Senior Legal Officer





UNRWA is the United Nations agency responsible for the protection, care and human development of a population of some 5 millionPalestinerefugees living in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank,Jordan,Lebanonand theSyrianArabRepublic.  UNRWA is committed to assistingPalestinerefugees in maintaining a decent standard of living, acquiring appropriate knowledge and skills, enjoying the fullest possible extent of human rights, and leading a long and healthy life.  UNRWA is the largest UN operation in theMiddle Eastwith more than 29,000 staff.   Most of these staff are refugees themselves, working directly to benefit their communities – as teachers, doctors, nurses or social workers. For its international team, UNRWA is seeking to employ a qualified:


Senior Legal Officer



Under the direct supervision of The Legal Adviser, the incumbent of this position is responsible for developing strategies to promote and implement, and for providing advice and training on, contractual and procurement matters, resolution of commercial and contractual disputes, administrative law issues and management of appeals before the Agency’s Dispute Tribunal and the UN Appeals Tribunal. The incumbent will provide technical advice to the Legal Officer (Administrative Law) and Legal Officer (Contracts) as well as supervision, support and mentoring to other staff in the department including administrative staff. In accordance with the established Agency policy and procedures, the Senior Legal Officer will:


Primary Duties and Responsibilities

  • Develop strategies to promote and implement, and provide advice and training on, the Agency’s regulatory framework in particular regarding Agency governance and management of administrative, contractual and procurement law issues; advise other departments (Headquarters and Fields) on the interpretation and application of the Agency’s regulatory framework; provide technical expertise and advice on amendments to the Agency’s regulatory framework, for example in drafting of Agency regulations and rules;
  • Draft, review and revise Agency submissions to, and appear before, the Agency’s Dispute Tribunal and/or the UN’s Appeals Tribunal;
  • Draft or review drafts of complex or non-standard procurement and construction contracts, leases, insurance contracts and other commercial contracts; develop templates for use by the Agency;
  • Analyse the legal aspects of, and provide substantive legal policy inputs in respect of, the relationship between the Agency and its staff and the interpretation of their conditions of service, including Staff Regulations, Rules and other administrative issuances;
  • Draft or review legal opinions on complex or sensitive financial and administrative law issues, including interpretation of the Agency Finance Regulations and Technical Instructions, and advise on investigations, allegations and complaints, disciplinary matters, retaliation, etc;
  • Contribute to the Department’s planning, administration and client-oriented service delivery; contribute to identification and addressing of  important strategic legal and policy issues facing the Agency;
  • Advise on resolution of contractual and tortious claims against the Agency, including overseeing, supporting and conducting negotiations, settlement and arbitration;
  • Serve as a member of the Agency’s Advisory Committee on Procurement and participate in other committees and bodies as required, for example the Provident Fund and Claims Boards;
  • Develop, deliver and facilitate training and outreach for relevant Agency staff on contractual and administrative law issues;
  • Provide advice on relevant public international law issues, in particular privileges and immunities and responsibilities of the Agency and its staff.


Professional Knowledge and Experience

  • Advanced university degree in law, preferably with some specialization in contract law, commercial law, administrative law and/or public international law, and admission to practice law in a recognized jurisdiction;
  • At least 10 years of direct experience in the application of contract, commercial, administrative and/or public international law, including three years at a senior level, in government service, the commercial/private sector, UN or other international organization;
  • Excellent command of written and spoken English.



  • Ability to effectively compile and synthesize information;
  • Proven ability in the analysis of facts/information, the development of rigorous arguments and replies and the provision of sound advice;
  • Ability to progress with work independently and to participate as a member of a team;
  • Ability to communicate and negotiate effectively with a range of internal and external contacts;


Desirable Qualifications

  • Knowledge of the laws and practices ofMiddle Eastcountries;
  • Familiarity with the UN Common System and practices;
  • Working knowledge of spoken and written Arabic;



When the minimum requirements are not fully met, the Human Resources Department may substitute part of the unmet requirements under UNRWA’s equivalency determination guidelines with a combination of relevant academic qualification, additional professional training and/or progressive relevant work experience. Note: Work experience alone or formal qualifications with no relevant work experience are not considered sufficient for an equivalency determination.


Additional Information

The incumbent may be required to travel frequently in the Agency’s area of operations in theMiddle Eastas well as to other locations.


Conditions of Service 

UNRWA offers an attractive compensation package including annual salary starting at $86,904 net tax free with dependants or $80,734 single, plus post adjustment of 55.2% (subject to change without notice). Other benefits, subject to eligibility, include education grant, dependency allowance, home leave, UN pension fund, health insurance and 6 weeks annual leave per year. All UNRWA duty stations (with the exception of Gaza and Syria) are family duty stations. Initial contract is for one year, with the possibility of further extensions subject to the availability of funds and the continuing need for the post.  Note: following the assessment of relevant academic qualifications and work experience, the Agency reserves the right to appoint the incumbent at one grade below the advertised level.



How to Apply

To start the application process, applicants are required to register at by creating a personal profile and completing UNRWA Personal History Form. Please note that UNRWA only accepts degrees from accredited educational institutions. Only applications received through will be considered. Due to the large number of applications received for UNRWA vacancies, only applicants short-listed for interview will be contacted.


UNRWA does not charge a fee at any stage in the recruitment process.


General Information

UNRWA encourages applications from qualified and experienced women.


UNRWA welcomes applications from qualified candidates with disabilities.


UNRWA is a United Nations organization whose staff are expected to uphold the highest standards of integrity, neutrality and impartiality. This includes respect for human rights, for diversity, and for non-violent means of dealing with all kinds of conflict. UNRWA staff are expected to uphold these values at all times, both at work and outside. Only persons who fully and unconditionally commit to these values should consider applying for UNRWA jobs. UNRWA is a non-smoking work environment.



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