Job Opening

Posting Title: LEGAL OFFICER, P3 [Filled from Roster]
Department/Office: Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Duty Station: GENEVA
Posting Period: 17 July 2019 - 30 August 2019
Job Opening Number: 19-Legal Affairs-OHCHR-118580-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 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 incumbent will be under the general direction of the Head of the IIIM and the direct guidance and supervision of the Deputy Head.


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

- Reviews documentation, correspondence, letters, including sensitive queries and requests with legal implication; consults senior staff for their inputs and comments regarding the same as required, compiles summaries and/or makes recommendations to the Deputy Head based on an analysis of the information provided; drafts replies for the signature of the Deputy Head;
- Prepares, in coordination with the External Relations Officer, briefings for the Deputy Head’s meetings with government and international officials as required; prepares background documentation and advises as to the content and direction of such meetings, attends meetings, prepares summary documents of such meetings and ensures follow-up to any actions decided on during such meetings;
- Drafts policy papers, reports including to the General Assembly, as well as other documents in the context of international law as required. Drafts, in coordination with the External Relations Officer, speeches and public presentations for the Deputy Head as well as donor reports and other documentation;
- Assists the Deputy Head in developing workplans and policies concerning the IIIM’s substantive work, particularly with a view to ensuring a coordinated approach across the office and ensuring that a victim-centred approach, attention to sexual and gender-based crimes and crimes against children, as well as effective support concerning secondary trauma, is fully integrated into all operations.
- Assists in ensuring effective communication and record keeping systems are in place and enforced within the Executive Office;
- Stays abreast of current developments relevant to the IIIM’s work and provides advice accordingly; reviews policy positions under consideration by the Head and Deputy Head, for consistency of approach and assists in ensuring effective implementation;
- In coordination with the Special Assistant of the Head, liaises and maintains close working relations with member state governments, UN secretariat, other UN agencies, international organizations and NGO’s;
- Assists in coordinating and enhancing internal communication between the Head, Deputy Head and the IIIM’s staff; liaises with various staff members and follows up on direction from the Deputy Head;
- Coordinates special projects as directed by the Deputy Head.


PROFESSIONALISM: Gender expertise and knowledge of international and legal affairs and of accountability processes for core international crimes; Ability to draft a broad range of written documents at a very high level, including correspondence, policy documents, presentations, speeches and legal documents; Ability to apply good judgement and analytical and research skills in the context of assignments given, including the ability to evaluate information and assess impact; 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 audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

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.

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.


Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent degree) in law, political science, international relations, or other relevant discipline. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in law enforcement, prosecution, criminal justice, international relations, social or political affairs or related area, including legal analysis, research and writing is required. Experience in an international context (e.g. member state’s diplomatic corps or multilateral organization such as the United Nations or European Union) advising senior officials in law, human rights, political affairs, international relations, diplomacy, conflict resolution, or related area is required. Experience in drafting high-level reports and other documents is required.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations. For the post advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another United Nations official language, in particular French or Arabic, is desirable.


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.

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, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, 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. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.

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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