Posting Title: Legal Officer, NOC
Job Code Title: Legal Officer
Department/Office: United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia
Duty Station: BOGOTA
Posting Period: 02 May 2023 – 31 May 2023
Job Opening Number: 23-Legal Affairs-UNVMC-207843-R-Bogota (M)
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
Organisational Setting and ReportingThis position is located in the United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia (UNVMC), Legal Office Unit.
The incumbent will report to the Senior Legal Adviser and will be responsible for the following duties:
- Prepares or assists in the preparation of legal advice on the Colombian transitional justice system (SJP), its advances and any relevant matter that would be of interest for the Mission’s mandate. Liaises with SJP counterparts and monitors SJP proceedings as appropriate.
- Assists in preparation of or provides legal opinions and advice on a wide range of legal issues affecting UNVMC’s mandate and activities, including public international, private and administrative law matters, and in particular on the identification, interpretation and application of constitutional, transitional justice and other national laws, legislative instruments, court procedures and local legal protocols and practices as they affect the Mission.
- Provides or assists in the provision of advice on: the interpretation of the Mission’s mandate, the legal status of the Mission and its members, including in areas such as privileges and immunities, matters relating to international law, including international humanitarian law and international criminal law, as appropriate; on administrative, personnel and contractual matters, including issues relating to the accountability of personnel, procurement matters, third party claims, as well as legal questions involving the interpretation or application of UN regulations and rules.
- Prepares or assists in the preparation and review of draft agreements, institutional and operational modalities, contracts, legal submissions and other legal documents and assists in negotiations for the settlement of claims and disputes.
- Provides legal support to UNVMC regional and local teams on transitional justice and the application of constitutional and other national laws.
- Establishes and maintains or assists in establishing and maintaining effective coordination and working relations with national authorities, including Government representatives, local tribunals, public entities and agencies, and participates in meetings, discussions and negotiations with such local entities and individuals as required.
- Participates in meetings and discussions with other Mission offices, UN agencies, funds and programmes.
- Participates in administrative committees, including in relation to the procurement process, claims and property management, and in ad hoc working groups, task forces and training activities, as assigned by the Chief of Legal Affairs Unit.
- Conducts legal research and analysis using multiple research sources, translates and interprets local laws and legal documents, as required, and prepares or assists in the preparation of legal opinions, studies, briefs, background papers, reports, and correspondence.
- Ensures that all UNVMC are applied and followed thoroughly across all processes, including adherence to UNVMC code of conduct and ethics, and integrates a gender-sensitive approach in all performed tasks.
- Performs other duties, as assigned.
CompetenciesProfessionalism: Knowledge of, and ability to apply, legal principles, concepts and procedures and terminology for review, examination, and processing of a range of legal documents. Knowledge of various legal research sources, including electronic, and ability to conduct research and analyze information on a wide range of legal issues. Knowledge of the civil law and/or common law legal systems and principles. Ability to interpret and apply legislative instruments, develop and present results, recommendations, and opinions clearly and concisely. Ability to draft legal papers and work under pressure. Ability to apply good legal judgment in the context of assignments given. 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. Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals, Solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; Places team agenda before personal agenda; Builds consensus for task purpose and direction with team members; Supports and acts in accordance with final group decisions, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; Shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings. 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.
EducationAdvanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in law or relevant specialized field of law is required. A first-level university degree in law combination with two (2) years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
Work ExperienceA minimum of five (05) years of progressively responsible professional experience in law, including legal analysis, research, and writing is required. Of these five years, two (02) years working in the field of transitional justice and/or international law is desirable. Experience working with international organization is desirable.
LanguagesEnglish and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in oral and written English and Spanish is required. NOTE: Fluency equals a rating of “fluent” in all four areas (read, write, speak, understand) and “knowledge of” equals a rating of “confident” in two of the four areas.
AssessmentEvaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.
Special NoticeAt 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. Candidates for the National Professional Officer category shall be of the nationality of the country where this position is located.
United Nations ConsiderationsAccording 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. Reasonable accommodation may be provided to applicants with disabilities upon request, to support their participation in the recruitment process. 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.