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Legal Officer

Rome (Italy)

  • Organization: FAO - Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Location: Rome (Italy)
  • Grade: Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Legal - Broad
  • Closing Date: 2019-03-29

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The length of appointment for internal FAO candidates will be established in accordance with applicable policies pertaining to the extension of appointments



  • FAO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender and nationality
  • People with disabilities are protected from any type of discrimination during any stage of employment, including the recruitment phase
  • All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality
  • The incumbent may be re-assigned to different activities and/or duty stations depending on the evolving needs of the Organization



Organizational Setting
The Office of the Legal Counsel ensures that the Organization's activities are carried out in accordance with its Constitution and the other Basic Texts of the Organization, in a manner consistent with its status as an inter-governmental organization of the United Nations system, and that its relationships with governments, organizations and individuals are on a sound legal basis.
The position is located in the General Legal Affairs Service (LEGA). LEGA provides advice to the Governing Bodies and Statutory Bodies, and all units of the Organization (including technical units and Decentralised Offices) on legal matters, including\: constitutional and procedural questions; operational arrangements for the activities of the Organization; legal aspects of relations with governments, with other international organizations, and with non-State sector entities; and, specific legal aspects of personnel matters. It represents FAO in judicial proceedings and in settlements of disputes and, in particular, in handling appeals cases in internal appeals processes and before competent administrative tribunals. It services the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters (CCLM). It assists in the discharge of depositary functions in respect of treaties for which the FAO Director-General is the Depositary.
Reporting Lines
The Legal Officer reports to the Legal Counsel.
Technical Focus

Public international law, law of international organizations/constitutional law, international administrative law and contract law.

Key Results

The provision of legal advice and support on questions pertaining to the Organization’s constitutional and legal framework, and its status as a specialised agency of the United Nations system. 
Key Functions
• Assists senior legal officers to prepare and provide advice on various legal issues including on aspects of public international law and international administrative law.
• Conducts legal research and analysis on questions relating to public international law, international administrative law, the law of international organizations, and international treaty law, having regard to the FAO Basic texts, relevant international treaties and practices.
• Assists senior legal officers in the review and drafting of legal opinions, agreements, contracts, pleadings, formal correspondence and other legal documents, identifying important issues, similarities, and inconsistencies, etc. on matters falling within the above-listed areas of law.
• Assists senior colleagues in servicing meetings of Governing and Statutory Bodies , conferences, expert groups and other bodies, including in the preparation of background materials, summaries of issues and views of delegations, meeting reports, etc.
• Performs other duties, as required.
Specific Functions
• Reviews project agreements, contracts and other operational instruments to support delivery of the Organization’s programme of work, in light of the Organization’s rules and procedures;
• Advises on questions related to the privileges and immunities of the Organization;
• Advises on legal aspects of human resources matters;
• Reviews complaints lodged by personnel in the internal appeals processes and before the ILO Administrative Tribunal;
• Undertakes research, conducts legal analysis, and drafts Notes Verbales and other formal correspondence, documents for the CCLM and other Governing and Statutory Bodies, and pleadings in litigation, as required.

Minimum Requirements

• Advanced university degree in Law (Master’s degree or equivalent) in Law, or a Bachelor’s degree in Law and admission to practice in a national jurisdiction.
• Three years of relevant legal experience in public international law, law of international organizations, international administrative law and contract law.
• Working knowledge of English, French or Spanish and limited knowledge of one of the other two or Russian, Arabic or Chinese.

• Results Focus
• Teamwork
• Communication
• Building Effective Relationships
• Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement
Technical/Functional Skills 

• Working knowledge of Spanish is desirable.
• Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly in field positions is desirable.
• Extent and relevance of experience in providing legal advice on issues of public international law, law of international organizations, international administrative law and contracts, preferably in an international setting.
• Extent of knowledge of the United Nations system, and the work of a legal office of an intergovernmental organization.
• Ability to carry out legal research and analysis.
Extent and relevance of experience in drafting, reviewing and advising on legal texts and issues, including on matters involving considerable complexity.
We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
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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