Assistant Legal Officer

Job Expired

Job Overview

Hardship Level (not applicable for home-based)

E (most hardship)


Family Type (not applicable for home-based)


Non Family


Staff Member / Affiliate Type



Target Start Date



Job Posting End Date

November 19, 2023

Terms of Reference

– When completing the application, candidates are required to list all of their language skills, including their mother tongue. The three broad levels are A1/A2 (“Basic User”), B1/B2 (“Independent User”), and C1/C2 (“Proficient User”).
– Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

The Assistant Legal Officer, based in Baghdad and with national coverage, is a member of the Legal Unit and reports directly to the Legal Officer. The incumbent provides support on issues related to national and regional law, on the development of legal partner SOPs and on updating Country of Origin information on Iraq.

The Assistant Legal Officer will be responsible for analyzing national and regional legal developments, conducting legal research, gathering reports on various legal issues, and engaging in drafting of information materials, guidelines and tools. This means that the Assistant Legal Officer should have experience in conducting legal and human rights research, and should stay abreast of the political, humanitarian and human rights situation in Iraq. The Assistant Legal Officer should also have excellent English-language oral and written communication skills.

A draft Refugee Law was presented to the Iraqi Parliament in 2018, and was then withdrawn following the dissolution of Parliament ahead of elections for the Council of Representatives. While subsequent political developments have not resulted in the reintroduction of the draft Law, it is hoped that the Law will be reintroduced in the new parliament. As such, experience in drafting and analyzing legislation and implementing regulations would be an asset, as would experience designing and delivering capacity development activities for authorities and other partners.

Experience working with legal aid and civil society partners would also be an asset. 

Standard Job Description

Assistant Legal Officer

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships

The Assistant Legal Officer is a member of the protection or legal team in a Country or Sub-Office. 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 Assistant Legal Officer assists the Office in providing quality, timely and effective protection responses to the needs of populations of concern (POC). S/he is also required to assist the office in ensuring 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 and authorities as well as protection and assistance partners.

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.

– Assist in the preparation of legal advice and drafting of position papers and guidelines on pertinent legal and operational issues.
– Stay abreast of the domestic legal issues and pertinent laws regarding POC and advise the Office accordingly.
– Contribute to advocacy towards proper interpretation of law and doctrine as well as in the development of standards of protection.
– Consistently apply international and national law and UNHCR policies and standards.
– Assist the Office in providing legal counselling to persons of concern.
– Liaise and intervene with local authorities on the legal issues pertaining to POC.
– May act as interpreter during meetings with authorities, if required.
– Participate in meetings within UNHCR and with external counterparts at the relevant level.
– Assist 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 P1/NOA – 1 year relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or no experience with Graduate degree; or no experience with Doctorate degree

Field(s) of Education
Law; Human Rights Law; Refugee Law;
International Humanitarian Law; or other relevant field.
(Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Certificates and/or Licenses
HCR Protection Learning Prg;
(Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Relevant Job Experience
Not specified.
Completion of UNHCR learning programmes on protection would be an asset or any other equivalent external courses.

Functional Skills
LE-Legal Research
LE-Draft legal settlement agreements
UN-UN System – Legal Status and Structure
(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.


Required Languages



Desired Languages




Additional Qualifications


CO-Drafting and Documentation, IT-Computer Literacy, LE-Legal ResearchEducation

Bachelor of Arts (BA): LawCertifications

HCR Protection Learning Program – UNHCR, Human Rights – Other, International Law – Other, Law – Other, Political Science – Other

Work Experience


Other information

This position doesn’t require a functional clearance

  • This job has expired!