Legal Officer, P4

UN Office of the International Impartial and Independent Mechanism on Syria
  • Location
    Geneva, Switzerland
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Nov 22

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located within the Support and Sharing Section (SSS) of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism to assist in the investigation and prosecution of persons responsible for the most serious crimes under International Law committed in the Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011 (Mechanism). The incumbent will be responsible for managing projects and staff under the direct supervision of the SSS Senior Legal Officer.


Within delegated authority and as necessary, the Legal Officer will be responsible for the following duties:

  • Coordinates and directs the work of a multidisciplinary team dealing with Requests for Assistance (RFAs) submitted to the Mechanism by national or other relevant authorities, planning and chairing meetings as required;
  • Provides oversight and coordination to the preparation of cooperation agreements between the Mechanism and third parties including States, contributes as required to the building of case files, and provides support on a wide range of multidisciplinary and complex legal and administrative matters, either independently or in cooperation with other sections of the Mechanism;
  • Prepares and/or supervises the preparation of communications and, where applicable, documents to be shared with national or other relevant authorities in response to RFAs or proactively;
  • Provides legal and policy advice to the Senior Legal Officer and, where appropriate, the Head and Deputy Head of the Mechanism on sharing and cooperation with national or other relevant investigative and prosecuting authorities;
  • Attends in-house briefings and meetings, providing updates or legal and/or policy advice as required;
  • Assesses whether in respect of specific RFAs received there is a need for the Mechanism to prioritise specific collection activities and makes recommendations accordingly;
  • Assesses more generally whether RFAs received identify possible avenues for Mechanism investigations and makes recommendations accordingly;
  • Performs extensive legal research and analysis and prepares legal memoranda, reports, and correspondence;
  • Performs other assignments as requested by the SSS Senior Lega1 Officer, Head or Deputy Head of the Mechanism.


  • PROFESSIONALISM: Sound knowledge of the international criminal law framework and international humanitarian law principles; Sound knowledge of the functioning of criminal investigations and prosecutions at the national or international levels and experience in litigation; Ability to apply legal expertise to analysing a diverse range of complex issues and in developing innovative solutions; Ability to interpret and apply legislative instruments, develop and present results, recommendations, and opinions clearly and concisely. 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 AND 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;
  • 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;
  • EMPOWERING OTHERS: Delegates responsibility, clarifies expectations, and gives staff autonomy in important areas of their work; Encourages others to set challenging goals; Holds others accountable for achieving results related to their area of responsibility; Genuinely values all staff members’ input and expertise; Shows appreciation and rewards achievement and effort; Involves others when making decisions that affect them.


  • An advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in law, criminal law or international criminal law is required. A first level university degree combined with an additional two (2) years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible legal experience, of which at least five in international criminal law and three in criminal adjudication either at the national level or with an international accountability mechanism is required;
  • Experience in team management is desirable;
  • Experience in relation to the Middle East is desirable;
  • Experience as a prosecutor, adjudicator or counsel with a court or tribunal dealing with core international crimes, or as a legal officer with an international criminal law accountability mechanism is desirable;
  • Experience dealing with Requests for Assistance (RFA) in a judicial context is desirable;
  • Experience drafting cooperation frameworks or memoranda of understanding is desirable.


  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of Arabic is desirable. Knowledge of French is desirable.

Application instructions

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