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Legal Expert


  • Organization: UPU - Universal Postal Union
  • Location: Bern
  • Grade: Junior level - P-2, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Legal - Broad
  • Closing Date: 2023-04-09
Vacancy Announcement No: UPU/23/P2/FT-C/391
Title: Legal Expert
Grade: P2
Type of contract: Fixed-term (Core) Appointment
Duration:  Three years
Publication Date: 27 February 2023
Application Deadline: 9 April 2023
(41 day(s) until closing deadline)
Currently accepting applications
Organizational Unit: Legal Affairs Directorate (DAJ)
Duty Station:  Bern Switzerland
Scheduled date for taking up appointment:  As soon as possible
Organizational Context:
With its 192 member countries, the Universal Postal Union (UPU), a specialized agency of the United Nations, is the primary forum for cooperation between postal sector players. It helps to ensure a truly universal network of up-to-date products and services.
Main duties:
Under the guidance and supervision of the Director of Legal Affairs, the incumbent's functions shall involve research, analysis and advice on a varied range of legal issues relating to the functions, structure and activities of the UPU, with emphasis on public international law and administrative law (particularly in what pertains to the United Nations Common System and the practice ofadministrative tribunals such as the United Nations Appeals Tribunal - UNAT).

1. In accordance with predetermined guidelines, undertake studies, carry out research, prepare drafts and examine precedents on legal issues relating to the functions, structure and activities of the UPU.

2. Provide preliminary interpretation of legal instruments, such as constitutions, statutes, treaties, agreements, regulations and rules, resolutions or other legal materials relevant to the work of the UPU.

3. Provide legal opinion or advice on issues of limited scope relating to the functions, structure and activities of the UPU.

4. Provide preliminary advice and assistance in resolving procedural and substantive legal questions at meetings.

5. Provide secretariat services to various committees and bodies dealing with legal matters falling within the competence of the UPU, including without limitation:
a) Preparing background materials, reports and papers;
b) Preparing and formulating preliminary legal advice to members and secretariats of such bodies;
c) Synthesizing member countries' views and practices on particular legal issues;
d) Preparing preliminary drafts of legal instruments, such as draft treaty texts, agreements, contracts, internal regulations and rules or other legislative materials pertaining to the UPU;
e) Within the framework of delegated duties, consulting with counterparts in other organizations, participating in negotiations with contractors and with representatives of member countries.
f) Undertaking a preliminary review of the legal aspects of draft agreements, correspondence and other texts, which are relevant to the functions of the DAJ or have been passed to it for comments or clearance.
g) Preparing preliminary briefs concerning proceedings before the competent appeals bodies and administrative tribunals (such as the United Nations Appeals Tribunal - UNAT), as well as any other judicial or quasi-judicial body;
h) Within the framework of delegated duties, representing the DAJ at specialized meetings and on internal bodies, boards or committees.
First level university degree (Bachelor or similar) in law, preferably with a specialization in public international law or administrative law. An advanced university degree (Master or equivalent) is an asset.
At least two years of professional experience in an international legal environment.
Technical knowledge:
1. Excellent knowledge of public international law and administrative law (particularly in what pertains to the United Nations Common System and the practice of the UNAT).
2. Good knowledge of international intellectual property law and other legal issues associated with information and
communication technology.
3. Good knowledge of contract law and international commercial agreements.
4. Good knowledge of the framework on privileges and immunities as applied to intergovernmental organizations (with emphasis on the specialized agencies of the United Nations).
5. Excellent analytical and legal drafting skills.
Skills and abilities / competencies:
1. Ability to defend and explain difficult and sensitive issues to staff members (including senior officials), member country delegates as well as counterparts of United Nations system organizations and other intergovernmental organizations
2. Excellent conceptual thinking, as well as logical and analytical skills
3. Excellent negotiation skills with a heightened sense of impartiality and objectivity
4. Flexibility to accommodate changes in circumstances, opinions and priorities, often at short notice
5. Proven organizational skills with regard to the management of complex legal projects, attention to detail and good planning abilities
6. Strong interpersonal and team working skills
7. Excellent communication skills in written and oral form
8. Strong ethical awareness
Language skills:
Proficiency in French or English and good working knowledge of the other language.

Working knowledge of other United Nations languages is an advantage.
Additional Information:
French is the official language of the UPU. English and French are the working languages of the UPU International Bureau.
Priority shall be given for an internal promotion.
Candidates might be considered for other similar posts (for a period not exceeding one year).
The UPU is committed to encouraging diversity within its workforce. Interested candidates from minority groups and/or with disabilities are encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated equally and in the strictest confidence.
Candidates must ensure that they provide relevant contact details so that they can be contacted at any time, to prevent them from being excluded from the selection process.
Annual salary: (Net of tax)
50,377 USD
Post adjustment: 77.3 % of the above figure(s). This percentage is to be considered as indicative since variations may occur each month either upwards or downwards due to currency exchange rate fluctuations or inflation.

The conditions of service are governed by the Staff Regulations and Rules of the International Bureau of the Universal Postal Union.

Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application form.
All applications must be received by the closing date as stated in the vacancy announcement.

All applicants employed by postal entities and applying for a vacant position in the Professional (P) or Senior (D) category must be recommended and submitted through the competent postal authority.
Applications not satisfying this criterion may not be considered.

Only candidates under serious consideration will be contacted.

Applications from women and member states are particularly encouraged.

The UPU promotes diversity and work-life balance.

For further instructions regarding the online application process, please visit the UPU internet page at:
Currently accepting applications

The UPU has a smoke-free environment

The UPU has a smoke-free environment

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.