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Legal Advisor to the Human Resources Division


  • Organization: WTO - World Trade Organization
  • Location: Geneva
  • Grade: Junior level - Grade 7 - Professional Staff - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Legal - Broad
    • Human Resources
  • Closing Date: Closed

VN Category (INT / EXT / EOI):


Application Deadline:



Grade 7

Contract Type:


Annual Salary:


The recruitment policy of the WTO is to seek to attract and retain staff members offering the highest standards of competence, efficiency and integrity. As an Equal Opportunities Employer, the WTO gives full regard to merit and diversity.

The Secretariat of the WTO is seeking to fill the post of Legal Advisor to the Human Resources Division.

This is a fixed-term contract funded through the regular budget. The duration will be two years with the possibility of extension.

This is an External Vacancy Notice open to external candidates and WTO staff. It is posted on the WTO internal as well as external career site. Eligible WTO staff on short-term, fixed-term or regular contracts and interns must apply through the Workday internal career site.

General Functions

Reporting to the Head of Compensation & Benefits, Policy and Insurance Section, the incumbent will fulfil the following functions:

1.         Provide legal advice to the HR Director and HRD staff on the interpretation and application of the Staff Regulations and Rules.

2.         Prepare draft amendments to the Staff Regulations and Rules, Administrative Memoranda, HR policies and practices in accordance with the existing regulatory framework.

3.         Perform legal research and analysis on HR-related legal issues/questions and HR-policy matters and prepare legal opinions, briefs, reports and correspondence.

4.         Participate in the design, development and implementation of HR policies and develop and/or conduct briefing sessions for staff and managers on new/revised policies.

5.         Advise on the efficient and timely implementation of entitlements and benefits in accordance with the Staff Regulations, Staff Rules and relevant policies and in the management of long-term sick leave cases in collaboration with the Medical Service.

6.         Provide support to the Join Advisory Committee as needed.

7.         Serve as HR focal point for prohibited conduct and participate in the support network to address systemic issues.

8.         Manage and update the Staff Online Administrative Manual (SOAM).

9.         Keep abreast of practices in other intergovernmental organizations and of relevant jurisprudence from the Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organization (ILOAT). Participate in meetings with other International Organizations regarding HR legal and policy matters.



Advanced university degree in law. A first level university degree in combination with proven professional expertise equivalent to an advanced university degree in law may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree. A licence or eligibility to be licensed to practice law in at least one municipal jurisdiction is desirable.

Knowledge and Skills:

Technical Knowledge and Skills:

Knowledge of HR matters. Ability to draft, analyse and research HR policy.

Knowledge of international administrative law and its application, in particular ability to provide legal advice on HR legal matters.

Ability to communicate clearly and concisely.

Behavioural Skills:

Excellent organization and planning skills and ability to work independently and under pressure.

Excellent interpersonal skills, able to display empathy, building relationships on trust, positive attitude, strong values and professional integrity.

Excellent drafting and analytical skills and strong attention to detail.

Highly developed tact and discretion and the ability to adhere rigorously to rules of conduct ensuring confidentiality, impartiality, and an absence of conflicts of interest.

Work Experience:

Minimum three years of relevant professional experience including in an international organization.


Fluency in French and English is essential (minimum C1 level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Good working knowledge of Spanish (minimum B2 level) is desirable.

Additional Information:
Only applications from nationals of WTO Members will be accepted. 

The recruitment process will be undertaken as per Administrative Memorandum No. 976 (OFFICE(16)/15) on Staff Promotions and external recruitment through Vacancy Notices.

For non-entry level positions, the position may be offered at a lower grade if the selected candidate does not fully meet all the required qualifications. 

The initial fixed-term contract shall be two years, which shall be probationary, as per Administrative Memorandum No. 997 (OFFICE(23)/4) on Probation Policy.

The WTO may use various communication technologies such as video or teleconference for the assessment and evaluation of candidates. The recruitment process may also involve the use of various forms of testing, assessment centres, interviews and reference checks. 

Applicants may be required to sit a written examination. 

Applicants will be contacted directly if selected for an interview. 

Candidates not selected whose performance in the selection process nevertheless shows them to be suitable for a similar position may be kept on a roster for up to 24 months, and may subsequently be called upon as and when the need arises for additional resources.

All applicants are encouraged to apply online as soon as possible after the vacancy has been posted and well before the closing date – Geneva (Switzerland) time – stated in the vacancy announcement. 
The WTO is a non-smoking environment.

This vacancy is now closed.
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