International Consultant, Review of Consultation Reports on Family Law Matters in South Sudan

Location : Juba, SOUTH SUDAN
Application Deadline :06-Aug-20 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :25 days
Expected Duration of Assignment :25 days


The signing of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) in 2018 and the formation of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU) in February 2020, provides an opportunity to accelerate judicial reforms as part of the peace process. The government’s legislative agenda, which is central to such reforms will contribute towards enhanced protection of the most vulnerable groups of the community. While key milestones have been achieved in reforming laws, important challenges remain in strengthening the legislative framework in South Sudan.  

Currently there is no family law in South Sudan. Family matters including marriage, divorce, inheritance, and custody of children after death or divorce of a spouse is regulated by customary law which is gender blind. Previous attempts by the Ministry of Gender, Child and Welfare and others by civil society to advocate for the formulation of a family law in South Sudan before the 2013 war has not yielded tangible results. Nor has there been a comprehensive review of the law despite the profound global changes that have occurred in the family law system and society. Recognizing the need for a comprehensive review of the national family law system to address the needs of modern society and improve its responses to children, women and families impacted by family violence and negligence, the government through the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare and CSOs initiated work on country-wide consultations to inform the development of a family law in South Sudan.

UNDP has been supporting the government on its legislative agenda for several years to ensure critical reforms to the legal and justice sector are in place. In this regard, it has supported the government on the review of key legislations that support the economy, justice and security reforms including the Banking Act, Petroleum Act, Police Act, Prison Act, SPLA Act, National Security Act and Wild Life Act.and the drafting of an anti-gender-based violence bill to protect women, girls and other vulnerable people against sexual and gender violence  as well as its roll out and implementation aspects. As part of this support, UNDP is seeking the support of an international consultant to conduct a comprehensive review of the consultation reports against model Family Laws and good practice to inform its engagement with the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare, the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and other partners on the development of the Family Law in South Sudan.


The objective of the consultancy is to compile a report consolidating the consultations carried out on the formation of a family law in South Sudan through a technically grounded process that includes an extensive review of model laws and good practice to inform UNDP’s engagement with the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare in the development of a family law.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the guidance of the Chief technical Advisor and Program Manager of the Access to Justice, Security and Human Rights Strengthening Program, UNDP, the consultant will lead the process of reviewing the existing consultation reports covering the consultations on the need for a Family Law and draft a consolidated report, which will review the current legal regime governing aspects related to families in South Sudan, areas that were raised during the consultations, identify gaps on substantive areas of the law needing further consultation and submit a report outlining recommendations in line with international norms, standards and best practices. The tasks to be undertaken by the consultant under the Terms of Reference include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following;

  • Conduct a desk review of the existing legal framework and relevant legislation and regulations, including but not limited to the Family Law, the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, the Child Rights Act and the regulations made thereunder;
  • Review existing policy papers, consultation reports, and past efforts to advance a family law and follow up with recommendations that are relevant to the South Sudan context;
  • Identify good practices on Family Law, the process for its development and enactment, and enforcement which will inform the recommendations outlined in the report;
  • Participate remotely in one stakeholders’ workshop with relevant stakeholders involving but not limited to relevant Government institutions, judiciary, lawyers, academics and civil society organizations to discuss the draft report and build consensus on the next steps;

Based on the review of the consultation reports, relevant laws, policy recommendations and good practice on Family Law, draft a comprehensive report and recommend ways forward by proposing substantive areas to be further addressed and a roadmap for developing the new Family Law.

Expected Outputs and Deliverables:

The report shall be submitted as stipulated below and it will be submitted as a draft to UNDP for review upon the completion of the stakeholders workshop. The consultant shall revise the draft report after UNDP’s review and produce a final version. Once, the revised reports are accepted by UNDP, they will be termed as final reports by the consultancy.

The consultant will be responsible for the following key deliverables;

  • Draft Report: The drafts of the report shall be completed three weeks after signing the contract. The consultant should conduct relevant consultations during the drafting stage with stakeholders including the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare, Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, select civil society organizations and with others if required. 
  • Final Report: A final report that will be submitted a week after the stakeholder meetings, addressing any comments and issues arising from; 

The following table shows an indication of the duration for the deliverables;

Deliverables/ Outputs Estimated Duration to Complete
Draft Report  21 days
Final Report  5 days


  • Excellent communication and reporting skills.
  • Excellent communication and writing skills in English.

Required Skills and Experience


  • A minimum of a master’s degree in Law.


  • A minimum of 20 years of international professional experience in working in the legal sector, addressing family law and women’s rights.
  • A minimum of 10 years’ experience in drafting for laws and regulations, and use of participatory approaches;
  • Demonstrable experience in Family Law, Domestic Violence and Child Rights
  • Strong knowledge and work experience in the area of gender equality and women’s empowerment.
  • Experience working for or with developing country governments, especially those emerging from conflict;
  • Experience and understanding of South Sudan or the African region is an added advantage;
  •  Proficiency and proven experience in the use of Microsoft Office suite (e.g. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and possibly Skype, Zoom and Microsoft Teams) is required.


  • Proficiency in English is a must. Fluent in both written and spoken English.

Evaluation Criteria 

  • Relevant Educational Experience (30%) Master’s Degree in Law is required;
  • Relevant Work Experience as per TOR Requirements (40%) At least 20 years of international experience in working in the legal sector, addressing family law and women’s rights;  

A minimum of 10 years working in law reform and legislative drafting is required, including in a Law Review Commission or Legislature; 
 A minimum of 5 years advancing rights of women and the family, or related field is required; 
 Proven experience in organizing and conducting participatory law-making initiatives, including using good practice. 
 Strong understanding and working experience in developing countries, familiar with post conflict settings.  
 Excellent knowledge in gender mainstreaming is desirable

  • Competencies, Skills & language (30%) Proven ability to work under pressure with tight deadlines, delivers on time and within cost and quality standards 

 Excellent communication and reporting skills. 
 Proficiency and proven experience in the use of Microsoft Office suite (e.g. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and possibly Skype, Zoom and Microsoft Teams) is required.
Proficiency in English is a must. Fluent in both written and spoken English.

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

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© 2016 United Nations Development Programme