Job Title: Legal Consultant Ė Quality Assurance Initiative (QAI) Vacancy Notice: VN-61-19-MEX Position Number 61-19
Location: Ciudad de Mexico Position Grade: Level A Closing Date: 2019-05-23
Organizational Context

The RSD system in Mexico has faced several challenges in recent years. The number of applications for asylum has dramatically increased, from 3,400 new asylum applications in 2015, to 8,900 in 2016, 14,500 in 2017 and 29,600 in 2018, in 2019 this upward trend continues. This has caused the wait times for RSD to grow, which has had negative protection impacts on asylum-seekers. Additionally, the capacity of COMAR in certain locations was negatively impacted after severe damage to the physical infrastructure of COMAR in the 2017 earthquake. Mexico also recently went through elections and has a new government, including a new director of COMAR. Mexicoís new government has approved a new Migration Policy with a renewed human rights approach, and the new COMAR director brings expertise and experience in refugee protection. Nonetheless, despite urgent and increasing needs, COMARís overall budget for 2019 has been reduced by 20%. COMAR depends almost entirely on UNHCR financial support. 

Against the background of the political situation in Mexico, UNHCR will support the Mexican government to increase the fairness, efficiency, adaptability and integrity of the national asylum system, mostly through the Quality Assurance Initiative.

Accountability

A Mexican lawyer with experience and knowledge in refugee status determination procedure, with experience in litigation regarding asylum in Mexico, is required for this position. 

This consultant will have the responsibility of supporting the QAI Consultant based in Mexico City.

Under the functional supervision of the QAI Consultant in Mexico City, the consultant is expected to:

  • Support QAI Consultant on the elaboration of COMARís internal agreements, guidelines and templates for NCA nationals, in accordance with Mexican legislation and requirements. 
  • Support the elaboration of interview and assessment forms and exclusion matrix for the main countries of origin in Mexico.
  • Support the implementation of simplified procedures for COMAR and the incorporation of measures to improve the efficiency of COMARís decision making process.
  • Conduct an assessment of COMARís individual asylum decisions  taken in Mexico City and in field delegations, and support  the production of a report on persisting and new gaps;
  • Support the development, elaboration, organization and delivery of training activities on refugee status determination to COMAR staff, promoting at the same time the effective observation of UNHCR Manuals and Guidelines among asylum decision makers.
  • Support the QAI consultant and UNHCR Mexico in UNHCRís direct engagement with the Federal Administrative Tribunal (Tribunal Federal de Justicia Administrativa), the Supreme Court of Justice and other judicial instances; particularly in the context of asylum adjudication analysis and the organization of training and other activities to legal/judicial professionals in Mexico. 
  • Review the report on exclusion clauses drafted by external consultants last December.
  • Other duties as required.

Responsibility

  • Deliverable 1: Inception report detailing the consultant understanding of the task and the methodology to be employed to complete the tasks. Due after the first month of the contract.
  • Deliverable 2: Detailed monthly reports describing the proposed work plan, including the organisational structure and responsibilities of COMAR, and progress.
  • Deliverable 3: Final consultancy report. Due at the end of the contract. 

 

 

 

Authority

N/A

Essential Minimum Qualifications and Experience

a. Education
  • University degree in Law.
b. Work Experience 
  • This corresponds to a function providing specialized services or expertise in asylum procedures and RSD within the Mexican legal framework with knowledge of International Refugee Law and Human Rights Law and ability to apply the relevant legal principles. Solid knowledge on Mexican administrative law.  
  • Relevant work experience of 4 years with undergraduate degree. 

Desirable Qualifications & Competencies

  • Experience working with government entities, or legal clinics, or with UNHCR or any other humanitarian organization is an asset.
  • Fluency in Spanish and working knowledge of English.

Competencies

  • Excellent liaison and interpersonal skills. 
  • Ability to work well under pressure on multiple tasks simultaneously, establish priorities and deliver quality output in a most time-efficient manner. 
  • Excellent Planning and Organizing skills
  • Excellent computer skills, in particular Microsoft Office. 
  • Excellent drafting skills and ability to facilitate trainings and conduct on the job training. 

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