Org. Setting and Reporting
This position is located in the General Legal Division of the Office of Legal Affairs (OLA). The Legal Officer reports to the Principal Legal Officer and the Director of the General Legal Division.Responsibilities
Within delegated authority, the Legal Officer will be responsible for the following duties:
• Handles a range of issues related to constitutional, international, public, private and administrative law, including the interpretation and application of constitutive, legislative and other instruments governing United Nations activities and operations, in consultation with senior Legal Officers.
• Conducts extensive legal research and analysis and prepare studies, comparative studies, briefs, reports and correspondence.
• Undertakes basic or extensive review of legal documents, instruments, or other material; identifies important issues, similarities, and inconsistencies, etc.
• Advises on internal and external investigations into the use of UN financial and human resources. With respect to external investigations, assists in providing the Organization’s cooperation to relevant authorities within the framework of the Organization’s status, privileges and immunities.
• Prepares or assists in the preparation of drafts of background papers, studies, reports, legislative texts and commentaries on those texts.
• Prepares or assists in the preparation of legal opinions/advice on a wide range of international public or private law issues, including the United Nations Charter, General Assembly resolutions and decisions involving, inter alia, issues relating to privileges and immunities, criminal prosecutions, institutional questions, constitutional and administrative law of the Organization.
• Prepares or assists in the preparation of agreements and contracts with governments, NGOs and other public and private entities, as well as in the negotiation and settlement of claims and disputes and in handling private international law and international trade law matters.
• Services or assists senior colleagues in servicing 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.
• Assists in representing the Organization before arbitral and other tribunals or administrative proceedings, including disciplinary cases.
• Provides legal advice on human resources matters; reviews administrative matters.
• Provides guidance to more junior staff.
• Performs other duties as assigned.
• Professionalism: Knowledge of international law, including the privileges and immunities of intergovernmental organizations. Knowledge of, and ability to apply, legal principles, concepts and procedures and terminology for review, examination, and processing of a range of legal documents. Knowledge of various legal research sources, including electronic, and ability to conduct research and analyze information on a wide range of legal issues. Knowledge of the civil law and/or common law legal systems and principles. Ability to interpret and apply legislative instruments, develop and present results, recommendations, and opinions clearly and concisely. Ability to draft legal papers and work under pressure. Ability to apply good legal judgment in the context of assignments given. 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 degree) 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 five years of progressively responsible experience in the practice of law, including legal analysis, research and writing. Such experience must include: (1) experience in providing comprehensive general legal services as a legal officer in the legal office of an intergovernmental organization, and (2) experience in dealing with issues related to white collar crimes, such as fraud and corruption.
Experience as a legal officer in the legal office of a United Nations, or similar international organization, peace operations is desirable.
Experience working with the status, privileges and immunities of international organizations is desirable
Experience as an attorney in a law firm is desirable.
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. Qualifying years of experience are calculated following the receipt of the university degree in law recognized the by United Nations.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of French is desirable.Assessment
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.Special Notice
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.
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.
For this position, applicants from the following Member States, which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the UN Secretariat as of 30 September 2020, are strongly encouraged to apply: Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belize, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, China, Comoros, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Norway, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Suriname, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vanuatu, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
Pursuant to section 7.11 of ST/AI/2012/2/Rev.1, candidates recruited through the young professionals programme who have not served for a minimum of two years in the position of their initial assignment are not eligible to apply to this position.
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.
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.