Senior Research Fellow in Business and the Rule of Law

British Institute of International and Comparative Law

Background

1. The Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law exists to advance the Rule of Law worldwide. It aims to do so proactively, and to have a direct and practical impact on law, policy and decision-making. In 2018 the Bingham Centre will be publishing its new five-year Strategy. The Centre’s specific strategic aims include explaining the meaning of the Rule of Law in all relevant sectors, including the business sector, and building Rule of Law leadership in all relevant institutions, including business.

2. The Centre believes that businesses are important partners in its mission of advancing the Rule of Law and are well-placed to make an important and distinctive contribution to Rule of Law promotion. In a recent survey, conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit for the Centre, the majority of executives had, in the past five years, experienced several failures of the Rule of Law in countries where they had invested.

3. In January 2017 the Centre launched its Business Network (https://binghamcentre.biicl.org/business-network) which acts as a bridge between the Bingham Centre and the business community. The Network comprises a number of leading international companies who have pledged to support the Centre’s global initiatives on the Rule of Law and to help to identify and address specific Rule of Law challenges in the countries where they operate. The Business Network helps the Centre and the rest of BIICL to identify Rule of Law and related issues which have particular relevance to the business community. The Centre provides independent research on Rule of Law and related issues of interest to business.

4. The Bingham Centre is therefore looking to appoint an outstanding candidate as a Senior Research Fellow in Business and the Rule of Law to lead and develop its programme of work in this important area of its new Strategy.

5. The Centre engages closely with a very wide range of people and organisations, and the post will provide an opportunity to work directly with businesses, in-house lawyers, legal practitioners in public and private practice, judges, regulatory authorities, trade organisations, international institutions, scholars, and others working in this field. This post offers substantial opportunities to demonstrate leadership, both scholarly and practical, in the area of Business and the Rule of Law, and to build a public profile in this area. The post-holder will also engage closely with the Bingham Centre’s Business Network, working with the Centre’s Director who leads on the Business Network.

6. The Bingham Centre is part of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL).

Job Description

7. The main task of the Senior Research Fellow will be to lead and develop the Centre’s five year programme of research on Business and the Rule of Law. The Senior Research Fellow in Business and the Rule of Law will have the following specific tasks in close consultation with, and under the supervision of, the Centre Director:

  • Devise an ambitious 5 year Strategy for Business and the Rule of Law, drawing on academic research about the role of business in protecting and promoting the Rule of Law and best practice from around the world, and identifying practical and achievable ways to involve businesses directly in Rule of Law issues;
  • Undertake and publish high quality research in relevant areas;
  • Lead, develop and manage the research projects, public events and capacity building in those areas, including supervising the work of research fellows and research assistants on projects and co-ordinating the input of researchers with relevant expertise in the rest of BIICL;
  • Lead the implementation of the Strategy proactively by identifying opportunities for strategic initiatives on Rule of Law issues of interest and relevance to business and identifying opportunities to promote consideration of such Rule of Law issues;
  • Work closely with the members and Chair of the Bingham Centre’s Business Network; advise and support the Centre’s Director in relation to the Business Network, including by ensuring that the Centre provides the necessary independent research support to the activities of the Business Network;
  • Strengthen businesses’ Rule of Law capacity, e.g. by providing targeted training, guidance materials and topical briefings for businesses on the Rule of Law dimension of significant challenges for business where such briefing would not otherwise be available;
  • Identify opportunities for other researchers in the Bingham Centre and the rest of BIICL to achieve impact for their research by identifying opportunities for engagement with business;
  • Develop a methodology for assessing the impact of the Centre’s work on Business and the Rule of Law;
  • Assist the Centre’s Director in seeking funding to make the Centre’s work on Business and the Rule of Law sustainable and to increase its research capacity in this area.

Person Specification

8. It is expected that the successful applicant will provide evidence of all of the following attributes and achievements:

  • A strong academic record together with relevant practical experience as a lawyer working with business. Three to five years’ post-qualification experience working either as part of an in-house legal team or in private practice, or with equivalent experience gained in an academic capacity, would be desirable;
  • Expertise in, understanding and experience of Rule of Law issues which arise for businesses, for example in the areas of commercial law, international finance, cross-border trade, and national and international regulation of these areas, to complement existing expertise in these areas within BIICL;
  • A record of some published research in the area of Business and the Rule of Law, and of knowledge of and engagement with such research;
  • A proven understanding of the Rule of Law as a practical concept;
  • A proven capacity to lead and co-ordinate research activity in this area, to work under limited supervision, to draft papers rapidly and to a high standard, and to meet deadlines;
  • An ability to interact appropriately with CEOs, General Counsel, regulators, scholars and others working in the field, including an ability to organise seminars, training, conferences and other events;
  • Highly effective communications skills and an ability to disseminate research findings and other activities to a wide audience including the business community;
  • An ability and willingness to undertake, and deal effectively, efficiently and appropriately with administrative responsibilities; and
  • An ability and willingness to work collaboratively and collegially with colleagues.

9. This is a five year, full-time post. Consideration will be given to a slightly less than full-time role, if requested. Secondments will also be considered. A salary package in the range of £55,000 - £60,000 pa is expected, depending on qualifications and experience. It is hoped that the person appointed will commence as soon as possible.

10. Informal enquiries may be addressed to officemanager@biicl.org

11. Applicants should send the following by 29 January 2018 by email to businessruleoflawsrf@biicl.org

  • A completed BIICL application cover form (available at www.biicl.org/vacancies) including the names and addresses of three referees (two of whom can be contacted prior to interview);
  • A full curriculum vitae, including a list of publications; and
  • A covering letter setting out their reasons for applying and how they consider that they meet the person specification for this post.

12. It is expected that interviews will take place in February 2018.

13. In order to be considered for this role, all applicants must currently have the right to work in the UK or will have the right to work in the UK by the date of commencement of employment.

14. Applicants are encouraged to find out more about the Centre, its members of staff and activities at http://binghamcentre.biicl.org/