Opportunity

Director of Legal Affairs (DLA)

United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA) Jerusalem, Israel

About the United Nations Relief and Works Agency

For over 65 years, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine (UNRWA) has been working on the ground in five fields of operations in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, and the Gaza Strip providing direct assistance and protection for some 5 million Palestine refugees in the Middle East. UNRWA is mandated by the UN General Assembly to provide this assistance and its mission is to help Palestine refugees achieve their full potential in human development until there is a just and lasting solution for their plight. UNRWA restores safety, dignity and hope to millions who have been uprooted by conflict with services encompassing education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance, and emergency assistance. 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 professionals wishing to make a change.

You can find further details on their web site www.unrwa.org
 

Director of Legal Affairs Role Profile

The Director of Legal Affairs reports to the Chief of Staff (D-2).
The Director of Legal Affairs provides leadership in managing all aspects of UNRWA’s legal issues and serves as an authoritative advisor on all such matters to the Executive Office. This post develops, promotes, and implements a coherent Agency-wide legal strategy and policies. In particular, the post ensures the integration of the legal function in all aspects of the Agency’s strategic, policy, programmatic and protection activities and ensures the consistent interpretation and application of the Agency’s regulatory framework and international law throughout the Agency. The post also leads the programme of work and management of the Legal Affairs Department and provides strategic and technical leadership for the Agency’s lawyers, with a view to ensuring legally sound, timely, easily applied, politically sensitive and consistent advice.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Leads and oversees the development and implementation of a coherent Agencywide legal strategy and policies; in particular, ensures the integration of the legal function in all aspects of the Agency’s strategic, policy, programmatic and protection activities; analyses legal risks facing the Agency and proposes measures to minimize them; ensures the consistent interpretation and application of the Agency’s regulatory framework and international law throughout the Agency.
  • Directs the programme of work and management of the human and financial resources of the Department of Legal Affairs and provides strategic and technical leadership to the Agency’s lawyers, with a view to ensuring legally sound, timely, easily applied, politically sensitive and consistent advice.
  • Leads and oversees the provision of legal input into the development and implementation of Agency strategy and policy relating to all areas of UNRWA operations, including through direct advice to the Executive Office; establishes and maintains relations with representatives of host and other governments, the UN Office of Legal Affairs, UNHCR, OHCHR, OCHA, UNSCO and other entities with respect to issues of legal concern; provides strategic, technical and legal advice in support of the Agency’s protection function;
  • Advises on the interpretation, application and enforcement of the Agency’s regulatory framework, including General Assembly resolutions, Staff and Financial Regulations, Rules and associated administrative issuances, Organizational Directives, Technical Instructions and Manuals.
  • Provides advice and training on relevant public international law, including UN law, and international human rights, humanitarian and refugee law.
  • Provides and oversees the provision of legal advice, training, outreach and assistance on matters relating to administrative and employment law issues; in particular, advises on investigations and disciplinary matters, provides strategic leadership for the Agency’s submissions to the UNRWA Dispute Tribunal and UN Appeals Tribunal, and appears before the Tribunals as required.
  • Directs the review and reform of drafts, templates, and general conditions for all types of Agency contractual modalities, including contracts for procurement of goods and/or services, memoranda of understanding with partners and funding agreements.
  • As a member of the Agency’s Senior Management team, the incumbent may have specific responsibilities related to internal governance structures, as established by the Executive Office.
  • The incumbent of this post directly supervises a number of professional and general services staff members.

Required Competencies

UN Core Values of Professionalism, Integrity and Respect for Diversity and Core Competencies of Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results apply by default. Default managerial competencies may apply.
  • Leading and Supervising              
  • Planning and Organizing
  • Applying Technical Expertise
  • Formulating Strategies and Concepts                     
  • Creating and Innovating
  • Analysing
  • Deciding and Initiating Action     
  • Relating and Networking              

Qualifications and Experience

Education
  • Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) from an accredited educational institution in law, with specialization in international law, preferably also with some specialization in contract law, commercial law, administrative law, or employment law.
Work Experience
  • At least fifteen years of progressively responsible and relevant 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 public international law?
  • At least seven years of relevant professional experience at a senior international level.
  • A minimum of 2 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.
  • Admission to practice law in a recognized jurisdiction. (Desirable)
  • Familiarity with UN Common System and practices. (Desirable)
  • Knowledge of the history and contemporary problems of the Middle East. (Desirable)
Languages
  • Excellent command of written and spoken English.
  • Working knowledge of written and spoken Arabic. (Desirable)
     
Terms of Appointment
  • The incumbent is required to travel frequently, particularly in the Agency’s area of operations.
  • Contract Duration: 2 years, with the possibility of further extension
  • Location: Jerusalem, Israel

How to apply?
If you wish to be considered for this position, please complete the Application Form below on or before  1 July 2021. In addition, we encourage you to please attach a copy of the most recent English version of your CV.

All information will be treated in the strictest confidence as we pride ourselves on our professional service.

If you have an initial query rather than an application, kindly email us at [email protected]

SRI Executive is exclusively retained by UNWRA to undertake this assignment.

Application form