Legal Officer, P4

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United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Legal Officer, P4 2

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment. The Law Division is the lead Division charged with carrying out the functions of UNEP in the field of environmental law, environmental governance and related policy issues including those related to Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs). The Law Division promotes the contribution of the environmental dimension of sustainable development through law, national and international governance and related policy issues, including those related to MEAs. This position is located in the Collective Intelligence Unit of the UNEP Law Division, located in Geneva. 


The incumbent will report to the Deputy Director, Law Division and will perform the following duties:

  • Manages long term projects with multi-million USD budgets in the field of international environmental law and knowledge management such as the InforMEA Project. This includes the timely coordination of fund-raising activities and multi-stakeholder project design and formulation, procurement process and contractual arrangements, coordination and supervision of collaborators and consultants, project monitoring, regular reporting on progress to donors and internal stakeholders and support of internal and external project reviews and evaluations;
  • Initiates, establishes, and facilitates the further evaluation of UN-wide and inclusive knowledge networks, such as the InforMEA Initiative, moderates discussions and promotes agreement within these networks and ensures long term involvement and sustained contributions by all stakeholders, in particular MEA Secretariats to flagship knowledge tools on environmental law;
  • Manages and steers the development and enhancement of a comprehensive online learning tool on environmental law and conventions. This includes the development and provision of substantive content, promotion of the use of the courses and tracking and monitoring impact of the learning offered;
  • Supervises and directs the staff of the Collective Intelligence Unit of the UNEP Law Division and manages specific projects;
  • Coordinates and manages the development and consistent application of an international semantic reference standards – and the evolution and management of ontologies– through a multi- stakeholder process defining and relating concepts and principles of International Environmental Law and Conventions and ensuring increasing application or the sake of better retrievability of information including on progress of implementation of international commitments and internationally agreed goals;
  • On behalf of the Director of the Law Division co-steers and manages the evolution and further development of the Judicial Portal, the Law and Environment Assistant Platform (LEAP) and as appropriate, ECOLEX which is an information service on environmental law in partnership Food And Agriculture Organization – (FAO) and The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN);
  • Collects and analyzes data to identify trends or patterns and provide insights through graphs, charts, tables and reports using data visualization methods to enable data-driven planning, decision-making, presentation and reporting.


  • PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge of international legal procedures and instruments, including criminal law, both substantive and procedural. 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 in prosecuting complex criminal cases. 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 briefs, opinions, indictments or legal submissions/motions, and a variety of legal instruments and related documents. Ability to lead and cross-examine witnesses and make substantial legal arguments before Chambers of judges, or if required to take responsibility for the prosecution of criminal trials. 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 with tight deadlines and handle multiple concurrent projects/cases. Knowledge of contemporary international relations and of UN system, organization and interrelationships. The 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;
  • 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;
  • 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.


  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in Law, particularly international law or environmental law is required. A first-level university degree in combination with two (2) additional years of experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced degree. Successful completion of both degree and non-degree programs in data analytics, business analytics or data science programs is desirable.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of seven (7) years of progressively responsible experience in law including legal analysis, research and writing and in knowledge management issues is required. Experience in capacity building or e-learning in the field of environmental law is desirable. Experience within the UN common system or similar international organizations is desirable. A minimum of two (2) years or more of experience in data analytics or related area is desirable.


  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency in written and oral English required. Working knowledge of French is desirable.

Application instructions

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