Job (July 15): Assistant Legal Officer, UNHCR Canada

External Vacancy Notice

Title:      Assistant Legal Officer, NOA

Starting date:     July 2016

Work location:   UNHCR Canada, Ottawa

The Representation of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Canada is seeking a full-time Assistant Legal Officer for a 1-year contract for its Ottawa Office. This position will report to the Senior Legal Officer and Head of the Legal Unit in Toronto.

The incumbent supports the UNHCR Office in advocacy and operational work in relation to legal refugee protection areas of activity. External contacts are generally with a broad range of officials from national and international institutions, civil society and NGOs partners.

Minimum Academic Qualification:

University degree in Law, preferably with focus on human rights, refugee law and/or international humanitarian law.

Language Requirements:

Excellent knowledge of English and working knowledge of another UN language.

Skills and Experience:

  • At least 2 years of relevant previous work experience.
  • Excellent legal research, analytical and drafting.
  • Computer skills (MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint essential).
  • Excellent communication skills with strong interpersonal and negotiation skills.

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. Assist in the preparation of legal advice and drafting of position papers and guidelines on pertinent legal and operational issues.
  1. Stay abreast of the domestic legal issues and pertinent laws, including by attending and following Parliamentary works, regarding persons of concern and advise the Office accordingly.
  1. Contribute to the work of the Legal Unit in line with the work plan and the Protection strategy of the Office.
  1. Observe government proceedings in relation to refugee protection, and establish productive working relation with government authorities.
  1. Liaise with members of the civil society, academic circles, NGOs and others to further UNHCR’s outreach and partnership.
  1. Assess protection situations of individual cases as required, for possible UNHCR intervention.
  1. Consistently apply international and national law and UNHCR policies and standards.
  1. Maintain statistical systems and processes in relation to persons of concern in Canada.
  1. May act as interpreter during meetings with authorities, if required.
  1. Perform other relevant duties as required by the supervisors.

Salary will be according to established UN Salary Scales for Canada.

Receipt of applications will not be acknowledged and only short-listed candidates will be contacted for interview.  Interested candidates should fill out a UN Personnel History (P11) Form (available at and send it along with a letter of interest by email, fax or email at: UNHCR CANADA, Vacancy Notice, 280 Albert Street, Suite 401, Ottawa, Ontario        K1P 5G8.  Fax: 613-230-1855   Email:

All applications must be received with a covering letter by 12 noon, Friday, 15 July 2016