Thursday, January 27, 2011

Vacancies - Lead Researcher, ADR in Libel

Vacancies - Lead Researcher, ADR in Libel

English PEN & Index on Censorship

Lead Researcher, ADR in Libel
£35,000; 5 days per week;
12-month fixed-term contract 1 April 2011 - 31 March 2012;
Central London

Index on Censorship and English PEN welcome applicants regardless of race or colour, nationality or national or ethnic origin, religion or religious belief, sex or marital status, sexual orientation, disability or age.

In 2009, English PEN and Index on Censorship jointly published Free Speech is Not for Sale, a report on the impact of English libel law on freedom of expression. We highlighted problems with the current law, and offered ten recommendations for reform, including the establishment of an alternative forum for resolving disputes over reputation. With funding from the Nuffield Foundation, we are now launching a 12-month research project into the feasibility of ADR in libel.

To co-ordinate this project, we are seeking an exceptional Lead Researcher with legal qualifications, outstanding communications skills, the ability to work with senior professionals, and experience in policy research and development. Advised by a Committee of experts drawn from the law and academia, the Lead Researcher will consider the potential scope and status of such a forum, assessing a variety of existing models and procedures including tribunals, small claims courts, commissioners and ombudsmen. The Lead Researcher will conduct desk research and field work and will take evidence from key stakeholders. Index on Censorship and English PEN will seek to influence future policy in this area through the publication of a high-profile report with recommendations for future action. The Lead Researcher will be line-managed by the Director of English PEN.

Job summary
• Research and collate information on existing and potential models and procedures that might be used to resolve libel claims.
• Draft a report into the preferred option(s).
• Service an Advisory Committee of experts in this field.

• Identify and research Alternative Dispute Resolution procedures in other areas of law (for example, Employment, Mental Health) and analyse their suitability for Defamation disputes;
• Identify and research existing proposals for Alternative Dispute Resolution procedures for defamation, either from government bodies, legal associations, industry groups, or prominent practitioners, and analyse their suitability for Defamation disputes;
• Interview prominent practitioners in the legal profession, media, publishing, digital communications and Alternative Dispute Resolution, and gather their ideas and thoughts on alternative fora for Defamation disputes;
• Set up and attend meetings of an Advisory Committee, take minutes and collate their feedback on the project;
• Draft the final report and recommendations;
• Initiate and prepare press releases, briefing materials, publicity materials, and other external communications related to the project;
• Monitor UK parliamentary affairs and legal precedents relating to the issue of defamation, legal costs, and Alternative Dispute Resolution;
• Appoint and manage interns;
• Any other duties as are requested from time to time by the Director of English PEN.

Experience and skills
The successful candidate must have a legal qualification. They will be:

• An exceptional researcher;
• Able to communicate clearly and persuasively;
• Able to take the initiative where appropriate;
• Able to work as part of a small team;
• Committed to the principles of human rights;

To apply
Please send a cover letter (with ref: Lead Researcher in the subject line) and your CV to Amy Oliver:, by 5pm on Monday 14 February 2011. Interviews will be on or around 28 February. Successful applicants should be available to start work by 1 April 2011.

We offer
• A fulfilling job, working on challenging issues, based in an exciting new centre for literature, literacy and free speech.
• Flexible working.
• 25 days Annual Leave per annum plus public holidays.

£35,000, five days per week, until 31 March 2012

Please note
Only those candidates selected for interview will be contacted.

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