United Nations Secretariat

Senior Legal Officer (Sexual and Gender-based Crimes and Crimes Against Children Unit)

United Nations Secretariat

Job Description

  This position is located within the United Nations Investigative Team to promote accountability for crimes committed by Da'esh / ISIL (UNITAD) and will be based in Dohuk, Iraq. The Senior Legal Affairs Officer reports to the Principal Legal Officer (Investigations Coordinator), under the overall direction of the Special Adviser, who heads the Investigative Team. UNITAD was established by the Secretary-General pursuant to Security Council resolution 2379 (2017), according to which it is mandated to support domestic efforts to hold ISIL (Da'esh) accountable by collecting, preserving and storing evidence in Iraq of acts that may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide committed by the terrorist group ISIL (Da'esh) in Iraq. Responsibilities Within delegated authority, the Senior Legal Officer will be responsible for the following duties: • Provide authoritative legal advice to the Chief of Investigations on the nature and scope of investigations to be carried out by the Investigative Team as they pertain to acts of sexual and gender-based violence and violence against children that may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. • Advise on international standards and best practices regarding the investigation of crimes concerning sexual and gender-based violence, as well as violence against children. • Assist in the development of standard operating procedures, draft memorandum of understanding, based on international best practices to ensure that the Investigative Team has the capacity to investigate effectively acts of sexual and gender-based violence and violence against children that may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. • Participate in the investigative activities of the Office of Field Investigations related to acts of sexual and gender-based violence, as well as violence perpetrated against children, providing advice in relation to the victims of such acts and guidance on the use of appropriate investigative procedures regarding these acts. • Interviews witnesses and survivors who may have been the subject of sexual and gender-based violence or violence against children, and take witness statements. • Review and analyse evidence and information obtained by the Investigative Team related to sexual and gender-based violence and violence against children, and report to the Chief of Investigations on progress made and on possible adjustments required in terms of priorities and ressources. • Facilitate the provisions of trainings and other capacity-building initiatives to national officials. • Supports the supervisor in the implementation of the work programme of the section and provides legal expertise and advice on a wide range of complex legal issues affecting UNITAD’s mandate and activities, including on the interpretation of the mandate and on aspects of the UNITAD’s operational activities. • Assists and supports the supervisor in establishing and maintaining good working relations with government officials (ministries, authorities and agencies) and other entities on legal matters related to the implementation of the Mission’s mandate, including the implementation of agreements and other arrangements with the host, or with other governments; liaises and participates in meetings and discussions with governments and other institutions and entities; liaises with other UN agencies, funds and programmes, as well as other internal and external actors and organizations, as required. • Assists and supports the supervisor in the management and Administration of the unit, including organizing and prioritizing workload and managing, supervising and guiding more junior legal officers; • Performs extensive legal research and Analysis on highly complex or novel legal issues/questions and prepares legal opinions, studies, briefs, reports, and correspondence, represents UNITAD at meetings, conferences, seminars, etc. • Performs other duties, as assigned. Competencies • Professionalism: 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. • Planning & 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. • 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. • Judgement/Decision-making: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; gathers relevant information before making a decision; considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them; takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the Organization; proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information; checks assumptions against facts; determines the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs for the decision; makes tough decisions when necessary. • Empowering Others: Delegates responsibility, clarifies expectations, and gives staff autonomy in important areas of their work; encourages others to set challenging goals; holds others accountable for achieving results related to their area of responsibility; genuinely values all staff members’ input and expertise; shows appreciation and rewards achievement and effort; involves others when making decisions that affect them. Education Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in law is required. Specialization in international Criminal Law, international humanitarian law, international public law, or International Human Rights law is desirable. A first-level university degree incombination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree. Work Experience A minimum of ten (10) years of progressively responsible experience in law, including legal analysis, research and writing is required. Experience in assisting in the investigation, prosecution or adjudication of crimes of sexual and gender-based violence and crimes against children, including in an international context, is desirable. Experience in working in an international criminal tribunal or similar entity is desirable. Experience in the Middle East and North Africa is desirable. Experience in the delivery of capacity-building activities in the field of sexual and gender-based violence or violence against children is desirable. Languages English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in English is required. Fluency in Arabic is desirable. Assessment Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which will be followed by competency-based interview. Special Notice This position may be available for 90-days, with a possibility for extension to replace a staff-member on assignment. The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position. Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures. United Nations Considerations According to 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. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations 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. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment. Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment. The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across Duty Stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General. 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. No Fee THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.
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