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MLDI - Media Legal Defence Initiative

Legal Officer

MLDI - Media Legal Defence Initiative

London, United Kingdom

Responsible to: Chief Executive Officer
Salary range: £25,270 – £31,585
Key relationships: Legal director, Senior Legal Officer, Legal and Grants Support Officer, Finance and Office Manager, external lawyers, partners and beneficiaries
Contract: 12 months fixed term contract
Hours: 37.5 hours (flexible), occasional evening and weekend work

The Media Legal Defence Initiative is a charity that helps journalists defend their rights. We support independent media, journalists and bloggers who are under legal threat by making sure that lawyers are available to defend them. We engage in strategic litigation to improve the regulatory environment for media freedom, make grants to organisations in various countries to run media defence programmes, and build the capacity of the lawyers and organisations we work with on issues of media law. MLDI was set up in 2008 and has established itself as a leader in the field.

Role Summary

To provide litigation and case support for MLDI’s legal casework, including strategic legal defence cases, working closely with the Legal Director, the Senior Legal Officer and other members of the MLDI team.

Main Responsibilities

  • Assisting in the handling of requests for support and advice from individual journalists, media outlets and NGOs, and preparing case assessments;
  • Drafting and/or editing briefs and other litigation materials as required;
  • Research on comparative and international law on freedom of expression and related issues;
  • Assisting in the preparation of amicus briefs, or arranging for international observation of selected cases;
  • Undertaking legal and factual research to include research into the legal environment in different countries;
  • Reviewing proposed legal arguments together with the legal team;
  • Day to day management of ongoing cases;
  • Following up on cases and analysing case outcomes and arguments made;
  • Helping to identify cases for international litigation and writing legal memos in preparation;
  • Helping maintain contacts with pro bono lawyers and other MLDI partners;
  • Assisting in the preparation of MLDI’s litigation plan and other litigation materials as required;
  • Assisting other MLDI team members in ensuring data is provided in timely manner for grant reporting and case work reporting to both Board and MLDI funders and donors;
  • Helping prepare and deliver MLDI’s training modules and materials;
  • Representing MLDI at public events at home and abroad as required;
  • Contributing to the website and other materials for external use as required.

Person Specification

  • Qualified lawyer, or an advanced law degree;
  • Experience working as a lawyer, preferably in human rights or media law;
  • A good understanding of the international law of freedom of expression;
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills and a pleasant, diplomatic manner in interacting with colleagues at all levels, contacts, and the general public;
  • Excellent time management and organisational skills;
  • Fluency in English with excellent writing and editorial skills;
  • Proven ability to work in a diverse multi–cultural environment;
  • Ability to manage effectively multiple cases and projects in a fast-paced environment;
  • Proven ability to work in a small team;
  • Ability to work both independently and with others;
  • Integrity, professional discretion and ability to handle confidential matters;
  • Experience of working in different legal systems would be an advantage;
  • Good working knowledge (spoken and written) of French, Russian or Spanish would be an advantage;
  • Eligible to work in the UK.

A full job description and person specification can be found on MLDI’s website: www.mediadefence.org. To apply please send your CV and a covering letter detailing how you meet the candidate specification to recruitment[at]mediadefence.org. Closing date 3 March 2017.

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