Legal and risk officer

Nouméa, New Caledonia

  • Noumea-based position
  • Attractive expatriate package
  • Join the principal development organisation in the region



The Pacific Community (SPC) is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, supporting development since 1947. We are an international development organisation owned and governed by our 26 country and territory members. In pursuit of sustainable development to benefit Pacific people, our organisation works across more than 20 sectors. We are known for our knowledge and innovation in such areas as fisheries science, public health surveillance, geoscience, and conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.
The role – the Legal and Risk officer will support the Partnerships and Governance Adviser by providing legal advice, legal support and research on day-to-day legal matters across the organisation’s mandate and activities. This role will help strengthen improve internal governance and provide input into modernising and professionalising SPC’s governance and risk operations, managing organisational risk through the administration of the SPC risk register and will assist withmatters relevant to SPC’s multiyear partnerships with significant development partners.


The key responsibilities of the role include the following:

  • Provide specialized legal advice, both written and oral; supervise the preparation of draft memoranda and other legal documents,
  • Serves as a legal officer in one or more areas of concentration, and handles a wide range of highly complex, and often sensitive and/or conflicting legal matters involving issues relating to international law, international administrative law and international contracts; to include interpretation and application of instruments in that area of concentration,
  • Performs extensive legal research and analysis and prepares legal opinions, briefs, reports and correspondence; provides legal advice to all SPC divisions,
  • Preparation and review of legal documents, instruments, contracts, templates or other material to mitigate SPC’s legal risk ;
  • Selects relevant material, analyzes information and presents findings for internal review,
  • Participates in the development, implementation and evaluation of the SPC’s risk management, internal control, and other related programmes/projects, etc…; reviews relevant documents and reports; identifies problems and issues to be addressed and proposes corrective actions; liaises with relevant parties; identifies and tracks follow-up actions,
  • Coordinates the SPC risk register,
  • Contributes to review and design of new, or new applications of, legal instruments, policy, guidelines, etc…,
  • Collaboration with other work areas within and across SPC sections, programmes and divisions,
  • Other duties as required.


For a more detailed account of the key responsibilities, please refer to the online job description.



Key selection criteria


  • Qualifications
    • Meets the professional requirements to practice law in one or more jurisdictions of an SPC member country.
  • Technical expertise
    • At least 5 years PQE in providing legal advice on governance, organizational or international law,
    • Experience in an international organisation or NGO in a similar position,
    • Strong computer skills (Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint).
  • Language skills
    • Excellent communication skills in English (oral and written),
    • A good level of French will be an advantage.
  • Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness
    • Good interpersonal skills and good at working to deadlines,
    • A team player, with the ability to network and work effectively in a multicultural setting,
    • Cultural sensitivity and awareness, and the ability to effectively work with team members from different cultural backgrounds,
    • Knowledge of Pacific Island countries and territories is an advantage.


    Salary, terms and conditions


    Required start date – as soon as possible

    Contract Duration – This position is budgeted for three years and is subject to renewal depending on performance and funding.


    Remuneration – the Legal and Risk officer is a Band 10 position in SPC’s 2018 salary scale, with a starting salary range of 3,415–4,172 SDR (special drawing rights) per month, which currently converts to approximately XPF 503,864–615,627 (USD 4,712–5,757; EUR 4,222–5,159). An offer of appointment for an initial contract will be made in the lower half of this range, with due consideration being given to experience and qualifications. Progression within the salary scale will be based on annual performance reviews. SPC salaries are not presently subject to income tax in New Caledonia.

    Benefits for international staff employees based in New Caledonia – SPC provides subsidised housing in Noumea. Establishment and relocation grant, removal expenses, airfares, home leave, medical and life insurance, and education allowance are available for eligible employees and their recognised dependents. Employees are entitled to 25 days of annual leave and access to SPC’s Provident Fund (contributing 8% of salary, to which SPC adds a matching contribution).

    Languages – SPC’s working languages are English and French.


    Equal opportunity – SPC is an equal opportunity employer. Recruitment is based entirely on merit; in cases where two short-listed candidates are judged to be of equal rank by the selection committee, preference will be given to Pacific Island nationals.

    Child protection – SPC is committed to child protection, irrespective of whether any specific area of work involves direct contact with children. SPC’s Child Protection Policy is written in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

    Police clearance – Successful candidates will be required to provide a police clearance certificate.



    Application procedure


    Closing date: 30th of September 2018

    Job Reference: AL00079


    Applicants must apply online at

    Hard copies of applications will not be accepted.

    For your application to be considered, you must provide us with:

    • an updated resume with contact details for three professional referees
    • a cover letter detailing your skills, experience and interest in this position
    • responses to all screening questions

    Please ensure your documents are in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format.

    All positions at SPC have specific screening questions. If you do not respond to all of the screening questions, your application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed at shortlisting stage.


    Screening questions

  • Please briefly describe (400 words or less) your experience in providing legal analysis and advice to a public sector or international organisation.
  • Please briefly describe (400 words or less) your experience in consulting, communicating and collaborating with internal stakeholders to provide accurate and relevant legal advice, training and services.
  • Please briefly describe (400 words or less) your experience in risk management and mitigation.
  • Please briefly describe (400 words or less) your experience and approach working with colleagues and other stakeholders from diverse culture and linguistic backgrounds to achieve results.
  • Which countries are you qualified to practice law in?
  • Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of any child related offences?

  • and Risk Officer.docx

    Category: CEO & General Management

    Reference ID: AL000079

    Date Posted: 29/08/2018