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National Legal Officer

Suva (Fiji )


The OHCHR Regional Office for the Pacific is based in Suva, Fiji. It covers 16 countries and territories in the region, - Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

This position is based in Suva, Fiji.

Under the guidance of the Regional Representative/Head of Office, the National Legal Officer provides legal analysis and advice which contributes to the overall political, social and economic analysis and participates in the formulation, management and evaluation of strategies for human rights protection and advocacy.

The National Legal Officer will be expected to supervise and lead programme support staff.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Assist in the implementation of human rights protection and advocacy strategies;
  • Assist, advise and support the Office in relevant areas related to human rights information gathering, legal analysis, and drafting activities including by undertaking field monitoring and verification work, and following up to different cases and situations;
  • Advise the Office on matters related to the applicable legal framework, including international human rights law, international humanitarian law, international criminal law and national laws directly relevant for the region or country specific situations;
  • Regularly carry out legal review and analysis of information collected by the Office, including from witnesses and victims, NHRIs, civil society and authorities; Identify gaps; Ensure that the information collected corresponds to the required legal elements;
  • Alert the head of office as to legal and human rights developments relevant for the region of assignment and provide analysis thereof, including issue-based or situational assessments of legislative, policy or implementation gaps;
  • Undertake legal research, provide quality legal advisory and analysis services and  facilitate knowledge building and management;
  • Provide technical advice, evaluation and legal analysis on the international norms, mechanisms and recommendations on human rights. Contribute to promote and disseminate international standards and principles; Ensure that activities are conducted in compliance with relevant standards, principles and methods of work, including for protection activities and responses;
  • Participate in the elaboration of thematic and analytical documents, as well as provide inputs to preparing documents and reports;
  • Follow-up on the recommendations issued by human rights mechanisms including special procedures and treaty bodies;
  • Conduct human rights workshops and assist the Office in delivering capacity building and training activities;
  • Provide written/oral briefings on thematic issues as required; take the lead in providing advice on legislative review or submissions to specific governments in the region on human rights standards.
  • Maintain strict security and confidentiality of information; Ensure that all cases and sensitive human rights information are properly recorded; provide guidance for the development of the Office human rights database.
  • Contribute in all the activities of the Office in order to follow up the human rights situation in the geographical region of responsibility;


  • Professionalism - Good knowledge of international human rights law and standards as well as international criminal law and international humanitarian law; significant experience in applying legal expertise to analyzing a diverse range of complex legal and human rights issues; knowledge of approaches and techniques to address sensitive problems Demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; strong analytical skills and ability to conduct comprehensive legal research on a range of issues including ability to evaluate and integrate information from a variety of sources and assess impact on the human rights situation;  legal writing and expression and ability to prepare,  under time pressure, briefs, reports and other legal instruments and related documents; good understanding of contemporary international relations and of UN system, organization and interrelationships; Commitment to implementing the goal of gender equality by ensuring the equal participation and full involvement of women and men in all aspects of work. ; Sound knowledge of information and data management, including security, as well as understanding of its relevance and applicability to human rights work, solid knowledge in witness and victim protection; Knowledge of the region of assignment
  • Communication - Good communication (spoken, written and presentational) skills, including the ability to produce a variety of written reports; 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
  • Planning and Organizing - Demonstrated organizational skills and ability to establish priorities and to plan coordinate and monitor related activities. 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. Teamwork - Proven interpersonal skills and ability to work in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity. Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others' ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position.

Required Skills and Experience


  • An advanced law degree is required. Specific training in a field relevant to Human Rights or related area will be an asset.


  • Minimum 5 years of relevant experience in legal analysis, research and writing. Experience at national and/or international levels in the human rights or related field is desirable. Previous experience with the United Nations or an international organization will be an advantage.Experience  in  more than one Pacific island country is desirable.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in English both written and spoken, is required.


Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Suva (Fiji )
  • Grade: NO-C, National Professional Officer - Locally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Democratic Governance
    • Legal - Broad
  • Closing Date: 2018-09-09

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