Legal Officer

Posted Date: 
Thursday, March 7, 2019 - 11:15
Duty Station: 
Kingston, Jamaica
Office of Legal Affairs
Monday, May 6, 2019 - 18:00

All applicants must fill in the Online Personal History Form.  Applicants wishing to know the status of the selection for the job opening may refer to the Jobs Opportunities page for updates. Only applications received within the deadline and with the completed online Personal History form are eligible for further consideration.  Applicants are solely responsible for providing complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications, including but not limited to, their education, work experience, and language skills at the time of application. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification to applications already submitted will be accepted.


Organisational Setting & Reporting

The post is located within the Office of the Legal Affairs at the Headquarters of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) located in Kingston, Jamaica, and reports directly to the Senior Legal Officer and under the overall supervision of the Deputy Secretary General and Legal Counsel.


Within delegated authority, the incumbent will be responsible for the following:

  1. Serve as a lead officer in one or more areas of concentration, and handle a wide range of highly complex, and often sensitive and/or conflicting legal matters involving issues relating to international, public, commercial and administrative law, to include interpretation and application of instruments in that area of concentration.

  2. Provide legal advice on diverse substantive and procedural questions of considerable complexity, and in particular, advice and support in resolving disputes arising out of contracts or third-party claims of a private law character involving the operations and activities of ISA, its governing bodies or subsidiary organs.

  3. Performs extensive legal research and analysis and prepares legal opinions, studies, briefs, reports and correspondence; provides legal advice to the unit/division.

  4. Service task forces, expert groups and other bodies, including preparation of background materials, summaries of issues and views of delegations, meeting reports.

  5. Review, advise on and draft complex contracts, agreements, institutional and operational modalities, or legal motions/submissions and other legal documents; develops new legal modalities to meet unique needs/circumstances.

  6. Advise on and participate in negotiations and settlement of claims and disputes, to include establishing strategy and approach, deciding on the legal text for terms and conditions of contracts, on the recommendations on the merit of claims.

  7. Provide legal advice on the interpretation and application of staff regulations and rules, including the review of administrative decisions; reviews draft amendments to the staff regulations and rules; prepares draft administrative issuances or amendments thereto and verifies their consistency with the existing staff regulation and rules; prepares analyses and evaluations of human resources policies and practices.

  8. Serve on various standing boards, committees, ad hoc working groups and task forces, as required; promotes the work of ISA and represents the organization at meetings, conferences, seminars, etc.

  9. Coordinate and direct teams of other legal officers dealing with significant problems as required, and/or mentors and supervises the work of junior officers on specific projects.

  10. Contribute to review and design of new, or new applications of, legal instruments, policy, guidelines, etc.

  11. Perform other duties as assigned.


Professionalism: Knowledge of, and ability to apply, legal principles, concepts and procedures and terminology for review, examination, and processing of a range of legal documents. Ability to conduct legal research and analyze information from various resources on a wide range of legal issues. Knowledge of the civil law and/or common law legal systems and principles. Ability to interpret and apply legislative instruments, develop and present results, recommendations, and opinions clearly and concisely. Ability to draft legal papers and work under pressure. Ability to apply legal judgment in the context of assignments given. Ability to negotiate and influence others to reach agreements. Ability to work and meet tight deadlines and handle multiple concurrent projects/case.

Shows pride in work and in achievements; Demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; Is 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 or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations; Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

Communication:  Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; Solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; Places team agenda before personal agenda; Supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; Shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments; Delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; Operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; Supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; Takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in law with emphasis in the area of public international law.

A first-level university degree, in combination with two additional years of qualifying work experience 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.

Work Experience

Minimum of seven (7) years of progressively responsible professional experience in the practice of law is required.

Experience in the legal office of an international organization or the legal office of a Government is required.

Experience in international law and the law of the sea, contract law, international organizations law, international administrative law (including staff regulations and rules) is desirable.

Experience in presenting and representing the work of an organization both in writing and orally is required.

Experience in liaising with Member States, Corporate, UN agencies, UNAT, Foundations is highly desirable.

Experience working with the status and the privileges and immunities of International Organizations is desirable

Experience working with the status and the privileges and immunities of International Organizations is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of ISA. For this post, fluency in written and oral English is required. Knowledge of other United Nations official languages is highly desirable.

Assessment Method

Candidates may undergo a substantive and a competency-based interview. Only shortlisted candidates will be contact.

Special Notice 

Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures. 

Other Information

  1. The selected candidate will be subject to a reference verification process in accordance with the ISA policy. The process will include but is not limited to, verification of the information provided in the personal history form and a criminal record check. All candidates should be in a position to submit electronic copy of their passport and all diplomas listed on their profile when requested;
  2. Applicants may check the status of vacancies on ISA web-site;
  3. Only nationals of ISA Member States are eligible for consideration;
  4. Consideration is given to achieving diverse gender, geographical and economic representation at the ISA, to the extent possible;
  5. The ISA reserves the right to not make any appointment to the vacancy, and/or to make an appointment at a lower level from the one advertised.


For candidates who do not have internet access, please download a copy of the P11 [ pdfdocx ] form and mail to: Attention Human Resources, 14- 20 Port Royal Street, Kingston, Jamaica with a cover letter indicating the job opening ( position title and level) of the application. Applicants will be disqualified from consideration if they do not demonstrate in their application that they meet the evaluation criteria of the job opening. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to a reference-checking process to verify the information provided in the application.

Due to the high number of applications, individual responses by phone or email are not possible. Applicants wishing to know the status of the selection for the job opening may refer to the job opportunities page where the status of will be reflected as one of the following:
1.    Open for Applications
2.    Closed for Applications
3.    Candidates under Review
4.    Selection Completed