Terms of reference:Access to Justice Volunteer- Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association


Deadline: 1 March 2021

  1. Background

The Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) is a premier public interest environmental law organisation which seeks to promote environmental justice, sustainable and equitable use of natural resources, democracy and good governance in the natural resources and environment sector. ZELA’s work is mainly anchored on a core group of rights which are reflective of natural resources governance namely, Environmental, Economic, Social and Cultural (EESC) rights. As such a large component of the organisation’s work involves influencing implementation and reforms within legal and institutional frameworks governing the environment and natural resources sector through research, civic education, and advocacy.

Several obstacles inhibit access to justice for mineral host communities. These include proximity to courts, limited capacity to understand specialist legal language and more recently the limitations that have arisen because of the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions that have been set up to curb the spread of the virus. ZELA believes in access to justice as one of the critical steps to achieve good governance of natural resources and the environment. It is against this backdrop that ZELA is looking for a volunteer to assist in implementing its access to justice programme to assist vulnerable groups with legal advice and associated legal assistance.

  • Objectives

The purpose of the terms of reference is to recruit a legal volunteer to assist in the ZELA access to justice programme.

  • Specific Terms of Reference
  • To assist in responding to the ZELA toll-free line and offer legal advice and/ or assistance on environmental and human rights issues from mining affected communities.
  • To gather information on environmental and human rights issues from the ZELA chatbot- envirobot to craft appropriate response mechanisms.
  • To work in collaboration with the legal officer in planning response strategies to improve access to justice for mining affected communities.
  • Key deliverables

The volunteer will work closely with the ZELA legal officer and be expected to deliver the following deliverables:

  • Assess and review environmental and human rights cases received through the ZELA toll- free line to give adequate legal assistance;
  • Report regularly to the legal officer on the issues arising from the ZELA toll- free line and chatbot;
  • Keep the legal officer and any other relevant offices of the status of the cases received through the toll- free line and chatbot;
  • Maintain accurate statistics of environmental and/ or human rights cases received by recording numbers of cases received and location of complainants;
  • Assist in screening of cases received on the ZELA toll- free line and chatbot;
  • Assist and follow up on individual legal cases;
  • Assist in legal research of identified legal cases;
  • Perform other duties as required.
  • Applicant requirements/ Relevant qualifications
  • Current law student
  • Aged between 20-23 years
  • Able to report to ZELA offices in Harare
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Knowledge about environmental law and/ or human rights law
  • To apply

Persons with the above requirements and qualifications are encouraged to submit a cover letter and Curriculum Vitae, with names of two referees and their contact details (email and phone) of not more than 5 pages. Applications which do not contain all the above documents will be regarded as incomplete and will not be considered. Applications must be addressed to procurementzw@gmail.com by the 1st of March 2021. The title of the volunteer position should be clearly stated in the email subject and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

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