British Institute of International and Comparative Law Internship


The British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL) is one of the world’s leading independent research centres for international and comparative law, promoting the rule of law in national and international affairs. BIICL’s vision is facilitated through applied legal research, events, training, publications and the establishment of the innovative Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law.

Internship opportunity

A unique opportunity exists for Melbourne Law School (MLS) students to undertake an internship assisting Associate Senior Research Fellow in Public International Law, Dr Jean-Pierre Gauci, on a BIICL international law research project. In previous years, projects have focused on comparative research on cultural sensitivity of legal procedures for indigenous peoples, law as a means of reaching peaceful settlement in post-conflict societies, and issues in relation to climate change and its impact on security and survival.

This internship is available twice yearly, over at least two months (full time), however longer part time internships may be considered. Commencement dates and internship duration will be negotiated to suit both BIICL and the individual interns.


All MLS students enrolled in the Melbourne JD, Melbourne Law Masters (MLM) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) courses are eligible to apply.

JD or MLM applicants must remain enrolled in their course for the entire duration of their BIICL internship. This will generally mean that they have at least 12.5 credit points of study remaining to complete their course upon return from BIICL. Students are no longer considered ‘enrolled’, and are therefore ineligible, if they have completed all assessment for their course and are awaiting graduation.

PhD applicants must demonstrate that their thesis is due after their return from BIICL.

The ideal candidate will demonstrate:

  • A strong academic record
  • Knowledge of, and interest in, international law
  • Excellent legal research and analytical skills
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.

Practical legal experience will be considered an advantage.

Subject credit

Successful Melbourne JD and MLM applicants may be eligible to obtain subject credit for the BIICL internship by separately applying, enrolling and completing either Legal Internship (LAWS50059) (JD only) or International Legal Internship (LAWS70067) (select MLM courses only).

Legal Internship (LAWS50059) and International Legal Internship (LAWS70067) can only be completed once.

Application process

JD and MLM applicants must provide:

  • A cover letter (under two pages), addressing the following:
    • Why you are applying for an internship with BIICL
    • Your knowledge of, and interest in, international law
    • Any practical legal experience
    • Your proposed internship dates (must be over at least two months (full time), however longer part-time internships may be considered)
  • CV
  • Academic transcripts
  • A nominated MLS academic referee (a reference check may be conducted by phone or email, so applicants are advised to supply all contact details in the application)

PhD applicants must provide the documents as listed above, plus an Evidence of Enrolment (which displays their expected thesis submission date).

Applications close: 1 May 2019

How to apply


For the purposes of this internship opportunity, BIICL will provide successful applicants with a Certificate of Sponsorship, allowing students to travel to the United Kingdom (UK) on a 'Tier 5 - Charity Worker' visa. Students will need to determine if this meets their purposes and intended duration of stay in the UK.

If proceeding with the 'Tier 5 - Charity Worker' visa, it will be the student’s responsibility to ensure they meet all eligibility criteria and apply for the visa before the supplied Certificate of Sponsorship expires. It is particularly important that applicants demonstrate they have the requisite funds in their bank account for the stated period prior to applying for the visa (presently, £945 continuously for 90 days before applying).

Students wishing to enter the UK on a different visa will need to source the required documents independently.

Scholarships and Funding

Opportunities may be available from the following:

Students who require a letter for Centrelink that confirms their participation in the overseas program must contact the Work Integrated Learning team at no less than three weeks before departure. Failure to do so may result in loss of payments such as Austudy, Youth Allowance and Disability Support Pension.


Participating students may be eligible for free University of Melbourne travel insurance.