Regional Legal Advisor on Maritime Issues – Asia Pacific region – based in Bangkok (Thailand)

Regional Legal Advisor on Maritime Issues – Asia Pacific region – based in Bangkok (Thailand)

Requisition ID:  18193

Region:  Asia & Pacific

Contract type:  Open-ended contract

What we do

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) works worldwide to provide humanitarian assistance to people affected by conflict and armed violence. We take action in response to emergencies and at the same time promote respect for international humanitarian law. We are an independent and neutral organization, and our mandate stems essentially from the Geneva Conventions of 1949. We work closely with National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and with their International Federation in order to ensure a concerted, rational and rapid humanitarian response to the needs of the victims of armed conflict or any other situation of internal violence. We direct and coordinate the international activities conducted in these situations.

Role Description

The regional legal adviser (RLA) on maritime issues works in support of all delegations in the Asia Pacific region. They play a key role in achieving institutional, regional and delegation objectives related to positioning the institution as a key reference organisation on maritime humanitarian action, the law of armed conflict at sea and other relevant legal norms, and more broadly the creation of an environment conducive to respect for the law. They contribute to strengthening ICRC dialogue with national authorities, and intergovernmental organisations and academia / think tanks, as well as facilitating ICRC acceptance and operational activities. The position contributes to the ICRC’s foresight, preparedness and multidisciplinary capacity and expertise building in the complex and multidimensional issues linked to the maritime domain.

Main Responsibilities

  • In collaboration with a range of metiers involved in different aspects of maritime humanitarian action, supports the establishment and implementation of strategies, programmes and action plans aimed at ensuring protection of affected persons in armed conflict, other situations of violence and incidents resulting in humanitarian need occurring in the maritime domain, including inter alia the use of force at sea, the protection of migrants at sea, etc. Those strategies, programmes and action plans will require:

– Collaboration with protection, forensics, armed forces, humanitarian diplomacy and other concerned metiers to provide specialist support;

– Provision of maritime legal analysis to the regional resource network and Delegations where appropriate, in collaboration with relevant concerned metiers;

– Promoting accession to and ratification of IHL treaties and other instruments relevant to maritime humanitarian action;

– Furthering the development of appropriate domestic legal and policy frameworks, as well as mechanisms for their implementation and measures to ensure protection in armed conflict, other situations of violence and    incidents resulting in humanitarian need occurring in the maritime domain;

– Monitoring related developments;

– And enhancing knowledge of IHL and humanitarian concerns at sea.

  • In collaboration with delegation legal advisors and appropriate units in the legal division, provides legal  analysis and advice related to delegation strategies and operational activities concerning maritime humanitarian action; drafts legal opinions and proposes action aimed at obtaining better respect for IHL and other relevant bodies of law at sea; drafts, revises and corrects notes verbales, representations, reports, press releases, agreements, etc.
  • In collaboration with the appropriate units within the legal division and other concerned metiers including protection and the armed forces programme, works to develop institutional positions on key areas of ambiguity in the law applicable to naval warfare, maritime law enforcement operations/maritime security operations and assistance and rescue at sea and contributes to enhancing institutional coherence on these topics.


  • With the support of national legal advisers, analyses government maritime humanitarian action policy positions, legislation and jurisprudence that may have repercussions on ICRC activities in the region covered.  Supports related analysis conducted by other metiers into humanitarian aspects of maritime action by States.
  • Represents the ICRC in external fora and events and contributes to positioning the organisation as a reference on IHL at Sea and maritime humanitarian action and its implementation.
  • In collaboration with, and support of, management, protection, armed forces and other relevant programmes, at the regional and Delegation levels interacts directly with government authorities, legislators, legal advisors of the armed forces, coastguards, the judiciary and other relevant actors, providing them with technical legal advice and assistance as well as training for the adoption of legal and administrative maritime humanitarian action measures and related policies and to further the operational objectives of the delegations covered.
  • Develops and maintains a network of influential institutions and individuals, in particular, academics and practitioners, and assists in devising strategies for mapping, attracting and mobilizing them in support of maritime humanitarian action, IHL and ICRC acceptance and operations.
  • Works with academic circles and institutions in promoting and supporting teaching, research and debate in the field of maritime humanitarian action and IHL.


  • Contributes to determining, and creating the framework for, ICRC humanitarian diplomacy in the region covered; and maritime humanitarian action and IHL promotion through regional organisations.
  • In collaboration with relevant metiers at the regional level, mobilizes, influences, represents, negotiates, and organises external events on IHL and maritime humanitarian action.  Provides support to related events at the Delegation level where necessary.
  • Facilitates sharing of expertise and good practice between delegation legal and other programme officers.
  • Coordinates or contributes to the collection and analysis of laws and case law, as well as States’ practice, with a view to sharing them through the ICRC’s IHL databases.
  • Guides, coaches, trains, provides technical support to legal staff and other programme officers of delegations in the region covered on issues related to maritime humanitarian action and the applicable legal framework, including IHL, IHRL and refugee law.

Desired profile and skills

  • Strongly motivated by humanitarian work;
  • Able to work under pressure in a potentially dangerous environment;
  • Doctorate/Master’s degree or specialization in IHL or related area of international public law, with confirmed expertise on the law of the sea;
  • Good knowledge of domestic legal and policy frameworks and structures; working experience in government or with experience in legislative drafting an asset;
  • Experience in academic teaching and research a strong asset;
  • Experience as a legal advisor in the military/navy a strong asset;
  • Knowledge of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement; and ICRC work experience, including in the field, an asset.
  • Effective communication skills in English;
  • Very good drafting skills in English;
  • Team player attitude;
  • Willing to travel at least 40% of the time;
  • Autonomous;
  • Capable of thinking strategically and creatively;
  • Possessing excellent interpersonal and organisational skills;
  • Experience in mobilizing, influencing, representing, negotiating, and organizing external events; 
  • Computer proficiency.

Our operational & field constraints

  • In line with the principle of neutrality, the ICRC does not assign personnel to a country of which they are nationals;
  • Candidates must be in good health and will have to do a medical check-up prior to departure in the field;
  • Candidates will go through a background check prior to departure in the field;
  • Candidates must possess a driving license (for manual transmission vehicles);
  • Candidates must be prepared to accept unaccompanied postings (i.e. no spouse, partner, children or dependents) for at least the first six months (for external candidates and new employees with less than six months of seniority with an ICRC contract).

What we offer

  • Rewarding work in a humanitarian and multicultural environment;
  • A two-week orientation course and other opportunities for further in-house training;
  • Attractive social benefits;
  • Length of assignment: 24 months (renewable once to this location);
  • Join an ICRC talent pool and be considered for future assignments elsewhere.

The ICRC values diversity and is committed to create an inclusive working environment. We welcome applications from all qualified candidates.

Additional information

  • Working rate: 100%
  • Starting date: March 2022
  • Location: Bangkok, Thailand – but willing to travel around 40% throughout the Asia & Pacific region
  • Hardship : H0 – full family posting (after six months of seniority of direct employment with ICRC)
  • Job level: C1 – Coordination level but no direct reports
  • Length of assignment: 24 months
  • Type of position: Mobile
  • Application deadline: 09/01/2022

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