Senior Legal Officer, P5 - Jerusalem, Israel - UN HABITAT

    UN HABITAT Jerusalem, Israel

    1 month ago

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    Position description

    Org. Setting and Reporting

    This position is located in the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) in Jerusalem. The Senior Legal Officer reports directly to the UNTSO Head of Mission (HoM). The Senior Legal Officer is a recognized expert in one or more areas of concentration and provides high-level in-house legal counsel capacity for principled, authoritative legal advice, guidance and representation in all aspects of the Mission's mandate and activities, including highly complex or novel legal matters, effectively determines strategy and approach to legal issues and develops innovative solutions to issues that arise, contributes to the development of policy, directives, guidelines and best practices, and demonstrates professional leadership, persuasiveness and diplomacy to generate consensus. The Senior Legal Officer provides independent legal advice and works collaboratively within the Mission Leadership Team.


    The Senior Legal Officer is responsible providing to the Head of Mission and senior management timely, accurate, understandable and actionable analysis, advice advocacy regarding legal issues of organizational, operational and administrative significance, including the interpretation and application of national, international and administrative law, as well as UN regulations, to assure legal compliance, accountability and transparency, including:

    • Identifying and analyzing substantive legal issues and related risks relating to the implementation of the mission's mandate and formulating legal solutions that advance mission and organizational priorities and objectives.
    • Assuring the legal status, privileges and immunities of the mission and its members.
    • Establishing and maintaining effective legal working relations and the operational interface with host government officials (ministries, authorities and agencies), other UN peace operations in the region (e.g., UNDOF, UNIFIL, UNFICYP, UNSCO, UNSCOL and UNOSE-S), the diplomatic community, regional and sub-regional actors and organizations as well as UN and inter-governmental agencies, funds and programs.
    • Formulating, negotiating and preparing legal solutions to complex strategic, managerial and operational issues, including negotiating and drafting of major contracts and agreements, and managing the legal aspects of procurement matters and third-party claims.
    • Preparing and defending legal opinions and advice, as well as related decisions of the Head of Mission.
    • Providing inputs for the Secretary-General's briefings and reports, and promoting the system-wide work of the Organization that addresses core UN values and objectives.
    • Conducting investigations and preparing legal submissions and other legal documents, including for the administration of justice system and the accountability of personnel.
    • Serving on various standing and ad hoc boards, committees, working groups and task forces, and representing the mission at meetings, conferences, seminars, etc.
    • Coordinating with Office of Legal Affairs (OLA), UNHQ to assure legal coherence.
    • Performing other duties as assigned by HoM.


    • Professionalism: Knowledge of public international law, in particular in the field of the law of international organizations. 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. 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 opinions and a variety of legal instruments and other, related documents. Ability to explain complex issues and defend principled positions in meetings, including meetings of political bodies and senior managers. 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 the UN system, its organizations and their 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.
    • Creativity: Actively seeks to improve programmes or services; offers new and different options to solve problems or meet client needs; promotes and persuades others to consider new ideas; takes calculated risks on new and unusual ideas; thinks "outside the box"; takes an interest in new ideas and new ways of doing things; is not bound by current thinking or traditional approaches.
    • 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.

    Managerial Competencies:

    • 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 improvement; does not accept the status quo; and shows the courage to take unpopular stands.
    • 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 that the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; and makes tough decisions when necessary.


    • Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in law. A first-level university degree in law in combination with an additional two years of qualifying work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

    Work Experience

    • A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible professional experience in law, including legal analysis, research and writing, is required.
    • At least two years of professional legal experience working in the legal office of a government department or ministry or of the secretariat of an international organization are desirable
    • Professional legal experience advising on questions of international law, including regarding privileges and immunities, is desirable.
    • At least two years of professional experience working with the UN, a specialized agency of the UN or a related intergovernmental organization are desirable.
    • Experience in data analytics or related area is desirable.


    • French and English are the working languages of the UN Secretariat. For this job opening, fluency in English (both oral and written) is required; knowledge of another official United Nations language is an advantage.

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