Legal Advisor [Temporary]

  • Added Date: Wednesday, 13 October 2021
  • Deadline Date: Tuesday, 26 October 2021

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located within the Sri Lanka accountability project of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, in the Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division (FOTCD), Geneva. The Legal Advisor will report to the Senior Human Rights Officer, Investigations Support Unit, with additional reporting to the Senior Human Rights Officer, Rule of Law and Democracy Section.

Responsibilities

In the area of concentration, within delegated authority and location, the Legal Adviser will be responsible for the following duties:

•Serves as a lead officer in one or more areas of concentration, and independently handles a wide range of multi-discipline and complex legal matters involving issues of international, public, private law, to include interpretation and application of instruments in that area of concentration, or criminal law (both substantive and procedural).

•Advises the team on matters related to the legal standards applicable to the human rights situation under analysis and identifies trends and patterns of international human rights and criminal law violations and abuses, and suggests legal qualifications of gathered information.

•Provides legal advice on diverse substantive and procedural questions of considerable complexity, which may include those related to administration and management, institutions support, procurement and contracts, peacekeeping and other operational matters, separately administered programmes and funds, criminal investigations and prosecutions, etc.

•Performs and supervises the collection, consolidation, analysis and preservation of information and evidence in relation to gross violations of human rights or serious violations of international humanitarian law in Sri Lanka, and prepares legal opinions, studies, briefs, reports, indictments and correspondance; provides legal advice to the unit/division.

•Prepares legal documents as necessary in the course of investigations and prosecutions.

•Services diplomatic conferences, commissions, committees, task forces, expert groups and other bodies, including preparation of background materials, summaries of issues and views of delegations, meeting reports, etc.

•Reviews, advises on and drafts complex contracts, agreements, institutional and operational modalities, or legal motions/submissions and other legal documents; develops new legal modalities to meet unique needs/circumstances.

•Drafts the legal framework and analysis of the project’s reports and ensures consistency of findings, conclusions and recommendations with the mandate, applicable law and information gathered.

•Serves on various standing boards, committees, ad hoc working groups and task forces, as required; promotes the work of the United Nations and represents the organization at meetings, conferences, seminars, etc.

•Coordinates and direct teams of other human rights and/or legal officers dealing with significant problems as required, and/or mentors and supervises the work of junior officers on specific projects.

•Contributes to review and design of new, or new applications of, legal instruments, policy, guidelines, etc.

•Performs other duties as assigned.

Competencies

Professionalism: Knowledge of international legal procedures and instruments, including international law, including in relevant humanitarian, human rights and international criminal law, as well as human rights and international legal procedures and instruments.. Ability to apply legal expertise to investigate, collect and analyze information and evidence in relation to international crimes and analyse a diverse range of complex and unusual legal issues and problems and in developing innovative and creative strategies for accountability. Strong analytical skills and ability to conduct comprehensive legal research on a range of issues, including those of a unique and/or complex nature; proficiency in legal writing and expression and ability to prepare legal briefs, opinions, indictments or legal submissions/motions, and a variety of legal instruments and related documents. Discretion and sound judgment in applying legal expertise to sensitive, complex legal issues. Strong negotiating skills and ability to influence others to reach agreement. Ability to work to tight deadlines and handle multiple concurrent projects/cases. Knowledge of contemporary international relations and of UN system, organization and interrelationships. Shows pride in work and in achievements. Demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter. Is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results. Is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns. Shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

Leadership: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow. Empowers others to translate vision into results. Is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives. Establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support. Anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions. Drives for change and improvement; does not accept the status quo. Shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work. Demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.

Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively. Listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately. Asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication. Tailors language, tone, style and format to match the audience. Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments. Delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards. Operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules. Supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments. Takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.

Education

Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in international law. A first level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in law, including legal analysis, research and writing is required.

At least two years of experience in providing legal analysis on international criminal law-related issues is desirable.

Experience in carrying out criminal investigations in an international court, tribunal or accountability mechanism is desirable.

Experience in managing a team is desirable.

Languages

English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency, in English (both oral and written) is required.

Assessment

Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which will be followed by competency-based interview.

Special Notice

• This position is temporarily available until 30 September 2022, with possible extension, and is subject to availability of funding and/or extension of the mandate. If the selected candidate is a staff member from the United Nations Secretariat, the selection will be administered as a temporary assignment.

• While this temporary assignment may provide the successful applicant with an opportunity to gain new work experience, the selection for this position is for a limited period and has no bearing on the future incumbency of the post.

• Subject to the funding source of the position, the eligibility for this temporary job opening may be limited to candidates based at the duty station.

• This temporary job opening may be limited to “internal candidates,” who have been recruited through a competitive examination administered according to staff rule 4.16 or staff selection process including the review of a central review body established according to staff rule 4.15.

• Staff members of the United Nations common system organizations who will reach the mandatory age of separation or retirement within the duration of the current temporary need period are not eligible to apply.Submitting an application or selection for the current temporary job opening does not delay or increase the mandatory age of separation.

• Retirees above the mandatory age of separation who wish to be considered for the current temporary job opening must indicate the reason for their last separation as "retirement." Such retirees shall not be employed by the Organization, unless (a) the operational requirements of the Organization cannot be met by staff members who are qualified and available to perform the required functions; and (b) the proposed employment would not adversely affect the career development or redeployment opportunities of other staff members and represents both a cost-effective and operationally sound solution to meet the needs of the service.

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee

THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.

This vacancy is archived.

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