Org. Setting and Reporting
This position is located in the Codification Division of the Office of Legal Affairs (OLA). Under the general supervision of the Director of the Codification Division, the Senior Legal Officer reports to the Director.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.
In the area of concentration and within delegated authority and location, and, as necessary, in consultation with the Senior Legal Officer is responsible for the following duties:•Serves as a recognized expert in one or more areas of concentration, and independently handles a wide range of multi-discipline, highly complex, and often sensitive and/or conflicting legal matters involving issues relating to international, public, and administrative law, to include interpretation and application of instruments in that area of concentration. •Coordinates and directs teams of other legal officers, guides and supervises the work of junior officers; may assist the Director/Deputy Director in general management and administration of the unit, organizing and prioritizing the workload and providing general coordination and supervision of assignments as regards the legal work.•Makes various types of recommendations to senior officials of substantive units with respect to actions to take.•Provides authoritative legal advice on diverse range of highly complex or novel substantive and procedural questions of international law, which may include those related to administration and management. •Organizes and supervises research studies and the preparation of legal opinions, as well as performs extensive legal research and analysis on highly complex or novel legal issues/questions and prepares legal opinions, studies, briefs, reports, and correspondence.•Services 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.•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.•Contributes to review and design of new, or new applications of, legal instruments, policy, guidelines, systems. •Supervises the coordination of training courses in international law and the dissemination of international law lectures and related materials online.•Supervises and participates in preparing legal publications of the unit.
•Professionalism: Comprehensive and in-depth theoretical knowledge of international law, legal procedures and instruments, as well as practical application of legal principles, concepts and policy to a range of legal issues in the area of public international law In-depth knowledge of the process of progressive development of international law and its codification is essential. In depth knowledge of the teaching, study and wider dissemination of international law and of the preparation and coordination of legal texts and publications on international law is essential. Outstanding analytical and drafting skills and ability to conduct comprehensive legal research on a range of issues, including those of a unique and/or complex and intricate international law nature, with special emphasis on the progressive development and codification of international law; Demonstrated ability to prepare and supervise legal writing and legal briefs, studies and opinions, and a variety of legal instruments and related documents under negotiation. Discretion and sound judgement in applying legal expertise to sensitive, complex legal issues under negotiation. 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.Managerial Competencies•Managing Performance: Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority; makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member; accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills; monitors progress against milestones and deadlines; regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff; encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative; actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff; appraises performance fairly.•Judgement/Decision-making: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; gathers relevant information before making a decision; considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them; takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization; proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information; checks assumptions against facts; determines the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; makes tough decisions when necessary.
Advanced 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.
A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in international law, including analysis, research and drafting is required. Extensive experience and a thorough understanding of the United Nations system or other international organization is desirable. Publications on topics of public international law is desirable. Participation in activities of learned international law societies and experience with lecturing on topics of public international law is desirable. Experience of coordinating training courses in international law and disseminating international law materials online is desirable. Experience in team leadership and management 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 another official United Nations language is an advantage.
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 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.Staff members of the United Nations Secretariat must fulfil the lateral move requirements to be eligible to apply for this vacancy. Staff members are requested to indicate all qualifying lateral moves in their Personal History Profile (PHP) and cover.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 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.