Head, Office of Legal Affairs (OLA)

Incumbents will have the unique opportunity to contribute to the development and growth of a dynamic intergovernmental organisation.

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Our Mission

The OSC: The Organisation of Southern Cooperation (OSC) is an international intergovernmental Organisation, founded in January 2020 by countries from across the Global South, to “contribute to the equitable, just, and prosperous social transformation of societies by promoting balanced and inclusive education, in order to attain the fundamental rights to liberty, justice, dignity, sustainability, social cohesion, and material and immaterial security for the peoples of the world”.

The position is located within the Office of Legal Affairs (OLA), under the Executive Office of the Secretary-General (EOSG), and collaborates closely with relevant OSC stakeholders, including all OSC departments, to ensure legal compliance in the implementation of programmes, dispute prevention and resolution, and to advise on all agreements entered into by the Organisation.

General Description

Under the overall authority of the Secretary-General and reporting to the Chief of Staff, the Head of the Office of Legal Affairs (H/OLA) is responsible for providing comprehensive legal counsel, guidance, and support to OSC, as well as supervise the staff of the OLA. This role is instrumental in ensuring the legal compliance of OSC’s operations with applicable frameworks in preservation of the Organisation’s interests.

Essential Job Functions

Legal Advisory:

  • Provide expert legal advice and guidance to the Secretary-General on a wide range of legal matters, including public international law;
  • Offer legal counsel on questions arising from OSC’s Constitutive Charter, Headquarters Agreement, General Convention on Privileges and Immunities, regulations, and rules to the Secretary-General and to the Governing Bodies;
  • Review and advise on draft resolutions of the Governing Bodies to ensure consistency with constitutional, procedural, and other relevant frameworks of the Organisation.

Contractual Arrangements:

  • Develop standardised contract and agreement templates and guidelines to streamline contracting processes;
  • Prepare and review substantive agreements, including but not limited to memoranda of understanding and partnership and project agreements;
  • Ensure that contracts adhere to international legal standards and are compliant with relevant regulations.

Dispute Prevention and Resolution:

  • Develop standardised agreement clauses, guidelines, and strategies aimed at dispute prevention;
  • Lead and coordinate efforts to resolve legal disputes involving the Organisation;
  • Advise on alternative dispute resolution methods, such as arbitration and mediation, to efficiently handle potential conflicts.

International Agreements:

  • Participate in the negotiation of international agreements, conventions, and treaties on behalf of the Organisation;
  • Ensure that agreements are aligned with the Organisation’s mission, governing body resolutions, and other obligations;
  • Collaborate with relevant stakeholders to facilitate the implementation of and compliance with international agreements;
  • Discharge depositary functions for multilateral treaties on behalf of the Secretary-General.

Policy and Process Development:

  • Review and enhance the Organisation’s policies and procedures to ensure legal compliance;
  • Contribute to legal training and awareness programmes for staff to promote understanding and adherence to Organisational policies;
  • Advise on legal aspects related to human resources, finance, and procurement policies.

Team Management:

  • Provide leadership and direction to the Office of Legal Affairs within the EOSG, promoting a collaborative and efficient work environment;
  • Supervise a team of legal professionals, ensuring their continued development and growth;
  • Allocate resources effectively to meet the Organisation’s legal needs.

Administrative Management:

  • Oversee the effective and efficient handling of administrative tasks within the Office of Legal Affairs, including budgeting, reporting, and resource allocation;
  • Maintain accurate records and documentation related to legal matters;
  • Coordinate legal support services, such as notary services and document authentication.

Legal Representation:

  • Represent the Organisation in proceedings, negotiations, and interactions of a legal nature with external entities;
  • Collaborate with external legal counsel and maintain a network of legal experts for specialised matters;
  • Safeguard the Organisation’s legal interests in all interactions.

Compliance and Risk Management:

  • Conduct regular compliance assessments to identify and mitigate legal risks;
  • Develop risk management strategies tailored to the Organisation’s unique international context;
  • Provide guidance on compliance with international laws and regulations relevant to the Organisation’s operations.

Support for Administrative Review:

  • Collaborate closely with the Department of Administration to ensure legal compliance in administrative processes;
  • Review and provide legal input on various documents, including employment contracts, procurement agreements, financial reports, and service contracts.

Education, Experience and Qualifications

  • Preferably Juris Doctor (JD) degree from an accredited institution with active bar membership, with a preference for membership in a bar association.

Required:

  • Minimum of 10 years of relevant legal experience;
  • Demonstrated experience advising senior management of international organisations on complex legal matters;
  • Strong analytical skills and ability to translate complex legal concepts into practical processes;
  • Relationship-building and communication skills;
  • Legal expertise in areas including compliance, contract management, employment law, corporate governance, risk mitigation, intellectual property, and project management;
  • Project management skills;
  • Teamwork and client service skills;
  • Adaptability and flexibility;
  • Technical proficiency in software such as Outlook, Word and PowerPoint;
  • Administrative self-sufficiency.

Desired:

  • Prior experience working with intergovernmental organisations.
  • Proficiency in other OSC official languages, namely Arabic, French and/or Spanish;
  • Prior experience working with intergovernmental organisations.
  • Demonstrated professional competence and expertise in international law and legal affairs;
  • Outstanding interpersonal, diplomatic, and cross-cultural communication skills;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills;
  • Strong ability to multitask, prioritise, and meet tight deadlines with meticulous attention to detail;
  • Ability to work effectively under pressure;
  • Cross-cultural sensitivity and ability to navigate complex international legal landscapes.
  • English, proficiency in other OSC official languages, namely Arabic, French and/or Spanish is desirable.

Apply

Qualified and interested candidates can apply for this position by sending their resume and cover letter to [email protected] and cc [email protected] with the subject line “Head, Office of Legal Affairs.”

This is a full-time position.

Female applicants are highly encouraged to apply.

Applications will be reviewed as they are received and until the position is filled.

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