25 October 2017

VACANCY: Junior Attorney - Freedom of Information Programme

SAHA is looking for a dynamic professional with an interest in public interest litigation, practice-based research and the use of access to information and technology as tools for social justice to join its Freedom of Information Programme (FOIP).

SAHA is an independent activist archive committed to documenting and raising awareness of past struggles against apartheid, as well as ongoing struggles in the making of democracy in South Africa. In line with this central mission, SAHA's Freedom of Information Programme (FOIP), launched in 2001, is dedicated to using the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 (PAIA) to extend the boundaries of access to information in South Africa, by:

  • increasing compliance with, and the use of, PAIA, through practice-based research, litigation and advocacy;
  • empowering individuals and organisations to understand PAIA as a strategic advocacy tool; and
  • creating awareness of the right to access to information as an enabling right, fundamental to the realisation of other human rights both 

within South Africa, and across the continent, in order to invigorate citizen demand for the right to know.


Summary of key responsibilities:

  • Draft, submit and manage PAIA requests through-out their life-cycle, including drafting internal appeals, pleadings, letters, briefs to advocates and other legal correspondence;
  • Undertake research, particularly in relation to policies, legislation and access to information developments; 
  • Provide legal advice on behalf of SAHA in relation to all aspects of PAIA requests, and to SAHA in-house; 
  • Write research reports, case studies, news stories and press releases related to FOIP's work; 
  • Oversee maintenance and expansion of SAHA's PAIA Tracker system, in line with grant agreements;
  • Contribute to FOIP and SAHA's applications, work plans and reports and any assessment of strategy;
  • Supervise FOIP interns and other project workers, under the guidance of the FOIP Coordinator; and
  • Support the work of the FOIP Coordinator.

Required qualifications and skills:

  • Admitted attorney with LLB degree or post graduate qualifications;
  • 1 - 3 years relevant experience, including litigation, research and writing experience;
  • Excellent critical thinking and communication skills, both written and verbal; 
  • Excellent research and computer skills, including literacy in MS Word, Excel and Power Point; 
  • An ability to work closely with a diverse group of professionals and in a fast changing environment; 
  • A demonstrable commitment to and interest in public interest law and social justice; and
  • A valid driver's licence and own transport.

Preference will be given to candidates with:

  • Experience working on access to information and related issues; and
  • Fluency in at least one African language.

The role will be based at the SAHA offices at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg and will report to the FOIP Coordinator. This is a contract post: 1 year fixed period post, starting January 2018, renewable depending on funding and performance.


To apply, please prepare a 1 - 2 page letter of motivation (no more than 500 words) that addresses the following:

  • The main barriers to the realisation of the right of access to information in South Africa today;
  • How you think PAIA could be used to challenge corruption and combat impunity in South Africa; and
  • The key findings of a recent court judgement (judgement handed down in the last twelve months) - of a high court, the Supreme Court of Appeal or the Constitutional Court - that related to PAIA.

Submit this letter of motivation, along with 1) your 2 - 3 page CV, 2) a writing sample of no more than 1000 words (preferably previously published) that demonstrates your legal and writing skills, and 3) up-to-date contact details for at least 2 professional referees by email to recruitment@saha.org.za. NOTE: The subject line of your email must include the following: FOIP Junior Attorney application 2017/10 - [Your Name].

Closing time and date for applications: 5pm, Friday 10 November 2017.
Starting date: Monday 8 January 2018

Late or incomplete applications will not be considered. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
Interviews will be conducted at the SAHA offices in Johannesburg in week of 20 - 24 November 2017.