Legal Consultant (Litigation Counsel)

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

JOB DESCRIPTION

Job Opening
Job Opening ID: 222281
Job Network : Affaires juridiques
Job Family : Affaires juridiques
Category and Level : Consultants, CON
Duty Station : MONTREAL
Department/Office : International Civil Aviation Organization
Date Posted : Nov 20, 2023
Deadline : Dec 3, 2023

Result of Service
• Backlog of staff member appeals pending before the ICAO Appeals Board eliminated.
• Timely, effective and ethical litigation and/or resolution of staff member appeals at the first instance level.
• Timely, effective and ethical litigation of ICAO appeals and/or defence of organizational decisions before the UNDT/UNAT.
• Unnecessary litigation avoided and disputes resolved through timely and effective advice and preventive law activities.
Work Location
Montreal
Expected duration
The selected consultant is expected to be employed on a full-time basis, over a 12-month period, amounting to a maximum of 250 days’ work in that period, with a possibility of extension.
Duties and Responsibilities
THE ORGANIZATIONAL SETTING
The Legal Affairs and External Relations Bureau (LEB) provides advice and assistance on legal and external relations matters generally and in support of ICAO’s Strategic Objectives, to the ICAO Member States, Governing Bodies, the President of the Council, the Secretary General, and other ICAO Bureaus and Regional Offices. With regard to legal matters, the Bureau is responsible for: the provision of legal advice to the Governing Bodies and the Secretariat on any issue of law, in particular on international law, and air law; the general development of air law; the review of all agreements and contracts; and the performance of the treaty depositary functions of the Organization. With regard to external relations matters, the Bureau is responsible for: maintaining close and harmonious working relations with Member States; serving as focal point for the Organization’s relations with the Host Government; carrying out liaison and protocol functions; and monitoring and providing policy guidance and advice on current political events which might affect ICAO.

LEB also specifically advises the Secretary General and the ICAO Secretariat on legal aspects of personnel matters and represents the Organization in staff member appeals before the ICAO Appeals Board, the United Nations Dispute Tribunal (UNDT) as well as the United Nations Appeals Tribunal (UNAT). The Appeals Board was established in 2020 as a new “first instance process” to adjudicate staff member grievances; however, the accession of ICAO to the jurisdiction of the UNDT is envisaged. Seated at United Nations Headquarters in New York, the UNAT is the second level appellate review tribunal within the UN internal justice system. The UNAT reviews appeals brought by staff members and organizations against judgments rendered by UNDT and other first instance adjudicative tribunals throughout the UN system, including the ICAO Appeals Board.

The incumbent reports directly to the Director (LEB), who will provide oversight and guidance on procedural matters, delegation and distribution of tasks, and decisions on priorities, but operates under the day-to-day supervision of the responsible Legal Officer (Representative of the Secretary General), who manages LEB appeals processing and assigns and directs work.

MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Function 1 (incl. Expected results)
Acting as Alternate Representative of the Secretary General, under the overall supervision of the Director (LEB) and the day-to-day functional supervision of the responsible Legal Officer (Representative of the Secretary General), the incumbent represents the ICAO Secretary General in written and oral proceedings before the first instance process designated to adjudicate staff member appeals and before the United Nations Appeals Tribunal (UNAT), and provides advice on the handling of disciplinary matters and prepares related documentation, and will be responsible for the following duties:
• Represents the Organization within the system of justice for first instance adjudication of staff appeals against administrative decisions, as well as the UNAT; prepares legal briefs, submissions and motions as necessary that meet procedural requirements of the relevant tribunal and are consistent with the principles of the Organization’s internal legal framework.
• Performs extensive legal research and analysis of the UN Charter, General Assembly resolutions and decisions, judgements of the adjudicating tribunal (for example, ICAO’s Appeals Board and/or the United Nations Dispute Tribunal (UNDT)), the UNAT and judgements of other international administrative tribunals, Staff Regulations and Rules, and administrative issuances, and prepares legal opinions, studies, briefs, reports, charge letters and correspondence.
• Provides legal advice on diverse substantive and procedural questions of considerable complexity, which may include those related to human resources and administrative matters, including rules and procedures concerning the conduct, rights and obligations of staff, disciplinary matters, etc. and prepares the related documentation.
• Provides legal advice on the interpretation and application of staff regulations and rules, including the review of administrative decisions, prepares draft amendments to the staff regulations and rules, prepares draft administrative issuances or amendments thereto and verifies their consistency with the existing staff regulations and rules, and prepares analyses and evaluations of human resources policies and practices.
• Prepares advisory briefs for the Secretary General and senior management concerning ICAO’s position on cases before ICAO’s first instance process designated to adjudicate staff member appeals, advises senior management with regard to the disposition of recommendations and administrative decisions taken by the Secretary General and decisions and or judgements by the tribunals.
• Prepares or assists in the preparation of agreements and the negotiation and settlement of claims and disputes in the context of the administration of justice matters.
• Advises, in coordination with Human Resources as relevant, management regarding ICAO’s obligations under various staff contract modalities.
• Services committees, task forces, expert groups and other bodies, including preparation of background materials, summaries of issues and views of delegations, meeting reports, etc.
• Reviews, advises on legal documents, instruments or other material.

Function 2 (incl. Expected results)
Performs other duties, as assigned.
Qualifications/special skills
Education:
An advanced university degree (master’s degree or equivalent) in law is required. A first-level university degree (bachelor’s degree or equivalent) in law in combination with three additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Professional experience and knowledge:
Essential
• Minimum of five years of progressively responsible legal experience.
• Of these five years, three years’ experience in litigation at the national or international level that must include first-hand experience in drafting pleadings, motions and/or appeal briefs, and in appearing and leading the evidence of witnesses before a court or tribunal or equivalent administrative board or body.
Desirable
• First-hand experience in litigating employment disputes before the United Nations Dispute Tribunal or other first instance court or tribunal or equivalent administrative board or body of a UN specialized agency or other international organization.
• First-hand experience litigating appeals before the United Nations Appeals Tribunal or the Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organization (ILO).
• Experience with staff regulations and rules, policies, procedures and operations of the United Nations or a similar international organization.
• Prior completion of the ILO Successfully Managing Employment Disputes in International Organizations course or equivalent international level training.
Languages
Essential
• Fluent reading, writing and speaking abilities in English.

Desirable
• A working knowledge of another official language of the Organization (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish).


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