Consultant – Legal Associate, HQ Amman or Jerusalem (Review of Administration of Justice System at UNRWA)



UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance and emergency assistance. UNRWA is the largest UN operation in the Middle East with more than 30,000 staff. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions.**

Consultant – Legal Associate, HQ Amman or Jerusalem

(Review of Administration of Justice System at UNRWA)


In 2007, the United Nations General Assembly decided to introduce a new system for handling internal disputes and disciplinary matters in the United Nations. The goal was to have a system that was independent, professional, efficient, transparent and decentralised, with a stronger emphasis on resolving disputes through informal means, before resorting to formal litigation. Accordingly, the Joint Appeals Board (“JAB”), the Joint Disciplinary Committee and the United Nations Administrative Tribunal were abolished and the new system of administration of justice came into effect on 1 July 2009, pursuant to General Assembly Resolution 63/253, i.e. the establishment of the United Nations Dispute Tribunal (“UNDT”).

In line with the new system of administration of justice, and in agreement with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (“UNRWA”/“Agency”) established its own first instance Dispute Tribunal, which conforms to the General Assembly’s requirements and is modelled after the UNDT. The UNRWA Dispute Tribunal (“Tribunal”) considers and decides on cases filed by or on behalf of current and former staff members appealing administrative decisions either (a) alleged to be in non-compliance with their terms of appointment or (b) relating to disciplinary measures. The professional Judges conduct hearings, issue Orders and render binding Judgments. Both staff members and the Agency have a right to appeal the Judgments of the Tribunal to the United Nations Appeals Tribunal (“UNAT”).

The Internal Justice Committee at UNRWA is required to conduct periodic reviews of the internal administration of justice system at UNRWA. The review is to take place from 1 January 2021 to 31 March 2021.

Description of Duties and Responsibilities

● Assist the Senior Consultant in the evaluation of the Administration of Justice (AOJ) system at UNRWA in examining and assessing the functioning of the AOJ system in all its aspects, in particular, the formal and informal system, and whether the aims and objectives of the system are being achieved in an effective and efficient manner with a view toward recommending improvements to the current system wherever it is deemed necessary, by way of the following:

● Assist the Senior Consultant in the facts-finding through various means, including, but not limited to, the following:

o Drafting Questionnaires for the key stakeholders listed in the components section and compiling answers thereto;

o Arranging for consultations with stakeholder representatives via face-to-face interviews, video conference/Zoom and/or telephone and taking notes of such meetings;

o Conduct research and making legal analysis at the request of the Senior Consultant;

o Reviewing the activity reports of the UNRWA Dispute Tribunal, focusing on statistics showing key areas where there is a high percentage of applications and indications of staff and managers’ lack of awareness and understanding of processes;

o Reviewing random samples of key jurisprudence from the UNRWA DT and UNAT in relation to key categories of applications for the purpose of identifying improvements that could be made to UNRWA’s Regulatory Framework;

o Identifying jurisprudence that is relevant for the review;

o Seeking input from staff members and managers through Town hall presentations, social media outreach, desk-to-desk outreach, staff portal, Facebook, intranet, SMS campaigns, in-person meetings, video conferences, and staff meetings;

o Contributing to the final report and recommendations to be presented to the IJC;

o Performing other tasks and responsibilities as determined by the Senior Consultant in relation to the conduct of his review of the AOJ system at UNRWA.

minimum Qualifications and Experience

● A university degree from an accredited educational institution in law, preferably with a focus on administrative law.

● Minimum 4 years of experience as a practicing lawyer or as a legal adviser in a public or business organization or institution, including experience in administrative law or related field, including two years of international experience outside one’s home country.

● Fluency in written and spoken English.


● Excellent skills in researching and writing (in English)

● Strong ability to drive for results

● Strong skills in solving problems

● Ability to work under pressure and under tight deadlines

● Strong interpersonal and communication skills; verbal and written

● Ability to establish and maintain effective working relations in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity


● Working knowledge and experience in UNRWA

● Experience working in the UNDT, UNAT or other Administrative Tribunal in United Nations agencies/organizations or other international Non-governmental agencies/organizations

● Knowledge of Arabic language is desirable.


· The duration of the consultancy is from 14 February to 31 March 2021

· Remuneration for this consultancy is $4,500 per month

· The incumbent will be based in Amman or Jerusalem


Applicants should submit a cover letter and CV or UN Personal History Form demonstrating clearly the knowledge and experience required to meet the consultancy requirements via indicating the title of this consultancy “Legal Associate (Review of Administration of Justice System at UNRWA)” in the subject line of the message. The deadline for the submission of applications is 20 January 2021.**

UNRWA is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes applications from both women and men. UNRWA encourages applications from qualified women. Only those applicants shortlisted for interview will be contacted. UNRWA is a non-smoking environment.

7 January 2021


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