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Senior Legal Policy Researcher - Human Rights

Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC)
Location: New Caledonia
Last Date: August 31, 2011
Email:  (Reference:



The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) is an international organisation that provides technical and policy advice and assistance, training and research services to its Pacific Island members. SPC works in a wide range of sectors with the aim of achieving three development outcomes – sustainable economic development, sustainable natural resource management and development, and sustainable human and social development.

SPC’s headquarters are in Noumea, New Caledonia. It has regional offices in Suva, Fiji, and Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), and country offices in Honiara, Solomon Islands and Port Vila, Vanuatu. Additional information on SPC, particularly regarding its work in specific sectors, can be found on its website:

In July 2008, SPC added human rights education to its portfolio when the Pacific Regional Rights Resource Team joined the organisation. SPC seeks an experienced and suitably skilled individual to fill the position of Senior Legal Policy Researcher. The position is based in Suva, Fiji.


The Senior Legal Policy Researcher will review the overall technical quality of the Human Rights Programme’s products (policy advice, technical support, training and publications), research and policy development, including legal reviews.

The officer will be responsible to the Human Rights Programme Manager.


1. Technical advice, support and oversight • Oversee the overall technical quality of policy advice and technical support, materials, publications and training in the Human Rights Programme and ensure that the quality of outputs meets international human rights standards and trends.

• Ensure that the programme’s materials are targeted and appropriately pitched using relevant communication styles and language, and that they are based on the latest research.

• Review training materials to ensure that the latest relevant information is used.

• Ensure that the programme’s communications are persuasive.

• In conjunction with consultant experts and the human rights team, draft and review publications, including the Pacific Human Rights Case Law Digest.

2. Research and policy development

• Develop policy papers on key human rights areas including violence against women, HIV, climate change, disability, regional human rights mechanisms, etc.

• In partnership with the trainers, develop materials on human rights issues in the Pacific for publication.

3. Training, capacity building and mentoring • Support the work of the trainers to ensure compliance to international human rights standards and trends.

• Provide capacity building to partners in government, non-governmental organisations, regional partners and trainers by mentoring and training.

4. Strategic planning and policy

• Support the Programme Manager and team in designing human rights strategic and annual plans.

• Devise national, regional and international strategies for meeting objectives of human rights goals and the programme’s work plan and strategic plan.

• Provide technical advice on proposals and documentation.

• Lead the formulation of human rights policy for the organisation.

• Contribute to annual planning and frameworks.

5. Representation, partnership and profiling (public relations) • Support the Programme Manager in building and maintaining relationships with donors and development partners, including regional and international human rights bodies.

• Monitor and ensure that the Human Rights Programme’s work continues to be seen positively nationally, regionally and internationally by representing SPC at relevant fora and meetings.

• Contribute to regional and global human rights policy by participating in meetings and joining relevant organisations.



➢ An advanced degree in social sciences or a degree in law with social science experience.

➢ At least 8–10 years experience in a field related to human rights, gender and the law.

➢ Solid experience of research and policy development in a related field.

➢ Technical knowledge of at least three of the following fields: human rights, gender, governance, democracy, civic education, leadership, rule of law.

➢ Good leadership skills.

➢ Excellent research skills.

➢ Highly competent communicator; ability to advocate on often unpopular issues and to use research effectively for that purpose.

➢ Excellent computer skills.

➢ In-depth understanding of legal and human rights issues and experience in providing policy advice for human rights compliance to governments and civil society.

➢ Thorough knowledge of state and non-state human rights actors and organisations in the Pacific.

➢ Effective communication, negotiation, facilitation and analytical skills.

➢ Ability to work as part of, provide support to and at times assume technical leadership of a team of lawyers and human rights / community development specialists.


➢ Post-graduate degree in international law and / or human rights.

➢ Experience with constitutional and family law.

➢ A certificate or skills in non-formal training.

➢ Experience with the policy frameworks for human rights commissions, as well as experience with advocacy for and establishment of such commissions.

➢ Experience providing legislative drafting instructions for human rights compliant legislation.

➢ Strong links to international human rights networks and organisations.

➢ (highly desirable) Thorough working knowledge of the Pacific Islands and an understanding of the diverse and complex development challenges in addressing poverty, gender, law and access to justice faced by women, youth, minorities and other disadvantaged groups in the Pacific.

➢ Knowledge of Pacific Island cultures and ability to speak one or more Pacific Island languages.



The position is in band 10 of SPC’s salary scale.

Salaries for staff recruited internationally are set in SDR (Special Drawing Rights) and paid in the local currency (i.e. the Fiji Dollar, FJD, in Fiji). As per SPC’s 2011 salary scale, the salary range for this band is SDR 2,133–3,200 per month. At prevailing exchange rates, these amounts convert to approximately FJD 6,200–9,400 per month (USD 3,400–5,100; € 2,400–3,600).

An offer of appointment for an initial contract will made in the lower half of this range, with due consideration being given to experience and qualifications.

The organisation subsidises housing. A housing allowance of 75 per cent of the total rental, up to a limit of FJD 2625 per month, will be provided. The minimum housing allowance payable is FJD 1170 per month.

In addition, an establishment grant will be payable to non-residents of Fiji. Where appropriate, other allowances, such as an education allowance, may be payable.

While SPC remuneration is not subject to income tax in Fiji at the present time, this status is currently under review by the Government of Fiji. Any change in this status will apply to Fiji nationals.


The appointee will be eligible for membership in SPC’s Staff Provident Fund. Staff members contribute eight per cent of their base salary, to which SPC adds a matching contribution.


The appointment is for a period of one year, with the possibility of renewal for a further period depending on performance and continued funding availability.


Suva, Fiji.


Annual leave will accrue at the rate of 25 working days per annum. For expatriate staff members, home leave fares are payable after 18 months of service.

Sick leave is 30 working days per annum.


SPC’s Staff Medical Insurance reimburses doctor fees, cost of prescribed medicines, surgical and hospital costs, etc. up to certain percentages and limits. Supplementary medical insurance is available to increase these percentage reimbursements and limits.


For an appointee recruited outside of Fiji, the cost of air fares by the most direct and/or economic route for the appointee and recognised dependants, and reasonable removal expenses by sea of personal and household effects, will be met by SPC on appointment and termination.


SPC has a standardised computing environment based on Microsoft Office running under Microsoft Windows.


Smoking is not permitted in the work place.


SPC is an equal-opportunity employer. Recruitment is based entirely on merit, but in cases where two short-listed candidates are ranked equal by the selection committee, preference will be given to Pacific Island nationals.


The closing date for applications is 31 August 2011.

Applicants are asked to use SPC’s online recruitment system by following the link

Applicants who cannot access the online recruitment system may send their documents to: Director-General, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, P.O. Box D5, 98848 NOUMEA CEDEX, New Caledonia, or submit them by fax (+687 26 38 18) or email (, preferably as an electronic attachment in Microsoft Word format).

Applicants should provide their curriculum vitae and specifically address how their qualifications, knowledge and experience demonstrate their ability to successfully undertake the duties and responsibilities of the position in their cover letter. They should also provide names and contact details of three referees.


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