Job Opening

Posting Title: SENIOR LEGAL OFFICER, P5
Job Code Title: SENIOR LEGAL OFFICER
Department/Office: Office of Legal Affairs
Duty Station: NEW YORK
Posting Period: 03 May 2022 - 16 June 2022
Job Opening Number: 22-Legal Affairs-OLA-178893-R-New York (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 in the General Legal Division of the Office of Legal Affairs (OLA), in the Administration of Justice/Management Cluster (AOJ Cluster). The Senior Legal Officer reports to the head of the AOJ Cluster and the Director of GLD, as appropriate.

Responsibilities

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

Serves as a recognized expert in the area of international administrative law and administration of justice, and independently handles and provides legal advice to senior officials on a wide range of highly complex, and often sensitive and/or conflicting legal matters involving issues relating to international administrative law, to include the provision of legal advice on the interpretation and application of the United Nations (UN) Staff Regulations and Rules and of resolutions and decisions of the governing bodies of the Organization, including of the separately administered Funds and Programmes. Coordinates teams of other legal officers engaged in major legal projects.

Provides advice at all stages of litigation of staff grievances and reviews and clears recommendations for the dismissal of staff.

Represents, or supervises the representation of, the Organization in internal administrative tribunals.
Guides and supervises the work of legal officers; may assist the Director and Principal Lega Officer in general management and administration of the unit, organizing and prioritizing the workload and providing general coordination and supervision of assignments as regards the legal work.

Provide authoritative legal advice on a diverse range of highly complex or novel substantive and procedural questions of law, which may include ongoing reforms and amendments of staff, financial and programme planning regulations and rules, as well as on personnel and management matters.

Organizes and supervises research studies and the preparation of legal opinions, as well as performs extensive legal research and analysis on highly complex or novel legal issues/questions and prepares legal opinions, studies, briefs, reports, and correspondence .

Advises on and supervises the review, and drafting of , agreements, , institutional and operational modalities, legal submissions/motions, and other legal documents; develops new legal modalities to meet unique needs/circumstances.

Supervises the defence and pursuit of claims and, disputes; negotiates settlement of major claims and prepares legal documentation relating to such settlements.

Provides legal advice to the Principal Legal Officer on the interpretation of personnel policies, regulations and rules, including the review of administrative implications of Administrative Tribunal judgments; coordinates the preparation of revisions to the staff regulations and rules; coordinates the review and preparation or amendments to administrative issuances and verifies their consistency with the applicable legal framework, including staff regulations and rules and other administrative issuances.

Serves, or supervises the representation and participation of OLA, in various standing committees, ad hoc working groups and task forces, as required; promotes the work of the United Nations and represents the organization at meetings, conferences, seminars, etc.
Provides legal advice on diverse substantive and procedural questions of considerable complexity, which may include those related to the other clusters of the Division.

Contributes to review and design of new, or new applications of, legal instruments, policy, guidelines, systems, etc.

Supervises and participates in preparing legal publications of the unit.

Competencies

Professionalism: In-depth theoretical knowledge of, and extensive experience in the practice of international law, including in particular the administrative law of international organizations. Excellent analytical, negotiating and drafting skills, including ability to deliver final drafts of legal opinions and briefs on complex matters under time pressure. Thorough knowledge of the UN system, organization and interrelationships. Ability to explain and defend complex issues and positions to senior officials. 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; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing. Demonstrated ability to negotiate and draft legal texts clearly and precisely is required.

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.

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; and shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

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 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.

Judgement/Decision-making: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; gathers relevant information before making a decision; considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them; takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization; proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information; checks assumptions against facts; determines the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; makes tough decisions when necessary.

Education

Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in law is required. A first-level university degree in law in combination with two additional years of qualifying work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree. Admission to the practice of law in the Member State of the candidate’s nationality or in another Member State of the United Nations is required.

Work Experience

A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in law, obtained in the legal office of an international intergovernmental organization, or a government, including legal analysis, research and writing is required.

Experience in administrative law and litigation is required.

Experience in supervising and guiding the work of junior legal officers, and in advising senior officials independently and on short notice, is required.

Experience within the United Nations System or comparable international organization is desirable.

Languages

English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English (both oral and written) is required. 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

This job opening is advertised to fill a temporarily vacant position during the absence of the regular incumbent for a period of one year or longer. The regular incumbent is entitled to return to this position at the expiry of the temporary vacancy period. If the regular incumbent exercises the right to return, the appointment or temporary assignment or promotion of the candidate selected for this job opening will not be renewed or extended.

The selection process for this job opening will be conducted pursuant to ST/AI/2010/3 on the “Staff Selection System” and include the compliance review process by a review body described in staff rule 4.15. In case of selection, a staff member of the United Nations Secretariat who meets the definition of “internal candidate” in staff rule 4.10 will be placed on a temporary assignment if he or she holds the same grade as the job opening; and a temporary promotion if he or she holds a lower grade than the job opening. If the regular incumbent vacates the position during such temporary assignment or promotion, the selected staff member will be laterally assigned, promoted or transferred to the position without further selection process under ST/AI/2010/3.

For this position, applicants from the following Member States, which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the UN Secretariat as of 31 January 2022, are strongly encouraged to apply: Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belize, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, China, Comoros, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Israel, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Norway, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vanuatu, Viet Nam.

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.

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.

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.

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

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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