, with interviews for short-listed candidates being held at Fair Trials’ offices in Brussels during the week of 17 September. For those unable to attend the interview in person, Skype interviews will be possible.

Fair Trials is conducting this appointment on equal opportunity principles and will welcome applications from candidates who can fulfil the requirements of the post irrespective of race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability.

The personal data which you have provided, and which we may request, in connection with your application, will not be retained beyond 12 months should your application be unsuccessful. If you are appointed, your personal data will only be used for the purposes of human resources management.

Employers want to know how you found their job advert so please state that you found this position advertised on politjobs.eu.

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