Associate Legal Advisor, Video as Evidence Program
ABOUT THE ‘WHY’
WITNESS believes in the power of effective civic media to protect human rights and drive social change. As advocates and visual storytellers, we know the power of media and technology to amplify marginalized voices, hold abusers accountable, and catalyze movements. We are a global hub of innovative problem-solvers committed to maximizing the potential of the 21st century’s most powerful tools for defending human rights.
For the past 26 years, we have supported activists in more than 100 countries and built trusted networks with grassroots communities, lawyers, and technology platforms – ceaselessly innovating to accelerate human rights and maximize civic participation. We are at a pivotal moment where we have the opportunity to exponentially expand our influence and reach, and are building a dynamic communications team to help lead the way
ABOUT WITNESS’ VIDEO AS EVIDENCE PROGRAM
All over the world we know that video exposes the truth. It shows us the aftermath of double-tap airstrikes on village markets in Yemen, of corporate pillage of indigenous lands in the Amazon, and the use of child labor in the dredges of copper and coltan mines in the DRC. While video excels as exposing human rights abuses, video so often does not meet legal evidentiary standards required to be used as proof in justice and accountability processes. In turn, video has yet to reach its full potential in support of all forms of justice.
WITNESS Video as Evidence (VaE) program seeks to change this by researching, developing and sharing good practices on the use of video as evidence. And, then, supporting human rights defenders to use this revealing evidence from the point of capture into the courtroom.
ABOUT THE ROLE
WITNESS is seeking an early career lawyer or soon-to-be lawyer to support and grow the VaE Program.
They/He/She will collaborate with frontline activists, local community leaders, human rights investigators,
public interest lawyers and justice experts from across the globe to further build a field-of-practice that support the collection of high-quality, actionable video evidence that can be used to support justice and accountability for perpetrators who violate our basic human rights.
Content Creation: Research, Write & Publish
- Development of International Guidance/Training Materials. Undertake original research then draft and finalize universally applicable, field-tested and peer-reviewed international guidance on the strategic use of video as evidence in accountability processes. This includes how to collect, discover, manage, preserve, evaluate, curate and share high-quality, actionable video information along with the development of accompanying case studies which illustrate the principles and protocols set out in the VaE guidance.
- Tailor & Share Guidance. Once the guidance is finalized, work with the Associate Director for the Video as Evidence Program, the Associate Director for Learning and Engagement and the Regional Consultants to tailor the guidance for community-level sharing, to reach broad audiences and target influencers through online and offline engagement.
Training / Capacity Building / Mentoring
- Organize the logistics for and provide in-person trainings on all steps of video evidence from capture to use in accountability processes for influential community leaders, human rights defenders, NGOs, human rights lawyers, prosecutors and public defenders in all the regions where WITNESS works – Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East and North Africa and the U.S. Then, provide post-training, follow-up support and mentoring to the training participants on how to successful implement documentation efforts/missions.
- Support WITNESS’ Regional Consultants to understand the VaE content and provide direction and guidance to the regional team to ensure they can effectively and strategically scale access to WITNESS’ guidance, training materials and tools.
Support the Development of a Field–of Practice Around Video as Evidence and Thought Leadership in this Field
- Strategic Program Support. Support the Global Programs Director, Senior Attorney and Associate Director to forecast, develop and recommend new impact-oriented projects/alliances where WITNESS should be engaged and responsive based on assessed needs and WITNESS’ strategic objectives and our goal of further building this field-of-practice. This includes identification of gaps in the field of video evidence and partners and/or networks to engage with.
- Participant in Outreach and Communications. Attend, present and represent WITNESS’ VaE Program at relevant gatherings where issues related to the capture, management, preservation, curation and use of video evidence and open-source investigations are being discussed. Support the Senior Attorney and Associate Director to prepare fro systems-levels meetings (e.g. ICC, OHCHR, COIs, etc.). Contribute to WITNESS’s public platforms with respect to video as evidence developments, activities, updates, relevant news and information.
- Planning, Reporting & Administration. As needed, support the Senior Attorney and Associate Director with necessary administrative functions including work planning, budgeting, financial reporting, monitoring and evaluation and fundraising with respect to VaE activities. *NOTE: WITNESS does not have a large dedicated admin team and the expectation is that team-members will contribute to administrative work around activities.
- Additional responsibilities as needed.
- Work Experience: A minimum of 3-5 years’ experience working in human rights law and video context including working collaboratively with human rights and community-based organizations.
- Education: Have or be working towards a J.D., the international equivalent or LLM.
- Human Rights and Advocacy: Foundational knowledge of international human rights law, international criminal law, environmental human rights law, rules of evidence, open-source investigations and/or human rights standards and principles.
- Training: Experience training in a variety of teaching contexts.
- Video: Hands-on experience with video and/or open-source information being used in advocacy and evidentiary contexts.
- Communications: Ability to communicate clearly and effectively, in both written and verbal form at a variety of levels (communities, NGOs, legal professionals, judges, donors, UN-level leaders, government, media, youth), as well as experience in cross-cultural communication.
- Travel & Flexibility: This job requires working with people in different time zones and may require an occasional early morning or later evening call along with the ability to travel up to 50% of the time.
- Language: Fluency in written and spoken English and the ability to work regularly, with translation, in Spanish, French, Arabic and Portuguese.
- Work Style: Demonstrates the ability to effectively work as part of a team; strong administrative, organizational, and logistical skills, including an ability to manage multiple priorities and keep track of details; superb attention to detail; and ability to problem solve.
- Strategic Thinking: Demonstrated excellent strategic, analytical and advocacy skills; understanding of collaborative advocacy and video evidence; commitment to WITNESS’ values and human rights issues, and interest in social change.
- Systems: Strong computer skills, including Microsoft Office (Excel, Word, and PowerPoint), financial software (Concur), digital security programs and apps, shared platforms (Google Docs and Dropbox) and legal research platforms.
- Additional Degrees: Bachelor’s/Master’s Degree related to video / social media, Bachelor’s/Master’s Degree related to investigations/digital-forensic investigations.
- Additional Languages: Fluency – written and spoken – in one or more of the following languages: Spanish, French, Arabic and/or Portuguese.
- International Experience: Well-traveled in general; specific experience working and living internationally preferably with an NGO or IGO; familiarity with international and regional networks.
- Online Platforms: Understanding of and experience with online and social media platforms including familiarity with analyzing online metrics.
- Video Equipment/ Editing: Understanding of the current state of video hardware and software (e.g. mobile phones, drones, tablets, power banks, hard drives, laptops, etc. and the accompanying software and apps. Experience using editing software such as Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premier).
- Senior Attorney and Associate Director, Video as Evidence
- Associate Director for Learning and Engagement
- Regional Consultants
How to Apply
To apply, send your cover letter with salary requirements, resume, and contact information for 3 references to jobs[@]witness.org with the subject line “Associate Legal Advisor” [Your name]”.
Please include a cover letter. We are really interested in hearing about what you’ve done, what you can do, and what you want to do at WITNESS.
Reports to: Senior Attorney & Associate Director, Video as Evidence
Start Date: Immediate
Location: Preference for Candidate to be New York or the Netherlands; however, applicants located in other regions where WITNESS works will be considered.
Compensation: WITNESS offers a competitive salary, comprehensive benefits, and ample PTO programs.
Application Deadline: Applications accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled; early applications encouraged. Please note that due to the volume anticipated, we will not be able to respond individually to each applicant. We kindly ask that you do not send duplicate applications via mail or email, and no phone calls. Thank you.
WITNESS is an equal opportunity employer. People of all ages, races, ethnicities, national origins, religions, genders, gender identities and expressions, sexual orientations, and individuals protected by any other statuses under federal, state or local laws, including but not limited to, disability, marital, domestic partnership, familial, caregiver, transgender, military or veteran statuses, are encouraged to apply.
All US-based employees must show proper authorization to work in the country and remote candidates will need to provide Visa or Work permits for the country in which they are based.