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  • Organization: UN - United Nations
  • Location: Jerusalem
  • Grade: Mid level - P-3, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Legal - Broad
  • Closing Date: 2023-03-30

Org. Setting and Reporting

UNRWA, the largest United Nations operation in the Middle East with over 30,000 staff working across five areas of operation, is looking for highly committed personnel wishing to make a change.

If you are looking for a rewarding opportunity to make a tangible difference for one of the most vulnerable communities in the world, UNRWA would like to hear from you.

The Legal Officer (Protection) reports to the Senior Legal Officer and under the overall supervision of the Principal Legal Officer.


- Assists in providing legal input into development and implementation of Agency strategy and policy, in particular coordinates and leads implementation of the Agency’s engagement with the international human rights system and provides input on Agency protection strategy and interventions to the Protection Division at Headquarters and protection functions in the fields and others;

- Assists in providing legal advice, training and outreach on the interpretation and application of relevant public international law, including UN law, international human rights, humanitarian and refugee law and practice, particularly as it relates to protection of Palestine refugees in the Agency’s fields of operation, status and mandate of the Agency, privileges and immunities and related responsibilities of the Agency and its personnel, and humanitarian principles;

- Liaises with other UN Agencies and NGOs on protection issues through participating in UN working group meetings in the occupied Palestinian territory, as appropriate;

- Responds to requests from governments, UN agencies, NGOs and asylum seekers’ representatives on legal aspects relating to Palestine refugees with UNRWA, their status and related issues;

- Drafts and reviews drafts of all types of Agency contractual modalities, including contracts for procurement of goods and/or services, memoranda of understanding with partners and funding agreements;

- Provides legal advice and assistance on matters relating to administrative and employment law issues, in particular by drafting Agency submissions to the UNRWA Dispute Tribunal and/or the UN Appeals Tribunal;

- Advises on the interpretation and application of the Agency’s regulatory framework, in particular General Assembly resolutions, UNRWA Staff and Financial Regulations, Rules and associated administrative issuances, and Organizational Directives.


UN Core Values of Integrity, Professionalism and Respect for Diversity, and Core Competencies of Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results apply by default.

- Persuading and Influencing
- Relating and Networking
- Analyzing
- Planning and Organizing
- Applying Technical Expertise

For guidance on how to prepare for competency-based interviews:


Advanced University degree (Master’s or equivalent) from an accredited educational institution in public international law, preferably also with some further specialization in international human rights law or a related discipline.

Work Experience

Advanced University degree (Master’s or equivalent) from an accredited educational institution in public international law, preferably also with some further specialization in international human rights law or a related discipline, is required.

At least five years of experience as a lawyer in the United Nations, other international organization, in government service, the commercial/private sector or NGO, including a period of experience in public international law is required.

Unless already serving as an international staff member in the UN Common System, a candidate for an international post must have a minimum of 2 continuous years of relevant international experience outside UNRWA, and outside the country(s) of which the candidate is a national or holds citizenship, a passport or a national identity number is required.

Experience in the international human rights system is desirable.

Knowledge of the history and contemporary problems of the Middle East is desirable

Familiarity with the UN Common System and practices is desirable.


- Excellent command of written and spoken English is required.

- Working knowledge of Arabic is desirable.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.

Special Notice

Type of Contract and duration: 2 years, with the possibility of further extension.

Applicants have to complete the Personal History Profile (PHP) in Inspira in order to be considered. The PHP should be completed with full relevant work experience as per the requirements in the Job Opening, in order to be considered.

A roster may be created from the selection exercise, and successful candidates may become eligible for an appointment to the same post or a similar post.

UNRWA welcomes applications from qualified candidates with disabilities.

Equivalency may apply.
NB: work experience alone or formal qualifications with no relevant work experience are not considered an acceptable combination.

UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions from UN member states, regional bodies, business foundations and individual contributions. The mission of UNRWA is to help Palestine refugees achieve their full potential in human development under the difficult circumstances in which they live.

For more details on UNRWA, please visit:

United Nations Considerations

Staff members are subject to the authority of the Commissioner-General of UNRWA and to assignment by him or her.

UNRWA is committed to achieving gender parity at all levels of staffing under the current UN-wide gender agenda and strongly encourages applications from qualified applicants from under-represented groups.

At UNRWA, 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. UNRWA is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application.

UNRWA Considerations
UNRWA staff are expected to uphold the highest standards of efficiency, competence, neutrality, impartiality and integrity. This includes respect for and commitment to human rights, diversity and non-violent means of dealing with all kinds of conflict. Only persons who fully and unconditionally commit to these values should consider applying for UNRWA jobs. Candidates will not be considered for employment with UNRWA 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. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment. The Agency may disqualify applicants who have separated for reason of misconduct, who left a UN Agency while misconduct processes were pending, or who appear on the UN Sanctions List.
UNRWA is a non-smoking work environment.

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.

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.

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