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Associate Legal Officer (S)


  • Organization: OSCE - Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
  • Location: Vienna
  • Grade: Mid level - International Seconded - Open for OSCE's 57 participating States
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Legal - Broad
  • Closing Date: Closed


This position is open for secondment only and participating States are kindly reminded that all costs in relation to an assignment at the Secretariat must be borne by their authorities.

Candidates should, prior to applying, verify with their respective nominating authority to which extent financial remuneration and/or benefit packages will be offered. Seconded staff members in the OSCE Secretariat and Institutions are not entitled to a Board and Lodging Allowance payable by the Organization.

The OSCE has a comprehensive approach to security that encompasses politico-military, economic and environmental, and human aspects. It therefore addresses a wide range of security-related concerns, including arms control, confidence- and security-building measures, human rights, combating human trafficking, national minorities, democratization, policing strategies, counter-terrorism and economic and environmental activities. All 57 participating States enjoy equal status, and decisions are taken by consensus on a politically, but not legally binding basis.

The OSCE Secretariat in Vienna assists the Chairpersonship in its activities, and provides operational and administrative support to the field operations, and, as appropriate, to other institutions.

The Office of the Secretary General (OSG) plays a key role in supporting the Secretary General in the effective implementation of his/her mandate and specific tasks given to him/her by the OSCE participating States. This includes primarily assisting the Secretary General in his/her activities, serving as a focal point for liaison and support to the Chairperson-in-Office, and co-ordinating tasks across the Secretariat. It groups horizontal services such as Executive Management, Communications and Media Relations, Legal Services, External Co-operation, Security Management, Gender Issues, Conference and Language Services, Central Records Management, and oversees the OSCE Documentation Centre in Prague (DCiP). The OSG ensures effective co-ordination of policy advice provided to the Secretary General and the Chairpersonship, and management decisions taken by the Secretary General.

The Office of Legal Affairs provides legal services OSCE-wide with respect to public international law, financial and contractual matters, and legal issues related to the structure and activities of the OSCE. The Office also develops and strengthens the overall regulatory framework of the OSCE and advises on its implementation, including with respect to international civil service law.

The Office of Legal Affairs sits within the Office of the Secretary General, which in turn plays a key role in supporting the Secretary General in the effective implementation of his/her mandate and specific tasks given to him/her by the OSCE participating States. This includes primarily assisting the Secretary General in his/her activities, serving as a focal point for liaison and support to the Chairperson-in-Office, co-ordinating policy advice provided to the Secretary General and the Chairpersonship as well as management decisions taken by the Secretary General.

Tasks and Responsibilities:

The Associate Legal Officer supports the work of the Office of Legal Affairs by providing general legal support and advice, with guidance from the unit’s senior legal specialists, to OSCE field operations, as well as to OSCE Institutions in furtherance of their programmatic functions in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Western Balkans. Under the overall supervision of the Head of the Office of Legal Affairs, the successful candidate will be tasked with the following duties:

  1. Carrying out research and preparing drafts on legal issues relating to the functions, structure and activities of the organization. Such issues may bear upon the general field or on specialized aspects of constitutional, international, public, private and administrative law;
  2. Selecting and analysing relevant international and national legal materials from identified sources or collections for the preparation of reports or studies or for their classification as reference material;
  3. Providing preliminary interpretation of legal instruments, such as constitutions, statutes, treaties, agreements, regulations and rules, resolutions or other legal materials relevant to the work of the organization or office concerned;
  4. Giving legal advice on issues of limited scope, such as the application of laws or administrative rules and regulations;
  5. Providing secretariat services to various committees and bodies dealing with subject matters falling within the competence of the office or organization by: preparing background materials, reports, papers and other documents; synthesizing views and practices on particular issues; preparing preliminary drafts of legal instruments, such as contracts and agreements internal regulations and rules or other legislative materials; carrying out a preliminary review of legal aspects of draft letters, agreements and other texts which have been passed to the office for comments or clearance;
  6. Performing other related duties as required.

For more detailed information on the structure and work of the OSCE Secretariat, please see:

Necessary Qualifications:

  • First-level university degree in law with specialisation in public international law;
  • A minimum of four years of professional-level experience, including a minimum of two years with a governmental organization or international organization;
  • Demonstrated research, analytical and problem-solving skills, including the ability to identify and participate in the resolution of issues/problems, establish rapport, and apply good judgment in the context of assignments;
  • Professional fluency in English with excellent communication (both oral and written) skills; good command of German and/or Russian is desirable;
  • Demonstrated gender awareness and sensitivity, and an ability to integrate a gender perspective into tasks and activities;
  • Ability and willingness to work as a member of team, with people of different cultural, and religious backgrounds, different gender, and diverse political views, while maintaining impartiality and objectivity;
  • Computer literate with practical experience using Microsoft applications.


If you wish to apply for this position, please use the OSCE's online application link found under

The OSCE retains the discretion to re-advertise/re-post the vacancy, to cancel the recruitment, to offer an appointment with a modified job description or for a different duration.

Only those candidates who are selected to participate in the subsequent stages of recruitment will be contacted.

Please note that vacancies in the OSCE are open for competition only amongst nationals of participating States, please see

The OSCE is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages the nomination of qualified female and male candidates from all religious, ethnic and social backgrounds.

Candidates should be aware that OSCE officials shall conduct themselves at all times in a manner befitting the status of an international civil servant. This includes avoiding any action which may adversely reflect on the integrity, independence and impartiality of their position and function as officials of the OSCE. The OSCE is committed to applying the highest ethical standards in carrying out its mandate. For more information on the values set out in OSCE Competency Model, please see

Please be aware that the OSCE does not request payment at any stage of the application and review process.

Please apply to your relevant authorities well in advance of the deadline expiration to ensure timely processing of your application. Delayed nominations will not be considered. The OSCE can only process Secondment applications that have been nominated by participating States. For queries relating to your application, please refer to the respective delegation as listed here:

Additional Information
  • Issued by: OSCE Secretariat
  • Requisition ID: SEC000347
  • Contract Type: International Secondment
  • Grade: S
  • Job Type: Seconded
  • Number of posts: 1
  • Location: SEC - OSCE Secretariat, Vienna
  • Issue Date: Nov 2, 2023
  • Closing Date: Jul 31, 2024
  • Employee Status: Fixed Term
  • Schedule: Full-time
  • Education Level: Bachelor's Degree (First-level university degree or equivalent)
  • Job Field: Legal Services
  • Target Start Date: As soon as possible
This vacancy is now closed.
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