Job Opening

Posting Title: LEGAL OFFICER (Temporary Job Opening), P4 (Temporary Job Opening)
Department/Office: Office of Legal Affairs
Duty Station: NEW YORK
Posting Period: 13 August 2019 - 30 August 2019
Job Opening Number: 19-Legal Affairs-OLA-121551-J-New York (O)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.

Org. Setting and Reporting

The position is located in the Division for Ocean Affairs and Law of the Sea, Office of Legal Affairs. The incumbent reports to a Senior Legal Officer.


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

• Assists in the substantive servicing of meetings dealing with ocean affairs and the law of the sea, in particular the Intergovernmental Conference, under the auspices of the United Nations, to consider the recommendations of the Preparatory Committee established by resolution 69/292 of 19 June 2015 on the elements and to elaborate the text of an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction; meetings of States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea; the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea; and meetings of the United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
• Conducts extensive legal research and analysis, monitors and analyzes new developments in the field of ocean affairs and the law of the sea and prepares or assists in the preparation of drafts of background papers, studies, reports of the Secretary-General, comparative analysis, briefs, teaching materials and correspondence dealing with legal and other aspects of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and its implementation.
• Coordinates or prepares expert verbal and written advice, including analytical notes and background briefing papers for the Director, Principal Officers, and other senior officials to assist in promoting the consistent application and effective implementation of the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and related agreements on ocean issues, and the development of new legal instruments in the field of the law of the sea and ocean affairs and the formulation of policy, and in the design of programme activities with respect to the legal and technical aspects of ocean affairs and the law of the sea;
• Provides assistance in the dissemination of information on and in promoting a wider appreciation of ocean affairs and the law of the sea, including through inter-agency cooperation and coordination mechanisms;
• Responds to requests for information and provides assistance to States, as required, in support of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including ocean related Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Goal 14 “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”.
• Assists States, as required, regarding the uniform and consistent application of the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea or related capacity-building needs in the field of ocean affairs and the law of the sea.
• Represents the Organization at meetings, conferences, seminars.
• Provides guidance to junior staff and exercise supervisory functions where necessary.
• Performs other duties as required.


• Professionalism: In-depth knowledge of international law, in particular of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and related instruments with ability for practical application of legal principles and concepts to a range of legal issues in the field of ocean affairs and the law of the sea, especially marine biological diversity. Familiarity with recent jurisprudence and trends in the progressive development of law of the sea. Strong analytical skills and ability to conduct comprehensive legal research on a range of issues, including those of a unique and/or complex nature; proficiency in legal writing and expression and ability to prepare legal briefs, opinions, and a variety of legal instruments and related documents. Discretion and sound judgment in applying legal expertise to sensitive, complex legal issues. Strong negotiating skills and ability to influence others to reach agreement. Ability to work to tight deadlines and handle multiple concurrent projects/cases. Knowledge of contemporary international relations and of UN system, organization and interrelationships. 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. Strong interpersonal and communication (written, spoken and presentational) skills.

• 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 supervisees, 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) in law with emphasis on courses in public international law is required. Specialization in law of the sea and ocean-related matters is desirable. A first level university degree with a combination of academic qualifications and relevant experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in international law, including legal analysis, research and writing with demonstrated working experience in the field of law of the sea and ocean related matters is required. Experience in working on marine biological diversity issues is required. Experience in substantive servicing of intergovernmental meetings is also required. Experience dealing with issues under consideration at the Intergovernmental Conference on an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction is desirable. Experience in the organization of international trainings and seminars on ocean affairs and the law of the sea is also desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of French desirable. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.


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

Special Notice

• This position is temporarily available for an initial period of nine months with a possibility of extension. If the selected candidate is a staff member from the United Nations Secretariat, the selection will be administered as a temporary assignment.

• While this temporary assignment may provide the successful applicant with an opportunity to gain new work experience, the selection for this position is for a limited period and has no bearing on the future incumbency of the post.

• Eligibility for this temporary job opening may be limited to candidates based at the duty station.

• This temporary job opening may be limited to “internal candidates,” who have been recruited through a competitive examination administered according to staff rule 4.16 or staff selection process including the review of a central review body established according to staff rule 4.15.

• Staff members of the United Nations common system organizations who will reach the mandatory age of separation or retirement within the duration of the current temporary need period are not eligible to apply.Submitting an application or selection for the current temporary job opening does not delay or increase the mandatory age of separation.

• Retirees above the mandatory age of separation who wish to be considered for the current temporary job opening must indicate the reason for their last separation as "retirement." Such retirees shall not be employed by the Organization, unless (a) the operational requirements of the Organization cannot be met by staff members who are qualified and available to perform the required functions; and (b) the proposed employment would not adversely affect the career development or redeployment opportunities of other staff members and represents both a cost-effective and operationally sound solution to meet the needs of the service.

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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