Job Opening

Posting Title: Consultant on Access to Justice, including Legal Aid
Department/Office: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Duty Station: VIENNA
Posting Period: 04 April 2022 - 11 April 2022
Job Opening Number: 22-United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime-178098-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

Under the overall guidance and supervision of the Chief, Justice Section, Division for Operations of UNODC, and direct supervision of the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer acting as HQ focal point on legal aid, the Consultant will be undertaking the following activities:

1. Access to Justice:
• Carry out substantive research on trends in access to justice assistance and summarize information on UNODC’s work on access to justice with a focus on policing, legal aid, and victims’ services, and draft one briefing note per topic, and an overall short background paper for senior officials’ use.
2. Regional capacity building for legal aid experts from Africa:
• Carry out research about legal aid systems, needs and challenges on the subject of legal aid for women in Africa, and develop a concept note as a basis for an online or hybrid regional event bringing together experts and policymakers from across the continent, including collecting and incorporating input from UNODC Field Office staff across Africa;
• Participate in the regional event (online) and based on capacity building needs expressed by experts, as well as information provided by UNODC on past best practices in training and existing UNODC tools, develop a training concept for the practitioners who participated in the event.
3. Early access to legal aid in criminal justice processes:
• Carry out research on challenges and responses to enhancing early access to legal aid in police stations in selected countries (list to be provided by UNODC), and develop a research report outlining entry points for UNODC interventions, including collecting and incorporating input from UNODC Field Office staff in the countries covered by the research;
• Based on the report, develop a short concept note with recommendations for awareness raising among legal aid providers and police and other law enforcement officials in the countries covered by the research, and how to engage them in potential technical assistance activities.

Work Location

Home-based and Vienna

Expected duration

Proposed period: April - September 2022

Actual work time: 98 working days

Duties and Responsibilities

The purpose of the assignment is to support the team working on access to justice in UNODC HQ in Vienna in the implementation of specific activities, particularly as relates to legal and other research on legal aid. The Consultant will provide his/her knowledge and expertise as outlined below. The Consultant will be working home-based and at the UNODC HQ in Vienna, depending on rules and regulations regarding office occupancy during the pandemic.

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications: An advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in law or criminology with adequate focus on international law, criminal law or criminal justice is required. A first-level university degree in similar fields in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

• Work experience in the areas of international law and/or criminal justice, including conducting legal and social research and drafting of research reports, is required.
• Excellent analytical and drafting skills are required.
• Work experience with an international organization in the areas of criminal justice reform and/or access to justice, including access to legal aid, is desirable.
• Knowledge of legal and social aspects of enhancing access to justice, including for victims of crime, is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency in oral and written English, with excellent drafting and communication skills, is required. A similar level of knowledge of French is desirable. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is an advantage.

Additional Information

Equal access to justice for all - or the ability of people to seek and obtain a remedy through formal or informal institutions of justice in conformity with rule of law principles and human rights standards - is a key component of fair, humane, effective, inclusive, and efficient criminal justice, so that all individuals in society, including those in poor and marginalized groups, can equally enjoy their rights. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)’s approach to enhancing access to justice is based on an understanding that, to truly realize this objective, all those affected by crime must be able to seek redress: There is a need to fully safeguard the rights of alleged and sentenced offenders; to ensure their humane treatment during and after criminal proceedings; to enable people to make better use of the law and legal services, including legal aid services and restorative justice programmes, in the protection of their rights; and to protect and assist victims impacted by crime. UNODC has developed longstanding technical expertise and works with national authorities, academia, and civil society partners in countries around the world to strengthen the capacity of legal aid providers, justice professionals and law enforcement officials, as well as support the development of policy and other frameworks.

UNODC’s work on legal aid, specifically, is based on the United Nations Principles and Guidelines on Access to Legal Aid in Criminal Justice Systems, adopted by the General Assembly in 2012 and developed under the auspices of UNODC. As the only international instrument dedicated exclusively to the right to legal aid, the UN Principles and Guidelines, drawn from international standards and recognized good practices, aim to provide guidance to States on the fundamental principles on which a legal aid system in criminal justice should be based, and declare the significance of the provision of legal aid to the protection of human rights. They made it an obligation for Member States to put in place accessible, effective, sustainable and credible legal aid systems. Legal aid includes “legal advice, assistance and representation […] that is provided at no cost for those without sufficient means or when the interests of justice so require”, as well as legal education, access to legal information and other services.

The access to justice team in UNODC HQ implements assistance under HQ Global Programmes, and, in addition, UNODC Field Offices are implementing projects under the umbrella of country or regional programmes, either jointly or with the substantive advice of the HQ focal points.

No Fee


Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
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