International Commission of Jurists

Outline of the organisation

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) is dedicated to the primacy, coherence and implementation of international law and principles that advance human rights. What distinguishes the ICJ is its impartial, objective and authoritative legal approach to the protection and promotion of human rights through the rule of law. The ICJ provides legal expertise at both the international and national levels to ensure that developments in international law adhere to human rights principles and that international standards are implemented at the national level. The ICJ aims to ensure the progressive development and effective implementation of international human rights and international humanitarian law; secure the realisation of civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights; safeguard the separation of powers; and guarantee the independence of the judiciary and legal profession.

Positions available

The ICJ relies heavily on the additional human resource capacity, commitment and dedication offered by students or graduates to collaborate in its work. The ICJ highly benefits from the outcome of the research and contribution of ICJ interns. Participation in such a programme offers interns the opportunity:

  • to gain practical experience in human rights legal and advocacy work at the international level;
  • to gain a better understanding of the ICJ’s goals and objectives and of how a Human Rights NGO is organised;
  • to gain exposure to the practical functioning of the United Nations human rights bodies and mechanisms based in Geneva;
  • to gain valuable experience of working in a professional office environment;
  • to provide interns the possibility of working in a multicultural, multilingual and multi-ethnic environment;
  • to build professional and personal relations with colleagues and counter-parts who will be able to provide long-term professional advice, encouragement and support; and
  • to help interns in career development. For many the experience of an internship with the ICJ has established a lifelong commitment and career in the international human rights field.

Interns are hired for a minimum of four months for non-EU/EFTA citizens and a minimum of six months for EU/EFTA nationals with a maximum period of one year.

Interns are responsible for all expenses and costs incurred during their internship. This includes travel, accommodation and any relocation costs. Moreover, the ICJ is unable to provide or organise travel no housing for interns. Interns will be asked to provide proof of financial independence in order to be issued the work permit required by Swiss authorities.


Applicants are expected to:

  • be a postgraduate student or currently completing a postgraduate degree in law, political science, international relations or a related field. Priority will be given to graduates who have or are studying law, especially human rights or international law. Interns working for non-programme staff may be required to have studied another field related to their work at the ICJ;
  • be highly dedicated to the legal protection and promotion of human rights;
  • be well-organised, have strong research, analytical and drafting skills and able to work independently;
  • be computer literate as well as familiar with Internet research;
  • be highly motivated, able to work as part of a multicultural team and willing to apply themselves in a frequently pressurised environment; and
  • have spoken and written fluency in English and desirably French and/or another foreign language.

Application process

Unsolicited applications can be addressed with a resume, cover letter and the names and contact details of at least two referees by email to Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

Further information is available here.