SENIOR LEGAL OFFICER
Org. Setting and Reporting
This position is located in the Legal Affairs Section (LAS) of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. The Senior Legal Officer serves as the Chief of the Legal Affairs Section and reports to the Chief of Staff and to the Special Representative of the Secretary- General.Responsibilities
Under the supervision of the Chief of Staff and within delegated authority, and as necessary in consultation with the Office of Legal Affairs at United Nations Headquarters, the Senior Legal Officer will be responsible for the following duties:
• Provides in-house legal counsel capacity, to include timely and effective advice, services and representation in respect of a broad range of the Mission's mandate and activities, including complex or novel legal matters. Suggests strategy and approach to legal issues and innovative solutions to problems that arise. Contributes to the development of policy, directives, guidelines and best practices. Demonstrates professionalism and persuasiveness and diplomacy to generate consensus with relevant parties on divisive legal issues.
• Provides legal expertise and advice on a wide range of complex legal issues affecting the United Nations Mission's mandate and activities, including public international, private and administrative law matters, as well as issues of national law as they affect the Mission or the mandate. In particular, supervises or supports the provision of legal advice and expertise on the interpretation of the Mission's mandate, the legal status of the Mission and its members, including in areas such as privileges and immunities and Status of Mission Agreements; on aspects of the Mission's operational activities, including matters relating to international law, including international humanitarian law, international criminal law and the protection of civilians, as appropriate; advises and supports the provision of advice on administrative, personnel and contractual matters related to the Mission's activities, including issues relating to the accountability of personnel, procurement matters, third party claims, as well as legal questions involving the interpretation or application of UN regulations and rules. S/he also drafts and reviews agreements, institutional and operational modalities, major contracts, legal submissions and other legal documents and provides advice on and participates in negotiations for the settlement of claims and disputes.
• Assists and supports Mission Leadership in establishing and maintaining engagement with de facto authorities and other entities on legal matters related to the implementation of the Mission's mandate, including the implementation of agreements and other arrangements with the host, or with other States; liaises and participates in meetings and discussions with de facto authorities and other institutions and entities; liaises with other UN agencies, funds and programmes, as well as other internal and external actors and organizations, as required.
• Participates in or delegates responsibility for administrative Boards and Committees, including in relation to the procurement process, claims and property management, and on ad hoc working groups and task forces, as required.
• Is responsible for the management and administration of the unit, including organizing and prioritizing workload and managing, supervising and guiding more junior legal officers;
• Performs extensive legal research and analysis on highly complex or novel legal issues/questions and prepares legal opinions, studies, briefs, reports, and correspondence; represents the Section at meetings, conferences, seminars, etc.
• Performs other duties, as assigned.
• Professionalism: Knowledge of international legal procedures and instruments, including public international law, international administrative law, international and domestic criminal law, both substantive and procedural, and privileges and immunities. Ability to apply legal expertise to analyzing a diverse range of complex and unusual legal issues and problems and in developing innovative and creative solutions. Strong analytical skills and ability to conduct comprehensive legal research on a range of issues, including those of a unique and/or complex nature; proficiency in legal writing and expression and ability to prepare legal briefs, opinions and a variety of legal instruments and related documents. Discretion and sound judgment in applying legal expertise to sensitive, complex legal issues. Strong negotiating skills and ability to influence others to reach agreement. Ability to work to tight deadlines and handle multiple concurrent projects/cases. 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. 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.
• 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 the audience -Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
• Planning & Organizing: -Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies - Identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required -Allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work –Foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning -Monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary -Uses time efficiently.
• Empowering Others: -Delegates responsibility, clarifies expectations, and gives staff autonomy in important areas of their work -Encourages others to set challenging goals -Holds others accountable for achieving results related to their area of responsibility -Genuinely values all staff members' input and expertise -Shows appreciation and rewards achievement and effort -Involves others when making decisions that affect them.
• 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.
Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in international law or related field. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
A minimum of ten (10) years of progressively responsible experience in the practice of law, including legal analysis, research and writing, is required.
Experience in professional legal work advising on questions of public international law and privileges and immunities is desirable.
Experience in dealing with legal issues as a legal officer in a field legal office in UN Peacekeeping or special political missions is desirable.
Experience dealing with de facto authorities of a State is desirable.
Experience in international administrative law, commercial law and contract law is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English (both oral and written) is required.Assessment
Previously rostered candidates are not subject to any further assessment and as such, will not be invited for such an assessment.Special Notice
This "Recruit from Roster" job opening is only open to roster applicants who are already placed on pre-approved rosters, following a review by a United Nations Central Review Body. Only roster applicants who were placed on rosters with similar functions at the same level are considered to be eligible candidates. Eligible applicants receive an email inviting them to apply. Rostered applicants are encouraged to apply only if they are interested and available to take up the position at the duty station/s specified in the Job Opening. Applying to this job opening carries an expectation to accept the offer, if selected.
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.
Reasonable accommodation may be provided to applicants with disabilities upon request, to support their participation in the recruitment process.
By accepting a letter of appointment, staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General, who may assign them to any of the activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). Further, staff members in the Professional and higher category up to and including the D-2 level and the Field Service category are normally required to move periodically to discharge functions in different duty stations under conditions established in ST/AI/2023/3 on Mobility, as may be amended or revised. This condition of service applies to all position specific job openings and does not apply to temporary positions.
Applicants are urged to carefully follow all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira, and to refer to the Applicant Guide by clicking on “Manuals” in the “Help” tile 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.
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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