Legal Counsel at the African Union (AU)

Legal Counsel at the African Union (AU)

Legal Counsel at the African Union (AU)


The African Union (AU) is a continental body consisting of the 55 member states that make up the countries of the African Continent. It was officially launched in 2002 as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU, 1963-1999).  We are an Integrated, Prosperous and Peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena.

We are recruiting to fill the position of:

Job Title: Legal Counsel

Requisition ID: 1098
Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Reports to: H.E. Chairperson of the Commission
Directorate: Office of the Legal Counsel (OLC)
Number of Direct Reports: 7
Number of Indirect Reports: 46
Job Grade: D1
Contract Type: Regular

Job Objective

  • To provide strategic direction and legal counsel to the African Union (AU) Commission.

Job Major Functions

  • Acts as a focal point for legal related issues of AU.
  • Develops and maintains operating rules and procedures.
  • Provides technical leadership and ensures efficient functioning of all Divisions of the OLC.
  • Ensures overall management of the Directorate/department personnel, budget, performance, quality, discipline and training in conformity with relevant rules and procedures in force.
  • Determines and executes the overall strategy of the directorate/department.
  • Develops and oversees policy development guidelines.
  • Prepares and oversees integrated programmes of overall activities of the Directorate.
  • Builds and maintains a strategic plan to form good working relations with other Directorate/department.
  • Develops and maintains regular working relations with top-level stakeholders in appropriate agencies of member States and partners.
  • Ensures the organization of coordination meetings between the organisation and other relevant directorate/department.
  • Ensures the preparation of periodic financial and budget execution reports and annual financial statements and other reports.
  • Oversees the collection of contributed funds to the Directorate/department.
  • Initiates and takes necessary actions to collect funds of and for the African Union as a whole.
  • Proposes training programmes relating to programme designing and coordination.
  • Promotes awareness and training of best practices in area of expertise.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Advises the Commission and AU Organs on legal matters;
  • Provides legal opinions relating to the interpretation of all Protocols, Rules and Regulations of the AU, as well as, other legal instruments;
  • Provides legal counsel to the Chairperson of the Commission, in discharging his/her functions as Depository of all the treaties as well as all other legal instruments of the Union and in keeping copies of international agreements signed between Member States
  • Assesses the legal implications of the activities and decisions of all deliberative, advisory and administrative bodies, and to participate in the meetings of these bodies;
  • Oversees the drafting of contracts; host agreements, cooperation agreements and Rules of Procedure of the various organs, treaties, and other legal instruments as well as the preparation of election documents including materials for elections at the level of the Executive Council and the Assembly;
  • Represents the Commission and all organs of the AU in judicial proceedings, negotiations or other procedures for the conclusion of agreements or the settlement of disputes;
  • Ensures the smooth functioning of, and represents the Chairperson in the Administrative Tribunal;
  • Conducts follow up on issues concerning the implementation of Headquarters and Host Agreements;
  • Ensures that the privileges and immunities of the Commission and its staff and representatives accredited to it are assured, respected and protected as provided for in the Headquarters Agreements and the General Convention on Privileges and Immunities of the AU;
  • Follows-up on issues relating to international legal matters;
  • Ensures that the legal interaction between the Organs of the Union and Member States, other Organisations, individuals and other legal entities are regulated in such a manner that the interests of the AU are safeguarded;
  • Oversees investigations and preparation of reports on special legal problems;
  • Ensures the overall management of the Office including the preparation of programmes and budgets and their effective implementation,
  • Manages and supervises the performance of subordinate staff
  • Coordinates all the legal officers deployed in AU organs and Institutions
  • Performs any other duties as may be assigned.

Academic Requirements and Relevant Experience

  • Master’s Degree in Public or Private International Law and/or the Law of International organizations with 15 years of postgraduate work experience of which a minimum of 8 years is expected to be from managerial level.
  • Experience within International and/or multilateral organisations is required, and dealing with international negotiation and diplomatic matters will be an added advantage.

Skills Requirement:

  • Leadership and management skills
  • Communication, report writing and presentation skills
  • Interpersonal and negotiation skills
  • Research and analytical skills
  • Knowledge of the international laws and practices
  • Knowledge and operational understanding of the policies, systems, and programmes of the AU
  • Knowledge of the use of Microsoft Office Suite
  • Proficiency in one of the AU official working languages (French, English, Portuguese, and Arabic); fluency in another AU language(s) is an added advantage).

Leadership Competencies:

  • Strategic Focus
  • Developing Organizational Capability
  • Change Leadership
  • Strategic Risk Management

Core Competencies:

  • Building Partnerships
  • Drives Accountability Culture
  • Learning Orientation
  • Effective Communication

Functional Competencies:

  • Conceptual Thinking
  • Knowledge Sharing
  • Drive for Results
  • Fosters Innovation


  • Proficiency in one of the AU working languages (Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish) and fluency in another AU language is an added advantage

Tenure of Appointment

  • The appointment will be made on a regular term contract for a period of three (3) years, of which the first twelve months shall be considered as a probationary period. Thereafter, the contract will be for a period of two years renewable, subject to satisfactory performance and deliverables.

Gender Mainstreaming:

  • The AU Commission is an equal opportunity employer and qualified women are strongly encouraged to apply.


  • Indicative basic salary of US$ 78,138.00 (D1 Step1) per annum plus other related entitlements e.g. Post adjustment (46% of basic salary), Housing allowance US$ 26,208.00 (per annum), and education allowance (100% of tuition and other education-related expenses for every eligible dependent up to a maximum of US$ 10,000.00 per child per annum), for internationally recruited staff and a maximum of $3,300 per child per annum for locally recruited staff.

Application Closing Date
2nd May 2022.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online

Author: Greg