Call for Applications: Aryeh Neier Fellowship Program 2014-2016 Session

The Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI) is pleased to invite applications for its 2014-2016 Aryeh Neier Fellowship Program.  The Aryeh Neier Fellowship Program is a two-year program of practical work experience designed to expand a network of lawyers and advocates working internationally on human rights issue. In 2014, four (4) fellowships will be awarded.

During the first year, each Fellow will work with the staff of the Open Society Justice Initiative in the Justice Initiative offices in New York, London or Budapest on selected litigation, research and documentation, advocacy and/or pilot projects designed to enhance accessibility, fairness and effectiveness of justice services.

During the second year of the fellowship, each Fellow will be based full-time with partner organization in Africa, Asia, Europe or Latin America to support our efforts with that organization.

Applicants should indicate their preferred geographic placement. We can generally accommodate placement in London only for those applicants who already are eligible to live and work in the United Kingdom.

All potential applicants meeting the applicable criteria are encouraged to apply.  However, the priority areas contemplated for placement of the 2014-2016 Fellows are:

Accountability, Liberty & Transparency



Systematic grand corruption undermines development, subverts the rule of law and respect for human rights, corrodes trust, and often paves the way for resource-fueled conflict. But more dramatic shifts appear underway. Tolerance for bank secrecy has plummeted with increased economic hardship in Europe and elsewhere. Systematic tax evasion combined with bribery, nepotism, self-dealing and abuse of legal structures are increasingly recognized as common grievances underlying the crisis in both developed and developing societies. Justice Initiative proposes to link its case work more effectively with grassroots efforts to strengthen communities victimized by grand corruption. By identifying and working with other actors already pursuing legal accountability, the core work of the Anticorruption project is to persuade and pressure law enforcement to prosecute such criminality in locally rooted advocacy for legal and policy changes that make it harder to hide the details of corrupt deals and protect stolen assets.

In close collaboration with the staff, a Fellow would undertake some or all of the following responsibilities:

–          Research on a broad range of justice-related issues

–          Writing (reports, memos, blogs, producing training materials, etc.)

–          Monitoring anticorruption proceedings and developments internationally

–          Liaising with other NGOs and justice advocates

–          Editing

–          Organizing meetings and conferences with stakeholders

Criminal Justice

International Justice

The Justice Initiative strives to make criminal justice fairer and more effective at national and international levels by fighting abuses of fundamental rights for the vulnerable and fighting impunity for the most powerful.  Our accountability efforts include discourses and communities  a wide range of advocacy, legal capacity promotion, research, writing, trial monitoring, and occasionally litigation targeting some of the worst offenses – war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, mass rape, and torture. We seek to improve and support the work of the International Criminal Court and the national court systems of the countries in which some of these atrocities took place, including  Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cambodia, Guatemala and Mexico.

In close collaboration with our staff, a Fellow would undertake some or all of the following responsibilities:

–          Research on a broad range of justice-related issues (such as witness protection, gender crimes, assessing national proceedings, etc.)

–          Writing (reports, memos, blogs, producing training materials, etc.)

–          Trial monitoring

–          Liaising with other NGOs and justice advocates, including staff of the UN and international and domestic courts, and government officials

–          Editing

–          Organizing meetings and conferences with stakeholders

Equality & Inclusion:

Discrimination in Europe

Since 2009 the Justice Initiative has worked to magnify the voice of marginalized groups  to seek legal remedies against specific manifestations of discrimination.  To enhance public understanding of discriminatory practices and pioneer efforts to seek judicial enforcement of rights, we and our partners have carried out rigorous field research, developed videos, blogs, reports and photo exhibitions, and convened discussions in communities affected by discrimination, to complement and contextualize our efforts to build groundbreaking lawsuits. The Fellow’s major responsibilities will link to our work in Germany and will include: participating in efforts to re-frame the public policy debates about education and integration in Germany, by working with journalists and community activists; collecting and/or supporting collection of ethnically-disaggregated data that reveals differences in academic performance between pupils of different ethnic backgrounds; supporting community efforts to advocate for a school-level complaints mechanism that will be accessible to parents and students and allow more information about discriminatory practices to come to light, beginning with a pilot project in Berlin.

Rule of Law

  1. Economic Justice

While some of the Justice Initiative’s existing work on resource corruption and access to information touches on issues of economic equity and the human rights consequences of the unequal distribution of wealth, we have never explicitly undertaken economic justice issues –those which deal more directly with marketplace practices, and the impact on individuals of unfair or illegal business practices, the failure of government regulation or enforcement;  as well as inadequate or unfair application of government resources which may underserve and/or over- police the poor.  The Fellow will help to develop and undertake concrete work on one to two new economic justice projects chosen from among six areas we have identified (excessive indebtedness, tax justice, land and resources, informal economics, access to public services, and criminalization of poverty). The scope of work will include desk research; consultations with local partners; help to conceptualize and prepare for meetings and events; drafting of legal and advocacy documents; and coordinating among various other components of the Open Society Foundations as well as outside partners.

  1. Post-2015 Development Agenda

Global deliberations about the future of development following the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) at the end of 2015 provide a unique opportunity to link and strengthen the rights and development  by influencing the post 2015 development agenda now being debated and developed at the United Nations and among Member States. . Over the past year, the Justice Initiative has engaged in this global process by advocating for the inclusion of the rule of law and effective access to justice as priorities within the new development framework. The Fellow’s responsibilities will include working with staff across the Justice Initiative—from the advocacy, legal empowerment, equality and inclusion, and other teams—to conduct research about the political positions of member states; assist in developing materials that demonstrate the measurability of justice; attend meetings with civil society partners as well as at the UN; gather information from and liaise with other OSF programs and foundations interested in the process; help to organize events and meetings; draft research memos and advocacy documents.


Application and Selection Procedures

All interested applicants are requested to send back the completed application form and supporting materials to indicating “Aryeh Neier Fellow’ in the subject line.

As part of the online application, applicants must submit the following additional documents:

1.       A statement of purpose for applying to the Justice Initiative Fellows program in which the applicant indicates which of the proposed themes s/he is interested in; reasons for his/her interests in that particular area and how he/she intends to contribute to the chosen field.  Applicants are encouraged to propose their ideas for specific approaches that can be applied for the work, preferably in the selected themes.  Applicants may choose to propose work outside of the listed priority areas.

2.       Curriculum Vitae

3.       Copy of relevant Diploma(s).

4.       Proof of English proficiency (i.e. TOEFL score, proficiency exam certificate, etc.)

5.       Two recommendation letters.

6.        It is preferable but not required to have a supporting letter from a CSO where the applicant would like to undertake the second year part of the fellowship on the selected topic.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for interviews. The final selection decisions will be made by April, 2014.

Upon selection, Fellows will be required to sign an agreement with the Justice Initiative, committing themselves to the program for a period of two years.

Competencies and Skills:

The applicant must demonstrate:

  • Strong commitment to human rights;
  • Prior work experience in the human rights field;
  • Have a university degree in Law or an LL.M. or M.A. in Human Rights;
  • High degree of proficiency in English;
  • Good research, legal analysis, and drafting skills;
  • Willingness to take initiative with ability to work individually and in teams;
  • Organization and attention to detail;
  • Knowledge of French, Spanish or other languages is an asset;


 The Justice Initiative will provide a generous financial package for the Fellows for the entire duration of the fellowship.

DEADLINE for receiving complete applications is March 28, 2014, 24:00 GMT.

For any additional information about the program itself, please contact: Anna Fischer on

For more information, visit:


Posted on March 7, 2014, in Africa, Career, Fellowship, Gender, Women, Girls, Global, Opportunities, Policy, Social Entrepreneurship and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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