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Legal Adviser

Ramsar Convention

The Convention on Wetlands, also known as the “Ramsar Convention” from the name of the city in Iran where it was signed in1971, is an intergovernmental treaty which provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and sustainable use of wetland biodiversity and services. It was the first of the modern global multilateral environmental agreements and remains the only one devoted to a specific critical ecosystem.
The Ramsar Convention Secretariat has its headquarters in Gland, Switzerland where the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), provides some administrative services to the Convention’s Contracting Parties for the operations and implementation of the Convention.

The Ramsar Convention is seeking a qualified consultant to provide legal advice and support the Secretary General, the Convention’s Bodies and subsidiary groupson a retainer basis. More specifically, the Legal Adviser is expected to:
- Provide legal and procedural advice and substantive support to the Secretariat in all phases of the preparation and running of the meetings of the Bodies of the Ramsar Convention and subsidiary working groups, as appropriate.
- Provide legal advice to the Secretariat, other Convention Bodies and subsidiary working groups, as appropriate, on the interpretation, application or amendment of the Ramsar Convention’s Rules of Procedure, resolutions, policies and guidelines.
- Advise and support the Secretary General in matters related to the Convention, including Rules of Procedure, decisions, resolutions, policies, guidelines and any other matter related to the functioning of the Convention and its subsidiary bodies that may be identified.

During the meetings of the Bodies and subsidiary working groups, as appropriate:
- Be permanently available during all meetings of the Bodies to give advice, at her/his initiative or upon request, to the Chair of the meeting or to the Secretary-General and, at the Chair’s request, directly to the Contracting Parties, with regard to the conduct of the meetings of the Bodies of the Convention. At the Chair’s request, this may entail being seated on the podium.
- Be available to provide advice on procedural matters to the Secretariat. Requests for advice will usually be coordinated by the Secretary -General.
- Consult with the Executive Team, the Secretary
- General, the Subgroup on Finance and the Chair of the working groups, as appropriate, with a view to achieving a consistent interpretation of the statutory texts with regard to procedural matters while enabling the advancement of the business of the meeting.

After the meetings
- Participate in an evaluation of the role of the Legal Adviser, recording the ‘lessonslearnt’, including recommendations for future meetings.

Overview of deliverables
- Participation in the meetings of the Convention’s Bodies
- Executive Team
- Standing Committee (SC), held annually
- Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP), held every 3 years 

Provisional dates for the next COP and SCs:
o SC53: 29 May –2 June 2017
o SC54: April/ May 2018
o SC55: 21 October 2018
o COP13: 21 – 29 October 2018
o SC56: 29 October 2018
- Sound and timely adice provided to the Secretary General, Bodies and subsidiary working groups, as appropriate during meetings of the Bodies of the Convention.
- On request, sound and timely advice to the Secretariat and the Executive Team in the inter-sessional periods between the meetings of the Bodies.

Selection criteria
- Legal background and experience; 
- Good understanding of the dynamics, conduct and procedures of past Meetings of the Convention’s Bodies and subsidiary groups; 
- Knowledge of Ramsar’s Rules and Procedures and processes a plus;
- Ability to explain complex matters, verbally and in writing, in a simple and accurate way;
- Results orientation: seeks solutions to procedural matters that advance the business of the meetings, with respect for the rules and without taking sides in controversial matters; 
- Ability to stay calm and courteous while working under pressure; 
- Demonstrate self
- Confidence and respect for all parties engaged in what may be sensitive or controversial matters;
- Professional proficiency in English, including excellent writing skills.

Terms of engagement
The contract would cover a period of 1 year, which could be extended. The services will be provided upon request from Ramsar and all the deliverables described above may not be utilized during the duration of the contract. Ramsar will inform the consultant about its needs and will pay only for services provided.

Expression of Interest
All interested and qualified consultants are encouraged to submit their credentials and a supporting letter of motivation in English. The letter should specifically address the selection criteria presented above, and provide the names/contact details of three referees, including one recent employer. The amount of the fee and any other anticipated fees or costs should also be detailed.
All expressions of interest should be submitted by email, before 23 April 2017, 5pm Swiss Time, to:
Proposals received after the deadline will not be considered. Proposals may be amended or withdrawn at any point prior to the submission deadline, but cannot be revoked or changed thereafter.