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Legal Adviser Advisory Service

Requisition ID:  17532
Region:  Europe (HQ)
Contract type:  Open-ended contract

What we do


The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) works worldwide to provide humanitarian assistance to people affected by conflict and armed violence. We take action in response to emergencies and at the same time promote respect for international humanitarian law. We are an independent and neutral organization, and our mandate stems essentially from the Geneva Conventions of 1949. We work closely with National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and with their International Federation in order to ensure a concerted, rational and rapid humanitarian response to the needs of the victims of armed conflict or any other situation of internal violence. We direct and coordinate the international activities conducted in these situations.

Purpose of this Position


Based in Geneva, the Advisory Service legal adviser acts as a global expert, within the ICRC’s Advisory Service on International Humanitarian Law (IHL), on the promotion and implementation of IHL and other relevant norms. More specifically, they contribute to ICRC efforts aimed at creating an environment conducive to the respect for the law, through the promotion of a comprehensive domestic legal framework to fulfil obligations of States under IHL treaties and other relevant international instruments and norms. In coordination with the Service’s network of field-based legal advisers, they also support ICRC’s dialogue with regional and national authorities, including on priority thematic issues.

Reports to (role)


Head of Advisory Service on IHL



Internally interacts with other Units within the Legal Division, and other relevant departments/units at HQ and delegations.


  • Externally interacts with influential State representatives, international organizations (including weapons treaty secretariats), International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement partners, IHL experts, and others as relevant.

General duties


  • Understands and adheres to the seven Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
  • Understands and adheres to the ICRC Code of Conduct
  • Understands the roles of the components of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
  • Respects and observes staff regulations and security rules at all times
  • Represents the ICRC in a professional manner at all times
  • Develops and maintains a pleasant and conducive working environment with colleagues and line managers
  • Performs all duties with the highest level of confidentiality in the interest of the employees and the ICRC
  • May be asked to perform tasks not covered in this job description and to provide support to other departments when necessary


Accountabilities & Responsabilities : Part I


  • Acts as the focal point for the Advisory Service’s work in Europe and Central Asia:
    • In support of field-based legal advisers, provides expert advice and technical assistance addressed to governments and other entities in this region on adherence to relevant treaties and the adoption of appropriate national legal and administrative measures and policies.
    • Support ICRC-wide and regional objectives aimed at enhancing participation in IHL and other relevant treaties from States in the region.
    • Develops and maintains a regional overview of legal priorities and objectives in the region.
    • Monitors the implementation of the Regional Legal Strategy.
  • Acts as a methodological and strategic adviser and support for the legal teams based in Europe and Central Asia:
    • Supports the work of Regional Legal Advisers based in the region.
    • Mentors new colleagues in the team and provides them with the necessary onboarding.
    • Works towards ensuring diversity within the legal teams in the region.
    • Coordinates with the Humanitarian Affairs adviser in the Policy division on engagement strategies in the region.

Accountabilities & Responsabilities: Part II


  • In coordination with the Arms and Conduct of Hostilities unit within the ICRC’s Legal Division, acts as an expert on the universalization of weapons-related treaties and on the implementation of legal obligations related to weapons within domestic legislation:
    • Leads a strategy on promoting accession to weapons-related treaties, with the goal to reaching their universalization, including by identifying, together with delegations and with the ICRC NYC delegation, priorities at regional and multilateral levels.
    • Drafts supporting material related to universalization of such treaties, for instance ratification kits and factsheets.
    • Drives the strategy and supports colleagues in the field on the implementation within the domestic legal frameworks of weapons-related obligations and recommendations, such as the implementation of obligations arising from the APMBC or CCM, or the adoption of arms transfer regulations compliant with international law.
  • Supports the legal adviser in London and the London delegation on the relationship with the Commonwealth Secretariat and takes a strong role in the organization of regular events with the Commonwealth Secretariat and British Red Cross (as a result of their MOU) , such as the Commonwealth Red Cross and Red Crescent Conference on IHL and the meeting of representatives of National IHL Committees of Commonwealth countries.
  • Also works on supporting the national implementation of additional thematic files, as needed.
  • Organizes, conducts and participates in expert workshops, national or regional conferences and courses on topics related to IHL or other relevant norms applicable during armed conflict.

Background & Experience required


  • Advanced university degree in law, trained in either common law or civil law, with confirmed expertise in public international law and national law of at least one country.    
  • Excellent knowledge of IHL (specialization / master degree or equivalent / publications)
  • Good knowledge of domestic legal frameworks and structures, and understanding of the legal and political challenges related to the implementation of IHL and other relevant norms.
  • Working experience in government and/or the judiciary, as well as experience in drafting of legal documents and technical cooperation in the field of national implementation of international law an asset
  • Knowledge of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement an asset

Desired Profile & Skills


  • Perfect fluency in English required, working knowledge of French and other languages an advantage.
  • Effective and clear communication and excellent analytical skills.
  • Representation skills, sense of diplomacy.
  • Facility in interpersonal relations and networking.
  • Ability to work as part of a team.
  • Autonomy and motivation, with sense of responsibility.
  • Capacity to think strategically and creatively
  • Excellent organizational and planning skills, result-oriented and capacity to deliver.

Additional information

  • Type of role: long term assignment
  • Working rate: 100%
  • Starting date: 18.10.2021
  • Location: Geneva
  • Length of assignment: 48 months
  • Application deadline: 15.08.2021