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01 December, 2020

The Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (ISLA) is a feminist Pan-African organisation established in 2014 with an ambitious remit: to strengthen strategic human rights litigation across the continent. ISLA is the first Africa-based and managed strategic litigation initiative with a regional focus and expertise on women’s human rights and sexual rights. Its work is based on the belief that strategic litigation is an immensely strong tool for social change because it helps to reframe the understanding of entitlements before the law and it challenges the legal discourse. ISLA believes that investment in local institutions and individuals is key to sustaining the momentum and expanding the pool of domestic lawyers who can do strategic litigation. ISLA works with partners to submit strategic cases on sexual rights and women’s human rights cases at the domestic and regional level. The organisation’s capacity strengthening programmes aim to transfer the skills and expertise needed so that local lawyers can select, develop and argue cases effectively.

ISLA is pleased to announce a call for applications to lawyers from the African continent, who wish to participate in its inaugural litigation institute on women’s land and property rights.

Through ISLA’s analysis and consultations, it has been brought to the fore that there exists a skills deficit among individuals and institutions undertaking strategic litigation on women’s land and property rights. As a result, there exists a critical need to provide sustained tailor made capacity strengthening initiatives to lawyers as a means of ensuring effective strategic litigation and ultimately the development of progressive jurisprudence on women’s land and property rights.

The objective of the forthcoming institute is therefore to enhance the understanding amongst lawyers and activists working on women’s land and property rights of regional and international standards and increasing capacity of lawyers form the continent to utilise strategic litigation in the context of land and property rights in order to achieve greater legal protection and to obtain redress for victims of abuses.

Criteria for eligibility

  • The invitation is open to lawyers working within an NGO who use strategic litigation or have an interest to use strategic litigation to address women’s land and property rights protected in a national constitution ,the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (“ACHPR”),the Economic Community of West African States (“ECOWAS”) Treaty, East African Community Treaty (“EACJ”), Southern Africa Development Community Treaty (“SADC”), Treaty on the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (“CEDAW”) and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (“Maputo Protocol”), among others.
  • The lawyer must have working knowledge of women’s land and property rights
  • The lawyer must also possess knowledge of international and regional human rights law
  • The lawyer must possess an interest to undertake strategic litigation, particularly within the following themes;
  • Inheritance rights and administration of estate
  • Matrimonial property
  • Gendered impacts of the extractive industry
  • Land acquisition and policies

The institute will be held over a two- week period, and all sessions will be held in English. Proficiency in English is therefore required.

All reasonable travel and subsistence costs associated with attendance at the seminar will be covered by ISLA.

How to apply

If interested in participating in the Litigation Institute, please complete the application form which can be downloaded here, and submit to Sophie Ndlovhu at sophie@the-isla.org

The closing date for applications is Friday the 1st of April 2016

Shortlisted candidates will be notified after the closing date and should be available for telephone interviews on Friday the 15th of April 2016

For further information on the Institute please refer to the Concept note also available for download, by clicking on the following link: ISLA WLPR Institute Concept Note. Should you require further information please contact Tarisayi Radu at tarisayi@the-isla.org