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Senior Legal Officer

Date Posted
21st November 2016
Job Type
Not Disclosed

Job Summary

International Seabed Authority invites applications from suitably qualified candidates to fill the position of Senior Legal Officer, P-5 (International position).

Job Description

Organizational Setting and Reporting Relationships: This position is located in the Office of Legal Affairs and reports directly to the Deputy to the Secretary-General/Legal Counsel.


The primary function of the Office of Legal Affairs is to provide legal advice to the Secretary-General, Secretariat and other organs of the Authority in the field of public international and private law. The work of the office has increased and evolved over the past ten years. This increased demand results from more activity in the Area. For example, the number of contracts has increased from 8 to 17 in two years. Each contract requires individual monitoring for compliance with regulatory requirements and justifies the establishment of a customised mining register to ensure full compliance with contractual obligations by the Authority and contractors.



Within limits of delegated authority, the Senior Legal Officer will be responsible for, but not limited to, the following duties:


Substantive Legal Advice: Advise on a range of legal questions relating to issues including public international law, the international law of the sea, international environmental law, mining law and international commodity and trade law. Conduct detailed legal and policy research on complex issues and communicate the results effectively and clearly in writing. Draft rules, regulations and procedures for implementation of Part XI of the Convention and the 1994 Agreement. Assist in implementation and oversight of contracts issued by the Authority for activities in the Area.


Management and Supervisory: supervise junior Legal Officers and provide guidance on their work.


Assist the Deputy to the Secretary-General/Legal Counsel.


Administration and Management: Provide legal advice on the interpretation and application of the Staff Regulations and Staff Rules and of rules of procedure and decisions of the governing bodies of the Authority.


Contract/Procurement: Provide legal advice on contracts and procurement issues, including the development, implementation, and interpretation of rules and regulations, and the review of bidding documents for the procurement of goods and services by the Authority. Prepare and update standard forms of contracts for use by the Authority. Review, prepare and negotiate substantial or complex commercial agreements and contracts. Assist in the negotiation and settlement and, where necessary, the adjudication of claims and disputes arising from activities of the organization or commercial claims and disputes arising from contracts. Represent the Secretary-General of the Authority before the United Nations Appeals Tribunal.



Secretariat and Representational Functions: Assist the Deputy to the Secretary-General/Legal Counsel in drafting the Secretary-General’s annual report to the Assembly and other in-session and post-session official documents, conference room papers, research reports and workshop proceedings. Compile legal instruments for publication by the Authority. Serve as secretary to the Assembly, the Council and Credentials Committee during the annual session. Serve in various standing committees such as the Contract Committee, the Property Survey Board, and Appointments and Promotions Board.



Professionalism: In-depth theoretical knowledge of, and extensive experience in, the practical application of International Law, including the Law of the Sea, the Law of Contract, and the Law of International Organizations. Excellent analytical, negotiating and drafting skills , including the ability to deliver final drafts of legal opinions on complex matter under pressure. Thorough knowledge of the systems of the Authority and that of the United Nations and interrelationships. Ability to explain/defend issues and positions to Deputy to the Secretary-General/Legal Counsel, and the Secretary-General. Demonstrate professional competence and mastery of subject matter, 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 and challenges. Remain calm in stressful situations. Demonstrated ability to negotiate and draft legal texts clearly and precisely is also required.


Communication: Speak and write clearly and effectively; listen to others, interpret messages from others and respond appropriately, ask questions to clarify, and exhibit interest in having two-way communication; demonstrate openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.


Teamwork: Work collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals: place team agenda before personal agenda; support and act in accordance with group decisions, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; share credit for team accomplishment and accept joint responsibility for team shortcoming; ability to provide managerial leadership in overseeing work of junior legal officers.


Leadership: Serve as a role model that other people want to follow, empower others to translate vision into results; is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; establish and maintain relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; anticipate and resolve conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; drive for change and improvements rather than accept the status quo.


Judgement/Decision-Making: identify key issues in a complex situation, and come to the core of the problem quickly; gatherrelevant information before making a decision; consider positive and negative impact of decisions prior to making them; make tough decisions when necessary.




Advanced university degree in law (Master’s degree or equivalent), preferably in the International Law, the Law of the Sea, and the law of International Organizations. A first level university degree with a relevant combination of academic qualifications and experience in the practice of law may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree. Admitted to the bar of a member State of the Authority, or otherwise qualified to practice law is preferable.



Minimum of 10 years of progressively responsible professional legal experience in the practice of law is required, preferably in the legal office of an international organization or the legal office of a Government, although experience in the private sector will also be considered. Substantial experience in international law and the law of the sea is desirable. Proven track record in handling major legal projects and advising senior officials independently are required. Substantial experience is also required in supervising and guiding the work of more junior legal officers and in advising senior officials independently and at short notice.


Qualifying years of experience are calculated following the receipt of the first level university degree recognized by the Organization.



English and French are the working languages of the Secretariat of the International Seabed Authority. For this post fluency in written and spoken English is essential. Good working knowledge of another official language of the Authority is highly desirable.


Assessment Method: Competency-based interview and/or other assessment methods.


International Seabed Authority Considerations: The International Seabed Authority shall place no restriction on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its Secretariat.


Applications together with the P11 history form (pdf | docx) should be forwarded to the attention of the Human Resources Officer, International Seabed Authority.


Minimum Salary: US$106,718.00

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