SENIOR LEGAL OFFICER [Temporary]
Org. Setting and Reporting
This position is located in Kinshasa, the Headquarters of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). The Senior Legal Affairs Officer will report to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) through the Chief of Staff.Responsibilities
Within delegated authority, the Senior Legal Affairs Officer will be responsible for the following duties:
• Supports the Head of MONUSCO in the implementation of the work programme of the Office and provides legal expertise and advice on a wide range of complex legal issues affecting the United Nations Mission’s mandate and activities, including public international, private and administrative law matters, as well as issues of constitutional and other national law as they affect the Mission or the mandate. In particular, provides or supports the Head of MONUSCO in the provision of legal advice and expertise on the interpretation of the Mission’s mandate, the legal status of the Mission and its members, including in areas such as privileges and immunities and Status of Forces/Status of Mission Agreements; on aspects of the Mission’s operational activities, including the Mission’s rules of engagement and directives on the use of force and related guidelines, matters relating to international law, including international humanitarian law, international criminal law and the protection of civilians, as appropriate; advises and supports the Head of MONUSCO in the provision of advice on administrative, personnel and contractual matters related to the Mission’s activities, including issues relating to the accountability of personnel, procurement matters, third party claims, as well as legal questions involving the interpretation or application of UN regulations and rules. S/he also drafts and reviews agreements, institutional and operational modalities, major contracts, legal submissions and other legal documents and provides advice on and participates in negotiations for the settlement of claims and disputes.
• Assists and supports the Head of MONUSCO in establishing and maintaining good working relations with government officials (ministries, authorities and agencies) and other entities on legal matters related to the implementation of the Mission’s mandate, including the implementation of agreements and other arrangements with the host, or with other governments; liaises and participates in meetings and discussions with governments and other institutions and entities; liaises with other UN agencies, funds and programmes, as well as other internal and external actors and organizations, as required.
• Participates in administrative Boards and Committees, including in relation to the procurement process, claims and property management, and on ad hoc working groups and task forces, as assigned by the Head of MONUSCO.
• Assists and supports the Head of MONUSCO in the management and administration of the unit, including organizing and prioritizing workload and managing, supervising and guiding more junior legal officers;
• Performs extensive legal research and analysis on highly complex or novel legal issues/questions and prepares legal opinions, studies, briefs, reports, and correspondence, represents the Office at meetings, conferences, seminars, etc.
• Performs other duties, as assigned.
• Professionalism: 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. Provides leadership and 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.
• 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.
• 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 that the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision. Makes tough decisions when necessary.
• Empowering Others: Delegates responsibility, clarifies expectations, and gives staff autonomy in important areas of their work; encourages others to set challenging goals; holds others accountable for achieving results related to their area of responsibility; genuinely values all staff members’ input and expertise; shows appreciation and rewards achievement and effort; involves others when making decisions that affect them.
Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in law is required. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible professional experience in the practice of law, most of which should be in the field of public international law, including legal analysis, research and writing, is required.
Experience working with peacekeeping missions or international organizations in conflict or post-conflict settings is required.
Experience leading a legal team is desirable.
Experience working in the Great Lakes region is desirable.
Experience providing legal advice applicable to military operations is desirable.
Experience in all of the following areas: international humanitarian law, privileges and immunities law, commercial law, contract law, administrative law, and refugee law is desirable.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in both English and French (oral and written) is required.Assessment
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.Special Notice
• This position is temporarily available until 30/06/2023. If the selected candidate is a staff member from the United Nations Secretariat, the selection will be administered as a temporary assignment.
• While this temporary assignment may provide the successful applicant with an opportunity to gain new work experience, the selection for this position is for a limited period and has no bearing on the future incumbency of the post.
• Subject to the funding source of the position, the eligibility for this temporary job opening may be limited to candidates based at the duty station.
• This temporary job opening may be limited to “internal candidates,” who have been recruited through a competitive examination administered according to staff rule 4.16 or staff selection process including the review of a central review body established according to staff rule 4.15.
• Staff members of the United Nations common system organizations who will reach the mandatory age of separation or retirement within the duration of the current temporary need period are not eligible to apply. Submitting an application or selection for the current temporary job opening does not delay or increase the mandatory age of separation.
• Retirees above the mandatory age of separation who wish to be considered for the current temporary job opening must indicate the reason for their last separation as "retirement." Such retirees shall not be employed by the Organization, unless (a) the operational requirements of the Organization cannot be met by staff members who are qualified and available to perform the required functions; and (b) the proposed employment would not adversely affect the career development or redeployment opportunities of other staff members and represents both a cost-effective and operationally sound solution to meet the needs of the service.
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.
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.