Legal and Policy Assistant (m/w/d)

Fair Trials Europe <1y Entry Level  Brussel, Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest, Belgium 13 Feb 2020

Job Description

Fair Trials Europe searches

Legal and Policy Assistant (m/w/d)

Brussels, Belgium

RESPONSIBLE TO: Legal and Policy Officer
LOCATION: Rue de la Pépinière 10A
1000 Brussels
(with occasional travel in Europe)
HOURS: Full time (38 hours per week). Evening and weekend work will be required from time to time.
SALARY: €27,000 to €32,000 gross (including holiday pay and 13th month).


To assist Fair Trials’ Legal and Policy team in Brussels in all aspects of its work, and contribute to Fair Trials’ work across offices and teams aimed at improving respect for fair trial rights in Europe through a wide range of legal and policy activities, including: research, assistance with strategic litigation, policy work, training and capacity building.



  • Undertaking legal research to inform Fair Trials’ advocacy work, including policy positions, publications such as reports and news pieces, training and meeting materials, as well as funding applications for new work;
  • Developing research tools for collating input on legal and policy issues from members of the Legal Experts Advisory Panel (LEAP), a pan‐European network of criminal justice experts managed by Fair Trials, where required in the context of research in project work;
  • Monitoring domestic and regional legal developments to identify, for discussion with the Senior Lawyer and Legal and Policy Officers, potential opportunities to inform relevant legislative processes, working with network members where appropriate, and contribute towards Fair Trials’ strategic objectives;
  • Assisting with the production (drafting, formatting, proof‐reading and printing) and dissemination of briefings, reports, communiques, meeting and training materials.

Strategic litigation

  • Monitoring regional and domestic courts to identify, for discussion with the Legal and Policy team, opportunities for litigation which will further Fair Trials’ strategic aims;
  • Supporting members of the LEAP through the provision of advice and assistance in ongoing domestic and regional cases, including references for preliminary rulings to the Court of Justice of the European Union;
  • Supporting the production of third‐party interventions, amicus curiae briefs and applications to the European Court of Human Rights, international bodies and criminal justice monitoring bodies;
  • Assisting with the production and maintenance of notes of advice and information;
  • Assisting with the development and documentation of individual cases for public campaigns, policy submissions and/or impact litigation.

Project Coordination

  • Supporting the Legal and Policy team in the delivery and monitoring of multi‐country and multipartner projects, including logistical support;
  • Working with the Finance Officer on the financial management of legal and policy projects;
  • Contributing to the drafting of funding applications and funder reports.

Networks and Communications

  • Working with the Campaigns and Networks Team on public campaigns and communications generally with the LEAP network about Fair Trials’ work;
  • Supporting the logistics, planning and delivery of events and meetings, including producing meeting notes and reports.


  • Carrying out administrative and logistical tasks;
  • Supporting event planning activities;
  • Carrying out any other duties commensurate with the post;
  • Promoting and implementing Fair Trials’ equal opportunities policy in all aspects of work.

Person Specification


  • Legal training to at least degree level;
  • Demonstrated enthusiasm and dedication to human rights and ideally criminal justice reform;
  • Excellent legal analytical skills and the ability to scrutinise legislation, policy proposals and legal decisions;
  • Excellent practical and proactive organisational skills and creative problem‐solving skills;
  • Fluency in English with excellent written and spoken communication skills;
  • Ability to understand new information quickly with experience of working well under pressure including excellent time management and ability to manage competing priorities;
  • Conscientious, with close attention to detail;
  • A team‐player and a willingness to be flexible according to the current demands of the organisation;
  • Must have permission to work in the Belgium.


  • Ideally relevant post‐graduate qualification in criminal law, EU law, criminology and/or human rights;
  • Knowledge of criminal procedural rights issues in Europe;
  • Knowledge of another European language would be an advantage;
  • A good understanding of EU legislative procedure would be a distinct advantage;
  • Experience of being involved with campaigns, in grassroots or professional organisations;
  • Experience of organising events.

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. We have grown gradually over the past five years and have an established track‐record as a trusted voice on criminal justice. We have 20 staff across offices in London, Brussels and Washington DC, and are in the process of increasing the geographical reach of our work.

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 200 criminal justice and human rights experts (the Legal Experts Advisory Panel, LEAP) which it coordinates.

Salary and conditions

The post of Legal and Policy Assistant is full time. The gross salary is €27,000‐ €32,000 per year (including 13th month and holiday pay). The role is based in Brussels.

To apply

Please send a CV and cover letter electronically to no later than 5pm on 1st March 2020. Applications received after this will not be considered. Please clearly include your name and “Legal & Policy Assistant” 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.

The selection process

We will aim to inform short‐listed candidates by week commencing 9th March 2020, with interviews for short‐listed candidates being held in Brussels during week commencing 16th March 2020. For those unable to attend the interview in person, Skype interviews may be possible. The recruitment process will involve an interview and a written exercise.

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.

Please don’t forget to mention in your application!