This position is located in the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Regional Office for Central America (ROCA) in Panama City, Panama. The incumbent will work under the direct supervision of the Deputy Head OHCHR Field Office/Regional Office with overall guidance received from the Regional Representative/Head of the OHCHR Field Office/Regional Office and the Americas Section/FOTCD.Responsibilities
Within delegated authority, the Legal Officer will be responsible for the following duties:
- Serves as the Legal Officer/Coordinator of the OHCHR Field Office/Regional Office, and independently handle a wide range of multidiscipline and complex legal matters involving issues of international, human rights, public and humanitarian law, to include interpretation and application of International Human Rights instruments; Effectively determine approach to address legal issues and develops innovative solutions to problems/issues that may arise.
- Performs extensive legal research and Analysis on complex matters and prepares legal opinions, studies, briefs, reports.
- Provides legal advice on diverse substantive and questions of human rights considerably complexity, which may include those related to criminal investigations and prosecutions, as well as Administration and management, institutions and other operational matters, separately administered programmes and funds, etc.
- Contributes to the planning and reporting of the OHCHR Field Office/Regional Office, including to external partners and donors.
- Participates at meetings with government and states institutions, commissions, committees, task forces, expert groups and other bodies, including preparation of background materials, summaries of issues and views of delegations, meeting reports, etc.
- Reviews, advises on and drafts complex agreements, institutional and operational modalities, or legal motions/submissions and other legal documents; develops new legal modalities to meet the international human rights standards.
- Advises on and participates in the definition of prosecutorial strategies and approaches for the investigation of past and present crimes.
- Provides legal advice on the interpretation and application of the institutional human rights standards, and rules, including the review of administrative decisions ; and prepares draft amendments to regulations and rules.
- Organizes high level debates/seminars and trainings on justice and human rights issues, promoting the sharing of experiences among countries.
- Serves on various standing boards, committees, ad hoc working groups and task forces, as required, and/or mentors and supervises the work of junior officers on specific projects.
- Contributes to review and design of new, or new applications of legal instruments, policy guidelines, etc.
- Coordinates and directs teams of international/national Experts and Consultants.
- Performs other duties, as assigned.
PROFESSIONALISM: Knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches relevant to particular sector, functional area or other specialized field. Ability to identify issues, analyze and participate in the resolution of issues/problems. Ability to conduct Data Collection using various methods. Conceptual analytical and evaluative skills to conduct independent research and analysis, including familiarity with and experience in the use of various research sources, including electronic sources on the Internet, intranet and other databases. Ability to apply judgment in the context of assignments given, plan own work and manage conflicting priorities. 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; and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.
TEAMWORK: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others' ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.
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.
VISION: Identifies strategic issues, opportunities and risks; Clearly communicates links between the Organization’s strategy and the work unit’s goals; Generates and communicates broad and compelling organizational direction, inspiring others to pursue that same direction; Conveys enthusiasm about future possibilities.
Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent degree) in law with emphasis on courses in international human rights law is required. A first level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.Work Experience
A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible legal experience, of which at least five years in human rights, criminal investigations or prosecutions at national and international levels, and in the preparation/delivery of training on justice and human rights issues is required.
Experience working with UN human rights standards, instruments and mechanisms is required.
Experience in legal research, analysis and drafting is required.
Experience in managing technical cooperation projects is required.
Experience supervising and managing a team is required.
English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post advertised, fluency in English is required. Fluency in Spanish is also required.Assessment
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by competency-based interview.Special Notice
THIS POSITION IS TEMPORARILY AVAILABLE FOR A PERIOD OF NINE (9) MONTHS - SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS.
• If the selected candidate is a staff member from the United Nations Secretariat, the selection will be administered as a temporary assignment. • While this temporary assignment may provide the successful applicant with an opportunity to gain new work experience, the selection for this position is for a limited period and has no bearing on the future incumbency of the post. • Subject to the funding source of the position, the eligibility for this temporary job opening may be limited to candidates based at the duty station. • This temporary job opening may be limited to “internal candidates,” who have been recruited through a competitive examination administered according to staff rule 4.16 or staff selection process including the review of a central review body established according to staff rule 4.15. • Staff members of the United Nations common system organizations who will reach the mandatory age of separation or retirement within the duration of the current temporary need period are not eligible to apply. Submitting an application or selection for the current temporary job opening does not delay or increase the mandatory age of separation. • Retirees above the mandatory age of separation who wish to be considered for the current temporary job opening must indicate the reason for their last separation as "retirement." Such retirees shall not be employed by the Organization, unless (a) the operational requirements of the Organization cannot be met by staff members who are qualified and available to perform the required functions; and (b) the proposed employment would not adversely affect the Career Development or redeployment opportunities of other staff members and represents both a cost-effective and operationally sound solution to meet the needs of the service.
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.
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.