Blog Sign In | Register


Defending Human Rights Defenders


Job Title: Senior Programmes Officer – Legal

Department: Programmes                                              

Reports To: Head Programmes

Organisational Background:

The Human Rights Centre Uganda (HRCU) is a non-profit, non-partisan and non-governmental organisation that was established in November 2008 with the main aim of contributing to the protection and promotion of the rights of human rights defenders in Uganda. It works towards improving the environment in which human rights defenders operate in Uganda. HRCU carries out its mandate throughout Uganda through regional networks and coalitions. From the time of its formation, the Centre has had steady growth and registered success at different levels.

 Broad Function:

The officer will be responsible for the spearheading the legal aid function of HRCU. HRCU is a registered Legal Aid service Provider by the Uganda Law Council and as such is mandated to provide legal aid, referrals and representation of HRCU clients.

He/she will provide additional support when requested by the Executive Director who is the solely authorised person to speak on behalf of HRCU.

 Specific Duties and Responsibilities:

1.       Legal Research and Analysis

a.       Conducts extensive legal research and analysis and prepares studies, comparative studies, briefs, reports and correspondence.

b.      Undertakes basic or extensive review of legal documents, instruments, or other material; identifies important issues, similarities, and inconsistencies, etc.

c.       Prepares background papers, studies, reports, legislative texts and commentaries on those texts.

d.      Provides advice on different legal issues and drafts legal opinions, briefs, memoranda and other legal documents.

e.      Prepares or assists in the preparation of agreements and contracts with CSOs and other public or private entities.

f.        Reviews, advises on and drafts legal motions/submissions.

g.       Participates in investigations, truth visits, rapid response, and assesses evidence for relevance and admissibility.

h.      Prepares and assesses briefs of evidence.

i.         Provides legal advice on human resources matters; reviews administrative matters.

j.        Provides legal aid, referrals and representation to HRCU clients.

 2.       General duties

a.       Organise and facilitate at regional dialogues, community dialogues, workshops and capacity building workshops on highlighted HR issues;

b.      Organise and participate in media campaigns that include but are not limited to radio talk shows and television debates;

c.       Create and maintain partnerships with key stakeholders;

d.      Contribute to the development of fundraising proposals and maintain strong working relationships with donors if required

e.      Represent HRCU at different for a as may be assigned from time to time.

 3.       Other duties

a.       Undertake other duties as reasonably assigned by the Head of Programmes or Executive Director from time to time.

 Skills and Competencies

a.       Bachelors’ degree in law or equivalent;

b.      Possession of a Masters’ degree will be an added advantage

c.       Possession of a post graduate diploma in Legal Practice and general experience in legal practice

d.      Must be an advocate of the High Court, Possession of a practicing certificate is an added advantage

e.      Knowledge of, and ability to apply, legal principles, concepts and procedures and terminology for review, examination, and processing of a range of legal documents.

f.        Knowledge of various legal research sources, including electronic, and ability to conduct research and analyze information on a wide range of legal issues.

g.       Knowledge of the Laws and Acts of Uganda especially those pertaining to the operating environment of civil society organisations.

h.      Ability to interpret and apply legislative instruments, develop and present results, recommendations, and opinions clearly and concisely.

i.         Ability to draft legal papers and work under pressure.

j.        Ability to apply good legal judgment in the context of assignments given.

k.       Fluent written and spoken English;

·         Excellent communication and follow up skills including the ability to develop and present effective presentations to partners and other key stakeholders.

·         Excellent writing, copy editing, and proofreading skills.

l.         Excellent computer literacy (primarily in Microsoft Office packages) and ability to apply in assignments;

m.    Excellent interpersonal and team working skills; and ability to work independently with minimal supervision;

n.      Excellent time and project management skills with proven ability to  work under pressure and meet deadlines;

o.      Strong problem-solving skills, capacity to analyze information and recommend necessary recourse for maximizing project progress and impact;

p.      Ability to cope with high levels of responsibility and with confidential matters and a high degree of professional ethics and integrity.

Your can send your cover letter, CV and support documents to

   Print Friendly and PDF


  • By: Yassin
    The Role of YOUTH Humans Right Defenders: The role of YOUTH Human Rights defenders is appreciated and they should also endeavor to partner with other relevant stakeholders so as to ensure that development is obtained within a human rights framework. SPEAK WHEN YOU SEE INJUSTICE SPEAK WHEN YOU SEE INEQUALITY SPEAK WHEN YOU SEE DEMOCRACY BEING ABUSED SPEAK WHEN YOU SEE POLICE BEATING UNEMPLOYED YOUTHS JUST BECAUSE THEY AS WHY..............

  • By: Yassin
    Youth Engagement in Anti Corruption : In order for the youth to become and remain engaged in anti-corruption initiatives, they need to feel included as stakeholders in any policy development and implementation of anti-corruption strategies, and perceive the ownership of the actions they are involved in. The more the youth takes the lead, the more the policies have the chance to succeed. Youth initiatives become even more structural when integrated in larger campaigns on anti-corruption.

  • By: sckawooya
    Parliament’s role in promoting Constitutionalism: Constitutionalism is the idea that a government can and should be limited in its powers by a fundamental law or set of laws, beyond the reach of an individual government to amend them; whose authority depends on its observing of these limitations. The Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, 1995 as amended provides for a system of checks and balances amongst the 3 arms of government: Executive, Legislature and Judiciary. These three arms of government are each charged with specific duties. The Executive is charged with the duty to implement and maintain the Constitution and laws made under the Constitution; the Legislature is charged with the duty of formulating laws for the Country, which should be in conformity with the Constitution. Parliament is also charged with the duty to protect the Constitution and promote the democratic governance of Uganda; the Judiciary is the justice dispensing arm of government. Parliament is the legislative, elected body of government tasked with passing laws of Uganda that provide for good governance and playing the oversight role of the other arms of government. Parliament is thus the representation of the people. Parliament is principally charged with 2 roles in promoting constitutionalism. These have been enshrined in the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda; protecting the Constitution and holding the Executive accountable. Protecting the Constitution In order to appreciate this duty imposed on Parliament, Uganda’s history with regard to the constitutions had and the making of the 1995 Constitution should be noted. Benjamin J. Odoki, in his essay, “The Challenges of Constitution-making and Implementation in Uganda” he noted that the making of a new constitution in Uganda demonstrated the desire of the people to fundamentally change their system of governance into a truly democratic one. Further that the process was thus a major step towards the democratization of the country which had experienced nearly thirty years of oppression, tyranny and exploitation. The history of Uganda’s constitutionalism road is that up until 1995, Uganda had had 3 constitutions namely: 1962, 1966 and 1967 Constitutions. It should be noted that in making of these constitutions, massive consultations of the citizens was not done by the responsible authorities. They had simply been enacted, and handed down to be implemented. It could thus be argued that the views of the people had not been reflected in the Constitutions. Thus, in 1988, the Uganda Constitution Commission was established and it spearheaded the task of making the Constitution that was promulgated in 1995 by the Constituent assembly. The making of the Constitution was distinctly characterized by popular participation by the people which was achieved through wide consultation and national public debate. The Constitution under Article 79 lays down the functions of Parliament which are to make laws and protect the constitution and promote democratic governance of Uganda. The duty of protecting the constitution would among others include preserving the spirit of the constitution that way it is not amended or altered veering off the purpose of the people. Since 1995, the constitution has been amended a number of times; including September and December 2005. The amendments have among others been for the creation of new districts, new offices, creation of special courts to handle offences relating to corruption, remove the limits on the tenure of office of the President. The role of parliament in protecting the constitution must be to vote either for or against an amendment of the constitution whilst being mindful of the Uganda’s history. Parliament should also be mindful of the fact that the constitution that was promulgated in 1995 was one that reflected the views of the people who had lived through the oppression and tyranny that characterizes our past as a nation. Parliament is further urged to not only look at the present and past but also the future. Ideally, the test should be that if an amendment years down the road can easily lead to oppression or tyranny stands to be exploited to the detriment of Uganda and her citizens, that amendment should not be allowed. As earlier noted, Constitutionalism is about ensuring that governance is done in accordance with the law and not the whim of the government of the day. Similarly, the constitution should not be easily and frequently amended to suit the needs of the government of the day. And this is what in principle the duty of protecting the constitution is all about. Holding the Executive accountable As noted earlier, each arm of government has certain controls over the other 2 arms. For Parliament, it principally has the duty of holding the Executive or the state accountable for all decisions that it makes as well as its actions. This is provided for under the national objective I which makes it clear that the President has to report to Parliament and the nation all steps taken to ensure the realization of the national objectives and directive principles of state policy. The goal of holding the Executive accountable is such that there is difficulty in the State abusing the power that it is given by law. Parliament, in fulfilling this duty has held weekly plenary sessions in which the Prime Minister is tasked to explain state actions of lack thereof on issues, and through the parliamentary committee sessions, has held the state accountable. The expectation for the 10th Parliament is that it does not take the trend of the 9th Parliament, which during its first year was seen to be assertive and its actions promoting constitutionalism and over the course of time became less active with the fire unfortunately dying out. Members of Parliament should at all times be mindful of Parliament’s role in promoting constitutionalism and in all decisions have them at the forefront as they are the key in protecting Uganda from ever experiencing the past that we have worked so hard to distance ourselves from.

  • By: mutawai
    Right to be employed: Dr Stella Nyanzi OF MISR undressed after she was locked out of her office. As human rights defenders how do we take this issue on and advise? We need to take on peace and conflict resolution as a focus area because not all situations require extreme measures.

  • By: kjose
    HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS SUBMIT JOINT REPORTS TO THE 26TH SESSION OF UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW WORKING: The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique mechanism of the Human Rights Council (HRC) aimed at improving the human rights situation on the ground of each of the 193 United Nations (UN) Member States. Under this mechanism, the human rights situation of all UN Member States is reviewed every 4.5 years. 42 States are reviewed each year during three Working Group sessions dedicated to 14 States each. These three sessions are usually held in January/February, May/June and October/November. The result of each review is reflected in an “outcome report” listing the recommendations the State under review (SuR) will have to implement before the next review. The UPR is a full-circle process comprised of 3 key stages: 1) Review of the human rights situation of the SuR; 2) Implementation between two reviews (4.5 years) by the SuR of the recommendations received and the voluntary pledges made; 3) Reporting at the next review on the implementation of those recommendations and pledges and on the human rights situation in the country since the previous review. The process provides for the participation of all relevant stakeholders, including non-governmental organisations and national human rights institutions (NHRIs). Civil society actors and NHRIs can submit information which can be added to the “other stakeholders” report to be considered during the review. For the 26th Session of the UPR Working Group, Civil society actors submitted joint reports for the UPRs of Uganda.

  • By: hrcug
    The Anna Lindh lecture 2014: Ms Margaret Sekaggya guest speaker at the Anna Lindh lecture 2014 organized by @lunduniversity and @RWallenbergInst

Follow Us:
facebook google+ YouTube twitter linkedln