Vacancy Notice N° e83/2013
Director of Legal Advice and Public International Law (Grade A6)
Directorate of Legal Advice and Public International Law

Closing date: 23 April 2013
Location : Strasbourg

Job mission

Under the authority of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, the incumbent will provide leadership to, and ensure efficient management of the Directorate of Legal Advice and Public International Law, in compliance with Council of Europe values and priorities. 

Key activities

The incumbent will ensure the following duties:

  • Co-operates with the Secretary General in defining the major objectives of the Directorate;
  • Provides background legal information and legal advice to the Secretary General and, when appropriate, to major administrative entities, the Committee of Ministers and other Council of Europe institutions and instances;
  • Contributes to the planning, implementation and assessment of intergovernmental co-operation activities in the field of international law;
  • Provides the Secretariat to the Advisory Panel of Experts on candidates for election as Judge to the European Court of Human Rights;
  • Provides legal assistance to the competent major administrative entities in the preparation of draft conventions, memorandums of understanding, agreements or recommendations and participates in procedures leading to their adoption;
  • Ensures the legal management of treaties and of partial and/or enlarged agreements concluded with the Council of Europe; prepares the ceremonies for the signature, ratification or accession to treaties; registers all legal documents received by the Treaty Office and disseminates information concerning Council of Europe treaties;
  • Exchanges and shares information and experience with the Legal Advisors of International Organisations, in particular of the Co-Ordinated Organisations, and co-ordinates the work of the Committee of Legal Advisers on Public International Law (CAHDI);
  • Drafts responses to administrative complaints and participates, on behalf of the Secretary General, in proceedings before the Disciplinary Board and the Administrative Tribunal;
  • Provides direction and manages human and financial resources under his/her authority:
    • leads and motivates staff in the Directorate;
    • facilitates internal communication and fosters co-operation, team spirit and a harmonious working environment with a view to increased efficiency;
  • Represents the Council of Europe in matters concerning the Directorate;
  • Promotes Council of Europe values internally and externally.

Eligibility Requirements

Employee Core Values


·         Vision of international affairs: vision and strategic insight; awareness of the international political, economic, social and cultural context; organisational awareness.

·         Managerial skills: leadership; management of teams, resources, processes and projects; coaching of others; influence and authority.

·         Professional and technical competencies: 

o   qualifications: university degree in law. Knowledge of  public international law would be an advantage;

o   professional experience: at least 12 years of relevant professional experience in the legal field, in the context of international organisations ;

o   conceptual thinking at a strategic level;

o   ability to analyse and resolve complex legal questions.

·         Interpersonal skills: relationship-building and networking at the political, diplomatic and administrative levels, negotiating skills. 

·         Communication and linguistic skills: highly-developed and persuasive communication skills; very good knowledge of one of the two official languages of the Council of Europe (English and French) and good knowledge of the other.

·         Personal attitudes: initiative and responsibility; result orientation and concern for continuous improvement; concern for quality and efficiency; adaptability; self-management and development; organisational alignment.

·         Personal values: integrity; loyalty; commitment and conscience; discretion; independence and confidence; respect for diversity.

Additional information

The Organisation


The Council of Europe is a political organisation founded in 1949 in order to promote greater unity between its members. It now numbers 47 member States. The Organisation’s main aims are to promote democracy, human rights and the rule of law, and to develop common responses to political, social, cultural and legal challenges in its member States. Since 1989 it has integrated most of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and supported them in their efforts to implement and consolidate their reforms.


The Council of Europe has its permanent headquarters in Strasbourg (France). By Statute, it has two constituent organs: the Committee of Ministers, composed of the member States’ Ministers for Foreign Affairs, and the Parliamentary Assembly, comprising delegations from the national parliaments. The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe represents the entities of local and regional self-government within the member States.


The European Court of Human Rights is the judicial body competent to adjudicate complaints brought against a state by individuals, associations or other contracting states on grounds of violation of the European Convention on Human Rights.




Applications must be made in English or French using the Council of Europe on-line application system. By connecting to our website you can create and submit your on-line application. Applications must be submitted at the latest 23 April 2013 (midnight Central European Time). 


Only those candidates who are considered to best match the requirements of the job vacancy will be selected for the next stage of the recruitment procedure.


After the preliminary selection has been made, candidates for senior management posts (grades A6 and A7) at the Council of Europe will be subject to a competency assessment.


Candidates may be invited to attend interviews. 


The appointed candidate must be a national of a Council of Europe member State. In accordance with the Staff Regulations of the Council of Europe, staff shall retire on reaching the age of 65.


A summary of the employment conditions applicable to this type of post and information on the living and working environment in Strasbourg are set out below.


Under its equal opportunities policy, the Council of Europe is aiming to achieve parity in the number of women and men employed in each category and grade. In the event of equal merit, preference will therefore be given to the applicant belonging to the under-represented sex.


The Council of Europe welcomes applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, irrespective of gender, disability, marital or parental status, racial, ethnic or social origin, colour, religion, belief or sexual orientation.


During the different stages of the recruitment procedure, specific measures may be taken to ensure equal opportunities for candidates with disabilities.

Summary of Conditions of Employment and the living and working environment in Strasbourg referring to appointments to posts of Director (Grade A6)[1].


1.       Appointment

In accordance with Article 25 of the Regulations on Appointments, should an external candidate be selected, he/she will be appointed on an initial two-year contract, constituting a probationary period. If, after the probationary period, the staff member is confirmed in his/her post, the appointment will be extended for one or more periods varying in length between one and five years. According to the same provision, should an internal candidate be selected, he/she will be initially appointed for a trial period of two years. During this period, staff so appointed shall retain their previous grade but be paid a monthly basic salary which corresponds to the remuneration they would have received if they had been promoted to the grade concerned. If the staff member is confirmed in his/her post at the end of the trial period, he/she shall be promoted retroactively and re-appointed for three years. At the end of the period of five years, he/she shall be either kept in post, or assigned to another post at the same grade.


2.       Salary and allowances (gross)


Basic monthly rate:                                                                                                         11 092,00 € 

Monthly rate, plus household allowance for dependent spouse and/or children:                11 757,52 €


In addition, the following allowances may be payable as appropriate:


i.        expatriation allowance of 10% of the monthly rate shown above;


ii.                    dependent child's allowance (current rate 319,52 € per child per month) plus 89,45 € per child expatriate supplement, where appropriate;


The salaries and allowances are not subject to income tax in any member State.


3.       Pension 


Compulsory contributions to the staff pension scheme (employee contribution 9,3 % of basic salary) secure entitlement on termination of employment, if less than 10 years service, to a severance grant equivalent to 2,25 times the rate of contribution as applied to the last annual salary per year of service (part-years are calculated pro rata). For staff having spent more than 10 years with the Organisation, the pension will amount to 2% of the last basic salary for each year of service.


4.       Social insurance 


Employees are covered by a private insurance scheme (covering accident, sickness, maternity, invalidity and death) which entails contributions of approximately 3% of basic salary.


5.       Leave 


32 working days of annual leave plus, for staff considered as expatriates, 4 days' home leave per year with passage paid every two years.


6.       Removals and Settling in 


Staff members recruited from a distance exceeding 100 km from their place of duty, are entitled to payment of their removals and reimbursement of their travel expenses at the beginning and at the end of their employment. They are also entitled to a settling-in allowance upon taking up their duties. These entitlements are subject to certain conditions.


7.              Schooling


For information on international education, you can consult the website of the “Ville de Strasbourg”: 



8.             Working conditions for family members


Your dependants will have the right to a “titre de séjour spécial” (special residence permit), valid for as long as you work for the Organisation. The “special residence permit” allows the holder to enter France and to circulate freely in the Schengen zone. However, it does not grant any right to work in France. Should one of your dependants decide to apply for a work permit, his/her application will be examined by the French authorities according to the standard administrative procedures, depending on his/her nationality. In many cases, French law requires that such applications be submitted from one’s country of origin. Moreover, the status of a “special residence permit”-holder is incompatible with that of a work-permit holder. Please contact us should you require any further information in this respect.


[1] The information on employment conditions is indicative and may be subject to change. Only the actual employment conditions at the time of recruitment will apply.