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 Senior Legal Officers, a Principal Legal Officer and the Director of GLD, as appropriate.
Within delegated authority and depending on location, the Legal Officer will be responsible for the following duties:
- Serves as a lead officer in the area of international administrative law and administration of justice, 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.
- Prepares legal submissions/motions as necessary in the course of proceedings before administrative tribunals.
- Reviews, advises on and drafts complex contracts, agreements, institutional and operational modalities, or legal motions/submissions and other legal documents; develops new legal modalities to meet unique needs/circumstances.
- 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 staff regulations and rules, including the review of administrative decisions; prepares draft amendments to the staff regulations and rules; prepares draft administrative issuances or amendments thereto and verifies their consistency with the existing staff regulations and rules; prepares analyses and evaluations of human resources policies and practices.
- Represents the organization on more complex cases before administrative tribunals or in administrative proceedings, including disciplinary cases and staff appeals; in Tribunals, acts on behalf of the Secretary-General as counsel in proceedings before Appeals Tribunal.
- 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 legal procedures and instruments, including criminal law, both substantive and procedural. 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. Ability to make substantial legal arguments before administrative tribunals. 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 the legal framework of the UN system. 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.
Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in law is required. A first-level university degree, in combination with two additional years of qualifying work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree. Admittance to the bar of a Member State or an equivalent qualification to practice law in a Member State is required.
A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in law, obtained in the legal office of an international intergovernmental organization, a law firm or a Government, including legal analysis, research and writing is required. Experience in litigation is required.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of French desirable. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.
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