A Legal Officer is needed in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

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Legal Officer, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Organization: MONUSCO
Country: Democratic Republic of Congo
City: Kinshasa
Office: MONUSCO HQ Kinshasa

Closing date: Monday, 8 April 2024

Description of assignment title: Legal Officer

Assignment country: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Expected start date: 04/01/2024

Sustainable Development Goal: 16. Peace, justice and strong institutions

Volunteer category: International UN Volunteer Specialist

Host entity: MONUSCO

Type: Onsite

Duration: 12 months

(with possibility of extension)

Number of assignments: 1

Duty stations: Kinshasa


Mission and objectives

MONUSCO/MONUC was established in 1999 under the auspices of the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO). SCR 2277 (2016) requests MONUSCO to support efforts of the Government of DRC towards the protection of civilians, through a comprehensive approach involving all components of MONUSCO, including through reduction of the threat posed by Congolese and foreign armed groups and of violence against civilians, including sexual and gender-based violence and violence against children to a level that can be effectively managed by the Congolese justice and security institutions; and to support Stabilization through the establishment of functional, professional, and accountable state institutions, including security and judicial institutions. The project aims at a better understanding of the most serious violations of human rights law and international humanitarian law in DRC and supports the leadership of the Mission through informed policy and decision making on future vetting of security forces through risk assessment and mitigation, joint planning for MONUSCO operations, as well as advocacy efforts.


Assignment is with family (KINSHASA)

Task description

Under the direct supervision of the Senior Legal Advisor, the duties of the Legal Officer will include but are not limited to the following:

 Assist with the handling of diverse issues related to the status, mandate, and operations of the Mission involving commercial law, contract law, administrative law, and criminal law.
 Assist with the provision of legal advice to the SRSG and Mission management with respect to the interpretation of Security Council resolutions, memoranda of understanding, contracts and other documents relevant to the Mission’s mandate;

 Assist with the provision of legal advice on and handle matters in the areas of privileges and immunities, conduct and discipline, commercial law, private legal obligations, human rights, as well as issues related to the disarmament and demobilization of foreign armed groups;
 Provide support to fact-finding and evidence-gathering teams and assist in preparation of Board of Inquiry reports on administrative matters; 
 Assist with legal matters involving the administrative law of the Organization, including Staff Regulations and Rules;

 Liaise directly with police and prosecutors over arrests of staff members;

 Draft, review, advise and assist in the preparation and drafting of contracts, agreements, and memoranda of understanding, including with agencies, funds, programmes, governments, NGOs and other public and private entities, as well as in the negotiation and settlement of claims and disputes;
 Draft and review Notes Verbales to different governments as well as Code Cables to the New York Headquarters regarding various legal issues;

 Provide assistance with and advice on procurement and contract-related issues, including reviewing and drafting contracts, as well as deal with vendors.
 Any other duties as requested by the supervisor.

Eligibility criteria

Age: 27 – 80


Candidate must be a national of a country other than the country of assignment.


Required experience

3 years of experience in relevant areas of law, including commercial, civil, administrative, contract, international law etc.

Admission to the bar in a national jurisdiction will be an asset. Previous legal experience in a civil law system and previous legal experience in an international organization will also be an asset.

Area(s) of expertise

Legal affairs

Driving license


French, Level: Fluent, Required

English, Level: Fluent, Required

Required education level

Master degree or equivalent in Law.

Competencies and values

Professionalism, Respect for diversity and gender, Communication, Team work and Integrity

Other information

Living conditions and remarks

The Democratic Republic of Congo is the second largest country in Africa, and as a result is quite diverse.

Living conditions therefore vary between MONUSCO duty stations, with all usual amenities present in the capital Kinshasa, but only very basic conditions in remote duty stations in the provinces, where, for instance, there may be no guarantee of public power supply nor running water. The ability to live and work in difficult and harsh conditions of developing countries is essential.

Accommodation is very expensive in both Kinshasa and Lubumbashi. Supermarkets exist in the large towns (e.g. Bukavu, Kisangani), but consumer items are generally very expensive (as everything is imported). For food, local markets offer a much cheaper alternative.

All MONUSCO duty stations are considered non-family duty stations, except for Kinshasa, Lubumbashi and Entebbe which are now considered family duty stations, and most are currently under UN Security Phase III (“relocation phase”: internationally-recruited staff are temporarily concentrated or relocated to specified sites/locations). In addition to insecurity related to the relatively volatile political situation as well as various conflict situations, certain places are subject to increasing street and residential crime, including in Kinshasa and Goma.

Some degree of medical service is provided in all MONUSCO duty stations. Certain vaccinations are mandatory for MONUSCO personnel to enter the DRC, while others are compulsory for all other incoming persons. It is possible for incoming MONUSCO personnel, including UN Volunteers, to be asked to provide proof of some or all vaccinations, though this is unlikely. All UN Volunteers must ensure that they are up-to-date with all appropriate vaccinations, which should be clearly and properly endorsed in the International Certificate of Vaccination (“carte jaune”). Malaria is present virtually throughout the DRC, and it is therefore recommended to take prophylaxis.

The unit of currency is the Congolese Franc. The US dollar is the other preferred currency. It may be impossible to exchange traveller’s checks away from the capital city. Credit cards are usually accepted in major hotels only in Kinshasa. In larger towns and cities (e.g. Kinshasa, Goma, Bukavu, Kisangani), UN Volunteers are recommended to open US Dollar bank accounts, while in other places, banks may be absent (including ATMs) and VLA payments will be processed in cash. UN Volunteers have the possibility to send part of their allowances to a bank account abroad.

In addition to French, there are four major spoken languages in DRC, namely Lingala, Kikongo, Tshiluba and Swahili.

Inclusivity statement

United Nations Volunteers is an equal opportunity programme that welcomes applications from qualified professionals. We are committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, care protected characteristics. As part of their adherence to the values of UNV, all UN Volunteers commit themselves to combat any form of discrimination, and to promoting respect for human rights and individual dignity, without distinction of a person’s race, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age, language, social origin or other status.

Note on Covid-19 vaccination requirements

Selected candidates for certain occupational groups may be subject to inoculation (vaccination) requirements, including against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) in line with the applicable host entity policy

To apply for this job please visit app.unv.org.