Job Opening

Posting Title: LEGAL OFFICER, P3
Job Code Title: LEGAL OFFICER
Department/Office: United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Duty Station: NAIROBI
Posting Period: 10 June 2022 - 24 July 2022
Job Opening Number: 22-Legal Affairs-UN-HABITAT-181653-R-Nairobi (R)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity

Org. Setting and Reporting

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, (hereinafter referred to as “UN-Habitat”), established by the General Assembly of the United Nations by its resolution 32/162 of 19 December 1977, transformed into a Programme by General Assembly resolution 56/206 of 21 December 2001, and having its Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. UN-Habitat is the coordinating agency within the United Nations System for human settlement activities and in collaboration with governments is responsible for promoting and consolidating collaboration with all partners, including local authorities, private and non-governmental organizations in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular, Goal 11 of “Making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”, as well as the task manager of the human settlements chapter of Agenda 21 and focal point for the monitoring, evaluation and implementation of the New Urban Agenda adopted during the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III), in Ecuador, Quito, 2016.

The position is located in the Legal Unit within the Office of the Executive Director of UN-Habitat in Nairobi, Kenya.

The Office of the Executive Director is responsible for the formulation of a clear and consistent vision for UN-Habitat, as well as the policies necessary to effectuate that vision; establishing operational priorities and strategies, in consultation with senior management of the programme; ensuring effective management and accountability of the programme and budget; and engaging with key Member States and other stakeholders to secure both political and financial support for UN-Habitat.

The Legal Unit is responsible for ensuring that UN-Habitat’s activities are carried out in accordance with applicable regulatory frameworks and relevant law of the United Nations by providing legal advice and assistance, undertaking due diligence and quality assurance on a range of issues pertaining to the activities of UN-Habitat to reduce the exposure of legal claims, disputes and liabilities to UN-Habitat, internally and externally as well as representing UN-Habitat’s rights, positions and interests in contractual or litigation matters before the various internal administrative tribunals..

The Legal Officer will report to the Head of the Legal Unit.

Responsibilities

Within delegated authority and depending on location, the Legal Officer may be responsible for the following duties:
• Handles a range of issues related to constitutional, international, public, private, administrative, and, for Tribunals, criminal (substantive, procedural and comparative) law, including the interpretation and application of constitutive, legislative and other instruments governing United Nations activities and operations, in consultation with senior Legal Officers or Prosecuting Trial Attorneys.
• Conducts extensive legal research and analysis and prepare studies, comparative studies, briefs, reports and correspondence.
• Undertakes basic or extensive review of legal documents, instruments, or other material; identifies important issues, similarities, and inconsistencies, etc.
• Prepares or assists in the preparation of drafts of background papers, studies, reports, legislative texts and commentaries on those texts, teaching materials in the field of international trade law and private international law, etc.
• Prepares or assists in the preparation of legal opinions/advice on a wide range of international public or private law issues, including the United Nations Charter, General Assembly resolutions and decisions involving, inter alia, issues relating to privileges and immunities, peace and security, criminal prosecutions, institutional questions, treaty law and practice, procedural issues arising during meetings of United Nations organs, constitutional and administrative law of the Organization.
• Prepares or assists in the preparation of agreements and contracts with governments, NGOs and other public and private entities, as well as in the negotiation and settlement of claims and disputes and in handling private international law and international trade law matters.
• Reviews, advises on and drafts indictments or legal motions/submissions.
• Assesses evidence for relevance and admissibility.
• Prepares and assesses briefs of evidence.
• Services or assists senior colleagues in servicing diplomatic conferences, commissions, committees, task forces, expert groups and other bodies, including preparation of background materials, summaries of issues and views of delegations, meeting reports, etc.
• Assists in representing the Organization before arbitral and other tribunals or administrative proceedings, including disciplinary cases; in Tribunals, acts on behalf of the Prosecutor as junior co-counsel in proceedings before Trial or Appeal Chambers.
• Provides legal advice on human resources matters; reviews administrative matters.
• Administers programmes of legal technical assistance.
• Prepares or assists with the preparation of international trade law seminars and symposia, lecture on various legal issues at such events.
• Provides guidance to more junior staff.
• Performs other duties as assigned

Competencies

PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge of, and ability to apply, legal principles, concepts and procedures and terminology for review, examination, and processing of a range of legal documents. Knowledge of various legal research sources, including electronic, and ability to conduct research and analyze information on a wide range of legal issues. Knowledge of the civil law and/or common law legal systems and principles. Ability to interpret and apply legislative instruments, develop and present results, recommendations, and opinions clearly and concisely. Ability to draft legal papers and work under pressure. Ability to apply good legal judgment in the context of assignments given. 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.

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

Education

Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in international law is required. A first-level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in law, including legal analysis, research and writing is required.

Experience working in a legal/judicial environment in an international organization is desirable.

Experience in the development and review of legal instruments is desirable.

Experience in drafting legal opinions and providing advice to superiors is desirable.

Experience in preparing written legal submissions for a court or tribunal is desirable.

Languages

English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, Fluency in one of the working languages of the UN Secretariat, English or French, (both oral and written) is required; knowledge of the other is desirable. Knowledge of another UN official language is desirable.

Assessment

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

Special Notice

Appointment against this position is for a period of one year and may be subject to extension. Staff Members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staffs are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.

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

Internal Applicants – when completing the PHP, ensure ALL fields, ALL professional experience and contact information are completed and up to date. This information is the basis for the hiring manager to assess your eligibility and suitability for the position and to contact you.

Individual Contractors and Consultants who have worked within the UN Secretariat in the last six months, irrespective of the administering entity, are ineligible to apply for or be appointed to any professional and higher temporary or fixed-term positions, within six months of the end of their current or most recent service. For such positions, at least six months need to have elapsed between the end of a consultancy or individual contract and the time of application and consideration for an appointment as a staff member under the Staff Rules and Regulations of the United Nations.

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.

All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply on-line as soon as possible after the job opening has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the job opening. On-line applications will be acknowledged where an email address has been provided. If you do not receive an e-mail acknowledgement within 24 hours of submission, your application may not have been received. In such cases, please resubmit the application, if necessary. If the problem persists, please seek technical assistance through the Inspira "Need Help?"link.

For this position, applicants from the following Member States, which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the UN Secretariat as of 30 November 2020, are strongly encouraged to apply: Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belize, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, China, Comoros, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, 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, 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.

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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