15 October 2014, Wednesday
Russian Justice Initiative/Legal Assistance Organization “Astreya” Seeks Staff Lawyer in Moscow

Russian Justice Initiative (RJI) and Legal Assistance Organization “Astreya” conduct strategic litigation before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on behalf of victims of grave human rights abuses stemming from the second Chechen conflict and from post-conflict transition in the North Caucasus: disappearances, extra-judicial killings, torture and unfair trials. By mid-2014 the organization had won over 150 cases at the ECtHR concerning violations in Chechnya and Ingushetia, and was representing over 2000 clients in more than 250 cases pending before the ECtHR from Chechnya, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, Dagestan, as well as over 35 cases pending from Georgia and South Ossetia. RJI also conducts litigation and advocacy activities in connection with Russia’s implementation of judgments from the North Caucasus.

Job description: The staff lawyer is based in Moscow and works under the supervision of the Legal Director and the Implementation Director, as needed. The Legal Director supervises the work of the staff lawyer concerning cases on the domestic level and before the ECtHR. The Implementation Director supervises the staff lawyer’s work on cases on the post-judgment level. The lawyer will work with staff members located in Moscow and in the North Caucasus and should be willing to travel to the North Caucasus several times a year if necessary.

The ideal candidate shall have at least three years of professional experience in the human rights field, preferably in the area of legal protection; be committed to justice and respect for human rights; possess a high level of ethical awareness; be creative and able to work both independently and as a part of a team; a quick learner with a nuanced understanding of the human rights situation in the North Caucasus; capable of suggesting and implementing innovative approaches to providing legal redress to victims of human rights violations in the North and South Caucasus.

Start-date for the position is 30 November 2014 or sooner.

The responsibilities of the lawyer include but are not limited to:

  • Drafting applications to ECHR and preparing submissions at the advanced stages of the procedure before the ECHR in cases from the North and South Caucasus;

  • Preparing submissions to domestic legal bodies where applicable, including the drafting of motions and complaints to the domestic authorities in selected cases post-judgment;

  • Examining case files in detail and preparing motions based on case materials, mainly concerning implementation of ECtHR judgments;

  • Assisting with drafting reports on implementation of ECtHR judgments to the Committee of Ministers;

  • Meeting with and briefing clients and potential clients;

  • Liasing with independent lawyers or local NGO partners in the North Caucasus;

  • Assisting in conducting legal research on various topics of international and/or domestic human rights law;

  • As needed, representing clients of the organization in domestic courts.


  • Fluency in Russian and English at professional working levels;

  • Background in international human rights law, in particular, in the ECHR system;

  • Solid knowledge of Russian law (in particular criminal law and criminal procedure);

  • Strong legal writing and research skills;

  • Computer literacy;

  • Good interpersonal skills.

Desirable skills:

  • Admission to the Russian bar is desirable;

  • Experience litigating civil and/or criminal cases in Russia;

  • Knowledge of the post-2008 conflict human rights situation in Georgia and South Ossetia;

  • Interest in and knowledge of the field of legal protection of women’s rights;

  • Experience conducting educational trainings or seminars on legal topics.

How to apply:

Application deadline: 15 November 2014

Interested applicants should submit an application package to srji.org@gmail.com consisting of:

  • a motivation letter (in English);

  • a resume (in English);

  • two short unedited writing samples, preferably on legal topics (one in English and one in Russian);

  • contact details for two references. 

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