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charity njuguna
Legal officer , International non - profit
New Jersey, United States
Legal professional with 15 years experience in international organizations supporting, providing technical expertise in a diverse range of areas including conduct and discipline, sexual exploitation and abuse, human rights and humanitarian law, judicial affairs, security sector reforms, ethics,currently legal officer department of peace operations UN secretariat seeks challenging opportunity
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Area of Expertise:
  • Human Rights, Law, Migration, Conflicts, Justice
Professional Experience:
I have over 15 years of progressively responsible professional experience in the legal profession as the legal officer in the office of military affairs, department of peacekeeping operations (now department of peace operations) at the UN secretariat and in my previous appointment as a practicing lawyer and advocate of the high court of Kenya and legal staff officer at the national level. I draw my work and professional experience from both the civilian and military/security paradigms and further have UN field experience.
I have a solid understanding of the context within which peace operations function backed by a strong ability to translate a broad strategic vision into concrete objectives on the ground. I further have the ability to adapt and leverage my experience and broad knowledge to different environments and context as well as a good policy knowledge on rule of law, peacekeeping, protection of civilians and protection issues, conduct and discipline including sexual exploitation and sexual abuse, and related areas and other applicable rules, standards and regulations. I am also experienced on and have demonstrated proficiency in criminal law, military law and international public law as well as knowledge of investigation and disciplinary processes including those of the UN system and structures, and UN standards of conduct, rules and regulations related to conduct and discipline.
As a skills set, I possess substantial experience in supporting field missions in rendering technical expertise on various issues on peacekeeping affairs including strategic planning and overseeing the implementation of plans and provision of strategic advice to senior managers on strategic issues. At the strategic level, I have been involved in development, review and mainstreaming of protection safeguards and standards, operational procedures and practices and have been serving in an advisory capacity to senior management. Besides, I possess good knowledge of UN institutions, mandates, policies and guidelines as well as familiarity with mission mandates, conflict and post – conflict settings in general. In addition, I am experienced in international organizations and/or NGOs, possess excellent analytical skills and communication skills in writing and speech and in facilitating, coordinating and leading internal organizational processes and in a peace consolidation setting.
As a legal expert, I can apply the expertise to the analysis of a diverse range of complex and unusual legal and political issues and problems and possess strong analytical skills to independently conduct comprehensive legal and political research on a range of issues including those of a unique and complex nature. I am proficient in writing and expression and skilled in preparation of legal briefs, opinions, write – ups, background papers, and other legal operational modalities and instruments. As a legal practitioner and due to the sensitive nature of my work, I am able to exercise
• LLM (Distinction) International Criminal Justice and Armed Conflict, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom, 2013.
Dissertation: A critical evaluation of the policy ‘requirement’ for crimes against humanity in international criminal law
• MA International Conflict Management (Hons), University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya, 2011.
Dissertation: The military and emerging notion of security: an analysis of Kenya defence forces, 1963 - 2010
• LLB General (Hons), University of Nairobi, Nairobi, 1999.
• Postgraduate Diploma in law, Kenya School of Law, Nairobi, Kenya, 2000
• International law and borders, UN university of peace 2018
• Security sector reforms, UN university of peace 2018
• Organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons (OPCW), Course on Chemical terror threats, hazards, identification and risk assessment May 2015, Kampala, Uganda?.
• OPCW, Course on Security, the implementation of the chemical weapons convention and the cooperative threat reduction in Africa March 2015, Pretoria, South Africa.
• Peace and conflict studies school, Course on sexual and gender based violence course September, 2011, Nairobi, Kenya.
• Rwanda military academy, International course on military ethics and the law of armed conflict, October, 2010, Kigali, Rwanda.
• International institute of humanitarian law, International summer course on international humanitarian law, July 2009, San Remo, Italy.
• Kenya school of law, international criminal justice, May, 2010, Nairobi, Kenya.
• Kenya military academy, Grade 3 staff course, August 2008, Lanet, Kenya.
• United States defense institute of international legal studies, Legal aspects of combatting terrorism, December 2007, Naval War college, Rhode Island, USA.
• Peace and conflict studies school, International course on military observers, February 2004, Nairobi, Kenya.
• Kenya military academy, Basic cadet course, August 2001, Lanet, Kenya
• Kenya school of law, August, 2000, Nairobi, Kenya.

Affiliations and Achievements:
• Review and support of the review of the interim SOP on detention of 2010, the ICRC/OCHA Professional Standards for Protection Work, Chapter VI peacekeeping pamphlet, use of force handbook for the military component, the IED project handbook, development of the women, peace and security special measures action plan to enhance women peacekeepers in field operations, UN Comprehensive Manual on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, and many more
• Technical legal support: member of the Working Group of the Office of Sexual Exploitation and sexual abuse in the UN Coordinator’s office on strengthening UN measures on prevention and response to sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. Within this role we have developed numerous tools to strengthen the relevant measures.
• Leadership: Successful review and development of various rules of engagement for diverse peace operations including preparation of other legal – operational documents
• Facilitated and implemented a range of multi – stakeholder briefings on a range of issues on peacekeeping and peace operations
• Technical legal assistance – served as a Prosecutor of the national military tribunal for over 12 years
• Technical backstopping: Have reviewed numerous Audit reports for different missions (26) since I started serving as Audit focal point and following – up on the implementation of recommendations
• Policy review and development: Currently developing UN policy framework on Missing and absent personnel in UN field operations, headquarters and offices away from the headquarters.
• Training – I have formulated, developed and implemented numerous training programmes for senior management on a range of issues on human rights, international humanitarian law, procurement and financial management rules and regulations, administrative law, criminal law, military law, ethics and integrity, etc
• Leadership – shepherding the successful review and approval of national Defence Forces Regulations, Rules and Procedures, regulations and court martial rules of procedure

Available for:
  • Job opportunities

    Years of Experience:
    10-15 years
    Highest Qualification:
    English, Kiswahili, Kikuyu, French (basic)
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