Senior Legal Officer (One position)

Deadline for applications: 
Thursday, April 18, 2019 - 23:59
Reference number: 

Contract type:

Duty station: 
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Contract level: 
Consultant/Individual Contractor (IC)
7months, subject to availability of funds
Recruiting Office: 
Pre-Trial Chamber
Date issued: 
Friday, April 5, 2019



Under the applicable law, and in accordance with the terms of the Agreement between the United Nations and the Royal Government of Cambodia, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) has jurisdiction to try senior leaders and those who were most responsible for the crimes and serious violations of Cambodian penal law, international humanitarian law and custom, and international conventions recognized by Cambodia, during the period of the Khmer Rouge regime from 17 April 1975 to 6 January 1979.

While the ECCC is established as a national Court, the Royal Government of Cambodia sought the technical assistance of the United Nations in operating the court. In Resolution A/57/228 and A/57/228B, the General Assembly approved the involvement of the United Nations and endorsed the agreement outlining the arrangements between the two parties. The United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials (UNAKRT) was established in 2005 to provide on-going technical, operational and logistical support to the Royal Government of Cambodia in all aspect of the Court's operations.


This assignment is required in view of the overall goal of completing the current appeals brought to the Pre-Trial Chamber including potential appeals against closing orders, in accordance with the ECCC Completion Plan.


Under the direct supervision of the International Judges, the incumbent will carry out the following responsibilities:


The Chambers are the judicial arm of the ECCC. They comprise a Pre-Trial Chamber, Trial Chamber and Supreme Court Chamber. That position is primarily located in the Pre-Trial Chamber. Under the direct supervision of the International Judges of the Pre-Trial Chamber, the incumbent will carry out the following responsibilities:


• Act as senior legal adviser to the PTC coordinating research and analysis on the most complex and sensitive legal issues to ensure legality, consistency and transparency in the application of law, in particular in the area international criminal law, human rights law and comparative criminal law;
• Draft and/or assign drafting of decisions briefs and other legal documents to PTC Legal Officers, and review all such drafts for consistency, quality and timeliness of output;
• Monitor and advise upon the development and efficiency of proceedings;
• Keep abreast of the developments in the relevant law and inform PTC Judges, Legal Officers, and staff on a frequent basis of such developments;
• Attend Plenary sessions at the invitation of the PTC Judges, and assist in the preparation and presentation of reports to the Plenary;
• As requested by the PTC Judges, provide advice and support to judicial working groups and committees, including the Rules and Procedure Committee and the Judicial Administration Committee.
• Perform any other assignments as required.

Administration and Coordination

• Under the supervision of the International judges, prepare timely and accurate administrative and budgetary reports and submissions;
• Propose adoption and follow up implementation of policies and practice directions involving the PTC;
• Ensure that the PTC Judges are promptly informed of all pertinent developments at the ECCC;
• Identify and implement specific expertise and best practices with the PTC;
• Under the supervision of the International judges, Act as the focal point for communications among the PTC Judges and with the parties to promote the efficiency and effectiveness of the proceedings;
• Under the supervision of the International judges, Act as a focal point for the PTC in its relations with the Office of Administration, and other relevant internal and external agencies to ensure that effective working relationships are established and maintained, and that the PTC’s interests are vigorously represented.
• Perform any other assignments as required.

Staff Management
• Facilitate participation of PTC Judges, Legal Officers, and staff in outreach and legacy events.
• Perform any other assignments as required.


Deliverables/Output Target due date Review and Approvals Required
Coordination in simultaneous timely drafting process, quality control of the drafts, high level of legal expertise related to Appeals in cases 003, 004, and 004/2
According to deadlines set by International Judges International Judges


Professionalism: Expert and in-depth knowledge of criminal law, international criminal law, international humanitarian law, and international human rights law. Excellent and practical knowledge of continental/inquisitorial domestic legal system. Excellent knowledge of, and ability to apply, legal principles, concepts, procedures and terminology for review, examination, and processing of a range of legal documents. Ability to come up with solution in view of resolving problems arising in criminal litigation. Knowledge of various legal research sources, including electronic, and ability to conduct research and analyze information on a wide range of legal issues. In-depth knowledge of the civil law and common law legal systems and principles. Ability to interpret and apply legislative instruments, develop and present results, recommendations, and opinions clearly and concisely. Expert ability to draft legal papers and briefs, and work under pressure. Ability to apply good legal judgment in the context of assignments given. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations; takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

Planning and Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; manages a team of legal officers so that to ensure the timely delivery of high quality decision; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.

Communication: Ability to analyze and interpret legal texts, develop and present analysis, recommendations, and opinions clearly and concisely. Speaks and writes clearly and effectively. Listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others, and responds appropriately. Tailors language, tone, style and format to match the audience. Demonstrates openness in sharing information and in keeping people informed.

Managing Performance: Proven skills to manage teams operating within criminal justice systems and in an international environment. Ability to monitor progress to meet deadlines and ensure quality outputs.

Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments; delivers outputs within prescribed deadlines and quality standards; operates in compliance with organizational rules and regulations; supports subordinates, provides oversight, and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.


Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) in law, preferably with a focus on international criminal law, international humanitarian law, and/or international human rights law. A first-level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

Minimum of ten (10) years of progressively responsible experience in law, including legal analysis, research and writing, of which at least five (5) years are in litigation or as a law clerk or legal officer in the area of criminal or human rights law. Experience of criminal law practice in a continental/inquisitorial domestic system and/or in an international criminal tribunal is highly desirable.


The official languages of the ECCC are English, French and Khmer. For this post, fluency in French and/or English is required. Working proficiency in the other language is a key asset. Knowledge of Khmer is also an asset.

Other Desirable Skills: Sound knowledge of the functioning of international tribunals and the activities of judicial chambers would be an asset. Knowledge of the historical background of the Khmer Rouge Regime as well as the ECCC investigations would be an asset. Knowledge of criminal case analysis software, such as Case Map and ZyLab, would also be considered an asset.

Criteria for evaluation of the level of technical compliance of an applicant:

Technical Evaluation Criteria Obtainable Score
An advanced university degree in law. A first level university degree in a related field with a relevant combination of academic qualifications and experience may be accepted in lieu of the degree in law. 10
Minimum of 10 years of relevant professional experience. Judicial clerkship experience. Experience of criminal law practice in a domestic system and/or in an international criminal tribunal. Sound knowledge of the functioning of international tribunals and the activities of judicial chambers. 20
Demonstrated knowledge of the substantive law applicable at the ECCC.
Excellent and practical knowledge of continental/inquisitorial domestic legal systems and knowledge of international criminal procedure and instruments. 20
Established capacity to coordinate a legal team to ensure issuance of timely and high-quality decisions. Proper professional interactions with superiors and subordinates. 10

Demonstrated knowledge of the historical background of Democratic Kampuchea Regime and of the publicly available information on the cases under investigation. 10
Demonstrated proficiency in drafting of orders, decisions, and other relevant legal documents in English or French.
Total Obtainable Score 100

Evaluation of qualified applicants may include a written test and/or an interview.
Submission of Application

Please address the fully completed and signed application form (P.11) in English, together with a cover letter and copies of relevant supporting documents, by e-mail to The P.11 Form has to be downloaded from the UNARKT Website.

Applications received after the deadline will not be accepted.

Preference will be given to equally qualify female candidates. Due to the large volume of applications, we regret not being able to reply to everyone and will only contact the most suitable candidates for the test and/or an interview.

Special Notice

This vacancy is recirculated. The candidates who already applied at the first distribution will still be considered.

The Consultancy fees of US$ 9,000 per month is all inclusive. Please note that no allowance, including DSA, other than the monthly consultancy fee will be offered for this position.

This consultancy is subject to approval of budget and availability of funding.

Applications from qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged.

USD 9,000 per month