Org. Setting and Reporting
This position is located within the International Trade Law Division (ITLD), Office of Legal Affairs (OLA), which serves as a substantive Secretariat to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) and is based in Vienna, Austria. The Legal Officer reports to the Principal Legal Officer heading the Legislative unit, which provides substantive secretariat services to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) and its subsidiary bodies, as first reporting officer, and to the Director of the Division as second reporting officer.
For more information on UNCITRAL, please visit: https://uncitral.un.org/
Within assigned authority, the Legal Officer will be responsible for the following duties:
• Conduct research on questions of international trade law by critically examining national legislation, judicial and arbitral decisions, commercial practice, government views and scholarly writings, with a view to devising solutions to issues arising in international trade law that are acceptable to countries with different legal, social and economic systems.
• Prepare or coordinate the preparation of background papers, studies, reports, for the Commission and its working groups on issues of international trade law on, or being considered for inclusion on, the work programme of the Commission.
• Draft legal instruments, such as draft conventions, model laws, model agreements, legislative guides, legal guides and various other legal texts and prepare commentaries on such texts.
• Prepare, conduct or participate in expert group meetings, judicial colloquia and other meetings for the purpose of informing the deliberations of the Commission or its subsidiary bodies regarding trade law issues on, or being considered for inclusion on, the Commission’s work programme.
• Provide services to UNCITRAL sessions and act as secretary or assistant secretary of UNCITRAL’s subsidiary bodies or of committees of a diplomatic conference; draw up draft reports or portions thereof, for adoption at conclusion of Commission and working group sessions.
• Promote the adoption and use of UNCITRAL legal texts by lecturing at seminars and symposia on international trade law, organized either by UNCITRAL or by other organizations in different countries, and explaining texts to government officials, legal practitioners, chambers of commerce and other users; prepare and coordinate regional or national international trade law symposia and seminars.
• As requested, provide legislative assistance to Member States, in particular developing States, with respect to the enactment in domestic legislation of the texts that emanate from the work of UNCITRAL; provide any other legislative drafting assistance that may be requested by Member States in the context of law reform projects aimed at modernizing commercial law in that country.
• Contribute to the substantive coordination of the work of various agencies that, both inside and outside of the United Nations system, engage in the preparation of legal texts governing international trade law; keep abreast of any developments in those regional and specialized international organizations regarding harmonization of international trade law; maintain a close link with those bodies to ensure consistency with the texts prepared by the Commission.
• Perform other work-related duties as assigned.
Has expert knowledge of international trade law. Has knowledge of the substantive field of work in general and of specific areas being supervised. Is able to produce reports and papers on technical issues and to review and edit the work of others. Has diplomatic skills. Is able to lecture to expert audiences and to manage international meetings. Is able to apply United Nations rules, regulations, policies and guidelines in work situations. 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.
Planning & Organizing:
Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.
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.
An advanced university degree in law (Master’s degree or equivalent), with specialization in commercial, comparative, public or private international law is required. A first-level university degree in similar fields like commercial, comparative, public or private international law in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in commercial law, comparative law, international trade law or a related field, including several years at the international level, is required.
Work experience in providing substantive support to Governments or intergovernmental bodies is desirable.
Work experience with policies, procedures and operations of the United Nations system or a similar international organization is desirable.
Work experience with legal technical assistance programmes is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is desirable.Assessment
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise and a 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.
For this position, applicants from the following Member States, which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the UN Secretariat as of 30 June 2022, are strongly encouraged to apply: Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belize, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, China, Comoros, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Israel, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Norway, Oman, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vanuatu.
All employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications and organizational needs. The United Nations is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect.
At the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the recruitment and employment of staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, with due regard to geographic diversity. All employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications and organizational needs. The United Nations is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The United Nations recruits and employs staff regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds or disabilities. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application.
The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance and geographical diversity in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.
Vienna is classified as a H category (family duty station).
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.
The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.
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.