Closing date: Monday, 3 April 2023

Hardship Level: H (no hardship)

Family Type: Family

Family Type: Family

Residential location (if applicable): Grade: NOC

Staff Member / Affiliate Type: National Professional Officer

Reason: Regular > Regular Assignment

Remote work accepted: Yes

Target Start Date: 2023-07-01

Job Posting End Date: April 3, 2023

Standard Job Description: Legal Officer

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships

The Legal Officer is a member of the protection or legal team either at Headquarters (within the Division of International Protection or in a Regional Bureau), or in a Country or Sub-Office and may, depending of the size and structure of the Office, be Head of the Protection or Legal Unit. He/she may report to the Senior Protection or Senior Legal Officer, Head of Sub-Office or to the Assistant Representative for Protection. In smaller Offices, the post may report directly to the Representative. The incumbent has direct supervisory responsibility for protection or legal staff who may include community services, registration, resettlement and education. He/she provides functional protection oversight to information management and programme staff; and supervises protection standards, the provision of legal and policy advice, operational procedures and practices in protection delivery at local or country level. The incumbent also acts as an advisor to senior management in designing a comprehensive protection strategy and represents the organization to authorities, UN sister agencies, partners and other stakeholders on protection doctrine and policy.

The Legal Officer is relied upon by the Office to plan, lead and coordinate quality, timely and effective protection responses to the needs of populations of concern (POC). This includes ensuring that operational and advocacy responses in all sectors are shaped in a protection optic, mainstream protection methodologies and integrate protection safeguards. Another important function of the position is to ensure that POC are involved with the Office in making decisions that affect them, whether in accessing their rights or in identifying appropriate solutions to their problems. To achieve this, the incumbent will need to build and maintain effective interfaces with communities of concern, authorities, protection and assistance partners as well as a broader network of stakeholders who can contribute to enhancing protection.

All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCR’s core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity.


  •  Monitor the development of law and doctrine.
  •  Advocate for proper interpretation of law and doctrine as well as in the development of standards of protection.
  •  Provide legal advice on these issues and drafting of position papers and guidelines on pertinent legal and operational issues.
  •  Provide guidance and support in the formulation of protection strategies.
  •  Liaise with DIP, Division and Bureau work units and external actors to enhance awareness of protection principles.
  •  Engage with external partners and stakeholders, including governments, non-governmental organizations, international organizations, etc, on issues related to legal protection principles and related international law.
  •  Handle individual cases and situations raising special questions of application or interpretation of international law, refugee and human rights law.
  •  Represent Office in meetings within UNHCR and with external counterparts.
  •  Prepare protection documents and policies in cooperation with supervisor.
  •  Participate in the development of project proposals and project implementation. Perform other related duties as required.

Minimum Qualifications

Education & Professional Work Experience

Years of Experience / Degree Level

For P3/NOC – 6 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 5 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 4 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree

Field(s) of Education

Law; Refugee Law; Human Rights Law;

International Humanitarian Law; or other relevant field.;

(Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Certificates and/or Licenses

HCR Learning Prog;

(Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Relevant Job Experience


Excellent legal research, analytical and drafting skill.


Completion of UNHCR learning programmes on protection would be an asset or any other equivalent external courses.

Functional Skills

CO-Drafting and Documentation

LE-Legal Research

(Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Language Requirements

For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English.

For National Professional jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language.

For General Service jobs: Knowledge of English and/or UN working language of the duty station if not English.

All UNHCR workforce members must individually and collectively, contribute towards a working environment where each person feels safe, and empowered to perform their duties. This includes by demonstrating no tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse, harassment including sexual harassment, sexism, gender inequality, discrimination and abuse of power.

As individuals and as managers, all must be proactive in preventing and responding to inappropriate conduct, support ongoing dialogue on these matters and speaking up and seeking guidance and support from relevant UNHCR resources when these issues arise.

This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR jobs with this job title and grade level. The Operational Context may contain additional essential and/or desirable qualifications relating to the specific operation and/or position. Any such requirements are incorporated by reference in this Job Description and will be considered for the screening, shortlisting and selection of candidates.

Desired Candidate Profile: * National office position therefore the candidate must be an Australian citizen;

* Completion of UNHCR learning programmes on protection would be an asset or any other equivalent external courses.

* Proven experience in statutory interpretation (analysis of Bills and legislative framework).

* Refined and skills and proven experience in drafting legal documentation for parliamentary and judicial purposes in Australia;

* Strong understanding of parliamentary processes in Australia;

* Some experience in protection casework and detention monitoring

Required languages (expected Overall ability is at least B2 level):: ,

Desired languages: ,

Operational contextOccupational Safety and Health Considerations:Nature of Position:Living and Working Conditions:Additional Qualifications: Skills

CO-Drafting and Documentation, LE-Legal ResearchEducation

BA: Law (Required)Certifications

HCR Learning Program – UNHCRWork Experience

Competencies: Accountability, Analytical thinking, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Empowering & building trust, Judgement & decision making, Managing performance, Organizational awareness, Policy research & development, Political awareness, Teamwork & collaboration

UNHCR Salary Calculator:

CompendiumAdditional Information: Must be an Australian citizen

Functional clearance: This position doesn’t require a functional clearance.