Legal Officer – Administration of Justice, P3, Pretoria at United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Protection Officer (RSD) at UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships

The position of Legal Officer- Administration of Justice is located in the Legal Affairs Service (LAS), Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok. The incumbent serves under the supervision of the Senior Legal Officer- Administration of Justice, P4. The incumbent may supervise interns, consultants and junior staff. S/he provides support on all matters relating to the UN internal justice system, including preparation of legal opinions and advice on requests for management evaluation, drafting legal pleadings and representing the Organization at oral hearings before international tribunals, including the United Nations Dispute Tribunal (UNDT). The incumbent is also responsible for providing advice on legal issues relating to investigations and disciplinary proceedings. S/he also assists in liaising with the Office of Legal Affairs in the UN Secretariat on legal issues relating to cases before the United Nations Appeals Tribunal (UNAT). The incumbent also provides substantive input regarding the drafting of legal opinions and policies on HR-related matters. The incumbent will handle as a priority, cases related to sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment which require special care and expertise to substantiate complex cases and protect witnesses and survivors. The incumbent will play a role in contributing to effective action to detect, respond and prevent sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment, particularly by reducing the time required to process these complex cases. The incumbent may also be asked to assist in knowledge management and case updates for LAS.

In light of the presence in Bangkok, the incumbent may be requested to give advice on other non-refugee matters including contracts and the status, privileges and immunities of UNHCR and its personnel. In a particularly demanding environment, the incumbent, in addition to solid generalist legal background, will demonstrate sound written and oral advocacy skills acquired before judicial or arbitral courts or administrative tribunals. The Legal Officer must have an in-depth knowledge of the jurisprudence of the UNDT and UNAT or knowledge and experience in applying employment or administrative law in a national jurisdiction. The incumbent must also understand, or have the ability to rapidly understand how the UN statutory framework functions.

All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCR¿s core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity.


– Provide advice and guidance on a wide array of legal matters, with a special emphasis on the UN internal justice system and human resources legal issues, particularly cases involving sexual exploitation and abuse or sexual harassment. – Analyse and advise on requests for management evaluations by UNHCR staff. – Assist in responding to media requests and donor demands in relation to cases involving sexual exploitation and abuse or sexual harassment. – Assist the Senior Legal Officer in preparing legal pleadings and representing the Organization as co-counsel at oral hearings before the United Nations Dispute Tribunal. – Assist in liaising with the Office of Legal Affairs in the UN Secretariat on legal issues relating to claims before the United Nations Appeals Tribunal (UNAT). – Liaise with the UNHCR Ombudsperson in connection with cases referred to mediation. – Provide legal advice, as necessary, to the Inspector General’s Office on investigation procedures and to the Director, DHRM on disciplinary proceedings. – Provide legal interpretation of UN Regulations and Rules and relevant instructions, guidance and policy issues. – Review draft human resources policies with a particular emphasis on policies and guidance related to sexual exploitation and abuse or sexual harassment, and ensure that they are aligned with established policy and standards; guide offices in the field to ensure that personnel matters are dealt with in accordance with relevant procedural guidelines. – Analyse UNHCR¿s internal regulatory framework, as appropriate, and propose initiatives and measures to enhance existing policies and practices and ensure compliance with relevant rules and regulations. – Perform other related tasks as required.

Minimum Qualifications

Years of Experience / Degree Level For P3 – 6 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 5 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 4 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree

Field(s) of Education *Law International Law International Business Law Litigation Practice or other relevant field. (Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Certificates and/or Licenses Law; International Law (Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Relevant Job Experience

Essential 6 years of previous relevant work experience in the legal field.

Desirable In depth knowledge and experience of international law, including, international administrative law as practiced in international organizations (in particular in the United Nations) and/or experience applying employment or administrative law in a national jurisdiction. Thorough understanding of the UN system and understanding of UNHCR mandate and its operational structure. Demonstrated ability to provide oral briefings on complex legal issues to legal and non-legal audiences. Litigation experience obtained as an attorney in a law firm and/or a legal officer in an international organization. Experience in dealing with issues related to the internal justice system of the United Nations, knowledge of the jurisprudence of the UNDT and UNAT as well as organizational regulatory frameworks and policies. Knowledge of the privileges and immunities of UN/HCR and its personnel. Knowledge of UN/HCR field operational realities. Proven ability to deal with multiple tasks in a courteous and service-oriented manner in a demanding working environment with often short deadlines.

For a full job description and to apply, interested candidates are requested to visit the UNHCR career page – click on the Vacancies tab and enter job ID 37400.

The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Please note that UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, travelling, processing, training or any other fees).

Please note that the closing date for positions advertised in the Addendum 2 to March 2022 Compendium is Tuesday 14 June 2022 (midnight Geneva time).


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