The CEELI Institute
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Estimated Start Date: September 2019

Deadline for Applications: May 24, 2019

The CEELI Institute is seeking a Program Manager to design, manage and implement programs promoting the rule of law for an international audience. 

This position is for a two year term, with possible extension

The CEELI Institute is an independent, not-for-profit, international provider of post-graduate, professional legal education headquartered at the Villa Grebovka, in Prague, Czech Republic.  Our mission is to develop and train an international network of legal professionals committed to a rule of law. Through innovative training programs and other activities, we work with judges, lawyers, civil society, government officials, and other professionals in countries building laws-based societies to support fair, transparent, and effective judicial systems, strengthen democratic institutions, combat corruption, build respect for human rights, and promote the continuing development of market economies.

 Responsibilities will include:

  • Developing and implementing international legal assistance and training projects
  • Handling all aspects of project design, management and delivery
  • Development of substantive projects, including curriculum development
  • Ensuring grant compliance and preparing reports to grant funders
  • Traveling as necessary to implement and monitor program activities
  • Contributing to strategic planning and thought leadership within the organization on program design and implementation
  • Seeking out and developing new sources of project funding and new grant opportunities
  • Preparing proposals for grants
  • Performing other duties as needed

 Required Qualifications:

  • Fluency in English – written and spoken (C2 or native speaker)
  • EU Citizenship or right of work in the Czech Republic
  • Graduate degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) or Law Degree required
  • At least five years professional work experience
  • Experience in design, management and implementation of international development projects;
  • Proven track record with projects engaged in the promotion of human rights and the rule of law, or in combating corruption and strengthening government accountability
  • Availability to travel internationally – up to 25% of their time

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in proposal writing
  • Proven track record implementing grants
  • Proven abilities in program administration, and financial management skills
  • Previous experience in working with relevant civil society organizations in Central and Eastern Europe, and/or Eurasia.

 We offer:

  • Competitive salary
  • Dynamic position in international environment
  • Flexible, informal and open-minded work culture in an organization, which is respected in international community of legal professionals
  • Opportunity to meet and work with interesting professionals from the around world
  • Unique work environment in a historic Villa in the center of Prague 

To Apply:

Please email a cover letter and resume to Šárka Michková at:

The CEELI Institute is an equal opportunity employer.  We will not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, ethnicity, sex or sexual orientation.

Providing Lifelines for Syrian Judges in Exile


In April 2018, the CEELI Institute resumed a program in partnership with the Swedish-based International Legal Assistance Consortium (ILAC), focused on offering a professional lifeline to Syrian judges who are now in exile in Turkey but who hold on to the hope of one day returning to their country to rebuild the justice system.  Many of the exiled judges remain actively involved with international organizations that are working with refugees in Turkey, for example, by assisting with efforts to maintain basic public records of births, death, and marriages, in the absence of any formal mechanism for recording such crucial life events.  All of these Syrian judges are looking ahead to possible scenarios that might occur in Syria after the conflict ends.   

In April 2018, the Institute convened a program in Gaziantep, Turkey, to facilitate discussions among the judges and to explore core issues related to their role in the emerging post conflict society; where both the rule of law and democratic values will not be firmly established.  The special focus of this session was on constitutional issues related to the judiciary. Our goal is to promote discussion and engagement on the challenges Syrian judges face, and on the ways in which the judges can begin to prepare for their roles in an immediate post-conflict environment. The roundtable allowed us to frame priorities for further programmatic efforts, as we hope to continue and expand this work.  

At present, the Syrian judges feel cut off and removed from the larger world.  These efforts are intended to support their morale, and to also provide opportunities to engage with our networks of judges from other countries that have emerged from conflicts.  The CEELI Institute roundtable explored challenges and scenarios that took place in other countries following an armed conflict (including Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia), and the difficult work ahead, including reconstructing land and personal registries, reestablishing public administration, and regaining public trust in the judiciary. Ultimately, the success of post conflict processes in Syria will depend on the expertise and readiness of Syrian judges as actors in this effort. The effort is funded by the Swedish International Development Administration (SIDA). 

The 2017 Conference of Chief Justices of Central and Eastern Europe


The CEELI Institute was honored to support the Seventh Conference of Chief Justices of Central and Eastern Europe, hosted in Budapest by the Supreme Court of Hungary from June 4-7, 2017.  The Conference was originally launched in Prague, at the Institute, with support from the U.S. Department of State, and with the personal commitment of United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. The Conference is now a self-sustaining body that meets annually, and provides the opportunity for the Chief Justices to discuss common challenges, share ideas, and work towards solutions. Front and center among this year’s discussions were the ongoing challenges to judicial independence that continue to be seen and felt across the region. 

The Conference continues to rotate between member states, and each year is hosted by a Chief Justice from a different country. Conferences over the past several years have been hosted by Albania (2012), Montenegro (2013), the Republic of Georgia (2014), Croatia (2015), and Serbia (2016). The 2018 Conference will be hosted in Vilnius by the Supreme Court of Lithuania, and the 2019 Conference will be hosted in Bratislava by the Supreme Court of Slovakia.  The CEELI Institute is delighted to continue to play an active and important role in the organization and continuity of this program. 

Among the achievements of the Conference has been the signing, in 2015, of the Statement of Principles of the Independence of the Judiciary, known now as the Brijuni Statement (after the seaside town in Croatia where the 2015 Conference was held). The Brijuni Statement is modeled after a similar effort undertaken by the Conference of Chief Justices of Asia and the Pacific, which resulted in the adoption of the Beijing Statement of Principles of the Independence of the Judiciary in 1995. The Brijuni Statement is a reaffirmation of a long-held and shared belief amongst its signatories in judicial independence and the obligation to uphold the rule of law. The CEELI Institute is gratified to be able to support the publication and distribution of the Brijuni Statement of Principles of the Independence of the Judiciary, and the Statement has been available on the CEELI Institute website. It joins other useful legal instruments addressing judicial independence, the drafting of which have been supported by the CEELI Institute, including the Manual on Independence, Impartiality and Integrity of Justice: A Thematic Compilation of International Standards, Policies and Best Practices. 

Strength in Diversity: CEELI Expands Its Institutional Partnerships Across Europe


In February, the CEELI Institute staff was delighted to welcome the leadership of the highly respected Italian organization, the Siracusa International Institute for Criminal Justice and Human Rights, for in-depth meetings on future program collaboration and engagement. The CEELI Institute greatly values our increasing roster of programmatic partnerships with institutions across Europe. These collaborations are important in helping us to expand both the quality and scope of our programs. Institutional partnerships allow the participating organizations to tap into a deeper pool of experts, a greater diversity of participants and an increased level of substantive expertise. The staff collaboration and interactions that accompany partnerships encourage consideration of different perspectives and facilitate creative thinking about program design and delivery. Other recent joint efforts have involved programs organized in partnerships with the Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law, based in Valletta, Malta, and the Judicial Studies Institute, at Masaryk University, in Brno, Czech Republic.