Legal Officer

Application deadline closed.

Job Description

Convention against Torture Initiative


Engage in work that improves our shared world: Legal Officer at the CTI

Would you like to engage in work that positively impacts individuals and societies across the globe?

Join Geneva based Convention against of Torture Initiative (CTI) in our mission to achieve universal ratification and effective implementation of the UN Convention against Torture (UNCAT) by 2024.

The persistence of torture and ill-treatment remain very real threats to our shared world, demanding a robust, sustained and viable response. Launched in March 2014, CTI is the conceptualisation of a group of UN Member States that are using their collective voice to create and advance this ten-year global initiative to eradicate torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment worldwide. CTI’s overall aspiration is to support and advise States and their officials, in a constructive, no-name, no-shame format, on fair and effective institutional, legislative, policy and other frameworks. To do so, we harness international cooperation, peer-to-peer-dialogues and capacity building to achieve our mission. To date, 19 new States have ratified UNCAT, outperforming ratification rates of most other global human rights treaties, while hundreds of public officials have participated in CTI events, conferences and seminars and received technical implementation advice and in doing so, have gained knowledge and skills, learned about latest technological advances, and become part of our expert networks.

Role Requirements

Continue your career in a legacy building role that utilises your skills and expertise!

We are looking for an individual specialising in torture prevention and response who will champion CTI’s efforts toward States’ technical and capacity building, including identifying and cultivating key relationships that contribute to the overall success of our programme of events, conferences and technical seminars.

We’re seeking a highly collaborative, skilled and experienced specialist with robust legal qualifications and background in international human rights law and a deep understanding of country, regional and cultural sensitivities and diplomatic protocol to join our small CTI Secretariat team. In this role you will support, advise and collaborate closely with partners and other stakeholders to deliver specific outcomes aligned with our annual targets.

Integral to this is your role in advising government practitioners and policy-makers on anti-torture institutional, legislative and practical frameworks and modalities. You will be involved in providing confidential advice, as well as designing and coordinating CTI capacity building programmes for, amongst others, regional peer-to-peer exchanges (conferences and seminars), visiting inter-ministerial delegations to Geneva, as well as CTI in-country diplomatic and technical delegation visits and seminars. You will exercise astute judgment in all areas, have a full grasp of the workings of the UN human rights machinery, and be able to identify and take advantage of key opportunities.

As part of CTI’s suite of activities, you will conduct and compile detailed and accurate research and relevant materials that inform discussions including substantive legal and regional/country briefing packages, implementation tools, agenda preparation, report-writing and strategic forward-looking analysis and planning. For major events you will be required to coordinate and liaise with partners, stakeholders, vendors and others to ensure seamless event execution. Experience in event management and coordination will be an asset.

Is this role for you?

You are a legal professional adept at building and navigating positive relationships with a wide range of diverse stakeholders and team members. Buttressed by your deep knowledge of the international anti-torture and related frameworks and UN processes and systems, you are committed to delivering superior quality, timely and impactful results. Working within a small and extremely active team, this position demands a highly motivated, results-driven and hardworking individual. The position is suited to innovative professionals who are motivated by the opportunity to lead and deliver specific project outcomes. Understanding of how states operate including country, regional and cultural sensitivities and diplomatic protocol are essential. To help achieve CTI’s mission, you can travel extensively to diverse countries and regions across the globe.

Required Competencies and Attributes

  • Advanced university degree (masters or above) required, with specialisation in human rights law, criminal law or international law.
  • 4+ years of progressively responsible professional legal experience, with an emphasis in human rights, criminal law or international law.
  • Expert knowledge of international standards relevant to torture and ill-treatment and the United Nations human rights frameworks and processes required.
  • Outstanding English drafting skills, and strong organisational and communication skills.
  • Track record of managing high level delivery of projects and outcomes.
  • Language requirements: English is the working language of the CTI Secretariat. A second, relevant language – with relevant qualifications – is desirable (e.g. Arabic, French, Portuguese, Spanish).
  • Applied knowledge of and contacts in one or more of CTI focus regions (Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, the Pacific) would be a distinct advantage.
  • Excellent research skills.

Key Details to Remember

  • This position is based in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Compensation is commensurate with experience and qualifications and comparable to Swiss NGO salaries.

Interest piqued - ready to apply?

To apply, please submit the following documents in ENGLISH to

  1. Cover letter indicating reasons why you are interested in the role, how you fulfil the criteria and required competencies, identifying your achievements/results from your most recent position, and indicate your earliest start date;
  2. CV of no more than three pages, including the names and contact details of at least three referees, two of which from recent (last 10 years) employment;
  3. Results transcript of your highest degree earned and language certificates.

Deadline for applications:

1st March, 2024