Posting Title: LEGAL OFFICER, P4
Job Code Title: LEGAL OFFICER
Department/Office: Office of Legal Affairs
Duty Station: NEW YORK
Posting Period: 02 May 2023 – 15 June 2023
Job Opening Number: 23-Legal Affairs-OLA-205519-R-New York (R)
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
Organisational Setting and ReportingThis position is located in the Codification Division, Office of Legal Affairs (OLA). Under the general supervision of the Director of the Codification Division, the Legal Officer reports to the Deputy/Director/Principal Legal Officer. The Office of Legal Affairs is the central legal service of the Organization and provides legal advice to the Secretary-General, Secretariat departments and offices and United Nations organs on public and private international law; represents the Secretary-General in legal conferences and in judicial proceedings; performs substantive and secretariat functions for legal organs involved in public international law, the law of the sea and ocean affairs and international trade law; and performs the functions conferred on the Secretary-General in Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations.
Within delegated authority, the Legal Officer:
- 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).
- Provides legal advice on diverse substantive and procedural questions of considerable complexity.
- 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 Sixth Committee of the General Assembly and the International Law Commission including preparation of background materials, summaries of issues and views of delegations, meeting reports.
- Reviews, advises on and drafts complex agreements, institutional and operational modalities, and other legal documents; develops new legal modalities to meet unique needs/circumstances.
- Advises on and participates in negotiations, establishing strategy and approach. 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 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.
- Participates and supervises in the planning, researching, drafting, editing, referencing and proofreading of manuscripts of the legal publications, as well as oversees their finalization by technical support staff using desktop publishing software and monitor the printing and distribution of publications as well as the procurement process for external printing; and
- Performs other duties as assigned.
- Professionalism: Knowledge of public international law, both substantive and procedural, and its application toa 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& 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.
EducationAdvanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in public international law is required. A first level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
Work ExperienceA minimum of seven years of progressively responsible professional legal experience in the area of public international law is required. Experience in legal analysis, research and drafting on substantive topics of public international law is required. Experience with the progressive development and codification of public international law, 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. Experience in coordinating capacity building events on topics of public international law is desirable.
LanguagesEnglish 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. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is an advantage.
AssessmentEvaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.
Special NoticeThe United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance and geographical diversity 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 31 December 2022, are strongly encouraged to apply: Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belize, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, China, Comoros, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Israel, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Malta, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Norway, Oman, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vanuatu. At the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the recruitment and employment of staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, with due regard to geographic diversity. All employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications and organizational needs. The United Nations is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The United Nations recruits and employs staff regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds or disabilities. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application.
United Nations ConsiderationsAccording 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.