We're hiring! Come join our team in Malawi. IRLI is seeking an Alternative Justice Programme Officer.  The deadline for submission of applications is Wednesday 10th November.

IRLI Alternative Justice Programme Officer
Job Description


Irish Rule of Law International (IRLI) is a project-orientated, non-profit rule of law organisation established by the Law Society of Ireland and The Bar of Ireland. Originally founded in 2007, the Law Society of Northern Ireland and the Bar of Northern Ireland joined in 2015. The organisation has collaborated with academics, judges, legal practitioners, policymakers, and civil society around the world to advance collective knowledge of the relationship between rule of law, democracy, sustained economic development and human rights. We believe that members of the legal profession have a significant role to play in enhancing the rule of law and shaping the progress of developing societies.

Programme Title IRLI Malawi ‘Access to Justice’ Programme

IRLI Position Title IRLI Alternative Justice Programme Officer

Duration 11 months (with opportunity to extend)

Location, Country Lilongwe, Malawi

Start date: January 2021

Programme Description

 Since August 2011, IRLI has been working in Malawi to address capacity challenges within the criminal justice sector, with the overall aim of promoting the rule of law and improving access to justice for unrepresented and particularly vulnerable persons. One of the main barriers to access to justice in Malawi is that key institutions operating within the criminal justice sector lack the knowledge, capacity and resources to fulfil their roles and responsibilities in relation to accused persons.

IRLI’s work in Malawi targets the relationship between access to justice mechanisms for vulnerable people and a quality legal/judicial response based on the rule of law. Working to improve access to justice, using a human rights-based approach, is essential for bringing about positive social change for those persons who are amongst the most vulnerable and marginalised in society.

Programme Objectives

The overall aim of the programme is to see improved access to justice for unrepresented vulnerable persons in the criminal justice system in the Central Region of Malawi.

There are two specific objectives:

  • to increase the institutional capacity to provide sufficient services to people in conflict with the law according to principle of due process and human rights
  • to ensure the enjoyment of due process rights including legal representation and restorative justice to persons held in police custody and detainees in the Central Region of Malawi

Organisational Context

IRLI’s office is based in Lilongwe Area #3, however the AJPO will be often required to work independently, or work from home, while attending weekly team meetings at the IRLI office as well as other programme related meetings as required and requested by the Country Programme Manager.

The Alternative Justice Programme Officer (AJPO) will have responsibility for the organisation and implementation of activities and achievement of results according to IRLI’s Results Framework and Programme Execution Plan and will report directly to the Country Programme Manager, who has responsibility for overall management and oversight of the project including the team on the ground. In particular, the AJPO will oversee the implementation of the “Mwai Wosinthika” (Chance for Change) Child Diversion Programme. This is a 12-week diversion programme for children who have come into conflict with the law. The AJPO will work with the Malawi Police Service to identify children who are eligible for the programme. The AJPO will work with trained social workers from the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and social welfare who facilitate the programme. The AJPO will also work to develop an adult diversion programme.

Role and responsibilities

Under the direct supervision of the Country Programme Manager, the AJPO will have the following tasks and responsibilities:

Under the direct supervision of the Programme Manager, the Alternative Justice Programme Officer will undertake the following tasks:

  • Organise and implement IRLI’s Mwai Wosinthika child diversion programme;
  • Develop an adult diversion programme;
  • Monitor the diversion programmes using the Log Frame and M&E tools;
  • Liaise with civil society organisations (CSOs) and other NGOs to build relationships and expand child diversion and adult diversion onward referral pathways.
  • Work with the Paralegal Advisory Service Institute to organise community sensitisations in rural districts that aim to inform people of their legal rights;
  • In collaboration with Theatre for A Change Africa (TFAC) and Zodiak Radio, host a year programme on various themes pertaining to access to justice every year. And identify other community radios in the central region to host the radio programme.
  • Identify platforms (community radio, online, mobile etc) to collaborate with in distributing the community sensitisation podcast.
  • With support from the Programme Manager, develop an MOU with the Ministry of Gender and Department of Social Welfare.
  • Support the organisation and implementation of annual International Human Rights Day commemoration events in all prisons of the Central Region;
  • Represent Irish Rule of Law International at meetings of the Malawi Irish Consortium on Gender Based Violence (MICGBV) and support efforts towards 16 days of activism activities.
  • With the support of the Programme Manager, identify opportunities to expand Alternative Justice activities, including by liaising with Programme Lawyers and supporting the expansion of their relevant programme component by designing alternative justice initiatives such as mediation at the community level and community meetings/ focus group discussions.

 Qualifications, skills and personal characteristics

  • Postgraduate degree in social work, development, law, human rights or related area (highly desirable).
  • Experience working with children or diversion in the context of social work, criminal law or human rights (highly desirable)
  • Experience preparing, working with and managing budgets
  • Experience in proposal/report writing
  • Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) experience
  • Experience working in the Global South (desirable)
  • Computer skills (i.e., Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc.)
  • Excellent managerial and organisational skills
  • Excellent diplomacy and negotiation skills
  • Strong ability to motivate others
  • Ability to work independently but also as part of a team
  • Fluency in written and spoken English is essential
  • Fluency in written and spoken English is highly desirable
  • Excellent communication skills, written and oral
  • Ability to adapt quickly to a new cultural environment
  • Exceptional time management and problem-solving skills
  • Team spirit, flexibility, commitment to IRLI’s values and human rights (particularly those of children), initiative and creativity to further develop the activities and IRLI’s programme
  • Full driving license (essential)

Conditions of service

As set out in the employee contract.

How to Apply

Please forward a CV and cover letter to [email protected] by COB Wednesday 10th November. Please ensure you describe how exactly your experience meets the requirements set out above.



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