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Snr Ref Law Adviser - Legal and Policy

Geneva (Switzerland)

  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Geneva (Switzerland)
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Legal - Broad
  • Closing Date: 2021-10-20

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Before submitting an application, UNHCR staff members intending to apply to this Job Opening are requested to consult the Recruitment and Assignments Policy (RAP, UNHCR/HCP/2017/2 and the Recruitment and Assignments Administrative Instruction (RAAI), UNHCR/AI/2017/7 OF 15 August 2017.

Senior Refugee Law Adviser

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships
The Snr Refugee Law Adviser leads work on development of legal guidance and provision of legal advice, playing a pivotal role in supporting the fulfilment of UNHCR¿s mandate responsibility to supervise the implementation of international instruments for the protection of refugees (UNHCR Statute 1950, Article 8; 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, Articles 35-36 and 1967 Protocol, Article II), in particular the production of guidance on the interpretation of international refugee law and other branches of law relevant to the exercise of refugees¿ rights.
He/she supervises junior colleagues working on legal research, analysis, advice and drafting, and ensures the timely development of positions and provision of guidance internally and externally.
Working under the supervision of the Senior Legal Adviser/ Chief of PPLA Section, he/she works closely with other colleagues addressing legal questions in DIP, regional bureaux, specialist divisions and operations, as well as external partners in a wide range of legal entities.

All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCR¿s core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity.

- Develop legal guidance on all relevant questions of interpretation and application of international, and where relevant, regional and national refugee law, as well as other branches of law relevant to the rights of persons of concern to UNHCR, particularly asylum-seekers and refugees.
- Provide prompt, principled and accurate guidance and advice on UNHCR legal doctrine, international refugee law and other relevant branches of law, State practice and related policy and practical issues.
- Monitor, research, analyse and influence the development of international law, jurisprudence, policies, academic opinion and other relevant processes and principles.
- Engage effectively with external partners and other stakeholders, including State and non-State legal actors on issues related to legal questions relevant to the rights of persons of concern to UNHCR, particularly asylum-seekers and refugees.
- Organize and take part in expert and other meetings on relevant issues, including preparation of relevant background materials, representing and speaking for PPLA, DIP and/or UNHCR in relevant for a.
- Take part in and provide legal, practical and policy advice in relation to the development of UNHCR positions, tools, processes and outputs, including public messaging, internal data gathering, analysis and reporting processes, particularly in relation to legal principles/standards and legal processes.
- Design, develop and implement project proposals, including for the development of guidance and other legal outputs, including relevant consultation and dialogue processes.
- Drafting of and contribution to key legal and policy-related texts within and for UNHCR, including the Note on International Protection, Global Strategic Priority, Global Appeal/Report and/or other flagship publications.
- Oversee, guide and support staff in carrying out legal tasks.
- Act as OIC in the absence of the Senior Legal Adviser/ Chief of PPLA Section.
- Perform other related duties as required.

Minimum Qualifications
Education & Professional Work Experience
Years of Experience / Degree Level
For P4 - 9 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 8 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 7 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree

Field(s) of Education
*Law *International Law *Refugee Law *Human Rights Law
or other relevant field.
(Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Certificates and/or Licenses
Law International Law Legal Practice
(Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Relevant Job Experience
At least 9 years of relevant professional work experience, in addition to the abovenamed academic qualifications, at least five years of which were in an international organisation advising governments and other organisations and entities on international human rights and refugee law issues, or in exercising rights of audience before national or regional courts, including in relation to refugee law and/or refugees¿ rights, and/or as a qualified court advocate, law clerk, judges' associate or barrister, in either a common law or civil law jurisdiction, or having represented asylum-seekers/refugees or stateless persons for a legal aid or non-governmental organisation.
Experience of engagement and established networks with State and non-State legal partners, including judges, lawyers, officials and academic partners in relation to refugee legal issues
An established record of research and publications in the refugee law area, including recognised legal journals and/or reference works.

Working knowledge of French or other languages in addition to English.

Functional Skills
PR-Refugee protection standards
PR-Provision of legal advice on standard asylum issues
PR-Asylum related guidelines, policy and procedures development
PR-Research, evaluation and drafting of for asylum related law
PR-Development of protection advocacy strategies and communication
PR-Asylum related law, policy and procedures
(Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Language Requirements
For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English.
For National Professional jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language.
For General Service jobs: Knowledge of English and/or UN working language of the duty station if not English.

All UNHCR workforce members must individually and collectively, contribute towards a working environment where each person feels safe, and empowered to perform their duties. This includes by demonstrating no tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse, harassment including sexual harassment, sexism, gender inequality, discrimination, and abuse of power.
As individuals and as managers, all must be proactive in preventing and responding to inappropriate conduct, support ongoing dialogue on these matters and speaking up and seeking guidance and support from relevant UNHCR resources when these issues arise.

This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR jobs with this job title and grade level. The Operational Context may contain additional essential and/or desirable qualifications relating to the specific operation and/or position. Any such requirements are incorporated by reference in this Job Description and will be considered for the screening, shortlisting and selection of candidates. C001L3 - Accountability Level 3
C002L3 - Teamwork & Collaboration Level 3
C003L3 - Communication Level 3
C004L3 - Commitment to Continuous Learning Level 3
C006L3 - Organizational Awareness Level 3
C005L3 - Client & Result Orientation Level 3
M006L3 - Managing Resources Level 3
X007L3 - Political Awareness Level 3

Please note that UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, travelling, processing, training or any other fees).

The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Please note that the closing date for positions advertised in the September 2021 Compendium is Wednesday 20 October 2021 (midnight Geneva time).

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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