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Permanent Court of International Justice

Series A: Collection of Judgments (1923-1930)
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FAQs: Judicial Fellowship Programme and Trust Fund


The Programme

1. Can individuals apply to the Judicial Fellowship Programme?

a.
No, the Court does not accept applications from individuals. All eligible candidates must be nominated and have their application submitted by their university.

2. Are there any restrictions as to whom a university can nominate for the Programme?

a.
The Programme was established to enable recent law graduates to gain professional experience working at the Court. All nominated candidates should meet the general eligibility criteria on the Court’s website. Candidates nominated for the Trust Fund award should be current students or graduates of universities based in developing countries which lack the means to provide financial sponsorship.
b.
Candidates should be no more than 31 years of age at the start of the Programme. However, exceptions may be made in special circumstances.

3. How many candidates can one university nominate for the Programme?

a.
The Court does not limit the number of candidates that a single university may nominate. It encourages universities to nominate more than one candidate if they consider that they have multiple qualified candidates who are eligible for the Programme.

4. Are there any language requirements for the Programme?

a.
The Court does not require specific language certificates. English and French are the official languages of the Court. Excellent knowledge of and drafting ability in one of these languages is required. A working knowledge of the second official language is an asset. Please refer to this link: equivalency table.
b.
Application material, including transcripts, can be submitted in either English or French. Transcripts in other languages should preferably be certified by the university and translated into English or French.

5. What makes for a strong nomination to the Judicial Fellowship Programme?

a.
The Court does not impose any formal criteria or grade requirements for selection. However, the Programme is extremely competitive. It is up to the university to decide which candidates are best qualified for nomination. Universities are strongly encouraged to limit nominations to candidates who have excelled in their legal studies and demonstrated an interest in public international law through their academic background, publications and/or work experience.

Trust Fund Awards

6. Who can apply for a Trust Fund award?

a.
Trust Fund awards are intended to benefit candidates nominated by universities based in developing countries which lack the means to provide financial sponsorship. To determine whether a particular university and candidate are eligible to apply for a Trust Fund award, please consult the eligibility list on the Court’s website, which is based on the UNDP Human Development Report 2021/2022. It is up to the nominating university to decide whether to apply for an award or to financially sponsor their candidates.
b.
The number of candidates selected for a Trust Fund award each year depends on the resources available in the Fund.

7. How does a university indicate that it is nominating its candidate for a Trust Fund award?

a.
To apply, the nominating university must select “Application via the Programme Trust Fund” in the online pre-screening questionnaire. The university is further advised to mention in its nomination letter that it is seeking sponsorship for its candidate via the Trust Fund.

8. What does the Trust Fund award cover and how is it distributed?

a.
The award consists of a monthly stipend and will cover living expenses in The Hague, and travel and health insurance costs. The stipend will enable Fellows to participate fully in the Programme without the burden of financial hardship.
b.
The stipend will be disbursed monthly directly to the selected candidate by the Secretariat of the United Nations.

Application Process

9. The online pre-screening questionnaire requires my university to designate an authorized focal point. What is the focal point’s role in the application process?

a.
The authorized focal point is the person who will submit the candidate’s application on behalf of the university and will answer any questions that the Court may have about the candidate. All application materials must be submitted through the email address of the university’s authorized focal point indicated in the online pre-screening questionnaire. It is up to the nominating university to appoint its focal point.

10. I have been nominated by my university. What documents need to be submitted to complete my application?

a.
After a nominating university completes the pre-screening questionnaire for each of its nominated candidates, the following six documents must be submitted for each candidate through the email address of the university’s authorized focal point:
i. Official letter of nomination from the university
ii. ICJ personal history form
iii. Candidate profile summary table
iv. Letters of reference
v. Official academic records
vi. Writing sample
b.
Further application instructions, together with the ICJ personal history form and candidate profile summary table, will be provided in the confirmation email sent to the focal point upon completion of the pre-screening questionnaire.

11. Who can provide letters of reference for a candidate?

a.
A referee should be someone who currently engages with the candidate in an academic or professional capacity or has done so in the past. Candidates may submit two or three letters of reference.

12. What are the requirements for the writing sample?

a.
The writing sample must be no more than 15 pages long (bibliography included) and should be in either English or French. Preferably, it should be on a topic of public international law, and should have been written and submitted as part of the candidate’s academic coursework, as a publication, or as a note in a professional setting. Excerpts from a longer paper, or multiple short samples, may also be submitted if they meet the page limit.
b.
The writing sample should adhere to generally accepted formatting.

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