Senior Legal Officer (General Law)

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UNRWA - United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees

Org. Setting and Reporting
UNRWA, the largest United Nations operation in the Middle East with over 30,000 staff working across five areas of operation, is looking for highly committed personnel wishing to make a change. If you are looking for a rewarding opportunity to make a tangible difference for one of the most vulnerable communities in the world, UNRWA would like to hear from you. This post focuses on the provision of legal advice training and assistance on matters and policies relating to contractual and procurement matters and the resolution of commercial and contractual disputes, the Agency’s regulatory framework, administrative law issues, and management of appeals before the UNRWA Dispute Tribunal and the UN Appeals Tribunal. The Senior Legal Officer (General Law) reports to the Principal Legal Officer (General Law).
Drafts, reviews drafts and assists in the negotiation of all types of Agency contractual modalities, including complex contracts for procurement of goods and/or services, memoranda of understanding with partners and funding agreements. Provides advice and training on the interpretation and application of the Agency’s regulatory framework, including General Assembly resolutions, Staff and Financial Regulations, Rules, and associated administrative issuances, organizational directives, and in particular regarding Agency governance and management of administrative, contractual, and procurement law issues; advises other departments (Headquarters and Fields) on the interpretation of the Agency’s regulatory framework; provides technical expertise and advice on amendments to the Agency’s regulatory framework, including drafting of Agency regulations and rules and drafting or reviewing legal opinions on complex or sensitive financial issues including interpretation of the Agency Financial Regulations and technical instructions. Provides legal advice and assistance on matters relating to administrative and employment law, in particular advises on investigations and disciplinary matters; drafts Agency submissions to the Agency’s Dispute Tribunal and the UN Appeals Tribunal. Provides legal input into development and implementation of Agency strategy and policy, and provides legal training on issues of priority for the Agency. Serves as Secretary to the Advisory Committee on Procurement (ACP), member of the Vendor Sanctions Committee, and provides legal advice on procurement to local committees on procurement and procurement and logistics staff. Advises on resolution of contractual and tortious claims against the Agency, including overseeing, supporting and conducting negotiations, settlement and arbitration. Advises on the status, mandate, privileges and immunities and related responsibilities of the Agency and its personnel, in particular as related to contract drafting and dispute resolution.
UN Core Values of Integrity, Professionalism and Respect for Diversity, and Core Competencies of Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results apply by default. Default managerial competencies may apply. Analyzing Engaging and Nurturing Planning and Organizing Creating and Maintaining Impact and Partnership Relating and Networking Ability to develop and implement strategies and policies. Good English drafting skills. Ability to negotiate effectively. For guidance on how to prepare for competency-based interviews:
Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) from an accredited educational institution in law, public international law, commercial international law or a related discipline. A first-level university degree in combination with additional two years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
Job – Specific Qualification
Not available.
Work Experience
At least seven years of progressively responsible and relevant professional experience as a lawyer in the United Nations, other international organization, government service, the commercial/private sector or NGO, including a period of experience in contract, commercial, administrative, or public international law is required. Unless already serving as an international staff member in the UN Common System, a candidate for an international post must have at least two continuous years of relevant international experience outside UNRWA, and outside the country(s) of which the candidate is a national or holds citizenship, a passport or a national identity number is required. Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) from an accredited educational institution in law, public international law, commercial international law or a related discipline or a first-level university degree in combination with additional two years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree is required. Familiarity with the UN system and practices is desirable. Admission to practice law in a recognized jurisdiction is desirable. Knowledge of Arabic is desirable,
Excellent command of written and spoken English is required. Knowledge of Arabic is desirable
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.
Special Notice
Type of Contract and duration: 2 years, with the possibility of further extension. The incumbent should be able to travel in the Agency’s areas of operation in the Middle East. Only applications that have been fully completed in UNRWA’s online e-recruitment system inspira will be considered and no late applications will be accepted. The Personal History Profile (PHP) should be completed with full work experience under the experience tabs as per the requirements in the Job Opening. UNRWA welcomes applications from qualified candidates with disabilities. A roster may be created from the selection exercise, and successful candidates may become eligible for appointment to the same post or a similar post. Join our eco-friendly organization dedicated to environment sustainability and targeting to be plastic free by 2025. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions from UN member states, regional bodies, business foundations and individual contributions. The mission of UNRWA is to help Palestine refugees achieve their fu11 potential in human development under the difficult circumstances in which they live. For more details on UNRWA, please visit:
United Nations Considerations
Staff members are subject to the authority of the Commissioner-General of UNRWA and to assignment by him or her. UNRWA is committed to achieving gender parity at all levels of staffing under the current UN-wide gender agenda and strongly encourages applications from qualified applicants from under-represented groups. At UNRWA, 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. UNRWA is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application. UNRWA Considerations UNRWA staff are expected to uphold the highest standards of efficiency, competence, neutrality, impartiality and integrity. This includes respect for and commitment to human rights, diversity and non-violent means of dealing with all kinds of conflict. Only persons who fully and unconditionally commit to these values should consider applying for UNRWA jobs. Candidates will not be considered for employment with UNRWA 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. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment. The Agency may disqualify applicants who have separated for reason of misconduct, who left a UN Agency while misconduct processes were pending, or who appear on the UN Sanctions List. UNRWA is a non-smoking work environment. 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.
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