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How to get an Internship at the Court of Human Rights

by Minoas Vitalis
Reading Time: 5 minutes

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is an important institution for the protection of human rights in Europe. Its work is vital for ensuring that everyone’s human rights are respected and protected.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in human rights, an internship at the ECHR could be a great opportunity for you. In this guide, we will provide you with information on what the Court does, the benefits of interning there, and the application process.

What does the Court do?

The Court of Human Rights is the main judicial institution of the Council of Europe. The ECHR is a supranational court that hears cases brought against states that are Parties to the European Convention on Human Rights. The Court has the power to hear cases brought by individuals, NGOs, and even other states.

The ECHR is not part of the European Union, but all of the EU members are parties to the European Convention on Human Rights. The Court is based in Strasbourg, France.

What does an internship at the Court involve?

An internship at the Court of Human Rights usually lasts from 8 weeks to 5 months. It is an opportunity to work in a truly international environment and to gain valuable experience in the field of human rights.

The Court is based in Strasbourg, France, and its role is to protect human rights in Europe. It does this by hearing cases brought by individuals or groups who believe their human rights have been violated.

If you are an intern at the Court, you will be working with some of the world’s leading experts on human rights. You will have the opportunity to learn about the Court’s work and to contribute to its important mission.

The Court is looking for interns who are motivated and have a strong interest in human rights. Interns must be able to work independently and be able to take initiative. They should also have good writing and research skills.

If you are interested in applying for an internship at the Court, please look at the Council of Europe website for the most up-to-date information.

What are the benefits of an internship at the Court?

An internship at the Court of Human Rights is a great opportunity to learn about human rights and gain valuable work experience. Interns have the chance to work with some of the world’s leading experts on human rights and to contribute to the work of the Court. Internships are undertaken in Strasbourg and you will receive a monthly allowance of 600 euros.

You will also get the opportunity to attend an induction training programme at the Court. This will give you an opportunity to learn more about the work of the Court and how it operates. You may also attend conferences during your internship.

What is the application process for an internship at the Court?

If you are interested in applying for an internship at the Court, please visit the Council of Europe website for more information. The website has a list of all of the current internship opportunities and information on how to apply.

To apply for an internship, you will need to fill out an online application form and submit a CV and cover letter. You may need to take a written test.

The selection process for internships is very competitive, so make sure you put your best foot forward in your application. Do not be discouraged if you are not successful the first time you apply. Applications usually open in the beginning go every year and in September.

What are the requirements for an internship at the Court?

To be eligible for an internship at the Court, you must:

  • Be a national of a Council of Europe member state;
  • Have completed at least a bachelor’s degree;
  • Have a good knowledge of one of the official languages of the Council of Europe (English or French)  and a working knowledge of the other;

What are the tasks of an intern at the Court?

The work of interns at the Court varies depending on their department, but may include:

You may be asked to do some research on a particular topic or to help prepare cases for hearings. You might also be asked to assist with the organisation of events or help with administrative tasks. Whatever your role, you will gain valuable experience of working in an international organisation.

Interns are expected to work full-time (37.5 hours per week), and the Court offers an allowance. Internships are usually for a period of three months but can be shorter or longer if agreed in advance with the Court.

What kind of skills do you need to be successful as an intern?

In order to be successful as an intern at the Court of Human Rights, it is useful to have the following skills: 

  • Good research skills. This is important because  as an intern, you will be working on research projects for the judges.
  • Good writing skills. This is important because you may be writing draft memos and other documents for the Court.
  • Good organizational skills. This is important because you will need to keep track of your work and the work of the other interns.
  • Good interpersonal skills. This is important because you will be working with people from all over the world and you will need to be able to communicate effectively with them.

If you have these skills, you will be well on your way to being successful as an intern at the Court of Human Rights!

In addition, it is useful if you have the following profile:

  • You are interested in human rights. This is important because the work of the Court is all about human rights.
  • You are motivated and hardworking. This is important because internships can be demanding and you will need to be able to work hard.
  • You are a team player. This is important because you will be working with other interns and you will need to be able to work well in a team.

If you have these skills and qualities, you will be well on your way to being successful as an intern at the Court of Human Rights!

Tips to succeed once you get there

  1. Research the Court and its work before your internship begins. The better informed you are, the more you will be able to contribute and the more you will get out of the experience.
  2. Be proactive and take initiative. Don’t wait to be given tasks – offer to help with anything and everything.
  3. Be a team player. The Court is a small organisation and everyone needs to pull their weight.
  4. Show respect for the opinions of others, even if you don’t agree with them. Remember that you are there to learn, not to preach.
  5. Take advantage of the opportunity to meet and work with people from all over the world. The Court attracts interns from all corners of the globe, so make the most of this opportunity to expand your horizons.
  6. Make sure you are organised and efficient in your work. The Court deals with a huge volume of cases and documents, so good organisation is essential.
  7. Keep an open mind and be prepared to change your opinion on things. The work of the Court can be very eye-opening and you may find that your views on certain issues evolve over the course of your internship.
  8. Be patient. The Court is a slow-moving organisation and decisions are often made slowly and carefully. Don’t expect things to happen overnight.
  9. Be professional at all times. This is an opportunity to gain valuable work experience, so make sure you conduct yourself in a professional manner at all times.
  10. Make the most of your time at the Court. It’s a unique and fascinating place to work, so soak up as much as you can and enjoy the experience!

If you follow these tips, you’re sure to make the most of your internship at the Court of Human Rights and come away with valuable experience that will help you in your future career.

Conclusion

The Court of Human Rights internship is a unique opportunity to gain first-hand experience in an international setting. If you are interested in human rights law and want to learn more about the court’s work, then this internship is perfect for you. The deadline for applications is fast approaching, so don’t miss your chance!

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Minoas graduated with a Merit upon studying the full-time MPA Public Administration – International Development degree (MPA-ID) at the University of York. He is currently working as a freelance EU affairs consultant in Belgium.
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