Job Opening

Posting Title: Senior Legal Advisor, P5
Department/Office: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Duty Station: VIENNA
Posting Period: 25 October 2022 - 08 December 2022
Job Opening Number: 22-Legal Affairs-UNODC-193789-R-Vienna (G)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Org. Setting and Reporting

The position is located within the integrated Office of the Director-General/Office of the Executive Director (ODG/OED) of the United Nations Office at Vienna/United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNOV/UNODC) in Vienna, Austria. The incumbent reports directly to the Chief, ODG/OED and Strategy Advisor to the Executive Director of UNODC.

For more information on UNOV and UNODC, please visit: and


Under the overall guidance of the Director-General/Executive Director, the supervision of the Chief, ODG/OED and Strategy Advisor to the Executive Director, and in consultation with the Office of Legal Affairs (OLA) as appropriate, the Senior Legal Advisor provides legal advice to all United Nations entities in Vienna, including UNOV, UNODC and to United Nations (UN) Conferences and bodies that meet in Vienna and supports the Chief, ODG/OED and Strategy Advisor to the Executive Director in the strategic and substantive management of the Office. The Senior Legal Advisor will be responsible for the following specific duties:

• Advise the Director-General/Executive Director and senior officials on:
(a) legal aspects of programme and policy matters, developing and negotiating agreements concerning technical assistance as required;
(b) legal and policy matters related to the work of relevant UN deliberative and intergovernmental bodies;
• Advise the Chief, ODG/OED and Strategy Advisor to the Executive Director on legal aspects of programme management and direction.
• Oversee the performance of public legal functions, which include:
(a) advising the Director-General/Executive Director and senior officials on the implementation of the UN agreement with Austria concerning the Headquarters in Vienna, monitoring the impact of the agreement, protecting the interests of the Organization and, when necessary, proposing revisions of or supplements to the agreement;
(b) acting as focal point for referrals to the Office of Legal Affairs (OLA) and other legal matters which require consultation with it;
(c) advising on the application of the relevant rules of procedure for meetings related to the UN units in Vienna;
(d) drafting conference agreements for UN conferences to be convened in Austria or elsewhere as related to the work of UN units in Vienna;
(e) advising the Director-General/Executive Director and other senior officials on legal questions concerning the joint administration of the Vienna International Centre and the delivery of such common services as Security, Buildings Management;
(f) advising the Director-General/Executive Director and other senior officials on legal aspects of administrative and personnel matters;
(g) advising the Director-General/Executive Director and other senior officials on contractual matters and on agreements with governments and non-governmental organizations;
(h) providing guidance as appropriate to UN staff members on how to approach legal issues arising from their expatriation.
• Manage, guide, develop and train staff under his/her supervision.
• Perform other related functions as requested by the Chief of ODG/OED or the Director-General/Executive Director.


• Professionalism: Has knowledge of international legal procedures and instruments, treaties and criminal law, both substantive and procedural. Has knowledge of drug control, crime prevention and criminal justice treaties, standards, norms, policy and functioning of their underlying intergovernmental bodies. Is able to apply legal expertise to analyzing a diverse range of complex legal issues and problems and in developing innovative and creative solutions. Has strong analytical skills and ability to conduct comprehensive legal research on a range of issues, including those of a unique and/or complex nature; is proficient in legal writing and expression and is able to prepare legal briefs, opinions, submissions and a variety of legal instruments and related documents. Shows discretion and sound judgment in applying legal expertise to sensitive, complex legal issues. Has strong negotiating skills and ability to influence others to reach agreement. Is able to work to tight deadlines and handle multiple concurrent projects/cases. Has knowledge of contemporary international relations and of UN system, organization and interrelationships. 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.

• Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments; delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.

• Vision: Identifies strategic issues, opportunities and risks; clearly communicates links between the Organization’s strategy and the work unit’s goals; generates and communicates broad and compelling organizational direction, inspiring others to pursue that same direction; conveys enthusiasm about future possibilities.

• 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 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 that the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; makes tough decisions when necessary.


An advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in international law. 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

A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible professional experience in law at the international level, including legal analysis, research and writing, is required.

Work experience in providing advisory services to senior officials and governments at the national and international levels in areas related to drug control and crime prevention is required.

Work experience with drug control, crime prevention or criminal justice treaties is desirable.

Work experience in reviewing, drafting and negotiating agreements and other legal instruments with Governments is desirable.

Working experience in the United Nations or similar international organizations is desirable.


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


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise and a competency-based interview.

Special Notice

For this position, applicants from the following Member States, which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the UN Secretariat as of 30 June 2022, are strongly encouraged to apply: Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belize, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, 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, Panama, 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, Sudan, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vanuatu.

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.

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.

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 and geographical diversity in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

Vienna is classified in the H category (family duty station).

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


Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
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