cropped cropped White with Bold Red Political Logo 1 2148 UN Representative and Senior Legal Advisor

UN Representative and Senior Legal Advisor

International Commission of Jurists

Work location: Geneva, Switzerland

Target start date: February/March 2023

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) is a worldwide organization of judges and lawyers united in affirming international law and rule of law principles that advance human rights. Its strategic goals for 2021-2025 are: (1) to develop, defend, and strengthen international institutions, instruments, and standards on rule of law and human rights; (2) to improve domestic implementation of, and compliance with, international law and standards; (3) to bolster the effectiveness and independence of judges and lawyers; and (4) to improve access to justice for all and accountability. With its Headquarters based in Geneva, Switzerland, ICJ has a presence in Africa, Latin America, Asia & the Pacific, Europe & Central Asia, and the Middle East.

The ICJ is seeking a full-time UN Representative and Senior Legal Advisor. The ideal candidate has engaged extensively with the UN, particularly the UN Human Rights Council and UN human rights mechanisms, has worked with nongovernmental organizations and has an excellent knowledge of international human rights law, and good working knowledge of other areas of public international law.


Reporting directly to the Director of the Law and Policy Office (LPO), the UN Representative and Senior Legal Advisor holds the following responsibilities:

Strategic planning: Develop and keep under review the objectives, priorities and programme of work for the ICJ’s engagement with the UN Human Rights Council and its subsidiary bodies and mechanisms.

Programme implementation: Lead and coordinate the ICJ’s engagement with the UN, including particularly the Human Rights Council and most of its subsidiary bodies and mechanisms, in collaboration with others working in the Legal and Policy Office. Implement the programmes of work in these areas in a way that advances the strategic directions of the ICJ.

Monitoring and analysis: Monitor, analyse and report on legal and diplomatic developments, and at the UN, particularly in respect of human rights and rule of law.

Representation and missions: As agreed with the LPO Director, represent the ICJ externally in the areas of competence, develop and maintain relations with donors, inter-governmental organizations, governments, diplomats, NGOs and the judicial, legal and human rights communities; participate in ICJ missions; deliver public speeches and otherwise raise the public profile of the ICJ.

Media and communications: In conjunction with the ICJ media and communications team, implement the ICJ’s communication policies in the areas of responsibility; contribute to the development of the ICJ’s UN media approach and relations; and ensure that the ICJ corporate identity is properly and consistently applied in documents and materials produced in relation to the UN.

Work with and on behalf of other ICJ programmes and projects: Actively maintain supportive working relations and seek opportunities for joint work with the staff in all parts of the ICJ. Provide regular updates on aspects of programmes work to ICJ staff and interns in other programmes and within the LPO, including on relevant developments at the UN. Consult with ICJ colleagues to ensure that engagement with the UN mechanisms supports and progresses the ICJ’s strategic directions.

Training: Where appropriate, design, organize and deliver workshops on law and policy issues related to the field.

Supervision: Supervise the work of assigned UN programme’s junior staff as well as consultants and interns.

Fundraising: In conjunction with staff responsible for fundraising, contribute significantly to fundraising for the ICJ’s UN work, including the drafting of proposals and assisting in the cultivation and maintenance of relations with relevant donors.

General Legal and Policy Programme Work: As required, assist with other work in the LPO, including in the implementation of ICJ global and thematic projects, and provide legal support to ICJ’s Regional Programmes.

Other Responsibilities: Carry out other appropriate tasks as requested by the LPO Director.


The successful candidate will have:


• A degree in law, which includes study of international human rights law.

Work Experience:

• Minimum of 10 years experience as a lawyer working on human rights and at least 5 years on engagement with UN processes;

• Working experience with a non-governmental organization and involving substantial engagement with the UN human rights system.


• Fluent in English with proven legal writing and editing skills. Working knowledge of one or more other UN Languages, especially Spanish, French, and/or Arabic is highly desirable;

Essential skills

• Excellent knowledge of international human rights law and related areas of public international law such as international humanitarian law and international criminal law;

• Excellent knowledge of the United Nations human rights system, including its procedures and working methodologies;

• Excellent written and oral communication skills, including in relation to external interactions with State, IGO and NGO actors;

• Strong legal research, analytical and drafting skills;

• Excellent legal and political judgment and proven ability to develop and carry out innovative advocacy strategies;

• Highest standard of personal integrity and transparency and ability to work as part of a multicultural team;

• At ease with fundraising and outreach;

• Knowledge of social media and video tools desirable;

• Commitment to the core ideals of the organization.

How to apply

Interested applicants should provide all materials outlined below to [email protected] by 4 January 2023, midnight Central European Time (CET).

• A CV (maximum 3 pages); Please indicate your home address and your phone number on your CV. The HR unit might contact you by phone (fast-track process).

• A cover letter (maximum 2 pages);

• The names and contact information of at least two recent references.

Please include “UN Representative and Senior Legal Advisor” in the subject line of the application e-mail. The ICJ shall not be liable for not opening proposals that are submitted with a different subject.

Foreseen dates for the recruitment steps (including a written test and interview): 12 to 16 January 2023. Only candidates with the relevant work authorization will be considered: Swiss or EU/EFTA citizenship or with a valid work permit for Switzerland at the time of application is a pre-requisite, in accordance with the regulation (1).

Please appreciate that due to the volume of applications, only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

The ICJ is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity and value a diverse workforce. The ICJ’s policy is to practice a fair and non-discriminatory recruitment and selection procedure and to strive for and maintain international and multi-cultural personnel.

Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, reliouigion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.

ICJ staff must adhere to its Code of Ethics which states that discrimination, bullying and harassment in any form will not be tolerated, nor sexual harassment, violence or assault in any form. The ICJ conducts systematic reference checks to confirm the absence of such misconduct during previous employments.


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