Director of the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law

British Institute of International and Comparative Law


The Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law was founded in 2010 in honour of the late Lord Bingham of Cornhill, one of the greatest judges of his generation. It is devoted to the study and promotion of the rule of law worldwide, defining and implementing the rule of law as a universal and practical concept that upholds respect for human dignity and enhances economic development and political stability. The Centre is a constituent part of the British Institute for International and Comparative Law (BIICL), the foremost independent research and discussion body of its kind in the world.

The Centre is engaged in a wide range of research projects, events, publications and training, in the UK and globally. It has generated a range of reports and proposals having important impact on policy and legal changes around the world. It has the full-time equivalent of about 7 researchers and 2 administrative staff directly associated with it, as well working closely with all other parts of BIICL, which has a total staff of about 40 people.

The Centre Director provides intellectual leadership, strategic direction and management of the Centre. The person appointed will have the opportunity to engage with senior people across many sectors, to reinforce the importance of the rule of law, and to have a direct impact in this area. They will work with a dedicated, highly motivated and knowledgeable team in a highly regarded independent body.

Job Description:

The Centre Director’s main responsibilities, with some support from other staff, include:

  • Working effectively with the BIICL Director and other staff in the activities of BIICL and its engagement with external organisations and people, with limited administrative support.
  • Assisting in engagement with potential and existing donors, with support of the BIICL Deputy Director, the Development Director and the Finance Director, as well as with the Centre’s Development Board, comprising experienced practitioners; and
  • Being a public advocate for, and representing, the Centre, including communicating effectively the work of the Centre to experts, governments, civil society, judiciary and the public in the UK and internationally, especially to those in law firms and the corporate sector, and taking positive steps to draw attention to, and provide academic comment on, threats to the rule of law around the world;
  • Obtaining substantial research and related project and other funding for the Centre’s activities;
  • Undertaking research to a high quality;
  • Management of the Centre’s staff and others connected with the Centre, and, where relevant, directly supervising their work;
  • Devising the strategic direction of the Centre, including on the selection of research projects, events and training areas of the Centre, and implementing it effectively;
  • Leadership of the Centre in the promotion, understanding and implementation of the rule of law globally, in its research, events, training, publication and other activities;

The Centre Director reports to the BIICL Director and to the BIICL Board of Trustees, who are eminent lawyers with experience in academia, government and private practice, non-governmental organisations and as judges. The Centre Director will also work with a Chair of the Centre, once appointed, who will have donor relations responsibilities.

Person Specification

The successful applicant will have the following mix of experience, skills and attributes:

  • A record as a leader with strategic vision, with experience of leading teams of highly motivated and professional researchers being desirable;
  • Experience of interacting appropriately with respected legal practitioners, academics, experts and others working in the rule of law worldwide, and with external organisations;
  • Evidence of high level of knowledge of, and research in, the rule of law, which could include constitutional, comparative, commercial, development, international and other aspects of the rule of law, as well as an appreciation of the broader rule of law areas and a good awareness of the application of the rule of law in the UK and internationally;
  • Relevant practical expertise in and understanding of, the rule of law, with evidence of understanding legal practice being an advantage;
  • Ability to express clearly and coherently ideas and concepts to a wide audience and engage in public debate;
  • An ability to lead and co-ordinate research activities, and obtain and manage research and related funding;
  • An ability to supervise and mentor staff, and assist in their career development, as well as to delegate appropriately and effectively;
  • An ability and willingness to undertake, and deal effectively, efficiently and appropriately with, administrative responsibilities within a small team; and
  • An ability and willingness to work collaboratively and collegially with colleagues.

Further Particulars

This is a full-time post for a five year period, though an appointment for slightly less than full-time may be considered. Secondments for this period may also be considered.

A salary package of around £80,000 pa is expected, depending on qualifications and experience. It is hoped that the person appointed will commence in March 2017.

Application process

Applicants are encouraged to find out more about the Bingham Centre, its members of staff and activities at

Informal enquiries may be addressed to the BIICL Director, Professor Robert McCorquodale at

The deadline for applications is 12 January 2017.

Applicants should send the following by email

  • The application cover form that can be downloaded from
  • A full curriculum vitae, including the names and addresses of three referees, at least two of whom may be contacted prior to interview; and
  • A covering letter setting out their reasons for applying and how they consider that they meet the person specification for this post.

 It is expected that interviews will take place in late January or early February 2017.