Senior Legal Officer (Administration of Justice), P4, Budapest

  • Added Date: Friday, 02 October 2020
  • Deadline Date: Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships

The Senior Legal Officer - Administration of Justice (AoJ) serves under the supervision of the Senior Legal Adviser & Deputy Head of Legal Affairs Service (LAS). However, the incumbent will function on a largely autonomous basis and may supervise a diverse team of international and local staff.

The incumbent provides senior level support on matters relating to the UN internal justice system, including preparation of legal opinions and advice on requests for management evaluation, drafting legal pleadings in response to applications before the United Nations Dispute Tribunal (UNDT). The Senior Legal Officer (AoJ) is also responsible for providing advice on legal issues relating to investigations and disciplinary proceedings and supporting policy initiatives in wide range of areas.

The incumbent may handle as a priority cases related to sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment which require special care and expertise to substantiate complex cases and protect witnesses and survivors. The incumbent will play a strong role in contributing to effective action to detect, respond and prevent sexual exploitation and abuse along with sexual harassment, particularly by lowering the time required to process these complex cases. The incumbent will also contribute to the overall work of LAS, including in the areas of contracts (e.g., cash-based interventions, MOUs with partners) and the status, privilege and immunities of UNHCR and its personnel.

All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCRยฟs core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity.


  • Provide senior level support and advice on non-refugee and related legal matters including administrative, personnel issues, including but not limited to requests for management evaluation, cases brought before the UNDT and UNAT and in disciplinary proceedings resulting in high level of compliance with legal advice; procurement matters, contracts and the status, privileges and immunities of UNHCR and its personnel.
  • Draft legal opinions, pleadings and other legal advice in accordance with established legal policy, standards and procedures.
  • Represent UNHCR before the UNDT and UNAT.
  • Provide expert advice and guidance on a wide array of legal matters, with a special emphasis on the UN internal justice system and human resources legal issues, particularly disciplinary cases involving sexual exploitation and abuse or sexual harassment.
  • Advise on the interpretation and application of the UNHCR internal regulatory framework, in particular relating to procurement and supply and propose initiatives and measures to enhance existing policies and practices, appropriately addressing UNHCRยฟs needs, and ensure compliance with relevant rules and regulations.
  • Review draft policies and related technical proposals and ensure that they are aligned with established policy and standards;
  • Guide relevant entities and offices in HQ, Bureaux, the the Field to ensure that personnel matters are dealt with in accordance with relevant procedural guidelines. Provide legal support to joint staff-management and other advisory bodies.
  • Analyse and advise on requests for management evaluations by UNHCR staff.
  • Prepare legal pleadings in response to applications before the United Nations Dispute Tribunal.
  • Provide legal advice, as necessary, to the Inspector General's Office on investigation procedures and to the Director of DHR on disciplinary proceedings.
  • Perform other related duties as required.

Minimum Qualifications

Education & Professional Work Experience

Years of Experience / Degree Level

For P4/NOD - 9 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 8 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 7 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree

Field(s) of Education

*Law; International Law; International Business Law;
Litigation Practice; or other relevant field.

(Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Certificates and/or Licenses

BAR Exam; or other relevant field.

(Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Relevant Job Experience


  • Minimum 8 years of previous relevant work experience including in the field of litigation (to fulfil this requirement, the incumbent must demonstrate experience in written advocacy acquired before judicial courts or arbitral and administrative tribunals).
  • In-depth knowledge and experience of international law, including, international administrative law as practiced in international organizations (in particular in the United Nations) and/or experience applying employment or administrative law in a national jurisdiction.
  • Thorough understanding of the UN system, or ability to rapidly acquire such an understanding.
  • Strong analytical skills and ability to conduct legal research on a range of complex and intricate issues.
  • Excellent skills in drafting a broad range of documents of a legal nature, including policies and administrative instructions, legal opinions, pleadings, contracts and/or briefing notes.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide oral briefings on complex legal issues to legal and non-legal audiences.
  • Bar exam or equivalent qualification to practice law in at least one national jurisdiction.


  • Experience with alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.
  • Experience in dealing with issues related to the internal justice system of the United Nations, knowledge of the jurisprudence of the UNDT and UNAT as well as organizational regulatory frameworks and policies.
  • Prior exposure to, and demonstrated competence in, the conceptual development of strategic HR approaches and corporate HR policies.
  • Knowledge of the privileges and immunities of UN/HCR and its personnel.
  • Knowledge of the principles of international commercial law and contract law as applied by the UN.
  • Knowledge of UN/HCR field operational realities.
  • Solid computer skills, including good knowledge of databases.

Functional Skills

LE-Legal Research;
LE-Contract law applied by the UN;
*LE-Passed Bar Exam or Equivalent;
LE-Litigation Experience in Law Firm;
*LE-Draft Legal opinions;
LE-International Administrative Law

(Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)

This vacancy is archived.

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