Senior Legal Officer

World Intellectual Property Organization

Geneva, Switzerland

The position is located in the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Section, Office of the Legal Counsel (OLC). OLC is responsible for providing legal advice and assistance to the Director General, to the bodies of WIPO Member States and to the Secretariat on constitutional, administrative, contractual and general legal matters, and in respect of the depository functions of WIPO-administered treaties, in harmony with statutory requirements and applicable law.

Purpose Statement:
 
In the context of breakthrough decisions by WIPO Member States to convene two diplomatic conferences to conclude and adopt two new treaties, the incumbent provides expert advice and support on the international legal and constitutional aspects of the Organization and its activities, including, notably, in this specialized context of treaty negotiations, ensuring high standards of quality and timeliness of delivery.

Reporting Lines:
 
The incumbent works under the supervision of the Head of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Section.

Duties and Responsibilities:

The incumbent will perform the following principal duties:
  • Advise on a wide range of complex and often sensitive legal questions to the Director General, Member States, and Secretariat colleagues related to constitutional, procedural, governance, treaty and other public international law issues;
  • Prepare, review and provide advice on documents for meetings of the governing bodies of Member States of the Organization and, in particular, expert advice on and legal drafting of required legal texts, applicable rules, and other documents for diplomatic conferences consistent with Organization practice and customary international law;
  • Assist with secretariat functions and provision of expert legal advice in the context of breakthrough diplomatic conferences and international normative developments, as well as various committees thereof;
  • Support the unprecedented surge in requests for legal advice and opinions in the context of the proceedings of WIPO governing bodies and meetings of its Member States, amidst an increasingly complicated and challenging multilateral framework;
  • Advise on matters related to the depositary functions of the Director General regarding treaties administered by the Organization, including the preparation and review of treaty actions and notifications, consistent with Organizational and international law and practice;
  • Provide support to the initiation of the complex and confidential process of the election of the Director General, the development of the related governing framework and required procedural and sensitive documentary guidance to Member States;
  • Assist, where necessary, with the secretariat functions related to meetings of the governing bodies of Member States of the Organization, and other meetings convened by the Organization, providing legal advice on legal and procedural matters;
  • Perform other related duties as required.
Requirements:

Education Essential:
  • Advanced university degree in law, preferably with a specialization in public international law.
Experience Essential:
  • At least seven years of relevant work experience in the area of law, including prior experience in public international law gained in a legal department of a national government legal service or in intergovernmental organization.
Experience Desirable:
  • Prior experience advising in the area of treaty law and affairs, and/or the law of international organizations.
Language Essential:
  • Excellent knowledge of English (written and spoken), including ability to draft highly specialized legal texts with precision and clarity.
Language Desirable:
  • Knowledge of other UN languages, in particular French or Spanish.