Senior Rule of Law Officer

United Nations Development Programme
  • Location
    Freetown, Sierra Leone
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Mar 08

Position description


The project seeks to strengthen rule of law, access to justice and security delivery in Sierra Leone in compliance with international human rights standards. It builds on the lessons learnt from UNDP’s Access to Justice (A2J) and Security Sector Reform (SSR) projects and years of UN and development partners’ support to justice and security delivery. The new project takes a holistic approach bringing together justice and security sector interventions under one framework that enhances synergies and coordination. The project establishes shared priorities with an aim of contributing to the maintenance of peace and security and to strengthen the rule of law, access to justice, accountability, transparency and respect for human rights. The key objective of the project is to ensure equal access to justice for all, focusing on the most marginalised, those vulnerable in the justice sector especially women and children. The project also seeks to address gaps in the justice sector chain and correctional services and to build on achievements under the two thematic projects “Promoting Transparency in Sierra Leone’s Judiciary” and “From Prisons to Corrections” that are supporting the achievement of legislative and institutional reforms.

The failure to provide effective rule of law contributed greatly to the civil war highlighting the need to ensure justice and security institutions are supported to become a pillar of good governance in the country. These triggers, continue to linger within institutions including justice and security chain. Justice, security and oversight institutions for example, remain significantly underfunded by the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) which constitutes a real challenge and it is critical therefore that project interventions are sustainable. Overall, the project seeks to address continued challenges around access to justice and security for the poorest and most vulnerable, and to build trust of the population in justice and security sector institutions

Based on the above, the ROL project seeks to recruit a Senior National Rule of Law Officer to provide support for the implementation of the project in its last phase as well as contribute to ensuring that lessons learned through the project are well documented for the formulation of a new one. The new officer will contribute to the implementation of thematic projects as well as support the Governance Cluster in the development and harnessing of learnings.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Summary of Key Functions:

  • Policy advice and technical assistance to justice and security chain
  • Strategic partnership and resource mobilization for the project
  • Knowledge building and capacity development of institutions and staff
  • Financial and Operational Management

Policy Advice & Technical Assistance:

  • Provide policy advice and technical assistance to the justice institutions with a focus on the Sierra Leone Police, the Ministry of Justice, the Judiciary and the Independent Police Complaints Board and the SLCS;
  • Work closely with the Judiciary providing technical assistance to support the consolidation of the civil and criminal procedure reforms ongoing in the institution;
  • Train and support relevant justice sector personnel in organizational development methods and tools;
  • Support stronger working relations between justice sector institutions and civil society organisations working within the sector to ensure greater coordination and cooperation across the justice sector;
  • Ensure proper information sharing, coordination and cooperation with other development actors;
  • Regularly research the justice and security landscape and identify/advise on rule of law and human rights trends;
  • In close coordination with the Rule of Law Programme Specialist ensure regular monitoring and evaluation of UNDP’s support to the Judiciary and other partners within the new rule of law programme.

Strategic partnership and resource mobilization:

  • Establish and maintain dialogue with government officials, both local and national, NGOs, partners, donors and communities to provide knowledge and understanding, ensuring accurate interpretation of the project objectives and implementation;
  • Identify areas of cooperation and coordination with other UN agencies, development partners and NGOs for the implementation of joint activities related to the Program;
  • Identify opportunities for the implementation of the program with specific recommendations on actions needed for improved collaboration and coordination.
  • Collect and analyze information on donor contracts, funding priorities, criteria and processes;
  • Support UNDP Rule of Law in their resource mobilization efforts through the development of high-quality concept notes and proposals where so required.

Knowledge building and capacity development of institutions and staff:

  • Contribute to the development of knowledge products as they relate to the enhancement of access to justice and security sectors.
  • Support policy development and dissemination of knowledge on access to justice and security sectors’ best practices and program results for advocacy, resource mobilization, learning and practice development.
  • Lead initiatives on capacity development for justice and security sector partners with emphasis on strengthening the governance structures of civil society and Government counterparts for improved implementation and reporting

Financial & Operational Management

  • Ensure integrity of financial and administrative procedures as well as a consistent application of UNDP procedures, rules and regulations;
  • Support the Rule of Law project team in supervising requisitions, purchase orders and payment requests in ATLAS, and ensure monthly delivery updates to the Rule of Law Specialist on financial delivery performance;
  • Provide leadership and oversight to project partners to ensure that qualitative services are provided to national partners, including by putting in place fair and transparent procurement processes and by providing efficient operational support.

Impact of Key Results:

  • The results of the work of the Senior Rule of Law Officer will help strengthen UNDP’s delivery of effective support across the Rule of Law project on national policies and capacity development, in part through the establishment and/or strengthening of strategic partnerships as well as facilitation of reporting requirements.
  • The incumbent will increase the visibility and contribution of UNDP in the subject area especially as pertains to working with national counterparts. He/she is responsible for technical advisory support to national counterparts from the institutions as above mentioned and will provide the Rule of Law project with recommendations when necessary and in response to the changes in the local context in relation to the project.


Core Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN values and ethical standards
  • Promotes the vision, mission and strategic goals of UNDP
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism

Functional Competencies:

  • Sound knowledge of the Sierra Leone legal/justice system, including the political environment and legal statutes as they pertain to human rights
  • Ability to work under pressure and to remain calm
  • Sound political judgment, impartiality, diplomacy and discretion
  • Proven ability to establish priorities and to plan, organize, coordinate and monitor won work plan and provide advice and guidance to others; in-depth understanding of divisions’ strategic direction; resourcefulness; sound judgment and decision-making skills.
  • Demonstrated sound judgment in resolving issues/problems; ability to proactively seek and recommend sound policy initiatives
  • Ability to actively seek to improve programmes/services, offer new and different options to solve problems/meet client needs.
  • Excellent and effective communication (verbal and written) skills, including the ability to prepare reports and conduct presentations by clearly formulating positions on issues, articulating options concisely conveying maximum necessary information, making and defending recommendations, diplomacy and tact; ability to convey difficult issues and positions to senior officials.
  • Excellent inter-personal skills; ability to establish and maintain effective working relations with people in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity
  • Effective negotiating skills and ability to work with others to reach mutually benefitting and lasting understandings.

Required Skills and Experience:


  • Advanced university degree (Masters or equivalent) in law, International Human Rights, Criminology, Police Studies or in any other related field of study.


  • At least 5 years’ work experience in a post-conflict setting, with substantial direct experience as legal advisory role and technical access to justice and security, justice sector reforms and/or strengthening of the rule of law and security sector.
  • Detailed knowledge and familiarity of issues and key actors in the justice and security sector
  • Experience in development work, partnerships building and resource mobilization
  • Prior experience within the United Nations, in particular UNDP is desirable but not a requirement;
  • A qualified legal practitioner (but not an absolute requirement for selection)

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in written and spoken English

Application instructions

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