Legal Consultant

Location : Dili, Timor Leste
Application Deadline :28-Apr-19 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Democratic Governance and Peacebuilding
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :1 year
Expected Duration of Assignment :1 year


Background and Project Description


The Timor-Leste’s justice system is complex in character as the results of its historical circumstances. Various legal frameworks are currently applied in the justice processes which include the Indonesian’s legislation, UNTAET regulations and the Timor-Leste’s laws and regulations. The traditional justice practices are also still applied in the justice processes in particular in the rural areas.


Significant changes in the justice sector had taken place since 2002 with the adoption of the laws and regulations by the Timor-Leste’s Legislative Organs which aimed to gradually replace the Indonesian’s legislation and UNTAET’s regulations in order to put in place a harmonized legal order which reflects the socio-cultural and political situation of the country and in order to comply with the internationally recognized legal standards. Nevertheless, the Government of Timor-Leste had made a strong commitment to continue strengthening  the justice sector. To achieve the goal, the Government has developed and approved the Justice Sector Strategic Plan which set out five pillars which are deemed necessary to strengthening the justice sector. The five pillars include a). Institutional development; b). legal framework reform; c). human resources development; d). Infrastructure and Information Technology; and e). Access to Justice.


Given the current state of the justice system, the Government has also considered that a justice system reform is necessary to build a momentum around the State’s overall reform process in order to achieve the alignment with the internationally recognized democratic standards. More importantly, the justice system reform is necessary to ensure equal access to an efficient, transparent and reliable justice system by all citizens of Timor-Leste in particular the vulnerable groups.


An initial work on justice system reform had been undertaken previously by the Government. A Legislation Reform Commission was created to implement the reform initiative which later produced a proposal for the Government to develop and implement a legislative package for the reform of the justice sector.


Within this context and after a thorough consultation of the Government and all national Judicial bodies, the National Parliament of Timor-Leste took the initiative to advance the implementation of the targeted interventions set out in the reform documents which are to design, develop and implement the justice sector reform framework to ensure achievement of an independent, efficient, impartial and a transparent justice system.  


As the long term development partner of the National Parliament, UNDP Timor-Leste was then requested to support the implementation of National Parliament’s initiative by sourcing and providing technical expertise in the areas of Rule of Law, Access to Justice and strengthening Justice Institutions. The technical expertise is expected to identify gaps and legal constraints in the sector in order to facilitate the amendment of structural bills and drafting new legislation in the criminal sector.


Accordingly, a Project Initiation Plan (PIP) on the Support to the Justice System Reform was developed by UNDP to response to the request of the National Parliament. The overall objective of the PIP- Support to the Justice System Reform is to assist the National Parliament in reviewing and formulation of the following:


  • Legislation to complete the organizational structure of the country's judicial system;
  • The Superior Council for Magistrates and Prosecutors legal framework which includes the level of authority and autonomy in supervising the functioning of the respective portfolio;
  • Legal mechanisms for the performance of judges, prosecutors and public defenders, within a new framework that will allow a merit evaluation model;
  • The Criminal Law which include the definition of new crimes and their compliance with international instruments;
  • The Criminal Procedural Law, specially the extension of deadlines and the creation of the preliminary hearing phase (pre-trial phase/instrução);
  • A Legislation to define the relationship of customary justice to formal justice - delimitation of legal spheres - subject to consultations with traditional authorities and civil society organizations;


For the purpose, UNDP is seeking to engage a Legal Consultant to provide services to conduct the necessary review of the above mentioned legal documents based on the legal criteria, previous related reports and studies on justice sector reform, research papers and consultations.

Duties and Responsibilities

Scope of Work


Under the direct supervision of the Chief Technical Adviser (CTA), the following key tasks will be performed by the Legal Consultant:


  • Guides the development of a workplan on the review of relevant documents and coordination of focused meetings/consultations with relevant key justice actors.
  • Compiles the relevant documents (the strategic Plan for the Justice Sector, reports of the Justice Reform Commission, existing laws and regulations and Timor-Leste Justice practices) to be submitted to the Legal Experts/Specialist for reviews/consultations.
  • Participates in the reviews of documents and carry out meetings with the Legal Specialists in order to build a good understanding of the Timorese legal context and the key components that forms the basis of the Justice sector reform.
  • Reviews and provides comments on the Legal Specialists reports on the findings emerging from the documents reviews as well as of the meetings/consultations.
  • Assist in the drafting of bills and/or amendments to legislation, regulations and policies that are necessary to strengthen the Justice Sector.
  • Advise on the workshop preparation for public consultations and socialization on the proposed laws and reform strategy.
  • Prepares progress and final reports on the activities carried out together with the Legal Specialists.


3. Approach and Methodology


In order to achieve the targeted outputs, the Consultant is expected to carry out the following approaches (but not limited to):


  • Gather of existing legislation, recommendations from the Legislation Reform Commission, justice practices, study/research papers;
  • Conduct workshops/consultation meetings with both relevant state institutions and community groups;
  • Conduct coordination meetings with the Legal Specialists and the UNDP/National Parliament team;


4. Expected outputs/deliverables



Estimated duration to complete

Target due dates

Review and Approval required

Workplan on the expected outputs and deliverables is presented and approved by the CTA.



1 week

Mid-May 2019


Progress report on the compilation of the relevant documents (Strategic Plan for the Justice Sector, reports of the Justice Reform Commission, existing laws and regulations and Timor-Leste Justice practices) to be submitted to the Legal Experts/Specialist for reviews/consultations


2 weeks

Mid May 2019


Monthly progress report on the reviews and comments on the Legal Specialists reports on the findings from the documents reviews as well as of the meetings/consultations is submitted to and approved by CTA.


2 months

June-July 2019


Monthly progress report on the drafting of bills and/or amendments to legislation, regulations and policies is submitted to and approved by CTA

8 months

March 2020


Monthly progress report on workshop preparation for public consultations and socialization on the proposed laws and reform strategy is submitted to and approved by CTA


Based on the approved workplan


Final report on the achievement of the targets set in the TOR and workplan is submitted to/approved by the CTA


May 2020




Institutional arrangement


The Legal Consultant will report directly to the CTA and will work closely with the legal specialists/experts.


Monthly progress report will be submitted to ensure a better monitoring, coordination and evaluation of the work.


Required Skills and Experience

Qualifications and experience:


The Legal Consultant should have the following qualifications:


  • Master’s degree or equivalent in Law or related field; Bachelor’s Degree may be accepted if accompanied by at least 5 years relevant work experience in the field of legal advisory.




  • At least 8 years of relevant working experience in the field of legal advisory and legal reform;
  • Proven experience in Timor-Leste, working with in government settings and the National Parliament.
  • Must have knowledge and understanding of intuitions arrangements with  various institutions within the Timorese legal service and justice system.
  • Must have experience on legal advice and on preparing draft laws, bylaws, provisions and instructions.
  • Possession of previous similar assignment in Timor-Leste is an advantage.


Language Requirements:


  • Fluency in Portuguese and English, both in writing and oral.



6. Scope of Financial Proposal and Schedules of Payment


Financial proposal must be expressed in the form of an “all-inclusive” lumpsum, supported by a detailed breakdown of costs including professional fee. Under the lumpsum approach, the contract price is fixed regardless of changes in the cost components or schedule of delivery.


Schedule of payment


Given the nature of the assignment, payment will be done on monthly basis. The amount of monthly payment will be calculated based the total financial proposal (all-inclusive lumpsum fee) divided by 12 months.

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

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