Senior Legal Officer, P4, Bangkok

Job Title: Senior Legal Officer, P4, Bangkok

Country: Thailand
Organization: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Closing date: 23 Nov 2021

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships

The Senior Legal Officer (SLO) position is located either at Headquarters (within the Division of International Protection) or in a Regional Bureau or in a Country Office and reports to the Deputy Director or Head of Protection Service or Representative or Deputy Representative, as appropriate.
The incumbent has direct supervisory responsibility for legal and protection staff. Responsibilities and accountabilities may include inter alia: statelessness, the Global Compact on Refugees commitments, age, gender, diversity (AGD) and accountability to affected populations (AAP) through community-based protection, child protection, sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) prevention and response, gender equality, disability inclusion, youth empowerment, registration, human rights standards integration national legislation, judicial engagement, internal displacement, mixed movements, and climate-related displacement, S/he contributes to designing a comprehensive legal strategy and response related to the protection of refugees and other persons of concern and represents the organization in contacts with national and/or regional authorities and officials, UN sister entities, other intergovernmental organisations, non-governmental organisations, embassies and academic institutions that can contribute to enhancing protection and achieving solutions which reflect international legal principles. The incumbent will also build networks with external legal experts and lawyers, high level government officials, and activists to advocate for, promote, develop and/or defend UNHCR’s views and positions, and will represent UNHCR in senior level legal and policy fora.
If based in a Regional Bureau or Country operation, the SLO works in close collaboration with the Division of International Protection.

All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCR¿s core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity.


  • Contribute to the development of a coherent legal strategy within the Area of Responsibility (AoR).
  • Develop background and general policy and legal positions.
  • Provide legal and policy advice and guidance on the interpretation and application of international instruments ¿and regional where relevant – relating to persons of concern, global protection positions and policies and, as required, on the development of situation/country-specific guidance.
  • Monitor and support the development of national and/or regional laws, policies and processes, as appropriate.
  • Develop and contribute to strategies at the regional and country level, including on legislative and judicial engagement and UN human rights mechanisms ¿ and/or regional ones ¿ and other protection frameworks, and integrate human rights standards in protection strategies and advocacy.
  • Coordinate monitoring, engage with, comment on and report on domestic legislative developments in the region/country.
  • Engage with external partners and stakeholders, including governments, non-governmental organizations, international organizations, etc. on issues related to legal protection principles and related international and/or regional or national law.
  • Handle individual cases and situations raising special questions of application or interpretation of international law, refugee and human rights law.
  • Organize expert and other meetings on specific issues, including preparation of background research materials.
  • Gather, analyse and disseminate information on political, legal, social and economic developments which have a bearing on UNHCR¿s protection activities in the area to promote the adoption of protection policies and activities.
  • Represent UNHCR in meetings and fora on legal and international protection.

For Senior Legal Officer in Regional Bureaux and Country Operations:

  • Coordinate quality timely and effective policy and legal advocacy interventions with relevant stakeholders at regional and national levels.
  • Support country operations in identifying and taking up opportunities to influence legislative, institutional and judicial processes in relation to asylum, statelessness, and internal displacement, ensure quality comments are provided on draft legislation and policies and to Human Rights mechanisms, draft/review judicial interventions and engage with legal and judicial institutions as relevant.
  • Develop legal capacity of protection staff throughout the region/country through trainings and regional workshops and consultations, promote reviews and evaluations across relevant legal areas, document and disseminate good practices.
  • Develop project proposals and project implementation in the relevant AoR.
  • Support, monitor and review regional and country programming for protection, from planning to evaluation and advocate for adequate resource allocations.
  • Perform other related duties as required.

Minimum Qualifications

Years of Experience / Degree Level
For P4/NOD – 9 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 8 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 7 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree

Field(s) of Education
Law; International Law; Human rights or refugee law; or other relevant field

(Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Certificates and/or Licenses
Protection Learning Programme, Management Learning Programme;

(Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Relevant Job Experience

Minimum 5 years of relevant professional job experience in the area of protection, human rights and/or international humanitarian law, including experience in working directly with Field Offices. In-depth knowledge of international refugee law and human rights law and/or International humanitarian law and ability to apply the relevant legal principles, and of UNHCR’s protection strategies and policies.

How to apply:

For a full job description and to apply, interested candidates are requested to visit the UNHCR career page at – click on the Vacancies tab and enter job ID 31248.

The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Please note that UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, travelling, processing, training or any other fees).

Closing Date

Please note that the closing date is Tuesday 23 November 2021 (midnight Geneva time).