Legal Officer, P4

United Nations Office of Legal Affairs (UNOLA)
  • Location
    Kingston, Jamaica
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Jan 10

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

The post is located within the Office of the Legal Affairs at the Headquarters of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) located in Kingston, Jamaica, and reports directly to the Senior Legal Officer and under the overall supervision of the Deputy to the Secretary General and Legal Counsel.


Within delegated authority, the incumbent will be responsible for the following:

  • Serve as a lead officer in the development of regulatory instruments for the conduct of deep-sea mining activities in the international seabed Area, including the Mining Code and associated standards and guidelines;
  • Support and provide secretariat services in relation to the regulatory work of the Legal and Technical Commission and the Council, including relevant working groups, including drafting working papers and meeting reports as necessary;
  • Performs extensive legal research and analysis and prepares legal opinions, studies, briefs, reports and correspondence; provides legal advice to the unit/division;
  • Coordinate and supervise work carried out by consultants and experts as required;
  • Service task forces, expert groups and other bodies, including preparation of background materials, summaries of issues and views of delegations, meeting reports;
  • Review, advise on and draft complex contracts, agreements, institutional and operational modalities, or legal motions/submissions and other legal documents; develops new legal modalities to meet unique needs/circumstances;
  • Serve on various standing boards, committees, ad hoc working groups and task forces, as required; promotes the work of ISA and represents the organization at meetings, conferences, seminars, etc.;
  • Coordinate 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;
  • Contribute to review and design of new, or new applications of, legal instruments, policy, guidelines, etc.;
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


  • Professionalism: Knowledge of, and ability to apply, legal principles, concepts and procedures and terminology for review, examination, and processing of a range of legal documents. Ability to conduct legal research and analyze information from various resources 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 legal judgment in the context of assignments given. Ability to negotiate and influence others to reach agreements. Ability to work and meet tight deadlines and handle multiple concurrent projects/case;
  • 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 the 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;
  • Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments. Delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards. Operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules. Supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments. Takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.


  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in law with emphasis in the area of public international law or mining law;
  • 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;
  • Admitted to the bar of a member State of the Authority, or otherwise qualified to practice law is preferable.

Work Experience

  • Minimum of seven (7) years of progressively responsible professional experience in the practice of law is required;
  • Experience in the legal office of an international organization or the legal office of a government is highly desirable;
  • Experience in a regulatory environment, including experience in legal drafting of international regulatory instruments is highly desirable;
  • Experience in international law and the law of the sea, international organizations law and international administrative law is desirable;
  • Experience in presenting and representing the work of an organization both in writing and orally is desirable;
  • Experience in liaising with Member States, corporate entities, UN agencies, is desirable.


  • English and French are the working languages of ISA. For this post, fluency in written and oral English is required. Knowledge of other United Nations official languages is highly desirable.

Application instructions

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