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European Legal Support Center / Call for applications – ELSC Coordinator

The European Legal Support Center (ELSC) seeks a full time Coordinator to develop, operate and manage its program of legal support to people in Europe who face lawsuits, restrictive legislation and other forms of suppression for expressing views or advocating in favor of Palestinian rights. The position will become available in December 2018 (earliest) or by 1 January 2019 (latest).

About the European Legal Support Center

The ELSC is an independent joint project of Palestinian civil society represented by the network PNGO, The Rights Forum in the Netherlands, and European jurists. The Center is currently under establishment. Its mission is to protect the civil and constitutional rights of European individuals and groups who advocate for Palestinian rights under international law. The ELSC will support legal initiatives to bolster the Palestine solidarity movement in Europe. It will provide legal advice, referrals and representation; monitor and document incidents of repression; educate about relevant domestic, European and international law, and carry out legal and policy advocacy. The ELSC is hosted by The Rights Forum and has non-profit status in the Netherlands. It is located in the offices of The Rights Forum in Amsterdam.

Job description

The ideal candidate is passionate about social justice issues and movement lawyering approaches, has strong entrepreneurial, relational and legal writing skills, and thrives in a dynamic, collaborative and professional environment that requires self-management of tasks.

In the first three months, the Coordinator will be responsible for (1) mapping legal support needs across Europe and identifying priorities; (2) identifying jurists, NGOs and other experts who are ready to assist the ELSC in responding to the needs identified; (3) designing the Center’s first one-year work plan, and (4) developing basic work regulations and a fundraising strategy. The Coordinator reports to the ELSC Steering Committee. Its members will offer guidance and assistance, including previous needs assessments and relevant resources and networks.

Subsequently, when the Center is operational, the Coordinator will be responsible for implementing the work plan and fundraising strategy, suggesting adaptations, and developing program and activities, in a manner that makes the Center a reference for the Palestine solidarity movement in Europe, a source of effective legal support, and financially sustainable. The Coordinator will provide direct legal advice and training to activists, associations and institutions, and advocate on their behalf among politicians, authorities and the media. At the same time, and as a matter of priority, the Coordinator will also facilitate such support via jurists present in the countries where people face repression and legal challenges. The Coordinator will thus build a permanent network of jurists who support implementation of the ELSC’s program through legal advice, training and representation in court, legal opinions, research and advocacy.

In addition, this position will also: (1) track, analyze and document incidents of repression, compile existing guidance materials and prepare new ones, and set up and maintain the ELSC website as a platform for public education and guidance of activists, and (2) ensure professional administrative and financial management. The Coordinator will supervise the admin-finance officer. S/he may also supervise interns, volunteers, consultants and other staff. S/he will report to the ELSC Steering Committee.

The Coordinator will be located in The Rights Forum’s office in Amsterdam. During start-up of ELSC operations, other locations will not be considered. S/he is expected to work the appropriate and necessary time in order to complete key assignments and related tasks on schedule.

Essential duties and responsibilities

  • Design the work plan for the first year of the Center’s operation based on consultations with ELSC partners, including activists and jurists. Assess progress and needs for adaptation; design subsequent work plans
  • Develop and implement the ELSC’s fundraising strategy; ensure financial sustainability
  • Establish professional cooperation based on mutual trust and respect of privacy with members of the Palestine solidarity movement in Europe; conduct consultations and develop secure mechanisms and tools to maintain and expand such cooperation
  • Build, activate and expand the network of practicing lawyers, legal experts, scholars and NGOs who support implementation of the ELSC’s program. Develop mechanism and tools for coordination, and for professional exchange and collaboration that provides incentives for jurists to join the network and contribute to the Center’s legal support program
  • Ensure that individuals, associations and institutions in need obtain appropriate legal support. Provide direct legal advice and advocacy support; facilitate legal advice and representation by jurists present in the respective countries, and initiate, facilitate/contribute to trainings, legal opinions, collaborative advocacy and development of litigation strategies
  • Track, analyze and document incidents of repression, including legislative measures undermining advocacy for Palestinian rights; compile existing guidance materials and prepare new ones.
  • Set up and maintain the ELSC website as a platform for public education and guidance of activists
  • Document all ELSC activities; ensure professional administrative and financial management
  • Supervise the admin-finance offer; possibly also interns, volunteers, consultants and/or other staff

Education and experience

  • A. (minimum) or comparable academic degree in a relevant field of studies, preferably law
  • 3–5 years of practical work experience in a relevant area, including voluntary work and internships

Knowledge, skills and abilities

  • Familiarity with the suppression faced by advocates for Palestinian rights in Europe and understanding of Palestine-Israel historically and under international law in general
  • Demonstrated commitment to social justice and human rights issues
  • Strong commitment to the mission of the European Legal Support Center, and to building a healthy, sustainable organization
  • Demonstrated organizational and fundraising skills
  • Knowledge of relevant legal issues (civil rights, students’ rights, anti-discrimination and hate crimes in at least one European country; IHL, human rights defenders, business & human rights, third-state responsibilities in connection with serious violations of peremptory norms, etc.)
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and collaboratively, multi-task, set priorities and meet required deadlines
  • Self-motivated, resourceful, and creative at problem-solving
  • Ability to connect, communicate, build trust, and maintain relationships with both activist communities and diverse human rights/legal communities
  • Strong skills in networking and motivating others
  • Excellent research and writing skills in English (preferably also proficient in one or more other European languages, in particular French, Spanish or Italian)
  • Public speaking skills with diverse audiences; confident in communication with politicians, authorities and the media
  • Integrity and sense of humor
  • Ability to relocate to Amsterdam (if not already living there)
  • Ability and readiness to commit to the ELSC for more than one year (preferable)

Work environment

This position requires work from a shared office space at The Rights Forum in Amsterdam. There may be 1 or more people in an office space (details to be determined). The Rights Forum cannot provide housing in Amsterdam. If necessary, the Rights Forum will assist the search for adequate and affordable housing which is difficult to find in the city. The position will not require much traveling in the first year, but traveling may be substantial in subsequent years, mainly within Europe. When traveling, work will be performed in community centers, NGOs, universities, public institutions or at conferences, and will require transportation between different locations for presentations and lodging.

Salary and benefits

This is a full time staff position. The Coordinator will be employed by The Rights Forum and is subject to the rights and duties under its bylaws. Benefits include paid sick leaves, holidays and vacation, as well as the employer’s contribution to social and health insurances (insurance arrangements will have to be finalized pending the status and preferences of the selected applicant). The beginning salary is for the minimum level of required knowledge, skills and 3-5 years of previous practical experience, with increases possible in subsequent years, pending availability of financial resources and evaluation of performance.

To apply

Please email your CV, a writing sample, and a cover letter explaining your interest in the position, why you think you will excel in the position, and how you think you can contribute to the ELSC’s mission to:, subject line ‘ELSC Coordinator Application’. Applications will be received until 4 November 2018. We will not consider incomplete applications. Short-listed applicants will be informed and invited for interviews. The projected start date is between December and 1 January 2019.

Steun ons / Samen kunnen we een rechtvaardige uitkomst van de kwestie-Palestina/Israël afdwingen. U kunt onze activiteiten versterken of ons werk financieel ondersteunen.

Zonder rechtvaardigheid is er in het vredesproces geen vooruitgang mogelijk.

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