ISLA: We are hiring!

Lawyer / Senior Lawyer

The Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (ISLA) is a feminist and Pan-African organisation that is based on the belief that strategic litigation is a tool for social change because it helps to reframe the understanding of entitlements before the law.


ISLA’s twin objectives are; to create a pool of domestic lawyers who have expertise in litigating women’s human rights cases, and to develop jurisprudence on women’s human rights issues. ISLA litigates on the following issues; violence against women, women’s land and property rights, sexual rights, and women’s access to resources. ISLA provides an array of strategic litigation capacity strengthening programmes and resources for its partners.

Position Summary

ISLA seeks a lawyer or senior lawyer to provide leadership in the Sexual Rights programme. The lawyer or senior lawyer will work closely with other programme lawyers, legal researchers, interns, and ISLA’s partners.

Position: Lawyer or Senior Lawyer
Reporting to: ISLA’s Executive Director
Country: South Africa

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Be a part of the founding team on establishing or strengthening the strategic litigation unit team;
  • Demonstrate an ability to make a strategic and dynamic approach to the use of law as a tool for the promotion of human rights
  • Research substantive issues of comparative and international human rights law and practice;
  • Draft clear and concise legal memoranda, briefs and opinions;
  • Provide legal representation on cases before domestic, regional and international human rights fora; and
  • Build and strengthen alliances and coalitions to support cases with relevant social networks and groups.


Essential Requirements:

  • Fluency in English;
  • A legal degree and admission to legal practice in any African country;
  • Strong research and exceptional writing skills;
  • Keen analytical ability;
  • Meticulous attention to detail;
  • Substantial experience using constitutional, regional and international human rights law, with preference to candidates who have had such experience in litigation;
  • In-depth or sophisticated understanding of international and comparative human rights mechanisms, and institutions;
  • Knowledge and understanding of women’s human rights and feminist analysis;
  • Fundraising experience, including demonstrated ability to cultivate relationships with individual donors, is beneficial;
  • Contributing to strategic and operational planning of the organisation and to organisational development;
  • Undertaking strategic litigation work within ISLA’s mandate in collaboration with colleagues;
  • Facilitating capacity strengthening workshops on ISLA’s programmes, international human rights law, and practice;
  • Providing support for interns, volunteers and staff members as needed;
  • Representing the ISLA and its programmes as required;
  • Supporting the work of ISLA’s programmes as is required; and
  • The ability to travel to Johannesburg, regularly, if the candidate is based in another city or country.


Desirable qualities:

  • Priority will be given to qualifying women applicants;
  • Advanced degree on human rights, gender or a relevant subject;
  • Supervisory experience. An added advantage is, experience in coordinating and managing projects and evidence of being a self-driven, resourceful person who is able to manage and coordinate teamwork well;
  • Experience in contributing to the overall strategic planning of an organisation; and
  • Exhibit the highest standards of excellence and integrity, and display, at all times and to all persons, a courteous, professional and cooperative attitude.

Application details:

To apply for this position, fill in the online submission form here.

Salary: This position offers a competitive salary, up to R850 000, per annum, (total cost to company, and commensurate with experience).

 Applications close at 4pm (South African Time), Friday the 4th of August, 2017.