Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.
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 Principal Legal Officer and the Director of the General Legal Division.
Within delegated authority, the Legal Officer will be responsible for the following duties:
• Handles a range of issues related to constitutional, international, public, private, and administrative law, including the interpretation and application of constitutive, legislative and other instruments governing United Nations activities and operations, in consultation with senior Legal Officers.
• Conducts extensive legal research and analysis and prepare studies, comparative studies, briefs, reports and correspondence.
• Undertakes basic or extensive review of legal documents, instruments, or other material; identifies important issues, similarities, and inconsistencies, etc.
• Advises on internal and external investigations into the use of UN financial and human resources.
With respect to external investigations, assists in providing the Organization’s cooperation to relevant authorities within the framework of the Organization’s status, privileges and immunities.
• Prepares or assists in the preparation of drafts of background papers, studies, reports, legislative texts and commentaries on those texts.
Prepares or assists in the preparation of legal opinions/advice on a wide range of international public or private law issues, including the United Nations Charter, General Assembly resolutions and decisions involving, inter alia, issues relating to privileges and immunities, criminal prosecutions, institutional questions, constitutional and administrative law of the Organization.
• Prepares or assists in the preparation of agreements and contracts with governments, NGOs and other public and private entities, as well as in the negotiation and settlement of claims and disputes and in handling private international law and international trade law matters.
• Services or assists senior colleagues in servicing 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, etc.
• Assists in representing the Organization before arbitral and other tribunals or administrative proceedings, including disciplinary cases.
• Provides legal advice on human resources matters; reviews administrative matters.
• Provides guidance to more junior staff.
• Performs other duties as assigned.
Knowledge and experience of international law, including the privileges and immunities of intergovernmental organizations (in particular the United Nations).
Knowledge of, and ability to apply, legal principles, concepts and procedures and terminology for review, examination, and processing of a range of legal documents.
Knowledge of various legal research sources, including electronic, and ability to conduct research and analyze information 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 good legal judgment in the context of assignments given.
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.
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 audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
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.
Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in international law.
A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in the practice of law, including legal analysis, research and writing.
Experience in providing comprehensive general legal services as a legal officer in the legal office of an intergovernmental organization is required.
Experience in dealing with issues related to white collar crimes, such as fraud and corruption is required.
Admission to the practice of law in the Member State of the candidate’s nationality or in another Member State of the United Nations is required.
Qualifying years of experience are calculated following the receipt of the university degree in law recognized by the United Nations.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat.
For the post advertised, fluency in English (both oral and written) is required.
Knowledge of French is desirable.
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.
United Nations Considerations
Candidates will be required to meet the requirements of Article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter as well as the requirements of the position.
The United Nations is committed to the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity for all its human resources, including but not limited to respect for international human rights and humanitarian law.
Candidates may be subject to screening against these standards, including but not limited to whether they have committed, or are alleged to have committed criminal offences and/or violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.
The United Nations shall place 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. (Charter of the United Nations – Chapter 3, article 8). The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.
Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira.
For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the At-a-Glance on “The Application Process” and the Instructional Manual for the Applicants, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of inspira account-holder homepage.
Applications are pre-screened by the system according to the published requirements of the job opening on the basis of the information provided in the application.
In relation to the requirements of the job opening, applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their qualifications, including their education, work experience, and language skills.
Each applicant must bear in mind that submission of incomplete or inaccurate applications may render that applicant ineligible for consideration for the job opening.
Initial screening and evaluation of applications will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted. Applications cannot be amended following submission.
Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to a reference-checking process to verify the information provided in the application.
Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at midnight (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.