Principal Legal Officer Litigation and Internal Matters

24 Mar, 2019
JOB TITLE Principal Legal Officer Litigation and Internal Matters
ANNUAL SALARY UA 66,123.98 USD 104,330.42
SUPERVISING – Legal Officers, Litigation

– Legal Officers, Internal Matters


ROLE OVERVIEW – Under the supervision of the Director, Legal Affairs, the Principal Legal Adviser, Internal Matters and Litigation will undertake legal advisory and dispute resolution roles and responsibilities and provide day-to-day legal support to the administrative functions of the ECOWAS Commission, its Agencies and Representative Offices as follows:



  •  Prepare legal opinions and advise on next steps in respect of internal and external claims.
  •  Carrie out thorough investigations with a view to gathering facts, other information and documents required for prosecution or defense of matters involving the Commission, its agencies and special representative offices.
  • Prepare and Reviews Court and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) processes.
  • Represent the Commission, its agencies and special representative offices in prosecution or defense of cases in court/ADR.
  • Liaise with external counsel to ensure adequate representation of the Commission, its agencies and special representative offices in all dispute resolution proceedings.
  • Assist the Director, Legal Affairs in the implementation of mechanisms for updating Management of progress in respect of litigation and ADR.
  • Assist the Director, Legal Affairs in initiating and representing the Commission, its agencies and special representative offices in out-of-court settlement negotiations as required.
  •  Ensure the implementation of court decisions and the awards/outcomes of arbitration/ADR proceedings.
  • Review, drafts and renews Service contract agreements arising from the procurement process;
  • Provide contract management of Service Contracts in consultation with the procurement unit and the user department.
  • Provide legal advice and support to the Human Resources directorate in respect of compliance with the ECOWAS Staff Regulations.
  • Advise the service directorates on legal aspects of administrative and internal control policy and procedure.
  • Represent the Director, Legal Affairs in committees where he is a statutory member or participant e.g. Recruitment Committee, Procurement Committee and staff disciplinary committee.
  • Represent the Director, Legal Affairs performing his duties in ad-hoc committees.
  • Prepare programs relating to legal and judicial policy harmonization of the community as conceived by the Director, Legal Affairs and assists in the monitoring of their implementation.
  • Prepare the draft budget of the Legal Affairs directorate and assists the Director, Legal Affairs in presenting same to Management.
  • Perform any other task assigned by his/her supervisor.



  • Master’s degree (or equivalent ) in law with a specialization in international , administrative or commercial or in a closely related field from a recognized university of recognized standing;
  • 10 years progressive experience in practice of Law, including Legal Analysis, research and writing with experience as a lawyer in the Legal Office of an intergovernmental organization or government with a minimum of 5years in a supervisory role;
  • Knowledge of international Law and ability to apply legal expertise in analyzing a diverse range of complex and unusual legal issues and problems and in developing innovative and creative solutions;
  • Excellent knowledge of Legal issues relating to the functions, structure and activities of international organization;
  • Knowledge and skill of comprehensive legal research on a range of issues including those of a unique and /or complex nature with a proficiency in Legal writing and ability to prepare legal briefs, opinion, or legal submissions and a variety of legal instruments and related documents.



•     ability to lead in assigned programmes and projects by providing the necessary managerial and operational expertise required for the fulfillment of the organization’s mandate

•     ability to lead by example and organize teamwork to encourage cooperation to achieve targeted results, champion and build momentum for change and to bring about employee engagement; develops and implements internal controls for pilot program to manage potential barriers to implementation;

•     excellent self-management skills, demonstrating ethics and integrity and displaying due regards for internal controls of rules, delegations and transparency;

•     ability to bring together complementary skills/expertise, assess individual contributions and recognize/address accomplishments and shortcomings in a manner that brings continued success to the organization;

•     Knowledge of program management at the level usually acquired from a certification in program management.

•     ability to research benchmarks and trends to bring about the best recommendations for the development and improvement of programs/projects that will best serve the community/organization;

•     well-developed networking and interpersonal skills to seek feedback, information and data from a network of professionals from multiple countries/sectors/organizations and to identify and prioritize the most critical community requirements;

•     ability to manage and co-ordinate client management initiatives   and make recommendations;

•     ability to develop and implement best practices in client services ;

•     ability to develop and implement stakeholder management plans, programs and initiatives to obtain buy-in on new initiatives, to better understand dissenting views, to obtain resources and to increase perceptions of success.

•   diplomacy, tact and respect of other people from varied backgrounds, understanding diverse cultural views especially within west Africa with the ability to convert diversity into opportunities to improve program/operational outcomes;

•   ability to create a diverse and inclusive interactive environment that benefits from diverse strengths bringing together innovative practices;

•   ability to remain objective in appraisals, evaluations and in managing conflict regardless of cultural differences positions or opinions, and encourages staff to overcome cultural barriers and background differences;

•   ability to serve the interest of a culturally diverse multinational teams/organizations/communities some disabled group without prejudice, bias or sympathy to a select group.

•     solid understanding of the ECOWAS organizational structure, associated dynamics and expectations as required to collaborate, participate, contribute and lead effectively;

•      knowledge of the Community mandate, strategic plan/priorities as well as the economic, political and social state/trends of member states, especially as pertains to own scope of work;

•     knowledge of ECOWAS best practices, program management approaches and research techniques to lead and/or contribute to the development or assessment of programs, projects or initiatives;

•      Knowledge of the rules and procedures of ECOWAS in order to appropriately interpret and apply directive text, provide technical advice, coach others and assess performance.

•     ability to analyze a situation by way of indicators (e.g. performance, technical) to assess the costs, benefits, risks, and chances for success, in making a decisions;

•     ability to pull together information from different sources to identify the source of problems, consequences of alternative courses of action, potential obstacles and ways to avoid the problem in the future;

•     ability to break down very complex situations/information into simple terms (using charts, diagrams, effective expository writing) to explain recommendations and conclusions aimed at solving problems or improving operations/programs/projects;

•     ability to develop new insights into situations, apply innovative solutions to problems and to design new methods of addressing issues/disconnects where established methods and procedures are inapplicable, unavailable or no longer effective.

•     Fluency in one of the three official languages of ECOWAS (English, French, Portuguese) knowledge of an additional language will be an advantage;

•   ability to communicate with impact, clearly and concisely in a succinct and organized manner

conveying credibility & confidence when making presentations, setting expectations and

explaining complex issues;

•   ability to listen intently and correctly interpret messages from others and respond appropriately;

•   accomplished technical writing skills (e.g. proposals, terms of reference, program assessments, blueprints, business processes) with well-developed editing;

•   ability to give honest feedback, provide recognition, address shortcomings and motivate direct reports to work at peak performance.

•   Superior organizational and project/program management skills with significant experience identifying timelines, targets, costs and resources necessary to deliver on operational/program/project outputs;

•   ability to set effective goals and targets for self, others, and the work unit and adjusting work or project priorities in response to changing circumstances;

•   ability to identify gaps affecting the achievement of program/project expectations and to design and implement intervention plans required to build the desired task;

•   ability to implement rigorous monitoring, and evaluation practices and to set in place regular reporting schedules relevant to key outputs;

•   ability to plan, organize, and control resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals

APPLICATIONS SHOULD BE SENT TO: b1LitigatInternP@ecowas.int














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