Org. Setting and Reporting
This position is located in the Substantial Contracts and Procurement Cluster in the Office of Legal Affairs (OLA). The Legal Officer reports to the Senior Legal Officer, Principal Legal Officer and the Director of the General Legal Division.
Within delegated authority, the Legal Officer 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 of international, public, private and administrative law, 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 administration and management, institutions support, procurement and contracts, peacekeeping and other operational matters, separately administered programmes and funds, criminal investigations and prosecutions, etc.
- Performs extensive legal research and analysis and prepares legal opinions, studies, briefs, reports, and correspondence; provides legal advice to the unit/division.
- 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, drafts and negotiates complex contracts, agreements, institutional and operational modalities, or legal motions/submissions and other legal documents; develops new legal modalities to meet unique needs/circumstances.
- Provides advice and support on the Organization’s procurement activities, both at Headquarters and Offices away from Headquarters and the field, including on procurement relating to logistical support requirements for United Nations peacekeeping and other missions.
- Advises on and participates in negotiations and settlement of claims and disputes, to include establishing strategy and approach, deciding on the legal text for terms and conditions of contracts, on the recommendations on the merit of claims, etc.
- Provides legal advice on the interpretation and application of financial regulations and rules, and staff regulations and rules, including the review of administrative decisions; prepares draft amendments to the financial regulations and rules and staff regulations and rules; reviews draft administrative issuances or amendments thereto and verifies their consistency with the existing financial regulations and rules and/or staff regulation and rules; prepares analyses and evaluations of human resources and other policies and practices.
- Represents the organization on more complex cases before arbitral and other tribunal or administrative proceedings, including disciplinary cases and staff appeals.
- 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 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.
- Professionalism: Knowledge of international law, including the privileges and immunities of international organizations, in particular the United Nations. 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, 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in law is required. A first level university degree in law in combination with two additional years of qualifying work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree. Admission to the practice of law in the Member State of the candidate’s nationality or in another Member State of the United Nations is required.
A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in commercial law, including legal analysis, research and writing, to be obtained either in the legal office of an international intergovernmental organization, a law firm or the legal office of a Government is required.
Experience providing comprehensive general legal services on commercial matters to an international organization is desirable.
Experience in working with the status and the privileges and immunities of international organizations is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of French is desirable. Knowledge of another UN official language is desirable.
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.
- 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.
- Extension of the appointment is subject to Extension of the mandate and/or the availability of the funds.
- 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 31 August 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, 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.