2023 International Court of Justice University Traineeship Programme

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The International Court of Justice (ICJ) invites applications for the University Traineeship Program. Participation in the program is limited to nominating universities that accept the conditions indicated in the post description and meet the additional requirements below.  

Submit your application now for the 2023 International Court of Justice University Traineeship Programme; eligible persons are, by this notice, invited to apply for this program as soon as possible.  

The University Traineeship program is intended to give recent law graduates experience
working at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

Description of Scholarship

The program was established in 1999 to enable recent law graduates to gain experience working at the ICJ. It aims to improve participants’ understanding of international law and the Court’s processes by actively involving them in the work of the Court and allowing them to build on their experience under the supervision of a judge.

Candidates are nominated and sponsored by universities from which they have graduated.

The program aims to improve participants’ understanding of international law and
the Court’s processes through their engagement in the work of the Court and the experience gained under the supervision of a Judge.

Each participant is assigned to work for one Judge for ten months from 1 September to 30 June the following year. During this period, participants can expect to attend Court’s public hearings, to research and write memoranda to the Judge on legal questions or factual aspects of pending cases, and have some other involvement in the work of the Court, the particulars of which will depend on the Court’s docket and the working methods of the particular Judge.

The work may also involve assisting the Judge with conferences, speeches, and other duties.

The trainee will work alongside the P-2 Associate Legal Officer, the
primary legal assistant of each Judge and is employed by the United Nations for two to
four years.

Type/Field of Study

The International Court of Justice University Traineeship Programme is an Internship program for Law graduates worldwide.

Host Nationality

The International Court of Justice in the Hague, Netherlands, hosts the internship program.

Value of Scholarship

Each nominating university must accept the responsibility to provide the stipend, health insurance, and travel costs to its candidate if selected. The stipend should be sufficient to provide a minimum standard of accommodation and subsistence in The Hague. It should be set at a level that ensures that trainees can benefit fully from their experience at the Court without the burden of financial hardship.

The Traineeship is not a self-funded internship, and candidates without adequate financial support through their sponsoring university will not be eligible.

The Court will facilitate visas if necessary and provides working facilities, but it does not provide financial support.

Eligible Countries

The ICJ University Traineeship Programme is open to Law graduate students from all over the world.

Eligibility

  • The Court looks in particular for candidates who have excellent results in their law studies, and who have studied, published, or worked in international law.
  • Candidates will usually be in the early stages of their legal careers (e.g., within three years of graduation). Some have practical experience in private or public practice, including work at another court or international organization and/or post-graduate studies in international law.
  • The Court seeks a diversity of nationalities in making the selection.
  • The official languages of the Court are English and French, and participants must have excellent reading, writing, and speaking skills in at least one of these. Working knowledge of the second official language will be an asset.
  • The application should indicate the trainee’s abilities regarding both official languages.

The program is highly selective. The Court accepts up to 15 participants yearly – not more than one from each nominating university. The Court mainly looks for candidates with excellent results in their law studies and who have studied, published, or worked in international law.

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How to Apply

Universities are encouraged to nominate one or more graduate students from their school.

Universities should submit at least two letters of reference for each candidate, preferably from individuals who can attest to the candidate’s abilities in international law.

Universities are requested to submit a sample of each candidate’s written work of no more than 15 typewritten pages that have either been submitted for publication or are of similar publishable quality.

The Court sets great store by this part of the application and would appreciate the nominating university making every effort to enable the Court to consider written work produced directly by the candidate.

Each nominating university must accept the responsibility to provide the stipend, health
insurance and travel costs to its candidate if selected.

The stipend should be sufficient to provide for a minimum standard of accommodation and subsistence in The Hague. It should be set at a level that ensures that trainees can benefit fully from their experience at the Court without the burden of financial hardship.

The Traineeship is not a self-funded internship, and candidates without adequate financial support through their sponsoring university will not be eligible.

The Court will facilitate visas if necessary and provides working facilities, but it does not provide financial support.

Universities are kindly requested to submit the application documents in Word or PDF format in the following order:

  • letter from the university sponsoring the candidate, with the confirmation of acceptance of all the conditions of the program;
  • letter of application from the candidate;
  • completed ICJ University Trainee Application Form in one of the official languages of the Court;
  • curriculum vitae of the candidate;
  • copy of the candidate’s official academic record;
  • letters of reference; and
  • candidate’s writing sample.
  • Applications should be submitted by email to [email protected]. For further information, please get in touch with the Deputy-Registrar of the ICJ at the above address.

    Submission of applications and selection of candidates

    While it is possible to nominate a single candidate, the Court encourages universities to propose more than one. Universities are also strongly encouraged to limit nominations to candidates with excellent results in their law studies and who have demonstrated an interest in international law through their studies, publications, or work experience. The Court does not accept applications from individuals.

    Universities interested in participating in the program should follow this link.

    Application Deadline

    The deadline for the ICJ Internship is 15th February 2023.

    Visit the Scholarship Webpage for details

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