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United Nations - Office of Legal Affairs

Office of the Legal Counsel
Assistant Secretary-General for Legal Affairs: Mr. Stephen Mathias

Core Functions:

Assistant Secretary-General for Legal Affairs:
Mr. Stephen Mathias

United Nations Headquarters
Room No. S-3624
New York, NY 10017
Fax: (+1)(212)963-6430
The International Court of Justice (ICJ)
International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY)
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR)
  • Assisting the Legal Counsel in the overall direction and management of the Office of Legal Affairs and in the coordination of legal advice and services to the United Nations as a whole;
  • Preparing legal opinions, studies and advice on the interpretation of the Charter and on the interpretation and drafting of rules of international public law, including international criminal and humanitarian law, United Nations resolutions and regulations and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, as well as preparing agreements and other legal instruments regulating relations of the United Nations with Member States, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations and other legal entities;
  • Preparing legal arrangements for and providing advice on legal aspects of peacekeeping and other United Nations operations and activities;
  • Preparing draft rules of procedure and advising United Nations organs and conferences on the conduct of business;
  • Providing secretariat services to the Committee on Relations with the Host Country and dealing with questions arising out of the Headquarters Agreement with the United States of America and other host Governments;
  • Maintaining liaison with the International Court of Justice and discharging the legal responsibilities of the Secretary-General under the Statute of the Court;
  • Advising on questions relating to the credentials of permanent representatives to the United Nations and representatives on United Nations organs, and providing secretariat services to the Credentials Committee; and
  • Preparing studies on relevant Articles of the Charter for the Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs.