Senior Legal Officer (Temporary Job Opening) [temporary], New York, United States At Office of Human Resources Management

Closing date: Saturday, 15 April 2023

Posting Title: Senior Legal Officer (Temporary Job Opening), P5 (Temporary Job Opening)

Job Code Title: SENIOR LEGAL OFFICER

Department/Office: Office of Human Resources Management

Duty Station: NEW YORK

Posting Period: 11 April 2023 – 16 April 2023

Job Opening Number: 23-Legal Affairs-DM OHRM-206392-J-New York (X)

United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for DiversityOrganisational Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Critical Incident Response Section (CIRS) of the Disciplinary Accountability Service (DAS) of the Administrative Law Division (ALD) in the Office of Human Resources, Department of Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance. The incumbent reports to the Chief of DAS. ALD is in charge of the implementation of the United Nations standards of conduct for all categories of personnel across the UN Secretariat; provides strategic and legal advice on internal justice matters; and represents the Secretary-General before the United Nations Dispute Tribunal. ALD also handles disciplinary matters relating to Secretariat staff members, oversees and coordinates efforts and actions to prevent and respond to unsatisfactory conduct, and works to empower and support UN Secretariat managers in the exercise of their responsibilities to address conduct and discipline matters. CIRS handles particularly complex and high-risk conduct-related matters.

Responsibilities

Within delegated authority and, as necessary, in consultation with the Office of Legal Affairs, the Senior Legal Officer will be responsible for the following:

  •  Serves as a recognized expert in administrative law matters, and independently handles a wide range of multi-discipline, highly complex, and often sensitive and/or conflicting legal matters involving issues relating to international, public, private, and administrative law, in order to address critical issues that can have serious reputational risks and/or other risks adversely impacting the Organization’s core values and norms (“critical incidents”). This includes interpretation and application of relevant instruments relating to the legal and policy framework of the Organization and the internal system of administration of justice.
  •  Provide authoritative legal advice to senior officials on diverse substantive and procedural questions of considerable complexity, which may include those related to administration and management, peacekeeping and other operational matters, separately administered programmes and funds, etc.
  •  Manages, supervises, and carries out the work of the legal team assigned to cases referred to OHR. Performs extensive legal research and analysis on highly complex or novel legal issues/questions and prepares legal opinions, studies, briefs, reports, and correspondence.
  •  Advises on and supervises the review and drafting of legal submissions/motions, and other legal documents; develops new legal modalities to meet unique needs/circumstances.
  •  Services task forces, including preparation of background materials, summaries of issues and meeting reports, etc.
  •  Represents, or supervises the representation of, the Organization on major cases in tribunal and administrative proceedings, including disciplinary cases and staff appeals.
  •  Provides legal advice to senior officials on the interpretation of personnel policies, regulations and rules, including the review of administrative implications of Administrative Tribunal judgments; Serves on various standing boards, committees, ad hoc working groups and task forces, as required; promotes the work of the United Nations and represents the Organization at meetings, conferences, seminars, etc.
  •  Contributes to review and design of new, or new applications of, legal instruments, policy, guidelines, systems, etc.
  •  Supervises and participates in preparing legal publications of the Section.

Competencies

  •  Professionalism: Knowledge of international legal procedures and instruments, including criminal law, both substantive and procedural. Ability to apply legal expertise to analyzing a diverse range of complex and unusual legal issues and problems and in developing innovative and creative solutions in prosecuting complex criminal cases. Strong analytical skills and ability to conduct comprehensive legal research on a range of issues, including those of a unique and/or complex nature; proficiency in legal writing and expression and ability to prepare legal briefs, opinions, indictments or legal submissions/motions, and a variety of legal instruments and related documents. Ability to lead and cross-examine witnesses and make substantial legal arguments before Chambers of judges, or if required to take responsibility for the prosecution of criminal trials. Discretion and sound judgment in applying legal expertise to sensitive, complex legal issues. Strong negotiating skills and ability to influence others to reach agreement. Ability to work to tight deadlines and handle multiple concurrent projects/cases. Knowledge of contemporary international relations and of UN system, organization, and interrelationships. 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.
  •  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.
  •  Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments; delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.
  •  Leadership: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow, empowers others to translate vision into results; is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.
  •  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 the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; makes tough decisions when necessary.

Education

Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in law is required. A first-level university degree (Bachelor’s degree or equivalent) in combination with two additional years of relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.Work Experience

A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in law is required. Of these ten years, at least four years in litigation at the national or international level with firsthand experience appearing and leading evidence of witnesses before a court or tribunal or equivalent administrative board or bodies is required. Experience in supervision of litigators is required. Experience in handling disciplinary matters of a sensitive nature in a large and complex national or international organization is desirable.Languages

English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is an advantage.Assessment

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

This position is temporarily available until 31 December 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. At the United Nations, 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. The United Nations is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The United Nations recruits and employs staff regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds or disabilities. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application. 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. Pursuant to section 7.11 of ST/AI/2012/2/Rev.1, candidates recruited through the young professionals programme who have not served for a minimum of two years in the position of their initial assignment are not eligible to apply to 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.

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