International Commission of Jurists

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) is a major human rights NGO involved in educating governmental officials, judges, business leaders, and others around the world about human rights. It describes itself as a global network of judges, lawyers, and human rights defenders united by international law and rule of law principles that advance human rights. Using our expertise in law, justice systems, and advocacy, we work for victims to obtain remedies, for those responsible for abuses to be held accountable, and for justice systems to be independent and active protectors of human rights. We work to change law and policy at the national and international levels when they do not adequately protect people from human rights violations.

Nature of the Extern's Work and Supervision

The ICJ will assign the Michigan extern to a team, supervised by a lawyer when the ICJ determines its needs and can match them to a student's interest. Internships are available in the following areas:

International Law and Protection Programme

Focusing on aspects of the development and application of international human rights law, including economic social and cultural rights, sexual orientation and gender identity, women's human rights, international economic relations, global security and rule of law, and the United Nations.

Regional Programme

Focusing on specific legal issues in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Central America, Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.

Participation in either programme offers the interns an opportunity to gain practical experience in human rights legal and advocacy work at the international level, as well as experience in working in a professional office environment. Students build professional and personal relations with colleagues and counterparts who will be able to provide long-term professional advice, support, and encouragement to follow a career in this field. In addition, interns gain exposure to the practical functioning of the United Nations human rights bodies and mechanisms based on Geneva.

Externs are integrated into the ICJ's staff and become part of a team of junior support staff. They participate and contribute to staff meetings, discussions and briefing sessions, research human rights issues, draft papers and reports, maintain information databases, attend and take notes at outside meetings, and provide support to other ICJ activities. The extern's responsibilities are based on the needs of the ICJ and the candidate's interests.

Important Information for Students

Transnational Law and a human rights law course are required. Knowledge of foreign languages is helpful. It is expected that the student selected for this placement will be expected to stay for four months.

To learn more about the International Commission of Jurists, please visit their website.