International Court of Justice (ICJ) University Traineeship Programme 2017/2018 for Recent Law Graduates – Hague, Netherland.

Application Deadline: 15 February 2017

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) invites applications for the University Traineeship Programme for 2017-2018. Participation in the programme is limited to nominating universities that accept the conditions indicated in the post description and meet the additional requirements set out below.

The programme was established in 1999 in order to enable recent law graduates to gain experience working at the ICJ. It aims to improve participants’ understanding of international law and of 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.

The University Traineeship programme is intended to give recent law graduates experience working at the International Court of Justice in The Hague. Candidates are nominated and sponsored by universities from which they have graduated.

The aim of the program is 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 a duration of 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 to 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, who is the primary legal assistant of each Judge and is employed by the United Nations for a period of two to four years.


  • 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.
  • A working knowledge of the second official language will be an asset. The application should indicate the trainee’s abilities in respect of both official languages.


  • The programme is highly selective.
  • The Court accepts up to 15 participants a year – not more than one from each nominating university.
  • 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 organisation, and/or post-graduate studies in international law.
  • The Court seeks diversity of nationality in making the selection.


  • 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 and 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.

Application Procedure:

The deadline for the submission of applications by universities is 15 February 2017. The Court will make its selection on the basis of the candidates’ application documents. It is expected to reach its final decision in March/April 2017. Nominating universities will be notified accordingly.

1. 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 applications to candidates who have 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.

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

3. Writing sample
Universities are requested to submit a sample of each candidate’s written work of no more than 15 typewritten pages that has either been submitted for publication or is 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.

4. Presentation of the applications
Universities are kindly requested to submit the application documents in Word or PDF format in the following order:

(a) letter from the university sponsoring the candidate;
(b) letter of application from the candidate;
(c) completed ICJ University Trainee Application Form in one of the official languages of the Court;
(d) curriculum vitae of the candidate;
(e) copy of the candidate’s official academic record;
(f) letters of reference; and
(g) candidate’s writing sample.

Applications should be submitted by e mail to [email protected]. For further information, please contact the Deputy Registrar of the ICJ at the above address

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the ICJ University Traineeship Programme 2017/2018



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