Senior Legal Officer Job UN-Habitat


  • Serves as a recognized expert in one or more areas of concentration, and independently handles a wide range of multidiscipline, highly complex, and often sensitive and/or conflicting legal matters involving issues relating to international, public, private, and administrative law, including interpretation and application of instruments in that area of concentration; in Tribunals, conducts trials and appeals as the Prosecuting Attorney (leader of the prosecution team), on behalf of the Prosecutor before the Chambers.
  • Coordinates and directs teams of other legal officers or trial attorneys, guides and supervises the work of junior officers; may assist the Director/Deputy Director in general management and administration of the unit, organizing and prioritizing the workload and providing general coordination and supervision of assignments as regards the legal work.
  • Makes various types of recommendations to senior officials of substantive units concerning actions to take; recommendations are usually accepted as proposed.
  • Provides authoritative legal advice on a diverse range of highly complex or novel substantive and procedural questions of law, which may include those related to administration and management, institutions support, procurement and contracts, peacekeeping and other operational matters, separately administered programs and funds, etc.
  • Organizes and supervises research studies and the preparation of legal opinions, as well as performs extensive legal
  • research and analysis on highly complex or novel legal issues/questions and prepares legal opinions, studies, briefs, reports,
  • and correspondence.
  • Advises on and supervises the review, negotiation, and drafting of major contracts, agreements, indictments, institutional and operational modalities, legal submissions/motions, and other legal documents; develops new legal modalities to meet unique needs/circumstances.
  • Services diplomatic conferences, commissions, committees, task forces, expert groups, and other bodies, including preparation of background materials, summaries of issues and views of delegations, meeting reports, etc.
  • Supervises the defense and pursuit of claims, disputes, or prosecution of criminal cases; negotiates settlement of major claims and prepares legal documentation relating to such settlements.
  • Represents, or supervises the representation of, the organization on major cases in tribunal and administrative proceedings, including disciplinary cases and staff appeals; in Tribunals, represents the Prosecutor in trials and appeals before the Chambers where applicable.
  • Provides legal advice to senior officials on the interpretation of personnel policies, regulations, and rules, including the review of administrative implications of Administrative Tribunal judgments; coordinates the preparation of revisions to the staff regulations and all series of Staff Rules; coordinates the preparation or amendment of administrative issuances and verifies their consistency with the Staff Regulations and amendments of administrative issuances and verifies their consistency with the staff regulations and rules.
  • Serves on various standing boards, committees, ad hoc working groups, and task forces, as required; promotes the work
  • of the United Nations and represents the organization at meetings, conferences, seminars, etc. 
  • Contributes to review and design of new, or new applications of, legal instruments, policy, guidelines, systems, etc.
  • Supervises and participates in preparing legal publications of the unit.
  • Leads team members’ efforts to collect and analyze data and provides insight to identify trends or patterns for data-driven planning, decision-making, presentation, and reporting. Ensures that everyone can discover, access, integrate, and share the data they need.
  • Performs other related duties as may be assigned.



  • Advanced university degree, (Masters’s degree or equivalent), in international law or a related field is required. A first-level university degree in law in combination with two (2) additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted instead of the advanced university 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 ten (10) years of progressively responsible experience in law, obtained in the legal office of an international intergovernmental organization, or a government, including legal analysis, research, and writing is required.
  • A minimum of seven (7) years experience in providing legal and policy advice to intergovernmental bodies such as the Executive Boards and Governing Bodies, UN Member States, senior government officials, partners, and other stakeholders on matters relating to their respective mandates, rules of procedure and supporting their meetings is required.
  • A minimum of five (5) years experience in the drafting, reviewing, negotiating, and developing of international agreements and other legal instruments such as Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs), Host Country and Conference Agreements between the United Nations and Member States and other stakeholders, is required.
  • A minimum of five (5) years experience in legal representation in matters related to the United Nations or similar international organization’s internal justice system, including legal representation before the United Nations Dispute Tribunal and United Nations Appeals Tribunal or similar Tribunal is required.
  • Professional legal experience in managing a legal office and supervising the work of legal officers in the United Nations system or similar international system including the preparation of its work plan, strategic plan, and financial documents is desirable.
  • Professional legal experience in an international intergovernmental organization providing advice in the conceptualization, implementation, and legal review of human settlements, housing, and humanitarian projects particularly in conflict and post-conflict situations is desirable.
  • Professional experience in handling issues related to sustainable urbanization and related programs including interacting with the various stakeholders is desirable.
  • Experience in data analytics or related areas 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 another United Nations official language is desirable.

How To Apply

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Apply before or on 21st Jan 2024