Request for Proposals Strategic Litigation as a Response to COVID-19 State of Emergency Measures

  • Posted on 4 December 2020
  • United States
  • Remote position
  • Closing on 14 December 2020

Job Description

In response to COVID-19, democratic and non-democratic countries have imposed the state of emergency in de facto and declared forms. By invoking the state of emergency, states have enacted legislative and administrative measures that restrict the enjoyment of human rights. Although the state of emergency is temporary by its mere nature and enables countries to respond to unexpected situations, states have shown a tendency to continue operating under states of emergency’s restrictive measures in the past. In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, countries used the war on terror as a convenient justification to curtail civil and political rights and freedoms. These exceptional powers have mushroomed, and subsequently led, compounded with other drivers, to closing civic space for civil society actors around the world.

In response to increasing concerns regarding the impact of COVID-19 state of emergency measures on human rights defenders, the American Bar Association Center for Human Rights (Center) will publish a report on COVID-19 state of emergency restrictive measures and their impact on the work of human rights defenders (including but not limited to activists, journalists, lawyers, judges, pro-democracy advocates, and union leaders), and the protection of civic space. The report will be consisted of five chapters, addressing the impact and exploring effective responses, including strategic litigation, to these restrictive measures.

The Center is seeking a contractor to draft a chapter in the aforementioned report, documenting responses adopted by human rights defenders, increasing their resilience and continue fulfilling their legitimate work. The chapter will adopt a comparative analysis examining these responses in various regions of the world, determining contextual factors for successes and challenges. Building a typology of the de facto and declared emergency measures authorized by national and local authorities, the chapter will examine approaches used at local and national levels.

The contractor will preferably hold a legal education (J.D., LLM, or Master’s in International Law), have a proven record of analytical research, and be proficient in English. The consultancy is expected to start in January 2021 and end in March 2021. The level of effort is estimated at 15 working days. Interested candidates are asked to submit a proposal detailing methodology, cost analysis, and resume to lana.baydas@americanbar.org by Monday, December 14 at 5:00pm EST. Please copy sonali.dhawan@americanbar.org.

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