Advancing Rights in Southern Africa (ARISA)
American Bar Association (ABA)
Call for Training Experts on Planning and Managing Strategic Litigation
Training Dates: 15-17 September 2021
With support from USAID, the PROGRESS Consortium is currently implementing the Advancing Rights in Southern Africa (ARISA) Program to improve the recognition, awareness, and enforcement of human rights in the region, including protection of the region’s most vulnerable and marginalized groups. The Progress Consortium is made up of Freedom House, the American Bar Association (ABA), Internews and PACT. The ARISA Program will run for a period of five (5) years with a focus on the following thematic issues which have been identified as crucial for the promotion of human rights in the region:
Women’s customary land rights;
Rights of indigenous peoples;
Media freedom and digital rights and;
The rights of human rights defenders as a cross-cutting theme.
As part of its work under this programme, the ABA is seeking the services of an experienced legal and/or human rights expert to train its legal civil society partners to effectively plan for and manage strategic litigation. The overall objective of the training is to equip identified CSO partners to litigate prioritized initiatives by building their capacity to plan for and manage strategic litigation.
The specific objectives of the training are to:
Equip legal CSOs to develop strategic litigation concept notes, plans and strategies;
Provide legal CSOs with the skills to develop media, communications and advocacy strategies around strategic litigation cases;
Provide participating lawyers with the practical skills and relevant knowledge to determine best litigation platforms (national/international) and legal frameworks (national/international) in undertaking strategic litigation;
Train the participating CSOs on stakeholder identification processes to build support and solidarity around strategic litigation cases or issues;
Foster the exchange of experiences and lessons learned from within the sub-region and beyond, on effective strategies for litigating human rights cases;
Provide participants with case budgeting skills to ensure that they do not take up a case unless they have the necessary resources to fund a case; have identified partners to help with a case (including pro bono lawyers) or can have some of the fees waived; and
Provide participants with information on resources, partnerships, ongoing support needed in filing cases and engaging in effective advocacy in Southern Africa. This will include information on available support from ARISA and the ABA.
In line with these objectives, the expert will be required to develop training materials and deliver online training to participants based in Namibia, Eswatini, Mozambique and Lesotho. The focus of the training will include but not limited to the following:
Defining strategic litigation and understanding how to evaluate its potential;
Benefits and risks of strategic litigation and developing risk mitigation strategies
Strategic litigation as a complement to social activism;
Developing media and advocacy strategies for strategic litigation;
National level processes to engage with in preparation for strategic litigation;
Identifying gaps between domestic law and international human rights standards and pitching the case in the correct forum;
Procedures for accessing and utilizing international and regional human rights systems;
Budgeting and Fundraising for strategic litigation; and
Identifying partners for strategic litigation.
Outputs and Deliverables
The trainer/expert will be expected to:
Prepare relevant training materials/presentations for the training in close consultation with the ABA and provide all the materials/presentations to the participants at least 7 days before the training;
Deliver the online training to participants based in Namibia, Eswatini, Lesotho and Mozambique over a period of three days;
Provide offline support and mentoring to the participants during the three-days training period; and
Draft and submit a training report to the ABA within 10 days of the end of the training.
Format of the Training
The training will be delivered virtually to participants who include lawyers, paralegals and support staff from legal CSOs located in three different countries in Southern Africa. The expert will facilitate sessions and provide guidance and mentoring during the workshop. The expert will also provide the participants with written material to engage with offline, prior to the online sessions. Participants will be required to read the workshop material in advance, in order to ensure that the online sessions are interactive and encourage discussions. In addition to addressing questions during the online sessions, the expert should be available to provide offline mentoring to the participants over the course of the workshop. The expert will also be required to provide strategic and technical expertise on questions that the participants will bring to the training to ensure that participants are better equipped to plan for and manage strategic litigation at the end of the training.
Online Platform and dates
The training sessions will take place online utilizing Zoom. The training will take place over a period of three days from 15-17 September 2021, with the training running for 4 hours a day. The expert/trainer will be required to have access to the internet during the designated workshop days.
Expert Trainer Qualifications and Experience:
Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Law or Human Rights;
At least 5-10 years of professional experience at national, regional or international levels working on strategic litigation;
Candidates must demonstrate a strong understanding and knowledge of utilizing regional and international (UN) human rights mechanisms in promoting and protecting human rights through litigation and submission of relevant communications and thematic reports;
Demonstrated experience in training lawyers and non-legal support staff on strategic litigation or experience in teaching human rights or law;
Good understanding of country contexts in Southern Africa;
Familiarity with the legal systems in Southern Africa; and
Experience in litigating in both the high and subordinate courts in any one of the jurisdictions in Southern Africa.
Interested and qualified applicants must submit their applications to [email protected] by 23 August 2021. The application must contain an application letter demonstrating the suitability of the applicant for the assignment, a detailed curriculum vitae and a daily rate for the 5-days assignment (including days for preparing the training materials and writing the training report).