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TitleYPP Sample Exam
Tags Treaty United Nations International Politics Sovereign Immunity
File Size351.3 KB
Total Pages4
Table of Contents
                            2015 YPP Legal Affairs Sample Questions (EN)
Legal Affairs
Document Text Contents
Page 1


United Nations Competitive Examination for the recruitment of
Young Professionals

Sample Examination Questions

Legal Affairs


This document contains a small sample of the type of questions which may be assessed in
the United Nations Competitive Examination for the recruitment of Young Professionals in

the Legal Affairs job family in 2015.

This sample is provided only for reference. Final examination may vary in style and
requirements and length.

This document supersedes all samples previously released by the United Nations for the

National Competitive Recruitment Examination, which has been abolished in 2011.

None of the material in this document may be copied, reproduced, distributed, republished,
displayed, posted or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written

consent of the United Nations. Reproduction of these sample questions, in whole or in part,
for the purposes of commercial distribution is strictly prohibited.

Page 2


Multiple Choice Items

1. Alex, a citizen of State A (not the United States), is a Senior Legal Officer at the United
Nations Headquarters in New York. Alex neglected to pay his rent, and was sued in the
local court. Shortly after being served the complaint, Alex's lawyer sent a motion in
limine to the court explaining that as a UN employee Alex is immune from the court's
jurisdiction. Alex's lawyer is:

a) Incorrect because Alex's absolute immunity does not extend to the non-payment

of rent
b) Correct, but State A can waive Alex's immunity
c) Incorrect because Alex's immunity does not extend to the non-payment of rent
d) Correct, but the UN can waive Alex's immunity

2. Which one of the following is correct under international law:

a) A counter-measure is an act which would normally be illegal but which is

rendered lawful by a prior illegal act committed by the State against which the
reprisal is directed

b) A counter-measure is a legal act under international law used as a form of
enforcing respect for customary law

c) A counter-measure is an act that is used as a deterrent in order to prevent
threats of aggression

d) A counter-measure is a form of enforcement used by the Security Council
designed to ensure respect for international law

3. Under the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea, hot pursuit of a foreign ship

may be undertaken when the competent authorities of a State have good reason to
believe that the ship has violated the laws and regulations of that State. By which ship
may the right of hot pursuit be exercised?

a) A ship of the same State as the pursued ship
b) A ship of the State within whose zones the violation occurred
c) A warship or military aircraft of the State within whose zones the violation

d) A warship or military aircraft of the same State as the pursued ship

4. Why is the harmonization and unification of international trade law necessary?

a) To avoid unnecessary duplication of efforts in formulating international trade
rules by States and various organizations

b) To ensure uniform interpretation and application of international trade rules
c) To facilitate understanding of law of different States relating to international

d) To remove divergences in law of different States that constitute an obstacle to

the development of international trade

5. The concept of pacta sunt servanda means:

a) Every treaty in force is binding upon the parties to it and must be applied by
them in good faith

b) The consent of a State to be bound by a treaty is expressed by acceptance or
approval under conditions similar to those which apply to ratification

c) A party to a treaty may not invoke the provisions of its internal law as justification
for its failure to comply with the treaty

d) A treaty does not create either obligations or rights for a third State without its

Page 3


Constructed Response Items
Please note that the actual exam may cover broader fields of law than in the sample below.

1. Please describe at least three functions entrusted by the United Nations General
Assembly to its subsidiary body for furthering the progressive harmonization and
unification of the law of international trade.


In the country of Battia, a Member State of the United Nations, there is strife between Government
forces and a well-organized rebel movement composed of mainly of the Kyrians, an ethnic
minority. While the Government controls most of the territory Battia, the Kyrians who number
around 150,O00 people, control a sizeable enclave in the south and have proclaimed the birth of a
new country,
"Facebook"announcing that he is now the head of State of Kyriana, and that Kyriana intends to
become a party to all the major international human rights treaties.

The proclamation of the birth of Kyriana leads to increased fighting between Government forces
and the rebels within Battia, in particular around the area of the enclave of Kyriana. In its efforts to
reclaim control of territory in the enclave of Kyriana, Government forces use drones which attack a
number of.schools and hospitals in which Kyrian civilians are-taking shelter. Following the attacks,
hundreds of people run out of the schools and hospitals only to be subjected to additional rounds
of bombing by the Government drones. As a result of the bombing, hundreds of people have either
been killed or injured, and a crisis emerges within Kyriana in which basic food and medical
provisions are in short supply.

The situation within Battia is discussed within the United Nations and a number of humanitarian
agencies are seeking to enter Battia to provide the urgently needed food and medical supplies to
people in the enclave of Kyria. The Secrefary General of the United Nations telephones the
President of Battia and requests that UN humanitarian-agencies be given acces to the country
including around the Kyrian enclave. The request is declined on the basis that the President would
not be able to guarantee the safe passage of the agencies and their personnel within the country.

Some States and prominent international non-governmental organizations call
upon the International Criminal Court to exercise its jurisdiction over the crimes
committed within Battia.

A neighboring State, Elysaria, which has a large number of ethnic Kyrians within its population, is
highly concerned about the situation within Battia, and has brought the matter to the attention of
the Security Council in the United Nations. However, despite lengthy debates within the Security
Council, there is no consensus as to what action can be taken and no action is taken for the time
being. Faced with the deadlock in the Council, Elysaria approaches other like-minded States to
obtain their support, both military and financial to attack Battia so as to liberate the People of

You are an Associate Legal Officer in the UN Office of Legal Affairs, and you are asked
to prepare a legal analysis for the UN Legal Counsel addressing three (3) out of the
following five (5) issues:

(i) Is Kyriana a State? Can it become a party to the above-mentioned international

human rights treaties?
(ii) Discuss the legal framework regarding Government's bombings in the enclave of

(iii) Do the United Nations and other humanitarian agencies have a legal right to

enter BaHia and the enclave of Kyriana to provide humanitarian relief?
(iv) In what circumstances could the international Criminal Court exercise jurisdiction

over the crimes committed in Battia and the enclave of Kyriana?
(v) Can Elysaria and other like-minded States take armed measures to liberate the

Kyrian ethnic minority?

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