Org. Setting and Reporting
This position is located in the Codification Division, Office of Legal Affairs (OLA). Under the general supervision of the Director of the Codification Division, the incumbent reports to a Principal Legal Officer.Responsibilities
Within delegated authority, the Legal Officer 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 and administrative law, to include interpretation and application of instruments in that area of concentration, (both substantive and procedural).
• Performs extensive legal research and analysis and prepares memoranda, studies, briefs, and reports on various legal documents in international law as requested by the General Assembly, the International Law Commission and other bodies.
• Services diplomatic conferences, commissions, committees, task forces, expert groups and other bodies including the General Assembly Sixth Committee and the International Law Commission including preparation of background materials, summaries of issues and views of delegations, meeting reports.
• Provides legal advice on diverse substantive and procedural questions of considerable complexity.
• Serves as a lead officer in all substantive and operational aspects of the implementation of the United Nations Programme of Assistance in the Teaching, Study, Dissemination and Wider Appreciation of International Law (the “POA”), including international law training programmes and matters related to the Audiovisual Library of International Law.
• Reviews, advises on and drafts complex contracts, agreements, institutional and operational modalities, and other legal documents; develops new legal modalities to meet unique needs/circumstances.
• Prepares official communications to Governments, intergovernmental organizations, inter-departmental offices and responds to queries about various issues addressed to the Division.
• 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.
• Coordinates and directs teams of other 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 and/or guidelines.
• Performs other duties as assigned.
• PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge of public international law, both substantive and procedural, and its application to a diverse range of complex and unusual legal principles, issues and concepts. Strong analytical skills and ability to conduct comprehensive legal research on a range of issues of public international law, including those of a unique and/or complex nature; proficiency in legal writing and expression and ability to prepare agreements, reports, legal commentaries, draft resolutions, briefing notes, talking points and other legal briefs, memoranda, or legal submissions and a variety of legal instruments and related documents. Knowledge of administrative policies of the United Nations related to financial and human resources. Demonstrated oral communication skills. Discretion and sound judgment in applying legal expertise to sensitive, complex legal and policy 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.
• TEAMWORK: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others' ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.
• PLANNING AND ORGANIZING: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.
Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in international law. A first level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying 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.
Experience in the area of public international law, with emphasis on its progressive development and codification, is required.
Experience in project management is desirable.
Experience working as a legal officer in an international organization is desirable.
Experience in applying administrative policies of the United Nations or of a similar international organization is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is desirable.Assessment
Evaluation of qualified applicants may include an assessment exercise and a competency-based interview.Special Notice
This job opening is advertised to fill a temporarily vacant position during the absence of the regular incumbent for a period of one year or longer. The regular incumbent is entitled to return to this position at the expiry of the temporary vacancy period. If the regular incumbent exercises the right to return, the appointment or temporary assignment or promotion of the candidate selected for this job opening will not be renewed or extended.
The selection process for this job opening will be conducted pursuant to ST/AI/2010/3 on the “Staff Selection System” and include the compliance review process by a review body described in staff rule 4.15. In case of selection, a staff member of the United Nations Secretariat who meets the definition of “internal candidate” in staff rule 4.10 will be placed on a temporary assignment if he or she holds the same grade as the job opening; and a temporary promotion if he or she holds a lower grade than the job opening. If the regular incumbent vacates the position during such temporary assignment or promotion, the selected staff member will be laterally assigned, promoted or transferred to the position without further selection process under ST/AI/2010/3.
The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.
Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.
For this position, applicants from the following Member States, which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the UN Secretariat as of 30 June 2019, are strongly encouraged to apply: Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belize, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Central African Republic, China, Comoros, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Mozambique, Nauru, Norway, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Suriname, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vanuatu, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
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.
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.
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.