Job Opening

Posting Title: Legal Officer - Requests for Assistance (RFAs), P4
Department/Office: Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 27 November 2018 - 26 December 2018
Job Opening Number: 18-Legal Affairs-OHCHR-106587-R-Geneva (X)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located within the Collection, Analysis and Sharing Section 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 (IIIM). The Legal Officer is under the direct supervision of the Chief of Collection, Analysis and Sharing Section.


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

1) Coordinates and directs the work of a multidisciplinary team (legal officers, analysts, investigators and Administrative Assistant) dealing with Requests for Assistance (RFAs) submitted to the Mechanism by national or other relevant authorities, planning and chairing meetings as required;
2) Provides oversight and coordination to the preparation of memoranda of understanding between the Mechanism and third parties, 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;
3) Prepares and/or supervises the preparation of communications and, where applicable, documents to be shared with national or other relevant authorities with respect to RFAs;
4) Provides legal and policy advice to Senior Legal Officer and, where appropriate, the Head and Deputy Head of the Mechanism on sharing material with national or other relevant investigative and prosecuting authorities;
5) Supervises and acts as First Reporting Officer for all team members working on RFAs;
6) Attends in-house briefings and meetings, providing updates or legal and/or policy advice as required;
7) Assesses whether in respect of specific RFAs received there is a need for the Mechanism to prioritise specific collection activities and makes recommendations accordingly;
8) Assesses more generally whether RFAs received identify possible avenues for Mechanism investigations and makes recommendations accordingly;
9) Performs extensive legal research and analysis and prepares legal memoranda, reports and correspondence; and
10) Performs other assignments as requested by the Senior Legal Officer, Head or Deputy Head of the Mechanism.


PROFESSIONALISM: Sound knowledge of international legal procedures and instruments, including international criminal law, with a particular emphasis on the legal practice of the international criminal tribunals including the prosecution of core international crimes. Sound knowledge of the functioning of criminal investigations and prosecutions at the national and international levels and experience in litigation. Ability to apply legal expertise to analysing a diverse range of complex issues and in developing innovative solutions. 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; remains calm in stressful situations.

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 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.

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.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in law, criminal law or international criminal law. First-level university degree in combination with at least two 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 is required, of which at least five in international criminal law and three in criminal prosecution either at the national level or at an International Criminal Tribunals. Experience dealing with Requests for Assistance (RFA) and/or memoranda of understanding is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this position, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of Arabic is desirable. Knowledge of French is an asset.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which will be followed by competency-based interview.

Special Notice

Extension of the appointment is subject to extension of the mandate and/or the availability of the funds.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.An impeccable record for integrity and professional ethical standards is essential.The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

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 or sexual abuse, or crimes other than minor traffic offences, 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.

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.

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.

No Fee


Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
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