International Legal Specialist

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

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Organizational Setting

The Legal Office of FAO ensures that the activities of the Organization are carried out in accordance with the Constitution of FAO and the other Basic Texts of the Organization, in a manner consistent with its status as an inter-governmental organization of the United Nations system, and that its relationships with governments, organizations and individuals are on a sound legal basis.

The Development Law Service of the Legal Office (LEGN) provides legal advisory services to governments on food and agriculture and natural resources (including land, water, fisheries and aquaculture, plants, animals, food, forestry, wildlife, environment, climate change and biodiversity), as well as general agricultural issues (institutions, trade, economic reform).

The Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia (REU) is responsible for leading FAO’s response to regional priorities for food security, agriculture and rural development through the identification, planning and implementation of FAO’s priority activities in the region. It ensures a multidisciplinary approach to programmes, identifies priority areas of action for the Organization in the Region and, in collaboration with departments and divisions at Headquarters, develops, promotes and oversees FAO’s strategic response to regional priorities. REU also advises on the incorporation of regional priorities into the Organization’s Programme of Work and Budget and implements approved programmes and projects in the region, monitors the level of programme implementation and draws attention to problems and deficiencies. The Regional Office supports regional policy dialogue on food security, agriculture and rural development issues, facilitates the emergence of regional partnerships, and supports capacity development and resource mobilization for food security, agriculture and rural development in the region.


The project “Support to strengthening sustainable and multipurpose forest management to improve rural livelihoods and address climate change in Kosovo” – GCP/KOS/007/SWE aims at increasing the contribution of forest sector’s to the Kosovo economy  through a participatory and gender-responsive forest management and is strengthened in accordance with relevant rules on forests and supported with value-chains for poverty alleviation.


The Programme is structured around three components, each further operationalized into specific outputs and activities. The first component is dedicated to improving timber legality, trade and law enforcement in forest sector. Outputs aim at preparing the necessary by-laws, improving public service capacities to support law enforcement with new skills and equipment, and generate public support to combat illegal activities in the forest sector.


Reporting Lines


The International Legal Specialist reports to the Local Team Leader, Lead Technical Officer and the Chief: Development Law Service (LEGN)

Technical Focus

Provide legal technical expertise through the identification, review, definition and needs/gaps assessment of all legal instruments, as appropriate, relevant to the forestry sector in Kosovo, including, but not limited to, timber legality, trade in forest products, sustainable forest management, and rights of tenure.

Tasks and responsibilities

International Legal Specialist will work under the overall supervision and guidance of senior Legal Officers, but s/he is expected to undertake tasks with technical independence, according to the deadlines and deliverables established under their Terms of Reference. These tasks are within FAO´s Results Based Management framework for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and will normally include several of the following elements:

  • provide legal technical advice;
  • prepare draft legislation and regulations;
  • prepare, review and update workplans;
  • undertake capacity development activities and provide legal support and assistance in the development of project outputs;
  • review the work of national and/or junior personnel, and providing inputs on and technical review and clearance of work and reports carried out by them;
  • prepare materials, undertaking legal research, prepare legal notes, reports and written advice;
  • prepare or contribute to legal publications and analyses. 

The specific tasks and responsibilities of the selected International Legal Specialist will be:

  • Lead the process for drafting of the relevant forestry by-laws, if appropriate, to address gaps and/or missing elements identified in legislation and regulations required to achieve the objectives of the Programme, with the focus on timber legality;
  • Develop a comprehensive strategy/work plan for the holding of multi-stakeholder consultation and the envisaged outcome of these are, which will include, as appropriate:
  • Gaps/needs assessment and consultations for addressing identified problems and needs,
  • Design the proposals to address these gaps, including the drafting of relevant laws and new regulation, if appropriate;
  • Defining the scope of relevant laws, including by-laws, if appropriate, and analysis of their implication to the Authority’s budget;
  • Conduct validation workshop/seminar.
  • Identify areas of policy, legislation and regulations/law which will be required for effective implementation of the programme objectives, taking the European / sub-regional peers and forest legality tools, such as those under Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade as the envisaged outcome;
  • Design the ToRs for the establishment of a National Task Force on forest legality enhancement;
  • Plan, lead and collect feedback from two pilot trainings targeted to lawyers, foresters and local police: one in Pristina and one in Programme’s target area in order to validate approach and methodologies;
  • Produce, with National Legal Expert, a training kit which can be applied in scaling up forest legality training events;
  • Produce a monitoring and evaluation grid on the effectiveness of forest legality trainings;
  • Oversee the establishment of a small task force at MAFRD/KFA to assess forest illegality and its financial implications to national budget (cost of enforcing/mitigating illegality, and forgone tax revenues);
  • Lead training workshops/seminars for relevant judges, prosecutors, lawyers and law enforcement officials involved in the forestry sector;
  • Lead the drafting of a technical report, which will include, amongst others, the draft relevant rules required for the forestry sector, and submit for review (to LEGN).
Minimum Requirements
  • University Degree in law and advanced university degree in international law related to forestry, environment, food agriculture, or related field.
  • Work experience: At least 10 years experience in Forestry Law, Natural Resource Law, or other related fields,
  • Working knowledge of English and limited knowledge of one of the other official languages of the Organization (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) for Consultant; Working knowledge of English for PSA subscriber.
FAO Core Competencies
  • Results Focus
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Building Effective Relationships
  • Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical/Functional Skills

  • Applicants for assignments as Specialist Legal Specialists should clearly indicate their specific technical expertise in their application in particular in the areas of fisheries and aquaculture and governance of tenure law as highlighted above.
  • Applicants for assignments as Junior Legal Specialists should have demonstrated interest in the technical areas listed above, as well as strong analytical, legal research and writing skills.
Selection Criteria
  • Extent of knowledge and experience on legal issues relating to a relevant technical field;
  • Extent of experience in developing national legislative and regulatory measures to implement international agreements, codes, guidelines or other instruments;
  • Ability to carry out legal research and analysis;
  • Ability to write clear and concise reports and to draft legal texts, legislative and regulatory instruments;
  • Extent of experience of different legal systems and working and living in different countries, including developing countries
  • Work experience with international or regional organizations or other entities in a relevant field.
  • Experience of working and living in low- or middle income countries is an asset.
  • Experience drafting legislation and other legal instruments