National Legal Consultant, Timor-Leste

Closing date

Type of Contract: Consultancy

Location: Timor-Leste

Duration of Contract: 6 months

Commencement of the Contract: June 2021

End of the Contract: December 2021

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) is seeking qualified applicants to implement project activities in Timor-Leste for its Enhancing Access to Justice for Women in Asia and the Pacific Project from June 2021 to December 2021. The Consultant will be required to undertake desk and field research, draft analytical briefing papers for publication, and organize workshops or consultations for judges and frontline formal and informal justice providers, and participate in related ICJ advocacy at the domestic and international level.

Overview of the ICJ

Composed of 60 eminent judges and lawyers from all regions of the world, the ICJ promotes and protects human rights through the rule of law, by using its unique legal expertise to develop and strengthen national and international justice systems. Established in 1952 and active on the five continents, the ICJ works towards the progressive development and effective implementation of international human rights and international humanitarian law; secure the realization of civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights; safeguard the separation of powers; and guarantee the independence of the judiciary and legal profession.

Project Background

The programme “Enhancing Access to Justice for Women in Asia and the Pacific: Bridging the gap between formal and informal systems through women’s empowerment” is a five-year initiative that commenced implementation in 2018. The overall goal of the project is to enhance access to justice for women in formal and informal systems in Asia and the Pacific, bridging the gap between these systems through women’s empowerment and reduction of gender biases. In realizing this goal, the programme partners – UN Women, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and OHCHR – focus on achieving the following outputs: (1) Domestic laws adopted and court decisions are consistent with international human rights law and standards, including CEDAW; (2) Gender discriminatory attitudes and stereotyped behaviours towards women by formal and informal justice providers are addressed; and (3) Grassroots women’s organizations and community based justice providers (formal and informal) work towards the elimination of discrimination against women, access to justice and adequate protection for women and girls seeking justice.

Overview of the Consultancy

Reporting to the International Legal Adviser, the Consultant is responsible for assisting in planning and implementation of activities and formal representation of the ICJ as required; Organize workshops or training sessions for judges, frontline formal and informal justice actors in Timor-Leste to eliminate gender discriminatory practices that hinder or prevent women’s access to justice; Assist in the organization of regional judicial dialogues in Asia; Organize platforms for dialogue between formal and informal justice actors in Timor-Leste to build consensus on how they can be more gender-responsive and promote gender-sensitive attitudes in their institutions; Undertake strategic litigation or submit to domestic courts amicus briefs or expert legal opinions on emblematic cases related to the protection of women’s human rights and enhancing women’s access to justice in Timor-Leste.

Implementation of the Consultancy:

  • Undertake desk-based research to examine domestic laws and policies that explicitly discriminate against women as well as restrictively interpret culture, custom, or religion to discriminate against women;
  • Undertake field research, including by identifying interviewees, developing interview questions and conducting interviews (remotely or in-person, as necessary);
  • Produce a report based on the desk-based and field research;
  • Work with the ICJ project team to develop the concept for the launch of the report, including by identifying participants and the target audience, and participate in in-person or online event/s launching of the report;
  • Organize training sessions for judges of first instance courts.


  • Submission of a concept note outlining the research plan, scope and methodology for the final report;
  • Completion of the final report;
  • Drafts of advocacy related materials, including a press release for the report and concept note for the report launch;
  • Participation in the launch of the report;
  • Submission of concept notes outlining objectives and program agenda for the capacity building training sessions;
  • Completion of one national training session for judges of first instance courts;
  • Completion of one national training session for frontline formal justice actors.


The successful consultant/s will have:

  • A degree in law;
  • Three to five years cumulative experience working as a lawyer or human rights advocate in Timor-Leste;
  • Strong knowledge on international human rights law and gender issues;
  • Experience in managing human rights or development programmes in the field;
  • Knowledge of religious, customary, indigenous or community legal framework in Timor-Leste;
  • Knowledge of climate change, the right to development, and the right to a safe, clean, healthy, and sustainable environment is desirable; and
  • Fluency in English with proven high-level legal writing and editing skills are essential.

The ICJ is an equal opportunities employer.

How to apply

Applications close on 10 May 2021 by 5 pm. Bangkok time. Interested applicants should submit a current CV and cover letter to:

Ref: National Legal Consultant, Timor-Leste

By email: asia-recruitment@icj.org

These materials should clearly outline the candidate’s key skills and experience that are relevant to the consultancy, as well as any key standards or principles that inform your work. Please also provide the names and contact information for two recent references. The ICJ may ask for examples of previous work after reviewing the application materials.

Please appreciate that due to the volume of applications, only short-listed candidates will be contacted. We cannot answer phone enquiries.

The ICJ is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity and value a diverse workforce. The ICJ’s policy is to practice a fair and non-discriminatory recruitment and selection procedure and to strive for and maintain international and multi-cultural personnel. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.