Judicial Fellowship Programme
The Judicial Fellowship Programme, formerly known as the University Traineeship Programme, was established in 1999 to enable recent law graduates to gain professional experience by working for the International Court of Justice. The programme aims to improve participants’ understanding of public international law in practice and the Court’s procedures by directly involving them in the activities of the Court.
Judicial Fellows work on a full-time basis under the supervision of a Member of the Court, alongside the Member’s primary legal assistant. Fellows can expect to conduct research and draft memorandums on questions of law or fact relating to cases pending before the Court, attend hearings and sittings, and perform any other duties that may be assigned to them by their respective judges.
The duration of the fellowship is approximately ten months, from early September to June of the following year. The Court generally selects 15 participants nominated by universities across the world.
In accordance with United Nations General Assembly resolution 75/129, a trust fund for the Judicial Fellowship Programme was established by the Secretary-General in April 2021.
The purpose of the trust fund is to grant fellowship awards to selected candidates who are nationals of developing countries and recently graduated from a university based in a developing country, thereby improving and guaranteeing the geographical and linguistic diversity of the participants in the programme.
Trust fund awards are exclusively intended to benefit candidates nominated by universities based in developing countries, which do not have the means to provide financial sponsorship.
Eligibility criteria and selection of candidates
In making its selection, the Court seeks candidates of diverse nationalities.
- To be eligible, candidates should be 31 years old or younger at the start of their fellowship. This requirement may be waived only in special circumstances.
- Candidates must demonstrate excellent results in their legal studies, and an interest in public international law through their studies, publications and/or work experience.
- Candidates must have an excellent command, both written and orally, of at least one of the two official languages of the Court (English and French); a working knowledge of the other language is considered an asset.
Only universities can nominate candidates. The Court does not accept applications from individuals. While it is possible to nominate a single candidate, the Court encourages universities to propose more than one nominee.
Call for applications for the 2024-2025 Judicial Fellowship Programme
The Court is currently welcoming applications from eligible universities worldwide for the 2024-2025 edition of the programme.
The deadline for the submission of applications is 5 February 2024. All applications must be completed by this deadline. The Court expects to make its final decision on the selection of candidates by April 2024. Selected candidates will be informed accordingly by their nominating university.
How to nominate candidates
An online pre-screening questionnaire must be completed by the nominating university. The university must also designate an authorized focal point through whom all application materials will be submitted.
Following completion of the pre-screening questionnaire, the following six documents must be submitted for each candidate via the email address of the university’s authorized focal point, in the order below:
- Official letter of nomination from the university
- ICJ personal history form
- Letters of reference
- Official academic records
- Writing sample
- Candidate profile summary table
Further application instructions, as well as the ICJ personal history form and candidate profile summary table, will be included in the confirmation email sent to the authorized focal point upon completion of the pre-screening questionnaire.
In case of questions about the documents to be submitted, please consult the FAQ page for the Judicial Fellowship Programme and Trust Fund.
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