International Staff ,NATO HQ
The Office of Legal Affairs (OLA) at NATO headquarters in Brussels is an Independent Office within the International Staff (IS). It is responsible for providing advice and other legal services to the Secretary General, the IS, the North Atlantic Council and other NATO Committees. From time to time, OLA also advises a number of NATO subsidiary bodies, including Agencies, as well as the NATO Allies directly. OLA is also mandated to represent the wider legal interests of the whole Organization, including by improving legal coordination across different NATO bodies, by advising on the most complex or sensitive legal issues impacting Allies, and in representation before the Administrative Tribunal on cross-cutting legal issues.
OLA advises its clients on all legal matters – domestic and international - impacting the responsibilities, functions, operations and other activities of NATO. The work covers a broad spectrum. At one end, it advises on high-profile and fast-paced international defence and security matters, helps develop associated policy, and facilitates the reaching of consensus amongst allies on strategic legal issues. It also negotiates and drafts international treaties, litigates (externally as well as before the NATO Administrative Tribunal), advises on privileges and immunities, and works on other administrative law matters typical of a large international organization. OLA works closely with legal colleagues across the NATO enterprise and within Allies’ capitals.
The incumbent, who will essentially perform the role of Deputy General Counsel, will be expected to have excellent legal knowledge and skills in all fields of relevance to the Organization. S/he will work independently to a wide and demanding portfolio, help manage the day-to-day running of the office as well as supervise junior lawyers, provide continuity to the office and clients, and serve as the acting Legal Adviser whenever necessary. S/he will be expected to manage and contribute to the whole range of legal issues and activities handled by OLA, to possess excellent analytical and people skills, and to appreciate the relationship between legal and policy issues.
Key Challenges for the next few years include:
#1. Build and develop the OLA legal function in line with client needs;
#2. Facilitate legal coordination across the NATO Enterprise;
#3. Develop NATO into a key forum for Allies’ legal discussions on defence and security matters, including EDTs;
#4. Develop an improved knowledge management system.
The incumbent must possess:
The following would be considered an advantage:
Vision and Direction
Support the Legal Advisor in developing, communicating and implementing a vision for the future development of the Office to face upcoming challenges in an ever-changing environment. Champion change and federate the OLA team around common objectives, ensuring that vision guides its mid and long-term programme of work. Act as a role model of inclusive leadership and promote resilience, flexibility and innovation.
Apply knowledge and experience to identify the legal implications/interpretation of internal rules and regulations as required, and ensure correct application of such expertise. Follow major activities in the field of international law of other international organisations, international or national courts and apply, where appropriate, to the activities of the Office. Maintain up-to-date knowledge of legal publications and jurisprudence in the fields relevant to the work of OLA
Analyse the legal questions affecting the Organization and NATO-led operations under international and applicable national law, including host nation law. Assist or represent OLA, as required, in the preparation, discussion and finalisation of legal documents to be produced at OLA
Provide advice to senior personnel of the Organization on legal issues related to all assigned fields of work. Assist in, conduct or supervise the preparatory work for the defence of the Organization before any internal or external Board/Tribunal, in co-ordination with the defence of other subsidiary bodies as well as military Headquarters if required. Maintain and develop contacts NATO-wide, including with NATO member Nations, as well as with external legal offices.
Representation of the organization
Represent OLA or act on behalf of the Legal Adviser in meetings of relevant Committees, Task Forces, Boards, Panels and Working Groups. Represent the Office of the Legal Adviser at seminars, conferences or other gatherings as required. Represent OLA and act on behalf of the Legal Adviser, as required, in legal cases or any other legal issues, within the Organisation, as well as vis-à-vis member Nations, in particular the Host nation, and non-NATO member Nations.
Produce legal texts, internal memoranda and other legal documents independently. Give briefings, lectures and other presentations on the legal aspects of NATO related subjects, within and outside of NATO. Ensure that all the procedures for the Information Management are aligned with the overall objectives of OLA
Develop policies to support NATO’s objectives and anticipate the legal implications of policy decisions, as assigned.
Prepare and manage project work as required in OLA, ensuring deliverables are attainable, guiding progress and identifying risks as well as undertake contingency planning.
As assigned supervise and manage the other staff or teams in OLA. Cultivate a motivating, inclusive and effective workplace. Provide in-depth mentoring, coaching and training opportunities and be available to offer guidance at critical moment. Ensure that all staff under her/his responsibility are clear on Organizational, divisional, Directorate, and Service objectives. Provide regular and fair feedback on performance, informally as appropriate and via the HQ Performance Review and Development (PRD) system. Identify possible development and mobility opportunities for individuals. Contribute information to the Establishment Committee and make recommendations for contract renewal or conversion decisions with the best interests if the Organization in mind. Participate in recruitment procedures for vacant posts in the Service in accordance with NATO recruitment guidelines.
Financial Management Prepare submissions and develop implementation of financial plans and budgets to meet OLA goals and objectives. Ensure that expenditure of allocated funds is in line with objectives set for OLA.
Continuously identify and implement systems and structural changes to improve workflow and productivity of OLA. Supervise the administrative functioning of OLA.
Planning and Execution
As assigned, allocate work and supervise execution of work assignments and manage teams in OLA ensuring implementation to achieve overall objectives. Serve as Acting Legal Adviser in the Legal Adviser's absence or in the event of vacancy. Perform any other related duty as assigned.
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