By continuing to browse this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Read our privacy policy

Legal Officer


  • Organization: WHO - World Health Organization
  • Location: Geneva
  • Grade: Mid level - P-3, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Legal - Broad
  • Closing Date: Closed


To provide independent, authoritative and practical legal advice and legal services to enable theOrganization to implement its mission of global public health consistently with its mandate and to protect the Organization's resources, reputation, integrity and its responsibility to its Member States.

To provide legal input, during the planning and implementation of WHO's activities, so as to facilitate effective cooperation among those taking part - Member States, international bodies, international officials, collaborating institutions, individuals and commercial entities; to ensure that the activities are carried out on a firm legal basis; and to defend the Organization from legal action.


Under the supervision of a Senior Legal Officer, ICH and the Principal Legal Officer, as appropriate, the incumbent will:

  • Provide input on procedural and substantive legal questions arising in the run up to, and in the course of, the operation of the World Health Assembly and its sub-committees, the Executive Board and its committees including the Programme, Budget and Administration Committee, the Regional Committees, WHO Expert Committees and other expert advisory mechanisms, the Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and the Meeting of the Parties of the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products, the WHO Member State Mechanism on Substandard and Falsified medical products, WHO Expert Committees and advisory groups, the Emergency Committees of the International Health Regulations (2005), as well as and the Commission of the FAO/WHO Food Standards Program, its Executive Committee and subsidiary bodies.
  • Provide input and legal support on procedural and substantive legal questions arising in the course of the operation of intergovernmental meetings that take place in between the regular sessions ofthe WHO governing bodies.
  • Protect the Organization`s interests in supporting the negotiation, adoption and management of legal instruments between WHO and other entities such as Member States or other intergovernmental organizations, including insofar as the status of the Organization / its privileges and immunities under international law is/are concerned, as well as nomenclature and representation of international borders related matters.
  • Ensure that decision-making by technical units, both in terms of procedure and in terms of substance, is well-informed by legal and policy considerations in compliance with WHO rules, regulations, and policies, including in situations, where there may be limited or no precedents, where matters of status under international law may arise, and where new policy may need to be developed, and including in the areas of international administrative and commercial matters as needed.
  • Assume other functions as required by the exigencies of the work of the Office, including the presentation of the work of the Office to WHO staff and visitors to the Organization, the external representation of the Organization in appropriate fora, including on missions, the provision of staffing advice and the day-to-day supervision of legal interns assigned to the Office.
  • Other functions of a legal nature, as may be required by the exigencies of the work of the Office.
  • Perform all other related duties as assigned.



Essential: A first university degree in law, including a professional legal qualification, such as having passed a national bar exam.
Desirable: An advanced level university degree (Master's level or above) in international law or international relations is an asset. Study of international organizations law.


Essential: A minimum of five years of legal experience, of which at least two years in providing legal advice in relation to the governing bodies of a UN common system or equivalent entity. Demonstrated exposure at the international level.
Desirable: Experience advising in international organizations law.


Solid understanding of public international law and the law of international organizations and thorough knowledge of the legal structure, legal instruments and principles as applicable in WHO. Experience in communicating legal considerations to non-lawyers in a time-sensitive, policy-sensitive and well-drafted manner. Under the supervision of the first or second level supervisor, ability to provide in-house legal advice, and advice to external stakeholders, on a wide range of legal matters relevant to the work of the Organization.

WHO Competencies

Respecting and promoting individual and cultural differences
Moving forward in a changing environment
Producing results

Use of Language Skills

Essential: Expert knowledge of English.
Desirable: Intermediate knowledge of French.


WHO salaries for staff in the Professional category are calculated in US dollars. The remuneration for the above position comprises an annual base salary starting at USD 62,120 (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance, as applicable), a variable post adjustment, which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station, and currently amounts to USD 4105 per month for the duty station indicated above. Other benefits include 30 days of annual leave, allowances for dependent family members, home leave, and an education grant for dependent children.


  • This vacancy notice may be used to fill other similar positions at the same grade level
  • Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.
  • A written test may be used as a form of screening.
  • In the event that your candidature is retained for an interview, you will be required to provide, in advance, a scanned copy of the degree(s)/diploma(s)/certificate(s) required for this position. WHO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU)/United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed through the link: Some professional certificates may not appear in the WHED and will require individual review.
  • Any appointment/extension of appointment is subject to WHO Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and Manual.
  • Staff members in other duty stations are encouraged to apply.
  • WHO is committed to workforce diversity.
  • WHO has a smoke-free environment and does not recruit smokers or users of any form of tobacco.
  • WHO has a mobility policy which can be found at the following link: Candidates appointed to an international post with WHO are subject to mobility and may be assigned to any activity or duty station of the Organization throughout the world.
  • Applications from women and from nationals of non and underrepresented Member States are particularly encouraged.
  • For WHO General Service staff who do not meet the minimum educational qualifications, please see e-Manual III.4.1, para 220.
This vacancy is now closed.
However, we have found similar vacancies for you: