Legal Officer (Temporary Job Opening) [Temporary]

  • Added Date: Friday, 14 February 2020
  • Deadline Date: Thursday, 20 February 2020

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the New York office of the Appeals and Accountability Section of the Administrative Law Division, Office of Human Resources (OHR) in the Department of Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance (DMSPC). The incumbent reports to the Chief of Section.

Responsibilities

Under the overall supervision of the Chief of Section, the Legal Officer represents the Secretary-General in written and oral proceedings before the United Nations Dispute Tribunal (UNDT) and provides advice on the handling of disciplinary matters and prepares related documentation and may 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 relating to the Organization’s internal legal framework, to include interpretation and application of instruments in that area of concentration.
•Provides legal advice on diverse substantive and procedural questions of considerable complexity, which may include those related to human resources and administrative matters, including disciplinary matters; prepares the related documentation.
•Performs extensive legal research and analysis of the UN Charter, General Assembly resolutions and decisions, judgements of the UNDT the United Nations Appeals Tribunal and judgements of other international administrative tribunals, Staff Regulations and Rules, and administrative issuances, and prepares legal opinions, studies, briefs, reports, indictments and correspondence;
•Prepares legal submissions/motions as necessary before the UNDT that meet procedural requirements and are consistent with the principles of Organization’s internal legal framework.
•Services, 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 legal documents, instruments, or other material;
•Provides legal advice on the interpretation and application of staff regulations and rules, including the review of administrative decisions; prepares draft amendments to the staff regulations and rules; prepares draft administrative issuances or amendments thereto and verifies their consistency with the existing staff regulation and rules; prepares analyses and evaluations of human resources policies and practices.
•Represents the Organization before the UNDT on cases brought by staff appeals against administrative decisions, including the imposition of disciplinary sanctions.
•Supervises the work of junior legal officers and legal assistants. Also guide, develop and train staff under his/her supervision.
•Performs other duties as assigned.

Competencies

•Professionalism: Knowledge of international legal procedures and instruments, including, administrative/employment and labour law, both substantive and procedural and the ability to apply legal principles, concepts and policies in the context of litigation of a range of legal issues; Knowledge of relevant United Nations Regulations and Rules, including applicable jurisprudence. Ability to apply legal expertise to analyzing a diverse range of complex and unusual legal issues and problems and in developing innovative and creative solutions. 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. 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.

•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 audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

•Planning& 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.

Education

Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in 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 legal experience is required, two of which should be in litigation at the national or international level and should include first-hand experience in appearing and leading the evidence of witnesses before a court or tribunal or equivalent administrative board and bodies.
Experience in administrative or employment or labour law is desirable.
Experience with the United Nations Staff Regulations and Rules, policies, procedures and operations is desirable.

Languages

English and French are the working languages of the United Nations . For this post, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of French is desirable. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.

Assessment

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

Special Notice

• This post is temporarily funded by extra-budgetary resources and is available through 31 December 2020 with possibility of extension subject to budgetary approval.

• If the selected candidate is a staff member from the United Nations Secretariat, the selection will be administered as a temporary assignment.

• 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.

• 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.

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.

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