JOB POST: Associate (Mitigation): Centre on the Death Penalty, NLU Delhi: Apply by April 30

The National Law University, Delhi (‘University’) is seeking to engage one Associate (Mitigation) to work with and further the aims of the Centre on the Death Penalty on a fulltime basis. The contract will be for a period of one year.

About the Centre:

The Centre is established under the aegis of the University and was set up in August 2014 to undertake litigation, research and outreach related to the death penalty.

The Centre provides pro bono legal representation to prisoners sentenced to death in India and engages in strategic litigation challenging procedural and substantive aspects of death penalty in India.

The aim of the Centre’s research is to generate information, through empirical and doctrinal studies, on issues affecting prisoners sentenced to death in India, analyze the developing jurisprudence on the death penalty in India and other jurisdictions, and undertake comparative research to add to the current understanding and debate around the death penalty.

Currently, the Centre has 15 full-time Research Associates in litigation, research and public affairs roles, in addition to the Director of the Centre and Administrative staff.


The law as settled by the Supreme Court of India in death penalty cases states that guilt determination and sentencing are two distinct phases in a criminal proceeding.

After a person is pronounced guilty, a separate and detailed hearing on sentence requires to be conducted in which the defence can lead evidence and present additional materials which are different from what was considered for determination of guilt.

Circumstances related to the “crime” as well as the “criminal” are relevant before a sentence of death can be pronounced.

A mitigation investigator works closely with lawyers to develop a life story of the accused by meaningfully engaging with the accused, his family and acquaintances as well as finding documents relating to the childhood, social context, physical and mental health histories etc.

This aids the Court in developing a better understanding of the circumstances related to the “criminal” and pass an appropriate sentence in law.

Doing this requires that constant contact be maintained with the prisoner’s family and acquaintances in order to build a working relationship of trust. The Associate (Mitigation) is thus required to undertake the following:


A. Devise effective strategies and communication tools for 1) establishing contact, 2) engaging in trust based interactions with and 3) obtaining relevant information (data based, anecdotal, biographic documentary) from prisoners, their families and other persons and authorities who may have information, relevant for mitigation, keeping in mind the specificities of each case, with an emphasis on understanding the mental health and psycho-social history of the prisoners.

B. Travel extensively throughout India, meet and communicate with prisoners, their family members, and other persons who may have oral and documentary information relevant for mitigation of the prisoners, using the tools and techniques for communication and obtaining information devised.

C. Devise effective tools for collecting, storing and presenting all the information gathered, whether oral and documentary, in a coherent and organized manner.

D. Devise strategies for engaging with mental health professionals in order to obtain their professional opinion about individual cases

E. Strategize and work with other associates at the Centre on how to effectively incorporate such information about the prisoner into the legal case of the prisoner before the judicial forum.

F. Organize training workshops and conferences for prison officials, judges, lawyers and others within the criminal justice system

G. Present the work of the Centre at various fora.

H. Any other work that may be necessary to further the aims of the Centre.


A) Graduate with a degree in psychology, journalism, development studies, economics, sociology, law or any allied discipline

B) At least 2 years of work experience in the respective field would be preferred

C) Any previous field work involving an emphasis on communication skills, investigative capacities and/or mental health will be considered an advantage

D) Ability to read/ write/ speak at least one regional Indian languages is mandatory

Compensation: Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience and will be approximately in the range of Rs. 40,000 – 45,000 per month

Application Process: Interested persons may send their resumé and a statement of purpose, explaining their interest in working on issues of death penalty and the contribution that they see themselves making to the Centre’s work. The statement of purpose must not exceed 750 words.

Email: Please send your resumé and statement of purpose to the Registrar ([email protected]) with a copy marked to [email protected] The subject of the e-mail should be “Centre on the Death Penalty- Application for Associate (Mitigation)” The cover letter must state (Attn: Director, Centre on the Death Penalty.)


Post/Courier: The postal address is “Registrar, National Law University, Delhi, Sector 14, Dwarka, New Delhi-110 078”. The envelope must have super scribed on it, “Centre on the Death Penalty Application for Associate (Mitigation). Please address the application to the Registrar, National Law University, Delhi. The cover letter must state (Attn: Director, Centre on the Death Penalty.)

The University reserves the right to conduct more than one interview if thought necessary. The University also reserves the right to not fill this position. The University will be unable to cover the costs for attending the interview.

Deadline: Applications must reach us no later than 23:59 hours or (11.59 pm) on April 30th 2017. Applications received after this date will not be considered. Interviews for shortlisted candidates may be conducted around 6th-7th May 2017.


1. The Centre works on behalf of all prisoners sentenced to death, regardless of the offence involved.

2. The position in this call is supported by a grant from the European Union.

3. The position though based on campus, will require extensive travel in the field to towns and villages across India.

4. National Law University, Delhi is an equal opportunity employer.

Original link is here.


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