Legal Officer, P-4

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UN Department of Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance Office of Human Resources

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in New York within the Disciplinary Section of the Disciplinary Accountability Service (DS-DAS), Administrative Law Division (ALD), Office of Human Resources (OHR), Department of Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance (DMSPC). The incumbent reports to the Chief of Section. The Division is in charge of the implementation of the United Nations (UN) standards of conduct for all categories of personnel across the UN Secretariat. ALD provides strategic and legal advice on internal justice matters and represent the Secretary-General before the United Nations Dispute Tribunal. ALD handles disciplinary matters relating to Secretariat staff members, oversees and coordinates efforts and actions to prevent and respond to unsatisfactory conduct, and works to empower and support UN Secretariat managers in the exercise of their responsibilities to address conduct and discipline matters.


Under the supervision of the Chief, Disciplinary Section, Disciplinary Accountability Service (DAS), the Legal Officer is responsible for the following duties:

  • Provides advice on the handling of disciplinary matters and prepares the related documentation. To this end, the incumbent conducts research and analysis of the UN Charter, General Assembly resolutions and decisions, judgements of the United Nations Administrative Tribunal, the United Nations Dispute Tribunal, the United Nations Appeals Tribunal and judgements of other international administrative tribunals, Staff Regulations and Rules, and administrative issuances.
  • The incumbent also represents the Secretary-General in written and oral proceedings before the United Nations Dispute Tribunal relating to disciplinary cases.
  • Submissions before the Dispute Tribunal must meet procedural requirements of the Tribunal and must be consistent with the principles of administrative law applicable to the Organization.
  • Prepares legal advice on human resources and administrative matters, with a view to facilitating early resolution of disputes.
  • Supervises the work of one or more junior legal officers and legal assistants. Also guide, develop and train staff under his/her supervision.
  • Assists in ensuring the outputs produced under his/her supervision maintain high-quality standards and in fostering teamwork and communication among staff in the Unit.
  • Assists in recruiting staff for the Unit, maintaining the Unit’s registers and electronic databases and perform other duties as required.


  • Professionalism: Knowledge of relevant United Nations Regulations and Rules, as well as of applicable jurisprudence. Ability to apply legal expertise to analyzing a diverse range of issues and problems and to develop innovative and creative solutions. Strong analytical skills. Discretion and sound judgment in applying legal expertise to sensitive, legal and administrative issues. Ability to influence others to reach agreement. Ability to analyze and interpret data in support of decision-making and convey resulting information to management. 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.
  • 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 the audience. Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
  • Planning and Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies. Identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required. Allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work. Foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning. Monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary. Uses time efficiently.


  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in law is required. A first-level university degree (Bachelor’s degree or equivalent) in combination with two additional years of relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible legal experience is required.
  • Two years of experience in litigation at the national or international level including first-hand experience in appearing and leading the evidence of witnesses before a court or tribunal or equivalent administrative board and bodies is required.
  • Experience in handling disciplinary matters in national or international entities is desirable.
  • Experience with Staff Regulations and Rules, policies, procedures and operations of the United Nations or other similar international organization is desirable.


  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of French is desirable. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is an advantage.


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