General Legal Affairs Specialist at FAO Vancancies

Job Posting

: 01/Feb/2024

Closure Date

: 01/Mar/2024, 1:59:00 AM

Organizational Unit: LEGAD – General Legal Affairs Service

Job Type

: Non-staff opportunities

Type of Requisition: Consultant / PSA (Personal Services Agreement)
Grade Level: N/A

Primary Location

: Various Locations

Duration: Up to 11 months (it will depend on the assignment)
Post Number: N/A

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please note that Closure Date and Time displayed above are based on date and time settings of your personal device

  • FAO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality, background and culture.
  • Qualified female applicants, qualified nationals of non-and under-represented Members and person with disabilities are encouraged to apply;
  • Everyone who works for FAO is required to adhere to the highest standards of integrity and professional conduct, and to uphold FAO’s values
  • FAO, as a Specialized Agency of the United Nations, has a zero-tolerance policy for conduct that is incompatible with its status, objectives and mandate, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination  
  • All selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks
  • All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality

 Organizational Setting

The Legal Office of FAO (LEG) ensures that the activities of the Organization are carried out in accordance with the Constitution of FAO and the other Basic Texts of the Organization, in a manner consistent with its status as an inter-governmental organization of the United Nations system, and that its relationships with governments, organizations and individuals are on a sound legal basis.
The General Legal Affairs Service of the Legal Office (LEGA) provides advice to, and acts on behalf of, the Organization on legal matters. Specifically, it advises the Organization’s technical and administrative departments, regional, sub-regional and field offices, and its Governing Bodies, on legal matters, including constitutional questions, the drafting of international treaties, the legal aspects of relations with the host government, with other governments and with international organizations, as well as specific legal aspects of personnel matters, including the interpretation and application of the Organization’s internal rules and international administrative law. It represents FAO in judicial proceedings and in settlements of disputes and, in particular, in handling appeals cases before the competent administrative tribunals. It services the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters (CCLM).
This call for expressions of interest is for the purpose of identifying suitably qualified experts to be included on the roster for consideration for short-term assignments with LEGA, ranging in length from a few days or weeks to a maximum of 11 months (on a when-actually-employed basis). This call is aimed at experts with various levels of experience. The experts would be located at the Organization’s headquarters in Rome (Italy) or home based. The assignments may cover a number of activities, or be dedicated to a specific issue or activity.
Applicants already included on the Legal Office roster should not reapply.

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Reporting Lines

The Legal Specialist reports to the Legal Counsel, while day-to-day supervision is provided by the Senior Legal Officer (LEGA), and other Legal Officers, as appropriate.

Technical Focus 

Public international law and law of international organizations, including international administrative law.

Tasks and responsibilities

The tasks and responsibilities of each selected Legal Specialist will be defined in the Terms of Reference for the specific assignment. The assignments will normally include the delivery of advice to units within Headquarters and to the FAO Decentralized Offices on legal matters related to their operations in light of FAO’s regulations, rules, policies and procedures, as well as FAO’s status as a Specialized Agency of the United Nations System.
Normally, the assignments will cover the provision of legal advice related to one or more of the following:
•    contribution agreements, project agreements and other instruments related to donor funding and project implementation, including instruments with international financial institutions, development banks and agencies, and multilateral financing entities;
•    contracts, matters related to procurement of services from commercial and non-commercial service providers (including settlements or litigation concerning contractual matters), publications, intellectual property, etc.;
•    memoranda of understanding and other legal instruments establishing institutional and operational modalities for cooperation with a wide variety of partners (including Governments, other intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector);
•    instruments aimed at operationalizing, and managing engagements and partnerships with the private sector;
•    tools, instruments, and services that support digital innovation, information technologies and electronic processes.
•    host country agreements for FAO decentralized offices addressing the privileges and immunities of the Organization, including supporting negotiation of such agreements and upholding the provisions thereof;
•    international administrative law cases, including disciplinary processes;
•    appeals filed by staff members under the internal appeals processes and with the ILO Administrative Tribunal and drafting of the pleadings of the Organization;
•    The Governing Bodies and the Statutory Bodies of FAO and the interpretation or application of the legal and procedural instruments governing the operation of such Bodies.

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Minimum Requirements

•    Advanced university degree in law. A first level university degree in Law combined with an additional two (2) years of relevant work experience and with completion of professional qualification to practice law in a national/state jurisdiction may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
•    Between one to fifteen years of relevant legal experience (one year for Category C, five years for Category B, twelve years for Category A – Consultants, fifteen years for Category A – Personal Services Agreements Subscribers (PSA.SBS)) in public international law, law of international organizations, international administrative law and contract law.
•    Working knowledge (level C) of English and limited knowledge (level B) of another FAO official language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish). For PSA.SBS working knowledge of English.

FAO Core Competencies

•    Results Focus
•    Teamwork
•    Communication
•    Building Effective Relationships
•    Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical/Functional Skills 

•    Work experience in more than one location or area of work.
•    Extent and relevance of experience in public international law, law of international organizations and/or international administrative law.
•    Extent and relevance of work experience with UN System or other intergovernmental organizations and, in particular, work experiences related to the drafting and negotiation of contribution agreements, arrangements with private sector entities, and information technology and digital innovation.
•    Extent of knowledge of different legal systems.
•    Ability to carry out legal research and analysis.
•    Ability to write clear and concise reports and experience in drafting legal texts (legal opinions, pleadings, formal correspondence, documents for meetings of governing and statutory bodies).
•    Ability to provide effective legal support in more two or more official languages of the Organization will be a consideration.
•    Working knowledge of more than one FAO language is highly desirable.

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 Please note that all candidates should adhere to FAO Values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for All and Integrity and Transparency



  • FAO does not charge any fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, processing)
  • Please note that FAO will only consider academic credentials or degrees obtained from an educational institution recognized in the IAU/UNESCO list
  • Please note that FAO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed at 
  • For more information, visit the FAO employment website
  • Appointment will be subject to certification that the candidate is medically fit for appointment, accreditation, any residency or visa requirements, and security clearances.



• To apply, visit the recruitment website at Jobs at FAO and complete your online profile. We strongly recommend that your profile is accurate, complete and includes your employment records, academic qualifications, and language skills
• Candidates are requested to attach a letter of motivation to the online profile
• Once your profile is completed, please apply, and submit your application
• Candidates may be requested to provide performance assessments and authorization to conduct verification checks of past and present work, character, education, military and police records to ascertain any and all information which may be pertinent to the employment qualifications
• Incomplete applications will not be considered
• Personal information provided on your application may be shared within FAO and with other companies acting on FAO’s behalf to provide employment support services such as pre-screening of applications, assessment tests, background checks and other related services. You will be asked to provide your consent before submitting your application. You may withdraw consent at any time, by withdrawing your application, in such case FAO will no longer be able to consider your application
• Only applications received through the FAO recruitment portal will be considered
• Your application will be screened based on the information provided in your online profile
•  We encourage applicants to submit the application well before the deadline date.

If you need help or have queries, please create a one-time registration with FAO’s client support team for further assistance: