The Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI) at the American University of Beirut (AUB) seeks to recruit a Legal Consultant for its Social Justice & City Program.
The Social Justice in the City Program (SJC) at AUB’s Issam Fares Institute is looking for a legal consultant knowledgeable in the field of housing and property rights to support an on‑going applied research initiative exploring possible strategies to protect and expand Beirut’s stock of affordable housing.
The consultant’s main task will be to join a research group working on the formulation and development of an intervention strategy on the housing sector of the neighborhood of Mar Mikhael (Beirut) with legal, urban and financial investigations. The intervention will be later debated with neighborhood residents in focus groups. Based on a clear analysis and understanding of property records and property law in Lebanon, studied in parallel with on‑going trends in construction in Mar Mikhael (provided by SJC team), we expect the consultant to analyze and review transaction sales and the legal frameworks in which they occur whether informal or official. The consultant is expected to verify and write a legal report around new possible housing intervention strategies proposed by locals in collaboration with urban and financial experts that would protect the rights of inhabitants against displacement and eviction. The proposal would cover forms of interventions, types of regulations, and the institutional mechanisms that could be set in place to implement them on the civic, municipal and constitutional levels. The legal consultant is expected to join the SJC team in one medial and one final meeting with the designated focus groups.
Review material provided by SJC team, meet, discuss, and understand fully the scope of the housing challenge in Mar Mikhael in relationship to the building and property law;
Propose strategies that would protect the property rights of inhabitants through existing policies and regulations as well as through proposing new ones and assessing their feasibility;
Complete a desk review of similar case studies and interventions, extracting information about the type of policies, projects, actors, and institutional set up used to respond to similar conditions in other national contexts. If needed, consultant may interview actors and/or stakeholders in Lebanon or elsewhere who can provide information about the cases at hand to secure relevance to the project;
Report and discuss these solutions with SJC team to support the translation of research findings to the ground;
Write a 10,000 words final report on the recommendations, with full references and bibliographies.
MA in Law or any relevant field with proven research expertise in the field of Law;
Fluency in English and Arabic;
Past experience in legal research;
Knowledge in the field of property rights, housing and real-estate is a great asset.
Duration: September 29, 2017 - November 17, 2017 (6 weeks)
Please send your CV and cover letter to Ms. Dounia Salamé on firstname.lastname@example.org before September 22, 2017.
About the Project
This project is a small section of a larger research effort that has been conducted over the past two years by the Social Justice and the City Program in collaboration with a number of researchers. The project builds on previous research findings looking at the structures of housing provision and challenges to housing affordability in the neighborhood of Mar Mikhael (Beirut). Through a mix of hands-on, participatory research involving on the one hand, legal and urban experts and policy‑makers and on the other hand, neighborhood groups and residents, we seek to articulate a framework for possible intervention at the scales of a building, a block and/or a neighborhood that can account for the necessity to preserve an existing stock of affordable housing in the neighborhood, potentially within an urban heritage preservation strategy. The research findings will serve both as an advocacy tool for neighborhood dwellers and coalitions and a basis for replicable interventions in other areas of the city.
The aim of the Issam Fares Institute's Social Justice and the City Program is to formulate an agenda for research that establishes a partnership between scholars, policy‑makers, and activists in Lebanon (and beyond) working towards more inclusive cities. The program seeks to act as a platform where scholars, policy‑makers, and activists can share reflections, experiences, and strategies by (i) documenting, analyzing and reflecting on ongoing urban processes affecting the organization and life of the city, (ii) sharing and validating research with activists, affected communities, and other social groups who are potentially interested in sharing both the acquired competence and the pool of research tactics, and (iii) supporting and informing initiatives that hope to influence change through debates, media, publications, and advocacy.
Applicants must be Lebanese or eligible to work in Lebanon as per AUB Human Resources policies.