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Deputy Head, Office of Legal Affairs

Vienna (Austria)

  • Organization: OSCE - Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
  • Location: Vienna (Austria)
  • Grade: P-4, Internationally contracted - Open for OSCE's 57 participating States - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Legal - Broad
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2020-01-06

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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, 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 Chairmanship in its activities, and provides operational and administrative support to the field operations, and, as appropriate, to other institutions.


As part of the Office of the Secretary General, the Office of Legal Affairs provides authoritative legal advice and assistance on a wide range of issues to the Secretary General and the Secretariat’s Departments, the Chairmanship, the Institutions and Field Operations and, as required, to the Delegations.


The OSCE Action Plan for the Promotion of Gender Equality is committed to increasing the number of female staff in all areas of the OSCE’s work. Women are currently underrepresented in senior management categories and therefore female candidates are particularly encouraged to apply for this senior management opportunity.

Tasks and Responsibilities    

Under the direct supervision of the Head, Office of Legal Affairs, the Deputy Head, Office of Legal Affairs shall perform the following functions:


  1. Providing expert legal advice on multi-disciplinary, highly complex, and often sensitive legal matters involving issues relating to international, public, private and administrative law and the common regulatory management system of the OSCE;
  2. In co-ordination with the Head, Office of Legal Affairs, providing legal advice on the interpretation and application of internal regulatory documents such as of staff and/or financial regulations and rules and administrative issuances; 
  3. Reviewing and advising on draft administrative issuances or amendments thereto, verifying their consistency with the existing staff/financial regulations and rules;
  4. Assisting the Head, Office of Legal Affairs in the negotiation and settlement and, where necessary, the final adjudication and arbitration of claims and disputes arising from the operational activities of the Organization, including its funds and programmes, its officials, private third-parties or commercial claims and disputes arising from OSCE contracts;
  5. In co-ordination with the Head, Office of Legal Affairs, providing legal advice to participating States during Policy-Making Organs or Informal Groups sessions, or in writing upon request;
  6. Assisting the Head, Office of Legal Affairs in the administrative tasks necessary for the functioning of the Section as required; providing programming ideas and projects for the new budget cycle;
  7. Acting as Officer in Charge in the absence of the Head, Office of Legal Affairs; managing all personnel in Legal Services; assigning tasks and ensuring that the output is accurate and consistent;  
  8. Performing other related duties as required.


For more information about the work of the OSCE, please see

Necessary Qualifications    
  • Second-level university degree in law, preferably with an emphasis on commercial international law and/or public international law; first-level university degree in combination with two years of additional qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree;
  • A minimum 8 years of relevant professional experience as an in-house legal counsel in a commercial company and/or an international organization;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of international, contractual and procurement principles and practices;
  • Established knowledge of European and/or international public law is a strong asset;
  • Demonstrated gender awareness and sensitivity, and an ability to integrate a gender perspective into tasks and activities;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English; working knowledge of German and/or another OSCE official language would be an advantage;
  • Ability and willingness to work as a member of team, with people of different cultural and religious backgrounds, different gender and diverse political views, whilst maintaining impartiality and objectivity;
  • Computer literate with practical experience in Microsoft applications.
Required competencies    
    Core values
  • Commitment: Actively contributes to achieving organizational goals
  • Diversity: Respects others and values their diverse perspectives and contributions
  • Integrity: Acts in a manner consistent with the Organization’s core values and organizational principles
  • Accountability: Takes responsibility for own action and delegated work
Core competencies
  • Communication: Actively works to achieve clear and transparent communication with colleagues and with stakeholders of the Organization
  • Collaboration: Works effectively with others on common goals and fosters a positive, trust-based working environment
  • Planning: Works towards the achievement of goals in a structured and measured manner
  • Analysis and decision-making: Analyses available information, draws well-founded conclusions and takes appropriate decisions
  • Initiative-taking: Proposes and initiates new ideas, activities and projects
  • Flexibility: Responds positively and effectively to changing circumstances
Managerial competencies (for positions with managerial responsibilities)
  • Leadership: Provides a clear sense of direction, builds trust and creates an enabling environment
  • Strategic thinking: Identifies goals that advance the organizational agenda and develops plans for achieving them
  • Managing performance: Helps to maximize team performance by providing active feedback and skill development opportunities
Remuneration Package    

Monthly remuneration is approximately EUR 7,701 depending on post adjustment and family status. OSCE salaries are exempt from taxation in Austria. Social benefits will include possibility of participation in the Cigna medical insurance scheme and the OSCE Provident Fund. Other allowances and benefits are similar to those offered under the United Nations Common System.


Appointments are normally made at step 1 of the applicable OSCE salary scale.

How To Apply    

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 at a lower grade or to offer an appointment with a modified job description or for a different duration.


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


Recruitment shall be based on a transparent process, subject to open competition among nationals of participating States and without regard to gender, race, colour, religion and beliefs nor to ethnic or social origin or to nationality.


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


The OSCE is a non-career organization committed to the principle of staff rotation, therefore the maximum period of service in this post is 7 years.


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


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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