Chief of Section, Legal Affairs
Kinshasa (Congo Democratic)
Org. Setting and Reporting
This position is located in the Legal Affairs Section of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) with duty station, Kinshasa.
The Chief of Section, Legal Affairs reports to the Chief of Staff and works under the overall authority of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG). S/he provides in-house legal counsel capacity, to include timely and effective advice, services and representation in respect of all aspects of the Mission’s mandate and activities, including complex or novel legal matters. Effectively identifies strategy and approach to legal issues and innovative solutions to problems/issues that arise. Contributes to the development of policy, directives, guidelines and best practices. Demonstrates professional leadership and persuasiveness and diplomacy to generate consensus with relevant parties on divisive legal issues. Under the direction and supervision of the Chief of Staff s/he also oversees the management of the Section and coordinates delivery of the work to the different areas within the Mission, with other offices and entities of the United Nations system and outside actors, as appropriate
Under the overall supervision of the Chief of Staff and within delegated authority, the Chief of Section, Legal Affairs is responsible for the following duties:
•Leads, supervises and implements the work programme of the Section under his/her responsibility and provides legal expertise and advice on all aspects of the United Nations Mission’s mandate and activities, including public, international, private and administrative law matters, as well as issues of constitutional and other national law, as they affect the Mission or the mandate. In particular, provides 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 Forces/Status of Mission Agreements;
•Advises on all aspects of the Mission’s operational activities, including the Mission’s rules of engagement and directives on the use of force and related guidelines, matters relating to international law, including international humanitarian law, international criminal law and the protection of civilians, as appropriate; advises 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;
•Supervises, oversees and advises on the review, negotiation and drafting of 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. S/he also ensures and oversees the effective participation of the Section in administrative Boards and Committees, including in relation to the procurement process, claims and property management, and on ad hoc working groups and task forces and advises on the Mission’s input to the UN Secretary-General’s reports to the Security Council, as well as briefings to the Security Council and other such documents, as they pertain to legal matters;
•Establishes, liaises and maintains good working relations with government officials (ministries, authorities and agencies) 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, governments; provides programmatic/substantive legal expertise at international, regional or national meetings and discussions with governments and other institutions and entities; liaises with other UN agencies, funds and programmes, as well as regional and sub-regional actors and organizations, and with the diplomatic community, as appropriate, and consults with UN Headquarters, as required;
•Under the direction and supervision of the Chief of Staff, undertakes or oversees the programmatic/administrative tasks necessary for the functioning of the Section, including preparation of budgets, reporting on budget/programme performance, evaluation of staff performance and evaluation of candidates for recruitment; manages, guides, develops, trains and mentors staff under his/her supervision and fosters teamwork and communication among staff in the Section and across organizational boundaries.
•Leads and supervises the organization of meetings, seminars, etc. on substantive legal issues; manages the substantive preparation and organization of such meetings or seminars
Knowledge of international legal procedures and instruments, including criminal law, both substantive and procedural. 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 in prosecuting complex criminal cases. 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, indictments or legal submissions/motions, 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.
-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.
-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
-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
-Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly
-Gathers relevant information before making a decision
-Considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them
-Takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization
-Proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information
-Checks assumptions against facts
-Determines that the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision
-Makes tough decisions when necessary
Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in law. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.Work Experience
A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in law, including legal analysis, research and writing. Experience in the following areas is required: privileges and immunities law, international humanitarian law, commercial law, contract law, administrative law, or refugee law. Experience working in and providing legal advice with respect to complex, volatile, conflict or post-conflict situations is required. Experience in supervising a diverse team is required.
Experience working for an international organization or in international affairs is desirable.
Fluency in both of the working languages of the UN Secretariat, English and French, (both oral and written) is required. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.Assessment
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.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.
The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.
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.
Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side 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.