Job Opening

Posting Title: Consultant (Legal research on Laws and Case Law on Crime)
Department/Office: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Duty Station: VIENNA
Posting Period: 31 January 2023 - 09 February 2023
Job Opening Number: 23-United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime-200825-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

1. At least 330 legislative entries or strategies and 80 cases, including cases of international cooperation involving UNTOC as a legal basis, researched and uploaded onto SHERLOC, thereof French-speaking ones;
2. Information-gathering tools (template/questionnaires) for additional cases of international cooperation involving the UNTOC as a legal basis to update the relevant Digest of cases (2021), prepared for further dissemination.
3. Information-gathering tools for additional cases, as described above, dispatched to relevant authorities.
4. Served as focal point for the receipt of additional cases, as described above.
5. Bilateral consultations held during the CCPCJ, the Working Group on International Cooperation and the Working Group of Government Experts on Technical Assistance of the COP-UNTOC, thereof French-speaking ones, statistics compiled and reports drafted upon their finalization.

Work Location

Home-based and Vienna HQ

Expected duration

20.03– 22.12.2023

Duties and Responsibilities

Further to relevant mandates from the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (COP), UNODC started, in 2010, the development of the knowledge management portal known as SHERLOC (Sharing Electronic Resources and Laws On Crime). It is a UNODC on-going initiative aimed at facilitating the dissemination of information regarding the implementation of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and the Protocols thereto. Ever since, SHERLOC has become a practitioner’s tool for police investigators, prosecutors and judges; a monitoring tool for government policy-makers; an awareness-raising tool for the public and media; as well as an information tool for researchers, legal drafters and all those responding to transnational organized crime.

It currently hosts six databases: (1) the Case Law Database, (2) the Database of Legislation (3) the Bibliographic Database, (4) the Directory of Competent National Authorities, (5) the Database of Strategies and (6) the Database on Treaties. Additionally, it hosts the electronic version of the Legislative Guide whose purpose is to assist States seeking to ratify or implement the Organized Crime Convention.

The Case Law Database is a comprehensive database allowing users to see how Member States are tackling organized crime cases both operationally and in their courts. It contains jurisprudence, as well as records of successful law enforcement operations with regard to counterfeiting, cybercrime, drug offences, money laundering, obstruction of justice, participation in an organized criminal group, piracy and maritime crimes, smuggling of migrants, trafficking in firearms, trafficking in cultural property, crimes affecting the environment, trafficking in persons, falsified medical products, corruption and terrorism.

The Database of Legislation is an electronic repository of laws relevant to the provisions of UNTOC and the Protocols thereto. It is searchable by: (1) country, (2) UNTOC article, (3) crime type, and (4) crosscutting issue. While also enabling access to full legislation documents, the Database of Legislation provides extracts of laws relevant to specific UNTOC articles and crime types, allowing the users to quickly find provisions relating to their search query.

The above-mentioned databases include summaries and, when available, full court decisions of more than 3,000 cases on transnational organized crime and counter-terrorism, as well as more than 11,000 relevant legal provisions, from more than 190 countries and more than 1300 bibliographic abstracts. These can be accessed through:

The Bibliographic Database is an annotated bibliography providing a synopsis of key articles that are searchable by: (1) country, (2) crime type, and (3) cross cutting issue.

The Directory of Competent National Authorities contains the authorities designated to receive, respond and process requests pertaining to mutual legal assistance, extradition and transfer of sentenced prisoners, smuggling of migrants, trafficking in firearms, trafficking in cultural property and terrorist cases.

The Database, on Strategies, which is the most recent, provides access to strategies and plans of actions adopted at national level pertaining to the fifteen different crime types, while a dedicated Database on Treaties provides the ratification status of the UNTOC and the Protocols thereto, as well as of other relevant international instruments.

By creating these databases, SHERLOC aims at developing internationally agreed upon legal mechanisms against transnational organized crime, while improving the visibility of successful prosecutions and promoting awareness about the devastating realities of organized crime and terrorism.

The Digest of cases in which the Organized Crime Convention was used as a legal basis for international cooperation in criminal matters was released in October 2021 and has been presented since then at various intergovernmental and expert forums. It represents the first and most comprehensive study of the practical application of the international cooperation provisions of the Convention, as documented in actual cases. On the basis of the information contained therein, it is evident that the international cooperation provisions of the Convention have been used in a considerable number of cases. Some of the cases featured in the digest reflect one of the greatest advantages of the Convention, namely its ability to be used as the sole legal basis for international cooperation where no such cooperation would have been possible otherwise.

However, it should be stressed that the digest does not and cannot aspire to present a complete picture of the use of the Convention as a legal basis for international cooperation in criminal matters. On the contrary, the digest offers merely a snapshot of known cases, which by its nature is selective and indicative. It would be highly desirable to turn this digest into a “living document”, as research continues on the use of the Convention in real-life cases.

Qualifications/special skills

An advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in law, international law, and/or criminal law or related field 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.
- A minimum of one year working experience in analysis of legislation/ legal research is required
- Experience in analysis of legislation/legal research in the area of crime prevention and criminal justice and/or organized crime or closely related issues is desirable
- Previous experience working with knowledge management portals such as legal databases is desirable
- Previous work experience in international organizations is desirable
- Previous experience with website content management systems is desirable


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this position, fluency in English and French (both oral and written) is required. Working knowledge of another official language of the UN is an advantage.

No Fee


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