Vacancies

Call for Abstracts: Using Strategic Litigation to Compel Domestication of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court

Purpose of the Publication:

  • Almost 11 Member States of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) have ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Rome Statute). However, not all of them have incorporated it as part of their national law. The failure by these States to domesticate the Rome Statute makes it, difficult, if not, impossible for suspects of international crimes to be investigated or prosecuted in the countries of residence, but also has the additional consequence of prohibiting cooperation with the ICC. Lack of domestic legislation for international crimes contradicts some of the SADC Member States’ commitments to the Rome Statute and is, arguably, a violation of their constitutional obligations to protect and promote human rights.
  • Recent decisions from some national courts, like South Africa, confirm the proposition that the executive branch of government has a responsibility towards its citizens when they enter into international agreements. This responsibility exists even when the executive branch decides to withdraw the country from international agreements. They cannot withdraw their countries without, first, obtaining permission from their citizens usually through the National Assembly. Given these principles, one would, therefore, argue that the responsibility of the State when it enters into an international agreement demands that it must also take steps to ensure that the international agreement is, not only binding domestically, but that measures are taken to ensure that the people can invoke the international instrument nationally to enforce their rights.

The Southern Africa Litigation Centre invites submission of abstracts from interested individuals on the following topics:

a. Whether and how constitutional law principles can be used to encourage States to domesticate treaties, in particular the Rome Statute; and

 b. Whether strategic litigation can be used to compel States to domesticate international agreements which they have ratified.

The Africa Litigation Centre is particularly interested in abstracts that focus on SADC countries, however, abstracts looking at international law obligations and/or other comparative contexts will also be considered.

Deadline for Submission of Papers:

Anyone interested in writing a paper should submit an abstract for approval by 30 November 2017. Persons who submitted an abstract will be informed by 10 December whether the abstract has been selected. Once the abstract is selected, the paper should be submitted in Word format via e-mail to annekem@salc.org.za by 1 March 2018. Papers received after the deadline will be excluded.

 


FOR STUDENTS:

Legal Intern

The Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) is looking for interns to work in our offices in Johannesburg, South Africa. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis but applicants are encouraged to get their application in as soon as possible,indicating dates of availability. Interns will work at the SALC offices under the supervision of one of SALC’s programme lawyers. Responsibilities may include legal research and writing, including international and comparative law research; factual research on specific legal cases; bluebooking and fact-checking legal filings; assisting in maintaining SALC’s website; and assisting staff in organizing conferences and seminars. Please note that the position is unpaid.

Requirements

  • Interest in human rights issues;
  • Basic knowledge of international and regional human rights laws and instruments;
  • Experience working in or focusing on southern Africa preferred;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English; Portuguese or French is highly  desirable;
  • Excellent research skills including online sources;
  • Well-organised, self-motivated and reliable.

 

Interested applicants should send a letter of interest, a detailed CV and an unedited writing sample to Pamela Timburwa, pamelat@salc.org.za. 

Legal Extern

SALC is looking for externs – full time students who can dedicate approximately 10 hours per week to research and general assistance to SALC. Externs will work from home, with occasional meetings with SALC lawyers when necessary. This work may include legal research and writing, including international and comparative law research; and factual research on specific legal cases.

Externships are designed to give students practical experience of working in human rights litigation, without the time and financial difficulties full time internships create. Working with SALC provides students with exposure to litigation at domestic courts as well as to regional and international human rights mechanisms, and will help broaden your understanding of the strategies lawyers involved in such cases adopt. However, our externships require dedication and hard work, and we expect high standards of work from our externs.

Preferred applicants:

  • All law students who already have an undergraduate degree;
  • Interest in human rights issues;
  • Basic knowledge of international and regional human rights laws and instruments;
  • Experience working in or focusing on southern Africa preferred;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English;
  • Portuguese or French is highly  desirable;
  • Excellent research skills including online sources;
  • Well-organised, self-motivated and reliable.

Interested applicants should send a letter of interest, a detailed CV, an unedited writing sample and a 2 page answer to the research question to Pamela Timburwa: pamelat@salc.org.za

Research Question: In your opinion how effective is the  individual complaints mechanism of African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights? In particular, consider the enforcement of African Commission decisions and whether the mechanisms offers effective remedies of human rights violations.