Legal Affairs Specialist o/p Istanbul, P-3, Office of Executive Director, Istanbul, PAT 111958

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UNICEF works in over 190 countries and territories to save children’s lives, defend their rights, and help them fulfill their potential, from early childhood through adolescence.

At UNICEF, we are committed, passionate, and proud of what we do. Promoting the rights of every child is not just a job – it is a calling.
UNICEF is a place where careers are built: we offer our staff diverse opportunities for personal and professional development that will help them develop a fulfilling career while delivering on a rewarding mission. We pride ourselves on a culture that helps staff thrive, coupled with an attractive compensation and benefits package.

Visit our website to learn more about what we do at UNICEF.

For every child, [insert tagline]

The post is located in the Administrative Law Unit (ALU) within the Office of the Executive Director. ALU is principally responsible for advising the Deputy Executive Director, Management, on all administrative-law related matters, including on requests for management evaluation of administrative decisions brought by staff members under the UN Staff Rules and on all matters relating to possible misconduct and the disciplinary process. ALU represents the Secretary-General in proceedings before the United Nations Dispute Tribunal (UNDT) in all cases involving UNICEF staff members. As part of its functions, ALU assists in the development and updating of relevant administrative policies, such as UNICEF’s disciplinary and prohibited conduct policies. It also advises on matters relating to the internal justice system in general, which includes liaising with the relevant stakeholders in the UN system of administration of justice, and represents UNICEF in relevant inter-agency working groups.

How can you make a difference?

Under the direct supervision of a P-4 Legal Affairs Specialist, the Legal Affairs Specialist will research and provide advice on substantive and procedural matters of administrative law, including management evaluations and disciplinary cases and represent UNICEF in litigation before the UNDT, mediation processes and other other formal and informal procedures.

More specifically, the duties of the Legal Affairs Specialist will include:

1. Conduct legal research and analysis with respect to management evaluation requests submitted by staff members under Chapter XI of the UN Staff Rules. Prepare responses for the Deputy Executive Director, Management, with the support of the P-4 Legal Affairs Specialist. Identify and flag the pertinent legal and factual issues and explore options for resolution in order to avoid litigation. Liaise with relevant offices and line managers throughout the process.

2. Review investigation reports received from the Office of Internal Audit and Investigations (OIAI) with a view to recommending appropriate action to the Deputy Executive Director, Management, with the support of the P-4 Legal Affairs Specialist, under Chapter X of the UN Staff Rules, which may include charging a staff member withmisconduct or recommending administrative or managerial measures. Ensure that staff members’ due process rights are fully respected.

3. With the support of the P-4 Legal Affairs Specialist, responsible for drafting Charge Letters and Disciplinary Measure Letters, including proposing proportionate sanctions. Liaise with OIAI and the Deputy Executive Director, Management’s office throughout the disciplinary process.

4. Assist the P-4 Legal Affairs Specialist and Chief, Administrative Law Unit in defending UNICEF’s position in appeals against administrative decisions affecting staff members’ contractual rights by preparing oral and written submissions to the UNDT. Draft concise and well-argued submissions. Ensure that submissions meet procedural requirements and are consistent with the principles of administrative law in the United Nations. Identify, where applicable, cases that are amenable to informal resolution; respond to complex inquiries and correspondence.

5. Assist the P-4 Legal Affairs Specialist and Chief, Administrative Law Unit in preparing and conducting examination of witnesses appearing before the UNDT and conducting negotiations with the opposing party. In appropriate cases, conducing the examination of witnesses personally. Prepare recommendations to the Office of Legal Affairs on the possible appeal of UNDT judgments.

6. Undertake other ad-hoc tasks as required by the P-4 Legal Affairs Specialist and Chief, Administrative Law Unit.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

The following minimum requirements:

Education: An advanced university degree in law (Master’s or Doctorate degree or equivalent) is required. A first-level university degree in law (Bachelor’s degree or equivalent), with two additional years (total 7) of relevant work experience, may be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree.
Work Experience:

A minimum of five (5) years’ legal experience is required.  Experience as a litigator at the national or international level, including appearing and leading evidence before a court/tribunal/arbitration panel or equivalent administrative board or body, is required.

Ability to apply legal expertise and sound judgment to a broad array of sensitive legal and administrative issues.


Ability to instill confidence and trust and persuade others—including senior management—to reach agreement. Ability to develop innovative solutions to complex factual and legal problems.

Effective communication skills to present information clearly and logically (including legal issues and their possible impact to non-lawyers) orally and in writing.

Strong interpersonal skills to work with people across the Organization. Possesses tact and high degree of discretion and confidentiality. Ability to work collaboratively in a team setting.
Skills (optional): Technical and Non-technical skills required. 
Language Requirements: Expert knowledge of English is required. Working knowledge of French and/or Spanish are desirable. Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese or Russian) is an asset.

The following desirables:

• Developing country work experience and/or familiarity with emergency.
• Language: Knowledge of another official UN language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish) or a local language.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s Core Values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust and Accountability and Sustainability (CRITAS) underpin everything we do and how we do it. Get acquainted with Our Values Charter: UNICEF Values

The UNICEF competencies required for this post are…

(1) Builds and maintains partnerships (2) Demonstrates self-awareness and ethical awareness (3) Drive to achieve results for impact (4) Innovates and embraces change (5) Manages ambiguity and complexity (6) Thinks and acts strategically (7) Works collaboratively with others 

Familiarize yourself with our competency framework and its different levels.

UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.

We offer a wide range of benefits to our staff, including paid parental leave, breastfeeding breaks, and reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities. UNICEF strongly encourages the use of flexible working arrangements.

UNICEF does not hire candidates who are married to children (persons under 18). UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority, and discrimination. UNICEF is committed to promoting the protection and safeguarding of all children. All selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks and will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.

UNICEF appointments are subject to medical clearance.  Issuance of a visa by the host country of the duty station is required for IP positions and will be facilitated by UNICEF. Appointments may also be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid). Should you be selected for a position with UNICEF, you either must be inoculated as required or receive a medical exemption from the relevant department of the UN. Otherwise, the selection will be canceled.


As per 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.

UNICEF’s active commitment to diversity and inclusion is critical to deliver the best results for children.

Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

Government employees who are considered for employment with UNICEF are normally required to resign from their government positions before taking up an assignment with UNICEF. UNICEF reserves the right to withdraw an offer of appointment, without compensation, if a visa or medical clearance is not obtained, or necessary inoculation requirements are not met, within a reasonable period for any reason. 


UNICEF does not charge a processing fee at any stage of its recruitment, selection, and hiring processes (i.e., application stage, interview stage, validation stage, or appointment and training). UNICEF will not ask for applicants’ bank account information.

All UNICEF positions are advertised, and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process. An internal candidate performing at the level of the post in the relevant functional area, or an internal/external candidate in the corresponding Talent Group, may be selected, if suitable for the post, without assessment of other candidates.

Additional information about working for UNICEF can be found here.

Advertised: 30 Apr 2024 Eastern Daylight Time
Deadline: 13 May 2024 Eastern Daylight Time

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