Job Opening

Posting Title: Legal Officer/Deputy Head of Office, P4
Department/Office: Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Posting Period: 10 November 2020 - 24 November 2020
Job Opening Number: 20-Legal Affairs-OHCHR-143337-R-Guatemala City (X)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Guatemala. The incumbent reports to the OHCHR Guatemala Representative.


Within delegated authority, the Legal Adviser/Deputy Head of Office will be responsible for the following duties:

- Ensures coordination and fulfillment of Office objectives, activities and outputs following international human rights law and standards;

- Assists the Head of OHCHR Guatemala to oversee the execution of the office´s work plan, and ensures that all aspects of the operative and logistical management of the Office are carried out through transparent processes, in accordance with OHCHR administrative rules and recommending the best use of human and financial resources in accordance with the established strategies and priorities;

- Coordinates, in close collaboration with the Programme Management Officer, the preparation and submission to headquarters of monthly and annual reports on activities, including the High Commissioner’s report to the Human Rights Council;

- Represents the Office in the absence of the OHCHR Representative in Guatemala and maintains regular contacts with the OHCHR Headquarters;

- Ensures integration of human rights including the gender dimension in all activities to be carried out by the Office;

- Supervises the coordination of the office’s human rights monitoring and documentation work as well as in the areas of justice, security and economic and social and cultural rights, and works with UN and non-governmental programmes in the country to integrate human rights perspective; maintain contact with key counterparts, including civil society, government, UN and international organisations;

- Provides legal advice and analysis on cases, public policies, capacity building to national authorities and legislative proposals related to the Office's mandate, including on compatibility of domestic legislation with international standards;

- Elaborates in cooperation with the staff responsible for institutional strengthening, the content of Office's activities in accordance with the needs identified, through the observation of the human rights situation;

- Analyzes and evaluates the compliance with the recommendations from the Human Rights Mechanisms including the Special Procedures, the Treaty Bodies and the Universal Periodic Review and the Human Rights Council and coordinate the Office's work with these mechanisms;

- Participates in elaborating the capacity building activities that relate to legal aspects (especially those related to mechanisms and standards from the United Nations) in coordination with entities including universities, legal institutions, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and journalists;

- Provides advice to the Representative on human rights for the elaboration of strategies, public declarations and recommendations;

- Contributes to the elaboration of legal publications and other dissemination activities on aspects concerning international human rights law and the United Nations human rights mechanisms;

- Contributes to the global analysis of the Office's work (including priorities, reports, evaluations and planning activities);

- Performs other related duties as required.


PROFESSIONALISM : Knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches relevant to particular sector, functional area or other specialized field. Ability to identify issues, analyze and participate in the resolution of issues/problems. Ability to conduct data collection using various methods. Conceptual analytical and evaluative skills to conduct independent research and analysis, including familiarity with and experience in the use of various research sources, including electronic sources on the Internet, intranet and other databases. Ability to apply judgment in the context of assignments given, plan own work and manage conflicting priorities. 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.

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.

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.

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 improvement; 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 : 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 tasks 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 degree) preferably in law, with specialization in human rights. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of seven (7) years of progressively responsible experience in the field of human rights is required.
Experience providing legal analysis and advice; drafting human rights reports; investigations and elaboration of thematic studies is desirable.
Experience with technical assistance in the field of human rights including international norms, mechanisms and procedures of protection is desirable.
At least two years of experience leading and managing a team of at least ten (10) persons is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in Spanish is required. Knowledge of English is required.


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 funds.

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.

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.

The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.

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


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