The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), seeks to recruit a Senior Legal Researcher to be embedded at the African Commission in Banjul. 

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission) is an organ of the African Union established by the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Charter). The Commission’s secretariat is located in Banjul, The Gambia. In addition to performing any other tasks which may be entrusted to it by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government, the Commission is mainly mandated to interpret the Charter, to protect and promote human rights in Africa.

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Post information

Department: African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights
Supervisor: Executive Secretary of the Commission
Duty Station: Banjul, The Gambia
Duration: 12 months (renewable for one more year depending on satisfactory performance)

No. of positions:   2
Start Date:  As soon as possible

Task description 

The incumbent will work under the direct supervision and guidance of the Executive Secretary to the Commission, to perform the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Undertake research to support the communications and promotional work of the Commission
  • Process Communications filed with the Commission for consideration, including liaising with litigants and preparing the case files
  • Draft decisions on Communications presented before the Commission
  • Prepare cases for referral of cases to the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights
  • Lead research into thematic human rights issues of interest to the African context
  • Monitor and document relevant developments in international human rights law
  • Develop information materials such discussion papers and policy guidelines on interpretations and applications of human rights norms
  • Contribute to problem solving on human rights issues in African countries through research
  • Undertake human rights situation analysis in selected countries
  • Perform any other duties as may be assigned by the Executive Secretary of the Commission

Eligibility requirements

Educational qualifications:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in law (LLB) and a Master’s degree in human rights.
  • Candidates with only an LLB or other recognized national equivalent degree may be considered if they have at least ten years of relevant work experience.
  • Any other qualification in the area of human rights law would be an added advantage.

Work experience:

  • A minimum of seven years of practical experience in legal practice, government, international organization, public or private sector organization.

Required competencies and experience:

  • In-depth knowledge of the African human rights system
  • Experience in drafting legal pleadings
  • Experience in litigation
  • Demonstrable human rights research skills and experience
  • Knowledge of inter-governmental and international organizations
  • Knowledge of computer systems including internet navigation and Microsoft office applications such as MS-Word, MS-Excel, MS-Access and MS-PowerPoint

Desirable skills: 

  • Knowledge of international law
  • Ability to work effectively in a team
  • Good analytical skills
  • Integrity and respect for confidentiality
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work in a multi-cultural environment
  • Good communication and planning skills

Language requirement:

  • Written and spoken proficiency of at least one of the African Union working languages (English, French, Arabic or Portuguese)
  • Knowledge of any other African Union language would be an added advantage

Gender mainstreaming 
The Centre and the Commission are equal opportunities employers. Qualified women are strongly encouraged to apply.


The consultants will report to the Executive Secretary who will be the key contact for the overall assignment.

Applications information

Qualified applicants should submit their applications consisting of:

  • A cover letter, indicating how the applicant meets the eligibility criteria
  • A Curriculum Vitae, with at least 3 contactable professional referees
  • Relevant certificate/diploma

Applications may be submitted via email chr@up.ac.za with the subject line Senior Legal Researcher
Applications close on 16 July 2021.


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