SENIOR LEGAL OFFICER
- Organization: UNEP - United Nations Environment Programme
- Location: Nairobi
- Grade: Senior level - P-5, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
- Legal - Broad
- Closing Date: Closed
Org. Setting and Reporting
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.
The Law Division is the lead Division charged with carrying out the functions of UNEP in the field of environmental law and governance. The Law Division promotes the contribution of the environmental dimension of sustainable development through law, national and international governance and related policy issues, including those related to multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs).
This position is located in UNEP’s Law Division, at its Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. The incumbent will report to the Head of the Law Branch. Within delegated authority, the Senior Legal Officer will be responsible for the following duties:
1. Serve as a recognized expert and direct programme / projects in national environmental law, including MEAs implementation, environmental rule of law and the law of natural transboundary resources.
2. Handle a wide range of multi-disciplinary, highly complex, and often sensitive and/or conflicting legal matters involving issues relating to regional and national environmental law, including the interpretation and application of legal instruments.
3. Coordinate and direct teams of other legal officers, guide and supervise the work of junior officers; assist the Head of the Law Branch in general management and administration of the Branch, organizing and prioritizing the workload and providing general coordination and supervision of assignments as regards the legal work.
4. Make various types of recommendations to senior officials of substantive units with respect to actions.
5. Provide authoritative legal advice on diverse range of highly complex or novel substantive and procedural questions of law.
6. Organize and supervise research studies and the preparation of legal opinions, as well as perform extensive legal research and analysis on highly complex or novel legal issues/questions and prepare legal opinions, studies, briefs, reports, and correspondence.
7. Advise on and supervise the review, negotiation and drafting of legal documents; develop new legal modalities to meet unique needs/circumstances.
8. Direct services for relevant international meetings, workshops and training programmes in the field of national environmental law, including preparation of background materials, summaries of issues and views of delegations, meeting reports.
9. Provide and direct other legal/programme officers to provide legal advice and other technical assistance in the field of national environmental law.
10. Promote the work of UNEP and represent the organization at meetings, conferences and seminars.
11. Plan, manage and review the development and implementation of projects in the field of national environmental law.
12. Supervise and participate in preparing legal publications of the Division.
13. Provide advice on legal issues concerning a range of institutional, political and procedural matters.
14. Leads team members efforts to collect and analyze data and provides insight to identify trends or patterns for data-driven planning, decision-making, presentation and reporting. Ensures that everyone can discover, access, integrate and share the data they need.
15. Perform other related duties as required.
PROFFESSIONALISM: Knowledge of environmental law, legal procedures and instruments, including multilateral environmental agreements . Ability to apply legal expertise to analyzing a diverse range of complex legal issues in the field of the environment and in developing innovative and creative legal response in addressing environmental issues. Strong analytical skills and ability to conduct comprehensive legal research on a range of issues, including those of a unique and/or complex nature; proficiency in legal writing and expression and ability to prepare legal briefs, opinions, and a variety of legal instruments and related documents. Discretion and sound judgment in applying legal expertise to sensitive, complex legal issues. Ability to work to tight deadlines and handle multiple concurrent projects/cases. Knowledge of diverse national legal systems in different countries, contemporary international relations and of UN system, organization and interrelationships. The ability to analyze and interpret data in support of decision-making and convey resulting information to management. 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.
COMMUNICATION: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
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.
LEADERSHIP: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow: empowers others to translate vision into results; is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.
JUDGEMENT/DECISION-MAKING: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; gathers relevant information before making a decision; considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them; takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization; proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information; checks assumptions against facts; determines the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; makes tough decisions when necessary.
An advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in law, environmental law or related fields is required.
A first-level university degree in law in combination with two (2) additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
Successful completion of both degree and non-degree programs in data analytics, business analytics or data science programs is desirable.
A minimum of ten (10) years of progressively responsible experience in the field of environmental law, including legal analysis, research and writing is required.
Experience in managing a multicultural team is desirable.
Experience in data analytics or related area is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English is required and knowledge of French is desirable.
NOTE: ''Fluency'' equals a rating of ''fluent'' in all four areas (read, write, speak, understand) and ''Knowledge of'' equals a rating of ''confident'' in two of the four areas.
Evaluation of qualified candidates for this position may include a substantive assessment which will be followed by a competency-based interview.Special Notice
Appointment against this post is for an initial period of one year and may be subject to extension.
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.
Staff members of the United Nations Secretariat must fulfil the lateral move requirements to be eligible to apply for this vacancy. Staff members are requested to indicate all qualifying lateral moves in their Candidate Profile (CP) and motivation statement.
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.
Internal Applicants – When completing the Candidate Profile form, ensure ALL fields, ALL professional experience and contact information are completed and up to date. This information is the basis for the hiring manager to assess your eligibility and suitability for the position and to contact you.
Individual Contractors and Consultants who have worked within the UN Secretariat in the last six months, irrespective of the administering entity, are ineligible to apply for or be appointed to any professional and higher temporary or fixed-term positions, within six months of the end of their current or most recent service. For such positions, at least six months need to have elapsed between the end of a consultancy or individual contract and the time of application and consideration for an appointment as a staff member under the Staff Rules and Regulations of the United Nations.
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.
On-line applications will be acknowledged where an email address has been provided. All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply on-line as soon as possible after the job opening has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the job opening. If you do not receive an e-mail acknowledgement within 24 hours of submission, your application may not have been received. If the problem persists, please seek technical assistance through the Inspira "Contact Us" link.
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.
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