Job Opening

Posting Title: Senior Legal Officer, P5
Job Code Title: SENIOR LEGAL OFFICER
Department/Office: Office of Administration of Justice
Duty Station: NEW YORK
Posting Period: 01 July 2020 - 14 August 2020
Job Opening Number: 20-Legal Affairs-OAJ-136950-R-New York (G)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity

Org. Setting and Reporting

This post is located in the Office of Staff Legal Assistance (OSLA) in New York, Office of Administration of Justice (OAJ).

The Office of Staff Legal Assistance is headed by the Chief (Senior Legal Officer) who is accountable to the Executive Director of the Office of Administration of Justice, without prejudice to his or her responsibility to provide legal assistance to staff members in an independent and impartial manner. Under the authority of the Executive Director, the Chief is responsible for the management and proper functioning of the programme of legal assistance to staff members in the internal justice system, including in administrative, disciplinary and appellate proceedings before the United Nations Dispute Tribunal and the United Nations Appeals Tribunal.

The Senior Legal Officer (Chief) will report to the Executive Director of OAJ.

Responsibilities

Within delegated authority, the Senior Legal Officer (Chief) will be responsible for the following duties:

• Ensures the effective and efficient discharge of OSLA's mandate;
• Coordinates and supervises the work of legal officers and the other staff of the unit;
• Provides strategic legal and policy advice and managerial support to legal officers to maximize resource utilization and efficiencies;
• Advises clients on matters relating to appeals against administrative decisions and the imposition of disciplinary measures;
• Provides legal advice on diverse and complex substantive and procedural questions with a view to resolving workplace disputes;
• Represents clients and coordinates the representation of clients in the formal internal justice system including before the United Nations Dispute Tribunal and the United Nations Appeals Tribunal;
• Prepares written and oral submissions to the Tribunals in accordance with procedural requirements;
• Manages the human, financial and other resources allocated to the unit, as required;
• Develops and maintains standard procedures and monitoring and reporting mechanisms as well as innovative ideas in problem prevention and dispute resolution;
• Ensures the maintenance of the unit's registers (electronic and online) and database;
• Prepares input for reports on the work of the unit to the General Assembly and other bodies, as may be mandated, and represents the unit in relevant bodies;
• Analyses the implications of emerging issues in the unit and makes recommendations on possible strategies and measures;
• Coordinates and participates in outreach and training activities by OSLA;
• Establishes, manages and coordinates a reliable network of volunteer/pro bono counsel and legal interns and ensures their supervision and support;
• Advises the Executive Director on administrative, human resources and logistical matters related to the unit's operational activities.

Competencies

Professionalism: Knowledge of administrative and employment law and judicial procedures, preferably including in the United Nations or other international public organization; Ability to apply legal expertise to analysing a diverse range of complex and unusual legal issues and problems and in developing innovative and creative solutions; 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 or legal submissions/motions, and a variety of legal instruments and related documents. Ability to lead and cross-examine witnesses and make substantive legal arguments and oral submissions before the United Nations Appeals Tribunal and United Nations Dispute Tribunal. 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 UN system, organization and interrelationships. Knowledge of staff rules and regulations, policies, procedures and operations of the United Nations, as well as the jurisprudence of the United Nations Appeals Tribunal and United Nations Dispute Tribunal. Strong managerial and interpersonal skills. Ability to use electronic search engines. Ability to oversee maintenance of OSLA database. 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.
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.

Client Orientation: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be "clients" and seeks to see things from clients' point of view; establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; identifies clients' needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients' environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in cases; meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.

Leadership: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow: empowers others to translate vision into results; is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.

Managing Performance: Establishes priorities and plans, coordinates and monitors work of others; 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.

Education

An advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in law is required. A first-level degree (Bachelor’s degree or equivalent degree) in law with two additional years of relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in law, including legal analysis, research and writing is required.
Experience in judicial structures and procedures is required.
Experience in giving legal advice in the areas of civil procedure, administrative law or employment law is required.
Experience as a litigator in the areas of civil law, administrative law or employment law is required.
Experience in managing a legal practice or office, including the management of lawyers, is required.
Experience in representing clients in employment disputes is desirable.
Experience in criminal law litigation is desirable.
Experience in management of case files is desirable.

Languages

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

Assessment

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

Special Notice

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.

For this position, applicants from the following Member States, which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the UN Secretariat as of 31 January 2020, are strongly encouraged to apply: Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belize, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Central African Republic, China, Colombia, Comoros, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Mozambique, Nauru, Norway, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Suriname, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vanuatu, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Staff members of the United Nations Secretariat must fulfil the lateral move requirements to be eligible to apply for this vacancy. Staff members are requested to indicate all qualifying lateral moves in their Personal History Profile (PHP) and cover letter.

The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance and geographical diversity in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

At the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the recruitment and employment of staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, with due regard to geographic diversity. All employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications and organizational needs. The United Nations is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The United Nations recruits and employs staff regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds or disabilities. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application.

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

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.

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