Saint Andrew’s Refugee Services, Cairo
Vacancy Announcement: Refugee Legal Aid Program (RLAP) Remote Legal Support Senior Legal Officer
Founded in 1979, StARS is a refugee service provider in central Cairo that works to enhance the quality of life for refugees and vulnerable migrants through five broad program areas: education, psychosocial, legal, community outreach and unaccompanied youth and children support services. We provide high-quality services meeting the unaddressed needs of refugees, and we provide a safe and inclusive space for displaced people to come together as a community. We work for refugees, with refugees, to make rights recognition a reality.
StARS’ Mission: Driven by a commitment to justice and fairness, StARS works as displaced people and for displaced people to respect human dignity and enhance quality of life.
StARS’ Vision: Displaced people lead in the creation and implementation of responses to different forms of migration to establish safe, just, welcoming, and inclusive communities globally.
We serve people from many places, including Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
Project Description: Refugee Legal Aid Program
The Refugee Legal Aid Program provides advice and representation to refugees seeking recognition by UNHCR through refugee status determination procedures in Egypt, assists refugees in accessing resettlement to safe third countries, and advises refugees on protection matters. Refugee Legal Aid Program is partnering with the University of Nottingham to create remote capacity for legal services through training of students obtaining their law degree from the University of Nottingham.
The Senior Legal Officer shall be responsible for the supervision of provision of remote legal support for the representation of refugees in matters related to refugee status determination, protection, and resettlement procedures. The Senior Legal Officer will provide technical and administrative support to implement activities supporting the strategic goals of Refugee Legal Aid Program’s Refugee Status Determination and Resettlement Programs.
All duties are carried out under the supervision of the Refugee Legal Aid Program Director, Deputy Director, Refugee Status Determination and Resettlement Coordinators. The Senior Legal Officer is responsible for assessment of initial requests for assistance, screening and reviewing of refugee cases to identify those of heightened vulnerability and protection concerns to access refugee status determination legal representation, protection and/or resettlement referrals, preparation and reviewing of detailed written statements addressing accounts of persecution in countries of origin and country of asylum for refugee status determination and resettlement purposes, drafting and reviewing legal submissions in support of refugee claims in all stages of the refugee status determination process, supervising legal advisors, and managing different aspects of Program caseloads. The Senior Legal Officer is also expected to contribute to advocacy efforts regarding the refugee population and to supervise and train volunteer staff. The position has particular focus on training, supervision, and review of casework undertaken by student volunteers from The University of Nottingham Human Rights Law Centre (HRLC).
Legal and Technical
- To develop and supervise the screening and intake of potential clients for advice and representation in refugee status determination, resettlement, and protection matters.
- To assist in management and oversight of Refugee Legal Aid Program’s caseload in refugee status determination, resettlement, and protection matters, ensuring timely provision of assistance and follow-up on client cases as necessary.
- To oversee the review and preparation of resettlement referrals to the UNHCR Resettlement Unit.
- Review and oversee identification of protection cases and relevant interventions.
- To provide general legal counseling and assistance to refugees regarding their applications for registration, refugee status determination, protection, and resettlement before UNHCR.
- To prepare clients for registration and refugee status determination interviews and represent clients in such interviews as needed.
- To draft legal briefs and prepare witness declarations and other evidence in support of refugee status determination appeals and reopening requests.
- To serve periodically as an on-call legal advisor, assisting clients by providing legal advice and assistance on a walk-in basis in the areas of refugee status determination, protection, and resettlement.
- To prepare and facilitate refugee status determination preparation workshops and Know Your Rights trainings for refugee communities.
- To undertake country of origin research in support of individual claims and for general organizational research purposes and to maintain good working knowledge of the current political and social situations in the countries of origin of Refugee Legal Aid Program’s clients.
- To assess extra-legal client needs and refer to other StARS teams or external organizations as appropriate.
- To maintain good working knowledge of UNHCR’s policies and procedures in refugee status determination, resettlement and protection matters.
- To undertake comprehensive case management practices including maintaining and updating electronic databases and records for each client and keeping detailed notes of all casework activities.
- To engage with refugee community-based organizations in providing trainings and follow-up support, as well as participating in open-floor meetings and information sessions.
- To adhere to the Nairobi Code of Ethics, the StARS Policies and Procedures Manual, and the StARS Code of Conduct.
- To assist the Refugee Status Determination and Resettlement Coordinators in development and implementation of team systems, policies and procedures, and training packages, including for HRLC student volunteers.
- To assist other members of Refugee Legal Aid Program and StARS programs regarding issues related to the urban refugee population.
- To attend and contribute to Refugee Legal Aid Program meetings and other staff meetings.
- To assist the Refugee Status Determination and Resettlement Coordinators in conducting data and trends analysis of clients approaching Refugee Legal Aid Program for legal services.
- To assist the Refugee Status Determination and Resettlement Coordinators in conducting data and trends analysis of UNHCR’s Policies and Practices.
- To assist the Refugee Status Determination and Resettlement Coordinators in establishing written manuals and procedures for the different services provided by each Program.
- To build and maintain strong relationships with refugee communities in Cairo.
- To build and maintain relationships with psychosocial and education staff and operational partners.
- To communicate with refugee communities, other service providers, and UNHCR to facilitate the provision of accurate information and advice leading to the fulfillment of refugee rights.
- To assist the Refugee Status Determination and Resettlement Coordinators and other Senior Legal Officers in conducting intensive two-to-three-week training periods for new staff and volunteers four or five times per year, and to train HRLC student volunteers.
- To assist the Refugee Status Determination and Resettlement Coordinators in the development of supervision procedures and mechanisms.
- To supervise volunteer legal advisors and legal officers in refugee status determination and resettlement legal work, including providing guidance on managing workload, reviewing written drafts, and monitoring recordkeeping.
- To review written drafts and provide regular feedback to HRLC student volunteers.
- To engage proactively in promoting self-care among volunteers and other staff.
- To ensure high quality legal advice and representation and a refugee rights-based approach.
- To undergo probation and regular performance appraisals.
- To communicate regularly with the Refugee Legal Aid Program Director, Deputy Director, the Refugee Status Determination and Resettlement Coordinators in reporting on all major issues and developments in the field and within Refugee Legal Aid Program.
- To support the Refugee Legal Aid Program Director, Deputy Director, the Refugee Status Determination and Resettlement Coordinators with reporting and evaluation on the HRLC remote legal project.
- To become familiar with Refugee Legal Aid Program’s database program and accurately record and follow up on all relevant case management.
- To provide case reporting data to the Refugee Legal Aid Program Director and Deputy Director as requested in order to accurately report work to senior management, funders, and others.
- To submit activity reports as requested.
- To promote information-sharing within Refugee Legal Aid Program and StARS on all issues affecting the populations we serve.
Qualifications & Experience
The ideal candidate will be energetic, articulate, and comfortable interacting with diverse segments of society. She or he will have demonstrated a firm commitment to human rights and refugee issues.
- English being the official language of UNHCR Cairo and StARS, the Senior Legal Officer must be fluent in oral and written English.
- Master’s degree in a related field (international development, international law, development studies, Middle East Studies) OR a qualified lawyer in any jurisdiction (J.D., LLB or equivalent) OR a minimum of one year of experience in representing refugees in the resettlement or Refugee Status Determination processes OR two years of experience providing direct representation to indigent people in any setting.
- Excellent legal research and drafting skills.
- Knowledge of UNHCR registration, Refugee Status Determination, and resettlement guidelines and procedures.
- Knowledge of the general protection situation and vulnerabilities of refugees in Egypt.
- A demonstrated commitment to and sensitivity toward vulnerable or displaced people.
- Ability to live and work in a fluid security environment.
- Proven experience drafting client affidavits and legal arguments.
- Ability to exercise sound legal judgment, well organized, self-motivated, and reliable.
- Demonstrated compassion for refugees and displaced people.
- Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
- Demonstrated ability to work in a team as well as individually.
- A positive attitude and sensitive manner when dealing with clients including a range of interviewing skills for dealing with challenging scenarios, particularly in advocating for survivors of violence, trafficking, torture, and GBV.
- Fluency in Arabic or a refugee language is an advantage but not a requirement.
- Experience designing and conducting trainings for non-technical audiences.
- Managerial experience or familiarity with volunteer oversight.
- Life and work experience in the Middle East or Egypt or with an urban refugee population.
Working Hours: The Remote Legal Support Senior Legal Officer is expected to be at work for 40 hours per week, between the hours of 9am and 5pm, from Sunday to Thursday. Longer hours, evening and weekend work are sometimes necessary. Work will be conducted both in StARS premises and also in refugee communities and centers.
Supervised by: Director and Deputy Director of Refugee Legal Aid Program
Salary: 8,750 EGP/month, rising to 9,700 EGP/month following successful completion three-month probationary period. Plus 4,020 EGP/year Health Coverage and 100 EGP/month Saving Scheme Contribution upon completion of probationary period.
Additional official benefits as stipulated in StARS Staff Handbook Guidelines.
This position is subject to a three-month probationary period, at which time the employee’s performance will be reviewed and probation may be extended.
Closing date for applications: 30 September 2022
Anticipated Starting date: 1 November 2022
Please send your CV and Cover Letter and brief legal writing sample to email@example.com Using the subject line “Remote Legal Support Senior Legal Officer Application”. All applications should provide contact information of two professional/academic references (referees will only be contacted after interviews).
***Note:***Only short-listed applicants will be contacted for an interview.
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