Location: Greece (based in/travel to Lesvos and Samos) Legal law lawyer.
There are currently almost 40,000 asylum seekers on the Greek Aegean islands, the vast majority of whom have fled Syria, Afghanistan or Iraq. The asylum process they go through is a complex and ever-changing legal procedure that is difficult to navigate. Despite this, there is no state-provided legal aid available for asylum seekers before their asylum interviews and so the majority of them attend their interview without having spoken to a lawyer. The only way an asylum seeker can receive legal assistance in relation to their asylum interview is through one of the few NGOs on the islands.
Without access to legal assistance, asylum seekers often do not know their rights or understand the process and the criteria applied when their asylum applications are assessed. They are therefore significantly disadvantaged when they attend their asylum interview and often suffer problems and delays in the processing of their asylum applications. This absence of legal information and legal assistance puts human rights at risk and undermines the rule of law.
European Lawyers in Lesvos (“ELIL”) is a charity registered in Germany and Greece. It was founded by the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) and the German Bar Association (DAV) in 2016. These organisations represent the bars and law societies of 45 European member, associate and observer countries, and through them more than 1 million European lawyers. ELIL is now also supported by the Conseil national des barreaux (CNB).
ELIL was inspired by belief in the fundamental importance of upholding the rule of law, protecting human rights and ensuring meaningful access to legal assistance. Our team of Greek asylum lawyers and volunteer European asylum lawyers provide free, independent legal assistance to asylum seekers and, so far, we have provided free legal assistance to over 11,000 people on Lesvos and Samos.
Our main activity is the provision of one-on-one legal consultations to prepare asylum seekers for their asylum interview. We also help reunite families by assisting with family reunification applications under the Dublin Regulation and assist unaccompanied minors (interview preparation, family reunification and age assessment). In addition, we provide regular group legal information sessions and have recently prepared a legal information leaflet in collaboration with Oxfam and the Greek Council for Refugees, which was translated into 10 languages and distributed through 13,000 copies.
After four years of successful work on Lesvos, ELIL has begun a new project on the Greek island of Samos, where there are 5,000 asylum seekers with limited access to legal assistance.
To respond to the unprecedented need for legal assistance on Lesvos and Samos, we are looking to recruit a committed and experienced legal coordinator to join our team.
The start date for this role is November 2020. We offer a competitive salary, details of which are available on request.
The role reports to the Managing Director.
Coordinating teams of Greek lawyers and volunteer European asylum lawyers on Lesvos, on Samos and remotely
Providing guidance and advice to the Greek lawyers and European asylum lawyers on Lesvos, on Samos and remotely
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Managing, overseeing and reporting on all aspects of the organisation’s legal work and cases (primarily first instance interview preparation, family reunification under the Dublin regulation and legal issues relating to unaccompanied minors, including age assessment)
Providing individual legal assistance, counselling, information and, where applicable, representation for asylum seekers, including for unaccompanied minors
Preparing guides, handbooks and training materials related to the applicable legal procedures
Forming part of the organisation’s core management team
Inputting into the organisation’s strategy
Identifying legal issues for the purposes of advocacy and providing expert legal input accordingly
Representing the organisation in legal aid/protection coordination meetings, as required, at both national and local levels
Representing the organisation with regard to relevant authorities/bodies, including the Greek Asylum Service, Dublin Units (in Greece and other countries), Ombudsman and prosecutors
Developing and maintaining good relations with applicants for international protection, relevant stakeholders and other organisations
Skills and experience required:
Law degree and registration with a Greek Bar Association
Detailed knowledge of Greek asylum law and the relevant Greek asylum procedures
Excellent verbal and written English and Greek skills
Excellent drafting, analytical and communication skills
At least four years’ experience of practising asylum law, preferably with experience of working for an international organisation or INGO/NGO
Experience of providing face-to-face legal assistance in a humanitarian/emergency context, preferably including to unaccompanied minors
Experience of managing a team of lawyers
Undergraduate or graduate degree in a relevant field (e.g. international law, human rights, refugee law, international relations) desirable
Knowledge of international refugee law and human rights law
Ability to adapt to a changing legal, humanitarian/emergency-response environment
Ability to work in a fast-paced, multicultural environment and to cope with competing demands under tight deadlines
Excellent interpersonal and teamwork skills and experience of establishing good working relationships with a variety of people of different nationalities
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Capable of being proactive and working independently
Passionate about supporting the rights of refugees and migrants
High professional ethics
How to apply
To apply for this role, please send a CV and cover letter in English by email to the Managing Director, PhilipWorthington(firstname.lastname@example.org).**
Closing date for submission of applications: 13 October 2020.
Applications will be processed as they come and the position maybe filled before the above deadline.Only short listed candidates will be contacted. All applications will be treated with strict confidentiality.