International Court of Justice

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Current vacancies

Post title Reference Grade Date Deadline

Deadline for applications : 28 May 2017
Post title : Principal Legal Secretary
Grade : D-1
Reference : 2017/5
Duty Station : International Court of Justice, The Hague, Netherlands
Organizational Unit : Department of Legal Matters
Remuneration : US$123,696.61


The successful candidate will head the Registry’s Department of Legal Matters, which consists of eight other lawyers and an administrative assistant working under his/her direct supervision, and 15 legal officers serving as law clerks to Members of the Court. He/she will report to and work under the supervision of the Registrar. The incumbent will assist the Court in its judicial activity and provide other legal assistance to Members of the Court and the Registrar. His/her specific responsibilities will include:

  • supervising the preparation of judicial texts, including preparatory documents for the Court’s deliberations, in English and French at all drafting stages, in liaison with the Court’s translation services;
  • supervising the preparation of and attending the Court’s meetings, and supervising the preparation of the minutes;
  • supervising the preparation of hearings, in collaboration with the Information Department;
  • preparing the schedule of the Court’s work;
  • providing secretarial assistance, as required, to committees of the Court, in particular drafting committees, with other members of the Department assigned to the case;
  • ensuring that the First Secretaries of the Court have the means and support required to successfully carry out, under optimal conditions, their respective tasks assisting the judicial work of the Court;
  • assigning tasks, as appropriate, to other members of the Department, notably the First Secretaries and Secretaries of the Court, ensuring an even workload and checking regularly that such tasks are completed satisfactorily;
  • supervising the work of the secretaries of the Rules Committee;
  • preparing case-related and all other diplomatic correspondence;
  • giving opinions on various judicial and legal questions and conducting legal research;
  • ensuring effective co-ordination between the Department of Legal Matters and the Registry’s other departments and divisions;
  • preparing any data needed for the Court’s budgetary requests relating to the activities of the Department;
  • taking an active part in recruitment procedures, as required;
  • carrying out the administrative and management tasks necessary for the functioning of the Department.

Basic requirements

  • Advanced degree in law, with a specialization in public international law;
  • a minimum of 15 years’ professional experience in the practice of public international law and international dispute resolution;
  • excellent knowledge of the jurisprudence and procedure of the International Court of Justice;
  • proven drafting skills;
  • proven management and supervisory abilities in a multilingual and multicultural environment.
  • Languages

    English and French are the two official languages of the Court. An excellent command of English or French and thorough working knowledge of the other language is required.


    Depending on professional background, experience and family situation, a competitive compensation and benefits package is offered.

    The Court’s salaries are calculated in US dollars but paid in euros. They consist of a basic salary and a post adjustment which reflects the cost of living in the Netherlands and the euro/dollar exchange rate.

    In addition, the Court offers an attractive benefits package including 30 days of annual leave, home travel every two years, an education grant for dependent children, a pension plan* and subsidized medical insurance*.


    How to apply

    Applicants are requested to complete a United Nations Personal History Form (P.11 — see link below) and to write a cover letter; both documents should be saved in PDF format and sent to the e-mail address below.

    The selected candidate may be subject to a security clearance, including verification of the information provided in the application and a criminal record check. All candidates should be in a position to submit an electronic copy of their passport and of all diplomas listed on their profile when requested.

    Candidates should send their application by e-mail to the Registrar of the Court, clearly indicating the vacancy announcement number.


    Only applications from candidates under serious consideration will be acknowledged.

    The Registrar reserves the right not to appoint any candidate to the post, or to appoint one at a lower level or on the basis of a modified post description.

    *Contributions deducted from salary.

    United Nations Personal History Form (P.11)
    United Nations Salaries, Allowances, Benefits and Job Classification website