Legal Officer, Syria/MENA Program, LP

International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), Beirut, Lebanon

Skill Required:, Policy/ Advocacy and CampaignProject/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Closing Date for Applications: 
12th January, 2020

Job Description

Organization profile

Every year, millions of people around the world go missing as a result of conflict, human rights abuses, disasters, organized crime, irregular migration, and other causes. This is a complex global challenge that can be tackled effectively through cross-cutting programs that address a variety of difficult, interconnected issues.

The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) is the only international organization tasked exclusively to work on the issue of missing persons. It works with governments and other stakeholders, including families of the missing, to help them develop and maintain successful missing persons processes. To learn more about ICMP click here.

Syria/MENA Program

ICMP’s Syria/MENA program aims to establish the foundations for an effective and sustainable mechanism to address the issue of the missing in a future post-conflict Syria. The program focuses on the


  • Contributing to increased understanding among victims, civil society and key stakeholders regarding processes, standards and rights of victims and survivors who are involved in accounting for missing persons;
  • Establishing the conditions to launch a participative process of data collection that empowers and engages families of the missing; and
  • Increasing the capacity of Syrian families, legal experts and other stakeholders to foster an impartial and law-based approach to accounting for missing persons in post-conflict Syria.
  • The primary beneficiaries of the Syria/MENA program are families, in particular women, with relatives missing from the conflict, who are currently displaced in neighboring countries and, also where possible, those who are still in Syria.

Position Background

  • Under the overall guidance and supervision of the Head of Program (Syria/MENA) and in close consultation and coordination with the Director for Policy and Cooperation (based in Headquarters in The Hague), the Legal Officer's duties and responsibilities will include, but will not necessarily be limited to, the following:

Perform legal activities related to establishing and maintaining ICMPs legal status in MENA

  • Advise on residency, administrative and fiscal issues related to ICMP’s presence in MENA;
  • Provide legal analysis of the implications of ICMP’s legal status in MENA within the framework and in compliance with MENA’s legislation ensuring compliance with ICMP’s mandate, including in the areas such as privileges and immunities and Host Countries Agreements;
  • Draft, coordinate submission of and review agreements, contracts, legal submissions and other legal documents.

Perform legal analysis related to MENA’s legal framework related to missing persons

  • Identify gaps in MENA's legislation related to the issue of missing persons, discuss them with MENA authorities and, if necessary, assist the authorities in the development and implementation of recommendations for legal reform;
  • Work in cooperation with national and international partners on joint projects related to the issue of missing persons in MENA and to the legal status agreements in MENA;
  • Draft, in close coordination with Headquarters, cooperation agreements, including but not limited to the transfer of the DNA samples, between ICMP and MENA's institutions;
  • Conduct review and evaluation of current federal and regional legislation of MENA.

Ensure professional relationships with MENA judicial institutions are formed and maintained

  • Build sustainable partnerships with MENA's institutions, especially the judiciary, and other relevant partners;
  • Participate in training and capacity-building activities organized by ICMP in order to assist MENA in developing a comprehensive national system to address the issue of missing persons;
  • Prepares legal opinions, studies, briefs, reports, and correspondence.

Other duties as assigned such as:

  • Reviewing contractual agreements related to procurement, taxes and customs matters working;
  • Supporting Legal Officer in other country programs, if necessary.


  • University or equivalent degree in Law;
  • Minimum of five years relevant professional experience;
  • Sound knowledge of human rights and public law;
  • In-depth understanding of the rule of law and its application to the issue areas;
  • Proven ability to work effectively in a highly political environment and in an international environment;
  • Strong communication skills;
  • Diplomatic and political awareness;
  • In-depth understanding of rule-of-law and its application to the issue areas;
  • Sound knowledge of human rights;
  • Proven ability to work effectively in a highly political environment;
  • Discretion, tact and professionalism;
  • Understanding of the institutional structure in MENA related to missing persons, as well as MENA’s criminal procedure and public administrative law, is desirable.

Mandatory Requirements

  • Professional fluency in written and spoken English and Arabic; Knowledge of Kurdish and Turkish is desirable;
  • Proficiency in Microsoft applications, including Word, Excel and Power Point;
  • Proven ability to interact positively with colleagues regardless of culture, nationality or gender;
  • Ability to travel at short notice and to work flexible hours including weekends and evenings;
  • Commitment to the underlying objective of helping the authorities and families of the missing to account for missing persons in an impartial and transparent manner.


  • This is a full-time position with a competitive base salary at the LES LP level on the ICMP Syria/MENA scale, generous paid leave and extensive health insurance benefits for the incumbent and any eligible dependent.
  • This position is not eligible for expatriate allowances.
  • Review of applications will begin on 19 December 2019; however, the position will remain open until filled.
  • ICMP is committed to maintaining an environment of mutual respect, where equal employment opportunities are available to all applicants. ICMP believes that diversity and inclusion among our staff are critical to our success as a global organization, and we seek to recruit, develop and retain the most talented individuals from a thoroughly diverse range of candidates. ICMP is proud to be part of the International Gender Champions network.

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