Local Consultant for the Development of a Legal Aid Hub and Revision of Strategy of the Association of Journalists
- Requisition ID: MED00000H
- Contract Type: Special Service Agreement (SSA) / Consultant
- Grade: No grade
- Location: OSCE Mission in Kosovo, Prishtine / Pristina
- Posting Date: Sep 16, 2021
- External Closing Date: Sep 22, 2021
- Target Start Date: Oct 1, 2021
- Job Type: Consultant
- Education Level: Bachelor's Degree (First-level university degree or equivalent)
The state of media in Kosovo continues to suffer from problems similar to the past years, including the issues with operational ineffectiveness of media institutions, safety of journalists, and maintaining high reporting and journalism standards. While freedom of media and expression are largely safeguarded by law, the implementation of the respective laws and regulations remains inadequate. Associations of journalists are finding it difficult to have a meaningful voice to protect their members and the triad of law enforcement, judiciary, and the prosecution are not coordinating effectively enough to process crimes against journalists.
The European Commission’s Report on Kosovo has identified the safety of journalists as a critical shortcoming that Kosovo ought to address urgently. According to the Association of Journalists in Kosovo (AJK), there were 13 cases of verbal attacks and three physical attacks against journalists in 2019 (similar level as 2018). From January to December 2020, the OSCE Mission in Kosovo has recorded 30 cases of threats against journalists. In at least two instances, high-level politicians were involved. While the overall number of threats and attacks increases in 2020, according to the AJK, there has been also an increase in derogatory statements and smears made by politicians and aimed at the media, publicly undermining trust in journalistic reporting and the safety of journalists. Adjudication of cases remains slow. Other than condemnation by the international community, few politicians and including also the Prime Minister, and associations of journalists, very few concrete action are being taken to change the current environment where such crimes are tolerated. Moreover, such cases are rarely thoroughly investigated and brought to justice.
On 8 January 2021, the Basic Court in Prishtinë/Priština found one perpetrator guilty for the criminal offense of physical attack in December 2020, against a journalist and an editor of a news portal, sentencing him with a fine in the amount of 4,500.00 euros, as well as three more cases were prosecuted and perpetrators have been charged for threats, intimidation, blackmailing, physical attack and hacking of media website that occurred in 2019 and 2020
Objective of Assignment:
MS seeks to engage a local consultant to provide legal aid to the AJK and its members. The consultant will assist the AJK in revising and reforming its Statute and Rules and Procedure, following the amendment of the law on Freedom of Association in Non-Governmental Organizations
Duration of Assignment:
The consultant will be engaged for a total of 60 days.
Tasks and Responsibilities:
Under the direct supervision and guidance of the Project Manager and Activity Manager, the local consultant will:
- Represent and offer legal protection to the AJK and its members at all stages – involving the police, prosecution and courts;
- Provide legal advice to the AJK regarding the applicable legal framework of Kosovo, as well as media legislation;
- Collect information regarding the backlog of unresolved cases of crimes against journalists and create a database for the needs of AJK;
- Collect information and compile a database of resolved cases involving journalists for the past five years;
- Advise the AJK on mechanisms to accelerate resolution of cases of crimes against journalists;
- Revise the Statute and Rules of Procedure of the AJK;
- Prepare and keep a record of active lawsuits, responses to lawsuits, complaints, requests and objections for the AJK and its members;
- Take all necessary civil and criminal actions to compensate for possible damage caused to AJK and its members;
- Negotiate and draft contractual agreements for and on behalf of the AJK.
- Handover to the AJK and/or its members the complete file of legal protection and legal advice provided during the assigned period.
After receiving information from Media Section project manager on planned tasks assigned, the local consultant will:
- Submit the first draft of the revised AJK Statute and Rules and Procedure to the Mission by 15 October 2021;
- Address comments and submit the second draft of the AJK Statute and Rules of Procedure to the Mission by 30 October 2021;
- Revise and submit the final versions of the AJK Statute and Rules of Procedure, latest by 15 November 2021;
- Submit a monthly report that enlists:
- Summary of legal advice and represented cases;
- Summary of legal advice related to the applicable media legal framework and safety of journalists, including additional initiatives in this field;
- Summary of unresolved cases of crimes against journalists;
- Update on the status of unresolved cases;
- List of cases negotiated and contracted for the AJK;
- Submit a database of resolved cases to be updated with new information, where available.
- AJK Statute and Rules of Procedure incorporating comments received from the Mission delivered on time in an appropriate format and quality as requested by the activity manager;
- Database of resolved cases to be updated with new information, where available;
- Summary of unresolved cases and an update on their status to be maintained throughout the consultancy;
- A report of the active lawsuits, responses to lawsuits, complaints, requests and objections for the AJK and its members;
- Consultancy implemented as planned.
- University degree in law
- Licensed as a Lawyer by the Kosovo Bar Association
- Knowledge of media legislation applicable in Kosovo
- Minimum 5 year of professional experience as a lawyer
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
- Professional knowledge of media landscape in Kosovo
- Professional knowledge of English and Serbian language
- Professional writing skills
- Computer literacy.
Remuneration will depend on the qualifications and experience of individual experts as well as the detailed work plan to be agreed upon and will be based on the current OSCE consultancy rates.
In order to apply for this position you must complete the OSCE's online application form, found under https://jobs.osce.org/vacancies. Applicants are encouraged to use the online recruitment and only fully completed OSCE applications will be accepted. However, if you have technical difficulties with the system you may use the offline application form found under https://jobs.osce.org/resources/document/offline-application-form and forward the
completed form quoting the vacancy number by e-mail to: email@example.com. In line with your qualifications please indicate preference to one or more field of expertise listed above (while using the online application the field of expertise preference can be indicated in the cover letter part). Kindly note that applications received after the deadline, submitted in different formats than the OSCE Application Form or in other languages than the English language would not be considered. The OSCE is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious, ethnic and social backgrounds to apply