Legal Officer

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  • Contract
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UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization


Post Number : LA/TA 005

Grade : P-3

Parent Sector : Office of International Standards and Legal Affairs (LA)

Duty Station: Paris

Job Family: Law

Type of contract : Temporary Appointment

Duration of contract : From 1 to 6 months

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 15-JUL-2024


UNESCO Core Values: Commitment to the Organization, Integrity, Respect for Diversity, Professionalism




Within the general mandate of the Office of International Standards and Legal Affairs to provide legal advice to the Secretariat and the governing bodies of the Organization, under the overall authority of the Director of the Office and the direct supervision of the Chief of the General Legal Section (LA/GL), the incumbent will perform the following duties and responsibilities:


  • Drafting legal opinions, undertaking research and examining legal precedents for issues relating to the function, structure and activities of the Organization. Such issues may relate to the general field or specialized aspects of public and private international law.


  • Drafting interpretations of legal instruments, such as the UNESCO constitution, statutes, treaties, agreements, regulations and rules, rules of procedure, resolutions and decisions, or other legal materials relevant to the Organization.


  • Drafting legal opinions on and negotiating a wide range of agreements with various partners and contractors, including Member States, private entities, non-governmental organizations and intergovernmental organizations.


  • Drafting legal opinions on disputes in the context of agreements and other matters pertaining to the Organization, such as the use of the name and logo.


  • Drafting legal advice on documents to be submitted to the Organization’s governing bodies (namely the General Conference and the Executive Board) and other intergovernmental bodies in the context of treaties and programmes of the Organization.


  • Performing other tasks required to ensure the success of the work of the team.

Long Description
Long Description
Long Description
COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)
Communication (C)
Accountability (C)
Innovation (C)
Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C)
Planning and organizing (C)
Results focus (C)
Teamwork (C)
Professionalism (C)

For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.



  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in law, with a specialization in international law.


Work experience

  • Minimum of four (4) years of professional experience providing advice in public international law within an intergovernmental organization (or in such organization, combined with equivalent legal experience in a government, law firm, non-profit organization or academia), of which preferably two (2) years acquired at international level. 


Skills & Competencies

  • Excellent analytical skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Proven ability to draft clearly and concisely.
  • Ability to work well under pressure.
  • Capacity to work independently.



  • Excellent knowledge of English or French and very good knowledge of the other language.




  • Advanced university degree in international law, contract or commercial law.


Work experience

  • Experience in providing advice in the law of international organizations, particularly in the UN system.
  • Experience in drafting, negotiating and reviewing contracts or international agreements.
  • Experience in the legal department of an intergovernmental organization.
  • Experience working with intergovernmental bodies, particularly on rules of procedure.
  • Confirmed experience in legal drafting in English and French.


Skills & Competencies

  • Knowledge of the law of international organizations, particularly the UN common system’s regulatory framework.
  • Familiarity with the work and general functioning of the UN system.



  • Knowledge of another official language of UNESCO (Arabic, Chinese, Russian or Spanish).


UNESCO’s salaries consist of a basic salary and other benefits which may include if applicable: 30 days annual leave, family allowance, medical insurance, pension plan etc.

The approximate annual starting salary for this post is 104 581 US $.

For full information on benefits and entitlements, please consult our Guide to Staff Benefits.


Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application and provide complete and accurate information. To apply, please visit the UNESCO careers website. No modifications can be made to the application submitted.

The evaluation of candidates is based on the criteria in the vacancy notice, and may include tests and/or assessments, as well as a competency-based interview. 

UNESCO uses communication technologies such as video or teleconference, e-mail correspondence, etc. for the assessment and evaluation of candidates.

Please note that only selected candidates will be further contacted and candidates in the final selection step will be subject to reference checks based on the information provided.


UNESCO recalls that paramount consideration in the appointment of staff members shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, technical competence and integrity. UNESCO applies a zero-tolerance policy against all forms of harassment. UNESCO is committed to achieving and sustaining equitable and diverse geographical distribution, as well as gender parity among its staff members in all categories and at all grades. Furthermore, UNESCO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Candidates from non- and under-represented Member States (last update here) are particularly welcome and strongly encouraged to apply. Individuals from minority groups and indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the highest level of confidentiality. Worldwide mobility is required for staff members appointed to international posts.

UNESCO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process.

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