The West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) and The Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI) invite applicants for the 2019 Africa Human Rights Litigation Course, to be held in Accra, Ghana from April 10 to 12, 2019.

The course provides a unique opportunity for human rights professionals to build on their experience and to develop their skills to successfully bring cases to the regional human rights systems and the UN treaty bodies, and to use those cases to achieve practical change. The curriculum will combine presentations, case studies, exercises, and discussion groups with preparatory work and further reading to ensure full maximum benefit for those attending the course. Participants will be invited to provide information on their work and those concrete examples will help shape discussion.


Eligibility Criteria

Participants need not be practicing lawyers; however, they must have some experience in human rights litigation, and will ideally have one to five years’ experience in human rights practice. Instruction will be in English. Bursaries towards expense will be paid for successful candidates.

Purpose and Priorities

The course encourages participants to approach human rights litigation strategically, viewing litigating a human rights case as one step in the process of achieving social change. It includes modules that examine the steps involved in strategic litigation, such as case selection, client care, and forum choice. It also uses case studies to explore how to build a strong evidential record in support of the case, how to develop campaigning and advocacy to raise awareness of the issues involved, and how to implement a successful judgment. Other presentations will focus on the challenges of drafting legal petitions dealing with human rights claims and dealing with the ethical problems that arise in human rights cases.

The curriculum will cover a range of human rights tribunals, such as the African, Inter-American, and European regional bodies, as well as the most frequently used United Nations treaty bodies. The course will also allow participants to choose specialist seminars to examine key issues in their field; in past years, this has included torture and the right to life, discrimination, freedom of information and expression, violations in the context of migration, and rights upon arrest.

The summer school faculty consists of practitioners from the Justice Initiative and its human rights litigation partners, combining both an academic analysis and a practical assessment of different human rights situations faced by lawyers and activists around the world.


Application is open from December 10 2018 to February 22, 2019. Additional course information and instructions for application will be communicated.


Interested applications should prepare and forward the following application documents to: cc;

  • Completed Application Form (click Here to download)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Reference (include in application form)

Details on documents to be submitted:

  • Application Form
    Each applicant is required to download and complete the training application form. The form should be submitted along with a CV /resume, and statement of purpose to West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) at

    **Further instructions for the application are included in the form itself.
  • Curriculum Vitae
    Please submit a copy of your CV. The CV should include all relevant professional experience (paid or voluntary), including roles and responsibilities. Applicants will also have the opportunity to list training and professional courses in the application form.
  • Statement of Purpose
    The statement of purpose is a very important component of the application , and significant weighting is placed on this to decide short-listed candidates. Applicants must answer in this statement how they meet the eligibility criteria and how this course will assist your human rights practice. The statement of purpose should not exceed 1200 words.
  • Reference
    Please list one reference in the application form—this should be someone who can attest to your suitability for this course, preferably your current or most recent manager. The reference may be contacted at the short-listing stage. We only require the contact details of this person including name, current organization and position occupied, official email address and telephone numbers (both mobile and fixed).

Other attachments:

Proof of English proficiency for non-native speakers of English
As proof of your English language proficiency, if you have passed a language exam, please send a scanned copy of the exam result along with your application. Alternatively, please submit an unedited writing sample (maximum 10 pages).

**WACSI does not return application documents, or copies thereof under any circumstances.

**Applications submitted after the deadline will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

If you need help or more information during the application process, please feel free to contact WACSI’s reference: Regina Baiden at

E-mail for inquiry and correspondence should be sent to: cc: Tel: 0302 550 222 / 0302 522 589 / 0302 542 010

Notification of selection:
WACSI will notify only successful applicants about the selection results by the end of March 2019. The final decision is not open to appeal.

WACSI believes in and respects the principles of equity, inclusion and nondiscrimination. Women are however highly encouraged to apply.

Download Application Form Here