Legal Officer

Geneva, , CH

Special Notice

Appointment against this post is for an initial period of one year and may be subject to extension. Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him
or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.

All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply on-line as soon as possible after the job opening has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the job opening. On-line applications will be acknowledged where an email address has been provided.

If you do not receive an e-mail acknowledgement within 24 hours of submission, your application may not have been received.. If the problem persists, please seek technical assistance through the Inspira “Need Help?” link.

Org. Setting and Reporting

The United Nations Environment is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment. The Law Division is charged with carrying out the functions of UN Environment in the field of environmental law, governance and related policy issues, including those related to multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs). To fulfill its mandate, the Division’s work focuses on: leading the international community in the progressive development of environmental law; supporting States in the development and implementation of legal, institutional and policy measures that address emerging and important environmental challenges; facilitating cooperation and coordination among MEAs and between the UN Environment and those agreements; working with MEA Secretariats to support Parties to the respective MEAs in implementing their treaty obligations; and facilitating policy dialogue among States on issues relating to international environmental law and governance. This position is located in the Law Division at the Geneva duty station. The incumbent will report to the Head, MEAs Support and Cooperation Unit.

Responsibilities

-Manages long term projects with multi-million USD budgets in the field of international environmental law and knowledge management such as the InforMEA Project. This includes the timely coordination of fund raising activities and multi-stakeholder project design and formulation, procurement process and contractual arrangements, coordination and supervision of collaborators and consultants, project monitoring, regular reporting on progress to donors and internal stakeholders and support of internal and external project reviews and evaluations.

-Initiates, establishes, and facilitates the further evaluation of UN-wide and inclusive knowledge networks, such as the MEA Information and Knowledge Management Initiative (IKM), moderates discussions and promotes agreement within these networks and ensures long term involvement and sustained contributions by all stakeholders, in particular MEA Secretariats to flagship knowledge tools on environmental law.

-Manages and steers the development and enhancement of a comprehensive online learning tool on environmental law and conventions. This includes the development and provision of substantive content, promotion of the use of the courses and tracking and monitoring impact of the learning offered.

-Manages and directs the MEA IKM Team within Environmental Governance and Conventions Branch and mentors and supervises the work of junior officers on specific projects.

-Coordinates and manages the development and consistent application of an international semantic reference standard – the Law and Environment Ontology (LEO) – through a multi-stakeholder process defining and relating concepts and principles of International Environmental Law and Conventions and ensuring increasing application and use of the LEO for the sake of better retrievability of information including on progress of implementation of international commitments and internationally agreed goals.

-On behalf of the Director of the Law Division co-steers and manages the evolution and further development of the ECOLEX (an information database on environmental law) partnership and website in collaboration with both partners, Food And Agriculture Organization – (FAO) and The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) and promotes synergies between flagship tools such as InforMEA and ECOLEX with a view of further promoting the use of such tools to additional constituencies.

-Serves as an expert on the information advisory committee to the clearing house mechanism of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) which provides guidance to the Executive Secretary of the CBD on matters related to knowledge exchange and management.

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 with 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.

•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.

•Client Orientation: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view; establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.

Education

Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in Law , particularly international law or environmental law. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in law including legal analysis, research and writing and in knowledge management issues.

Languages

English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency in written and oral English required. Working knowledge of French is desirable.

Assessment

Evaluation of qualified candidates for this position may include a substantive assessment which will be followed by a competency-based interview.

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, including but not limited to, respect for international human rights and humanitarian law. Candidates may be subject to screening against these standards, including but not limited to, whether they have committed or are alleged to have committed criminal offences or violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

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.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the At-a-Glance on “The Application Process” and the Instructional Manual for the Applicants, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The screening and 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, including but not limited to, their education, work experience, and language skills, according to the instructions provided on inspira. Applicants will be disqualified from consideration if they do not demonstrate in their application that they meet the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations. Applicants are solely responsible for providing complete and accurate information at the time of application: 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 a reference-checking process to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at midnight (New York time) on the deadline date.


POSITION TYPE

ORGANIZATION TYPE

EXPERIENCE-LEVEL

DEGREE REQUIRED