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Deputy Head, Office of Legal Affairs (P4)

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: 2021-11-01

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

The Office of Legal Affairs provides legal services OSCE-wide with respect to public international law, financial and contractual matters, and legal issues related to the structure and activities of the OSCE. The Office also develops and strengthens the overall regulatory framework of the OSCE and advises on its implementation, including with respect to international civil service law.

The Office of Legal Affairs sits within the Office of the Secretary General (OSG), which in turn plays a key role in supporting the Secretary General in the effective implementation of his/her mandate and specific tasks given to him/her by the OSCE participating States. This includes primarily assisting the Secretary General in his/her activities, serving as a focal point for liaison and support to the Chairperson-in-Office, co-ordinating policy advice provided to the Secretary General and the Chairpersonship as well as management decisions taken by the Secretary General.

Tasks and Responsibilities:

Under the direct supervision of, and in close co-ordination with, the Head of the Office of Legal Affairs, the Deputy Head will be tasked with the following duties:

  1. Providing legal advice in the interpretation and application of the regulatory framework of the Organization, including the Financial and Staff Regulations, Rules, Instructions and other administrative issuances, and advice on internal staff appeals and disciplinary cases;
  2. Providing legal advice on the full scope of multi-disciplinary, complex and novel legal issues relating to the operation and function of the Organization, including concerning the legal status and privileges and immunities of the OSCE and its officials;
  3. Providing legal advice in the drafting, negotiation and interpretation of legal instruments, including international agreements, arrangements, memoranda of understanding or other legal materials concluded on behalf of the Organization with participating States, international organizations and other entities;
  4. Providing legal advice on all aspects of the procurement process and contracting, including intellectual property rights, insurance and data protection; and participating in the drafting and negotiation of leases and high value and complex commercial contracts with senior officials in the Secretariat, Institutions and Field Operations;
  5. Providing legal advice on decisions, representation and procedural issues arising in the OSCE decision-making bodies;
  6. Conducting legal research and analysis for the preparation of legal opinions, studies, reports or correspondence;
  7. Acting as the Officer-in-Charge in the absence of the Head of the Office of Legal Affairs, performing quality control of legal advice prepared by the Office;
  8. Performing other related duties as required.

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

Necessary Qualifications:

  • Second-level university degree in law, preferably with specialization in public international law or related area. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience is accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree;
  • A minimum 8 years of relevant professional experience, including 4 years at the international level, 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;
  • Professional fluency in English with excellent communication (both oral and written) skills; Knowledge of other official OSCE languages, especially German or Russian, is an asset.  
  • 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.


Remuneration Package:

Monthly remuneration is approximately EUR 7,840 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.

Please note that appointments are normally made at step 1 of the applicable OSCE salary scale.

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 candidates who are selected to participate in the subsequent stages of recruitment will be contacted.


Please note that vacancies in the OSCE are open for competition only amongst nationals of participating States, please see


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.


Candidates should be aware that OSCE officials shall conduct themselves at all times in a manner befitting the status of an international civil servant. This includes avoiding any action which may adversely reflect on the integrity, independence and impartiality of their position and function as officials of the OSCE. The OSCE is committed to applying the highest ethical standards in carrying out its mandate. For more information on the values set out in OSCE Competency Model, please see


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.

Additional Information
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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