Pri Legal Adviser/Head of LAS


Principal Legal Adviser/Head of Legal Affairs Services


The Legal Affairs Services (LAS) serves as a central legal office for UNHCR on non refugee law matters, providing legal advice and services to promote and defend the legal interests of UNHCR and to ensure that the Organization¿s activities are carried out in conformity with the applicable rules and regulations, coordinating legal services for UNHCR Headquarters and the Field, and serving as liaison with the UN Office of Legal Affairs (OLA) as appropriate. The Principal Legal Adviser/Head of Legal Affairs Services advises High Commissioner and senior management at Headquarters and in the Field on all (non refugee law) legal and related policy issues and works in close cooperation with the Director DHRM, the Ombudsman, the Director of the Ethics Office and the Inspector General on conflict management in UNHCR.


The position is responsible for leadership in the following areas:

¿ Provision of timely and effective guidance and support to the High Commissioner and senior management at Headquarters and in the Field regarding (non refugee law) legal and related policy issues;
¿ Management of the legal partnership with the UN Office of Legal Affairs (OLA);
¿ Policy development in the legal areas, including review and improvement of existing policies and procedures;
¿ Contribution to an efficient, transparent and fair internal grievance and justice system;
¿ Recommendations on professional standards;

In this context, the incumbent is responsible for overseeing and directing the following functions:

¿ Provision of legal advice and recommending solutions based on applicable rules and guidelines and general legal principles, taking duly into account the interest of the Administration and the staff with a view to avoid - or at least reduce to a minimum -  contentious cases;
¿ Development of models and guidelines on legal issues;
¿ Collaboration with the Division of Human Resources Management, advising on the legal aspects of complex personnel issues, including the handling of investigations reports prepared by the Inspector General's Office and reviews of personnel policies, if submitted to the Section;
¿ Assisting the designated Representative of the Secretary-General and the High Commissioner before the UN Dispute Tribunal (UNDT) and the UN Appeals Tribunal (UNAT) in cases concerning UNHCR staff members;
¿ Advising the High Commissioner and the Troika on all legal issues concerning UNHCR and its staff except on refugee law;
¿ Monitoring the negotiation of Co-operation Agreements with Governments (UNHCR host country agreements) and advising, in particular staff in the field on privileges and immunities and prepares notes verbally in case of violations;
¿ Liaison with Permanent Missions, NGOs and other partners, providing information/advice on privileges and immunities, on personnel matters and other complex commercial legal issues
¿ Advising UNHCR Headquarter and Field on complex commercial contracts, reviewing model contracts and agreements;
¿ Advising on the protection of the UN(HCR) logo and  the authorization of its use by third parties;
¿ Serving as principal focal point for UNHCR engagement, if needed, with national courts and law enforcement authorities globally;
¿ Managing with regards to UNHCR staff and UNHCR records and archives the Organization¿s relationships with international tribunals and courts, including but not limited to the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the international Criminal Court (ICC);
¿ Coordination with OLA, as appropriate;
¿ Reviewing the internal grievances and justice system as to improvements of the provision of legal support; 


Advanced university degree in Law.
Minimum 20 years of previous job experience relevant to the function or as a manager and legal advisor in:
I. Administrative law
II. Contracts Law
III. Litigation
Excellent legal policy judgment, analytical and drafting skills.
Proficiency in English, French (excellent drafting capacity and ability to negotiate in both languages required).


Practical experience in applied administrative law in an intergovernmental organization (IO) ¿ preferably the UN or a UN system organization;
Experience in labour law;
Experience in compliance and ethics in the workplace;
Knowledge of other UN official languages;
Proven conflict management/ mediation skills.

C001L4 - Accountability Level 4
C002L4 - Teamwork & Collaboration Level 4
C003L4 - Communication Level 4
C004L4 - Commitment to Continuous Learning Level 4
C005L4 - Client & Result Orientation Level 4
C006L4 - Organizational Awareness Level 4
M001L4 - Empowering and Building Trust Level 4
M002L4 - Managing Performance Level 4
M006L4 - Managing Resources Level 4
M005L4 - Leadership Level 4
M003L4 - Judgement and Decision Making Level 4
M004L4 - Strategic Planning and Vision Level 4
X006L4 - Policy Development & Research Level 4
X004L4 - Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Level 4
X007L4 - Political Awareness Level 4

Please note that the closing date for all vacancies in the March 2016 Compendium is Monday 25 April 2016 (midnight Geneva time).

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.
  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Geneva
  • Grade: D-1, Director
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Legal - Broad
    • Legal - Broad
  • Closing Date: 2016-04-25

Similar Jobs

Senior IP Counsel


Criminal Justice Intern

UNODC - United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

HR Administrative Officer

AfDB - African Development Bank


UN-ICTY - International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Intern - Economic Affairs, Beirut

UN-ESCWA - United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia

Head of Unit – Registrar of Board of Appeal

ECHA - European Chemicals Agency

Associate Translator (Linguist) - Arabic (P-2) (9701)

ICC - International Criminal Court


UN-MONUSCO - UN Organisation Stabilization Mission in the Dem. Rep. of Congo

Field Officer (Outreach) (P-3) (9621)

ICC - International Criminal Court

Policy Analyst – Risk management and audit(Job Number: 10937)

OECD - Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development