Principal Officer Legal Services & Research

JOB TITLE Principal Officer Legal Services & Research
ANNUAL SALARY UA66, 123.98, USD104, 330.42


Applications should be sent to:



Under the supervision of the Director, Research and Documentation, the incumbent shall undertake legal research and analysis, write legal opinions and report on various issues pertaining to the judicial work of the Court and its day-to-day functioning, while providing legal support to the Staff and other services of the Court, as required.





·     Lead the Research team in conducting legal research and analysis on assigned cases, monitor staff performance  and ensure quality of work and output delivery within prescribed deadlines;

·     Identify and apply motivational incentives and innovative research methodologies, while providing guidance and leadership throughout the research process, from conceptualization, through data collection and analysis to the writing of sound legal opinions, comprehensive contract and partnership agreements, and rigorous academic paper presentations;

·     Design and Initiate projects and programs on research tools development, including thematic reports, legal texts collection, index of jurisprudence, practice guides and literature review within the ambit of the Court’s mandate and jurisdiction;

·     Contribute to the development and implementation of legal research strategies, policies, guidelines and procedures, in accordance with statutory requirements, international standards and professional best practices;

·     Provide regular performance feedback to the Director and share relevant information with the Research team, as appropriate;

·     Preparing budget submissions, developing annual procurement and work plans, securing necessary approvals, monitoring implementation and ensuring regular performance reporting.


·     Study and advise on the rules, practice and jurisprudence of the Court;

·     Undertake and supervise legal research and analysis on pending cases before the Court;

·     Draft legal briefs and opinions on various legal issues of Community interest;

·     Produce thematic reports and a subject-matter Index of the jurisprudence of the Court;

·     Prepare and review draft contracts and partnership agreements involving the Court;

·     Provide legal advice and support in respect of staff career management in accordance with the ECOWAS Staff Regulations;

·     Produce academic papers and presentations on the practice and jurisprudence of the Court;

·     Provide legal support and advice to the Staff and other services of the Court, as required;

·     Prepare the draft annual budget and work program of the Research and Legal Service;

·     Assist the Director in the management and coordination of the Research and Legal Service;

·     Assist and Represent the Director, as required, in meetings and work sessions of both statutory and ad hoc committees;

·     Report to the Director on all official activities and tasks performed;

·     Perform any other task as may be assigned.



·     Master’s degree (or equivalent) in law, with a specialization in Human Rights and Humanitarian Laws, International Law, Administrative or economic law from a recognized University;

·     10 years of progressively responsible experience in administrative law or related areas including 2 years relevant international work and 5 years at a supervisory level;

·     knowledge of ECOWAS regulations and rules, policies, procedures and operations;

·     demonstrated professional competence and mastery of administrative law and judicial procedures and ability to review and edit the work of others and manage the functioning of an office and its staff members;

·     strong analytical skills and ability to conduct comprehensive legal research on a range of issues including those of a unique or complex nature;

·     professional experience in legal representation and practice, including legal research, analysis and writing of court processes within the judicial system, in a law firm or a legal office of an intergovernmental organization, a state agency or a human rights NGO;

·     Excellent knowledge of international law and ability to apply legal expertise in analyzing complex legal issues and developing innovative legal solutions;

·     Knowledge of the practice and procedure of international Courts and Tribunals;

·     Knowledge of Legal issues arising out of regional integration processes and international and regional mechanisms on the promotion and protection of human rights;

·     Strong drafting skills and ability to prepare sound legal briefs, submissions and opinions;


Be below 50 years old. This provision does not apply to internal candidates.


·    ability to lead in assigned programs 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;

·        ability to respect chain of command in an appropriate manner;

·    excellent self-management skills, demonstrating ethics and integrity, confidentiality 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.

•   ability to be diplomatic, tactful 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 managing conflict regardless of cultural differences /positions, gender differences, and encourage other staff to overcome cultural and gender bias and  differences;

•     ability and responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work;

•   ability to serve the interest of culturally diverse multinational teams/organizations/communities and persons with disability without prejudice and bias.

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

•     knowledge of the ECOWAS mandate, strategic plan/priorities as well as the economic, political and social situation and trends in member states, 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 ECOWAS rules and procedures in order to appropriately interpret and apply directive text, provide technical advice, coach others and assess performance.

·       ability to analyze a situation by using indicators to assess the costs, benefits, risks, and chances for success, in making  decisions;

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

•     ability to break down very complex situations/information into simple terms  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 or disconnects where established methods and procedures are inapplicable or no longer effective.

•   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 and editing skills;

·      exhibit active listening skills to encourage stronger communication amongst  team members, to show care and make them feel valued and to  drive employee engagement in all institutions and agencies;

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

·         proficiency in  information communication technologies(ICT);

·         Fluency in oral and written expressions in one of the ECOWAS official languages of the Community (English, French & Portuguese). Knowledge of an additional one will be an added advantage.

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

•   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 use participatory approach in project planning and 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, control resources, and to comply with policies, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals.


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