Job Opening

Posting Title: Director, Legal Affairs, D2
Department/Office: Office of Legal Affairs
Duty Station: VIENNA
Posting Period: 07 April 2017 - 21 May 2017
Job Opening Number: 17-Legal Affairs-OLA-76098-D-Vienna (R)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Special Notice

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.

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the International Trade Law Division (ITLD), Office of Legal Affairs (OLA), which serves as a substantive Secretariat to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) and is based in Vienna. The Director reports to the Legal Counsel.


Within delegated authority, the Director establishes and executes the work programme of the Division and acts as ex-officio Secretary of UNCITRAL. In that capacity, he/she will be responsible for the following duties:

•Formulate policies, priorities and strategies for submission to UNCITRAL and advise the Commission as regards work it should undertake as the core legal body in the field of international trade law in the United Nations system; consult regularly with the Legal Counsel on matters of policy.
•Implement the decisions of UNCITRAL and the General Assembly by (a) establishing and revising the work programme of the Division; (b) laying down general guidelines for attaining the objectives of the Division, reviewing the work to ensure conformity with these general guidelines; (c) exercising overall supervision of the preparation of substantive reports and publications; and being ultimately responsible for the maintenance of a high level of technical quality of the documentation published by the secretariat, which has been the characteristic of the documents presented to, or produced by, UNCITRAL since it was created in 1966.
•Carry out and supervise the coordination activities of the Commission as the core legal body in the field of international trade law in the United Nations system in order to avoid lacunae, inconsistencies or duplication in the work of other rule-formulating organizations.
•Formulate policies for submission to UNCITRAL on its training and technical assistance programme in international law, supervise the provision of legislative assistance to Governments, in particular in developing countries, to international organizations when they prepare legislative texts, and to national organizations, in particular in developing countries, when they prepare standard legal texts for use of their members; supervise the planning, organization and management of seminars and briefing missions.
•Represent the Division as appropriate at meetings of inter-governmental bodies within and outside the United Nations; consult with Permanent Missions, Government entities, other international organizations, the private sector and other interested parties on matters relating to UNCITRAL, the development of its future work programme and the interpretation and use of UNCITRAL texts.
•Participate in management coordination meetings of the Office of Legal Affairs; exercises overall supervision of the administration of the Division’s activities including matters of personnel, results-bases budgeting, staff travel and programme planning.


Expert knowledge of international trade law and ablity to produce reports and papers on all issues relating thereto. Ability to review and edit the work of others. Diplomatic skills to lecture to expert audiences and ability to manage international meetings. Knowledge of the substantive field of work in general and of specific areas being supervised. Ability to produce reports and papers on technical issues and to review and edit the work of others. Ability to apply UN rules, regulations, policies and guidelines in work situations. 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 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.

Client Orientation:
Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view; establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.

Serves as a role model that other people want to follow: empowers others to translate vision into results; is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and 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.

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.


Advanced university degree in law (Master’s degree or equivalent degree), with specialization in commercial, comparative or private international law is required. A first-level university degree in the aforementioned or similar fields, in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience, may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

More than fifteen years of progressively responsible experience in commercial law, comparative law or international trade law including at the international level is required. Experience in at least two of the following would be desirable: (i) relevant academic experience at the national or international level, (ii) experience as a Legal Officer in a national Ministry of Justice or Trade, (iii) relevant experience in an international organisation or, (iv) experience as a lawyer in the international trade law field. Experience in dealing with United Nations policies, procedures and operations is desirable.


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


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

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, including but not limited to, respect for international human rights and humanitarian law. Candidates may be subject to screening against these standards, including but not limited to, whether they have committed or are alleged to have committed criminal offences or violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

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.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the At-a-Glance on "The Application Process" and the Instructional Manual for the Applicants, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The screening and 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, including but not limited to, their education, work experience, and language skills, according to the instructions provided on inspira. Applicants will be disqualified from consideration if they do not demonstrate in their application that they meet the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations. Applicants are solely responsible for providing complete and accurate information at the time of application: 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 a reference-checking process to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at midnight (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee


Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
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