SADC Lawyers' Association
The SADC Lawyers' Association (SADCLA) is calling for expressions of interest from experts in the areas of mediation, elections, electoral dispute resolution and/or electoral law to develop a curriculum and deliver training in the area of electoral mediation in Southern Africa. The training will target 12-20 lawyers from Southern Africa (with the possibility of extending the training to a larger group in future).
This initiative is being undertaken in light of the recent (2015) establishment of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Mediation Reference Group (MRG) by SADC. The SADCLA views the establishment of the MRG as an indication that the SADC leadership views mediation as an important mechanism in dispute resolution in the region. In addition, the SADCLA believes that lawyers have a role to play in conflict resolution in the region by virtue of their training, which provides them with grounding in mediation and other dispute resolution mechanisms. Their efforts in this area should therefore compliment the efforts of SADC and national governments.
However for lawyers to be of assistance in the area of electoral dispute resolution and in particular electoral mediation, the SADCLA seeks to provide a small cohort of lawyers in the region with specific electoral mediation skills that can be tapped into in mediation efforts in the region. Through this initiative, the SADCLA seeks to train an effective cohort of lawyers in electoral mediation and ensure that they are readily available to offer their expertise whenever a need arises and their expertise is required in the region.
The legal profession has been heavily involved in electoral dispute resolution in many countries in the region but with a major focus on litigation as opposed to alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Whilst the utility of litigation in resolving electoral disputes cannot be denied, the SADCLA also views ADR and in particular mediation as an important aspect in ensuring a more inclusive, less expensive and less adversarial process in seeking solutions to electoral disputes.
Objectives of the Initiative
In line with this approach the initiative will seek to:
- Improve the capacity and skills of a small group of lawyers from the SADC region in electoral mediation;
- Increase the lawyers’ understanding of the complex political and electoral challenges in the SADC region in order for them to help in identifying innovative ways of addressing these challenges;
- Improve the lawyers’ capacity to identify other innovative ways of conflict resolution besides litigation; and
- Deploy the trained lawyers’ mediation skills in resolving election related conflicts in the region.
Nature of Assignment
In light of the above, the SADCLA is calling for experts to assist the organisation in the development of an electoral mediation curriculum and in delivering the electoral mediation training to 12-20 lawyers from Southern Africa. The experts will be required to do the following:
- Develop a full curriculum/ training modules in electoral mediation.
[In developing the curriculum, the experts will be required to undertake wide consultations with relevant stakeholders in the SADC region including but not limited to law societies/bar associations, the electoral management bodies in SADC, the SADC MRG and civil society based election support networks among others];
- Deliver electoral mediation training to a small cohort of lawyers (between 12 and 20) in Gaborone, Botswana in mid-2016. [Trainees will be drawn from lawyers in private practice, civil society and in government).
- Three experts will be required to undertake this assignment;
- The experts must have at least a masters’ degree in law, conflict resolution/prevention, mediation, peace and governance or any other related field. A PhD in any of the above fields will be an advantage;
- At least 5-10 years’ experience as a University Lecturer or in providing training to adults;
- A mixture of qualifications and expertise amongst the experts will be an advantage;
- Extensive knowledge of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region’s political, economic, social and electoral-legal landscape;
- Experience in electoral analysis, electoral conflict resolution (mediation/litigation) and election observation in Southern Africa; and
- Knowledge of at least two of the three major Southern African languages (English, French and Portuguese) will be an advantage.
Submission of Expressions of Interest
The submissions must contain the following information:
- A proposal detailing the methodology to be used in developing the curriculum and in delivering the training;
- A Budget [Please note that the maximum amount that can be paid under this assignment is R93 487 (Ninety three thousand four hundred and eighty-seven Rands.];
- Curriculum Vitae with traceable references for all the three experts.
For more about the SADC Lawyers' Association, refer to www.sadcla.org.
To view other opportunities, refer to www.ngopulse.org/group/home-page/other-opportunities.