Stellenmarkt Fachkräfte



Junior Professional Officer (JPO), Associate Legal Officer



Title: JPO, Associate Legal Officer
Department: Legal Affairs Service (LAS) 
Country and Duty Station: Geneva HQ, Switzerland
Duration of assignment: 2 years with possibility of extension for another year (Please note that the extension of appointment is subject to yearly review concerning priorities, availability of funds, and satisfactory performance.)

Please note that for participants of the JPO-Programme two years work experience are mandatory!


The Legal Affairs Service (LAS) is UNHCR’s central legal office responsible for managing UNHCR’s legal affairs that fall outside the area of international protection and matters related to persons of concern. LAS provides advice to the Executive Office and to a wide range of functional UNHCR units at headquarters and operations in the field. The JPO will work with a team of 18 specialized lawyers based in Geneva, Copenhagen, Budapest, Nairobi and Bangkok on a broad range of matters falling in LAS’ area of responsibility, including but not limited to operational and commercial contracts, personnel and administration of justice matters, funding and visibility matters as well as privileges and immunities and other public international law matters. In providing authoritative, solution-oriented and timely legal advice on these matters, the Associate Legal Officer will play a critical role in supporting effective and efficient UNHCR operations, safeguarding compliance and accountability, and mitigating the organization’s exposure to legal, financial and reputational risks.


Supervisor: Principal Legal Adviser and Head, LAS, D1
The JPO will be under the direct supervision of the manager (s. above). The supervisor will be responsible for the performance evaluation of the JPO. The manager will also ensure that the JPO is provided a thorough induction and orientation briefing, followed by on-the-job-training, as well as continuous guidance for training/learning opportunities throughout the assignment. In support to the manager, the JPO unit provides the supervisory guidelines upon recruitment/ reassignment of the JPO.



  • Delivery of authoritative, solution-oriented and timely legal advice to client departments at headquarters and in the field;
  • Thoroughness in conducting legal research, analysis and presentation of key information to facilitate decision-making;
  • Clarity in writing recommendations and legal opinions and identification of issues on assigned legal topics;
  • Consistency in applying policies, guidelines, procedures and processes;
  • Effective interaction with colleagues and concerned parties internal and external to LAS.


  • Advise clients at HQ and in Field operations on the negotiation and conclusion of draft agreements with external parties (including suppliers, donors, fundraisers, national associations, and operational governmental or non-governmental partners) and on the legal interpretation of concluded contractual arrangements;
  • Advise Bureaux and field units on the application of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations and host country agreements in order to prevent, and respond to, violations of UNHCR’s privileges and immunities or those of its personnel;
  • Prepare legal opinions to the Deputy High Commissioner on requests for management evaluation and assist in the preparation of pleadings and the representation of the Organization at oral hearings before the United Nations Dispute Tribunal (UNDT);
  • Assist in advising the High Commissioner and the Director of the Division of Human Resources Management on investigations and disciplinary proceedings;
  • Advise on the application of the UN Staff Regulations and Rules, the UN/UNHCR Financial Regulations and Rules and relevant administrative issuances and their implications for UNHCR’s operations;
  • Advise on the use of UNHCR’s name, logo and intellectual property, and coordinate legal action in cases of violations and misuse;
  • Perform other duties as required.


  • Approve draft contracts submitted for LAS’ review;
  • Draft legal opinions and advice on the interpretation of international administrative law relevant to UNHCR and its operations;
  • Initiate internal consultations for assessment of specific contractual or other risks;
  • Act as focal point to receive and manage requests for advice and monitor delivery of timely advice;
  • Represent LAS in meetings and appointments specifically delegated by the supervisor to the incumbent.


Education: Master's Degree in law, preferably with a focus on international administrative/ public law.

Work Experience: Minimum 2 years of previous relevant work experience.

Skills: Excellent communication, drafting and analytical skills; creative thinking; ability to provide oral briefings on complex legal issues to legal and non-legal audience; ability to draft and review a broad range of legal instruments (contacts, pleadings, etc.); ability to produce high quality output under time pressure; affinity with IT tools and working knowledge of MS office software.

Languages: English (essential) and working knowledge of additional UN languages (desirable).

Managerial competencies: Judgement and Decision Making, Analytical Thinking, Planning and Organizing, Stakeholder Management.

Desirable Qualifications and Competencies: Bar exam or equivalent qualification to practice law in at least one national jurisdiction. Specialization in administrative or international public law.


1. Global Induction Programme
2. Managing Effectively
3. UN/UNHCR Language classes, as appropriate

The Associate Legal Officer/JPO will: (1) get exposed to the everyday work of the Legal Affairs Service of UNHCR; (2) become familiar with the internal rules of the United Nations and UNHCR, such as the UN and UNHCR Financial Regulations and Rules, the Staff Regulations and Rules and related administrative issuances; (3) acquire an in-depth knowledge of the functioning of the Administration of Justice system of the UN and the jurisprudence of the UNDT and UNAT; (4) acquire a fundamental knowledge in matters relating to the privileges and immunities of the United Nations and commercial law in a UN environment (5) learn how to organize and prioritize work, keeping in mind the specific and often emergency needs of UNHCR’s offices in the field.

The JPO will benefit from on the job training. During a training phase at the beginning of the assignment, the Associate Legal Officer will be tasked with assisting senior colleagues. Over time, the Associate Legal Officer will receive more and more responsibilities until he/she will be able to independently provide legal advice on routine matters. The Associate Legal Officer will also have the possibility to participate in available and relevant training courses and missions, when possible. Subject to his/her expertise and LAS’ exigencies of service, a reassignment to another LAS presence – currently Nairobi, Bangkok, Budapest, Copenhagen – is possible after one year at HQ Geneva.

Bitte senden Sie Ihre Bewerbung direkt an das Büro Führungskräfte zu Internationalen Organisationen (BFIO).
Alle Bewerbungsformalitäten unter, Stichwort: Junior Professional Officer (JPO)




Administration, management, Other specialisations, Sonstige Fachgebiete, Verwaltung/Management


Büro Führungskräfte zu Internationalen Organisationen (BFIO)

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