25 May 2018

VACANCY - FOIP Paralegal

VACANCY: Paralegal - Freedom of Information Programme

SAHA is looking for a dynamic professional with an interest in practice-based research and using access to information as a tool 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.

For more information about FOIP, please visit http://foip.saha.org.za

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;
  • Do research in support of litigation and advocacy, particularly in relation to access to information related developments, policies and legislation;
  • Provide legal advice on behalf of SAHA in relation to all aspects of PAIA requests, and to SAHA in-house;
  • Prepare documents released under PAIA, for physical and digital archiving by the SAHA archival team;
  • Write research reports, case studies, news stories and press releases related to FOIP's work;
  • Contribute to FOIP and SAHA's applications, work plans and reports and assessments 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

  • LLB degree or post graduate qualifications;
  • 1 - 3 years relevant experience, including legal 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

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: 6 month post, starting July 2018, renewable depending on funding and performance.

Application process

To apply, please prepare a document that demonstrates your legal reasoning (no more than 1000 words) that addresses the following:

  1. The main barriers to the realisation of the right of access to information in South Africa today;
  2. How you think PAIA could be used to challenge corruption and combat impunity in South Africa; and
  3. 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 that demonstrates your legal and writing skills (see above question guidelines), 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 Paralegal application 2018/05 - [Your Name].

Closing time and date for applications: 5pm, Friday 15 June 2018.

Starting date: Monday 2 July 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 25 - 27 June 2018.