The International Court of Justice (ICJ) Judicial Fellowship Programme offers an incredible opportunity for recent law graduates worldwide. The 2024-2025 call for applications welcomes aspiring legal minds to immerse themselves in the intricate workings of the world’s preeminent judicial body.
Established in 1999 as the University Traineeship Programme, the Judicial Fellowship Programme has evolved into a prestigious initiative, offering recent law graduates a unique chance to gain invaluable professional experience within the ICJ.
Judicial Fellowship Programme – What to Expect
- The primary goal of the programme is to enhance participants’ practical understanding of public international law and familiarize them with the Court’s procedures.
- Judicial Fellows engage in a full-time commitment, working closely with a Member of the Court and their legal assistant, undertaking responsibilities that contribute directly to the Court’s activities.
- Fellows can anticipate engaging in in-depth research and drafting memorandums pertaining to legal or factual aspects of cases before the Court. This hands-on experience sharpens their analytical and legal skills, preparing them for the complexities of the international legal landscape.
- An integral part of the Fellowship involves attending hearings and sittings, providing Fellows with firsthand exposure to the dynamics of the ICJ’s proceedings.
- Beyond research and attendance, Fellows may be assigned various duties by their respective judges. This task adds a practical dimension to their legal education, fostering adaptability and versatility.
In line with United Nations General Assembly resolution 75/129, the Judicial Fellowship Programme Trust Fund was instituted in April 2021 by the Secretary-General.
The Trust fund awards target candidates who recently graduated from universities in developing countries. This strategic focus ensures financial support for those who lack the means to sponsor their participation, reinforcing the programme’s commitment to inclusivity.
- The Court actively seeks candidates from diverse national backgrounds, contributing to a rich tapestry of perspectives within the programme.
- To be eligible, candidates should be 31 years old or younger at the start of their fellowship, with potential waivers considered in special circumstances.
- Candidates must showcase outstanding performance in their legal studies, coupled with a keen interest in public international law.
- Proficiency in at least one of the Court’s official languages (English or French) is mandatory, with knowledge of the second language deemed advantageous.
- Only universities can nominate candidates, emphasizing the collaborative nature of the selection process. While a single nominee is acceptable, the Court encourages universities to put forward multiple candidates.
The nomination process includes:
- An Online Pre-Screening Questionnaire: The nomination process begins with universities completing an online pre-screening questionnaire, accessible via this link: https://forms.office.com/pages/responsepage.aspx?id=HQ5ohaMSRk2cmJvuOQH8V8DK29D71_VMtLlhzXLJ-25UMUMyWDRZRkNOTjBPUEEyMFpOOFk0U0pDTC4u&web=1&wdLOR=c32ACFB86-2003-4765-95EB-0B1C2EC047D6
- Designation of an Authorized Focal Point: Each university designates an authorized focal point to oversee the submission of all application materials.
- Submission Requirements: Six essential documents must be submitted for each candidate, including
- An official letter of nomination,
- ICJ personal history form
- letters of reference
- official academic records
- A writing sample, and
- A candidate profile summary table.
Official website: https://www.icj-cij.org/judicial-fellows-program
All applications must be submitted by 5 February 2024.
The Court anticipates finalizing candidate selection by April 2024. Successful candidates will receive notification through their nominating university.
For queries about the submission process or required documents, refer to the FAQ page dedicated to the Judicial Fellowship Programme and Trust Fund. Check out the FAQ page here: https://www.icj-cij.org/judicial-fellowship-programme-and-trust-fund