Current vacancies

Explore our current job opportunities

Contract type


Headquarters Locations

Functional Area

Job Level

Position level

Legal Affairs Specialist (Administrative Law Specialist), P-4, Administrative Law Unit, Office of the Executive Director, Budapest

Apply now Job no: 537930
Contract type: Fixed Term Appointment
Level: P-4
Location: Hungary
Categories: P-4, Legal

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, commitment

The post is located in the Administrative Law Unit (ALU) within the Office of the Executive Director. ALU is principally responsible for advising the Deputy Executive Director, Management, on all administrative-law related matters, including on requests for management evaluation of administrative decisions brought by staff members under the UN Staff Rules and on all matters relating to possible misconduct and the disciplinary process. ALU represents the Secretary-General in proceedings before the United Nations Dispute Tribunal (UNDT) in all cases involving UNICEF staff members. As part of its functions, ALU assists in the development and updating of relevant administrative policies, such as UNICEF’s disciplinary and prohibited conduct policies. It also advises on matters relating to the internal justice system in general, which includes liaising with the relevant stakeholders in the UN system of administration of justice, and represents UNICEF in relevant inter-agency working groups.

Under the direct supervision of the Chief, Administrative Law Unit, the Legal Affairs Specialist (Administrative Law Specialist) will research and provide advice on substantive and procedural matters of administrative law, including management evaluations and disciplinary cases and represent UNICEF in litigation before the UNDT, mediation processes and other other formal and informal procedures. 

How can you make a difference?

More specifically, the duties of Legal Affairs Specialist will include:

  • Conduct legal research and analysis with respect to management evaluation requests submitted by staff members under Chapter XI of the UN Staff Rules. Prepare responses for the Deputy Executive Director, Management. Identify and flag the pertinent legal and factual issues and explore options for resolution in order to avoid litigation. Liaise with relevant offices and line managers throughout the process.
  • Review investigation reports received from the Office of Internal Audit and Investigations (OIAI) with a view to recommending appropriate action to the Deputy Executive Director, Management, under Chapter X of the UN Staff Rules, which may include charging a staff member with misconduct or recommending administrative or managerial measures. Ensure that staff members’ due process rights are fully respected. Responsible for drafting Charge Letters and Disciplinary Measure Letters, including proposing proportionate sanctions. Liaise with OIAI and the Deputy Executive Director, Management’s office throughout the disciplinary process.
  • Defend UNICEF’s position in appeals against administrative decisions affecting staff members’ contractual rights by preparing oral and written submissions to the UNDT. Draft concise and well-argued submissions. Ensure that submissions meet procedural requirements and are consistent with the principles of administrative law in the United Nations. Identify, where applicable, cases that are amenable to informal resolution; respond to complex inquiries and correspondence. Prepare and conduct examination of witnesses appearing before the UNDT and conduct negotiations with the opposing party. Prepare recommendations to the Office of Legal Affairs on the possible appeal of UNDT judgments.

Undertake other ad-hoc tasks as required by the Chief, Administrative Law Unit.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

  • Advanced university degree in law (Master’s or Doctorate degree or equivalent) is required. A first-level university degree in law (Bachelor’s degree or equivalent), with two additional years of relevant work experience, may be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree.
  • A minimum of eight (8) years’ progressively responsible legal experience is required. Out of the eight (8) years, at least two (2) years’ experience as a litigator at the national or international level, including appearing and leading evidence before a court/tribunal/arbitration panel or equivalent administrative board or body, is required.  Experience in handling employment-law related issues in the United Nations or other similar international organization and familiarity with the applicable rules is desirable. Experience in handling disciplinary matters in national or international entities is desirable.
  • Knowledge of general principles of law, relevant United Nations Regulations and Rules and applicable jurisprudence. Ability to apply legal expertise and sound judgment to a broad array of sensitive legal and administrative issues.
  • Ability to instill confidence and trust and persuade others—including senior management—to reach agreement. Ability to develop innovative solutions to complex factual and legal problems.
  • Effective communication skills to present information clearly and logically (including legal issues and their possible impact to non-lawyers) orally and in writing.
  • Strong interpersonal skills to work with people across the Organization, including in the regions. Possesses tact and high degree of discretion and confidentiality. Ability to provide leadership and work collaboratively in a team settings
  • Expert knowledge of English is required. Working knowledge of French and/or Spanish are desirable. Working knowledge of other official language is an advantage.

For every Child, you demonstrate...

UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in: 

  • Demonstrates Self Awareness and Ethical Awareness (2)
  • Works Collaboratively with others (2)
  • Builds and Maintains Partnerships (2)
  • Innovates and Embraces Change (2)
  • Thinks and Acts Strategically (2)
  • Drives to achieve impactful results (2)
  • Manages ambiguity and complexity (3)

Functional competencies required for this post are: 

  • Analyzing (2)
  • Applying Technical Expertise (2)
  • Persuading and Influencing (2)
  • Planning and Organizing (2)



To view our competency framework, please check:  Competency Framework Brochure.pdf

Click here to learn more about UNICEF’s values and competencies.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.


Mobility is a condition of international professional employment with UNICEF and an underlying premise of the international civil service.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

Advertised: Central Europe Standard Time
Deadline: Central Europe Standard Time

Back to search results Apply now

Share this:

| More