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Internship Opportunity at International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) [July-Sep 2022], Hamburg: Apply by Mar 31

Applications are invited for an internship opportunity at the Legal Office of International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) for 2022, in Hamburg.

About the Tribunal or ITLOS

The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) is an independent judicial body established by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to adjudicate disputes arising out of the interpretation and application of the Convention.

The Tribunal is composed of 21 independent members, elected from among persons enjoying the highest reputation for fairness and integrity and of recognized competence in the field of the law of the sea.

The Tribunal has jurisdiction over any dispute concerning the interpretation or application of the Convention, and over all matters specifically provided for in any other agreement which confers jurisdiction on the Tribunal (Statute, article 21).

The Tribunal is open to States Parties to the Convention (i.e. States and international organisations which are parties to the Convention). It is also open to entities other than States Parties, i.e., States or intergovernmental organisations which are not parties to the Convention, and to state enterprises and private entities “in any case expressly provided for in Part XI or in any case submitted pursuant to any other agreement conferring jurisdiction on the Tribunal which is accepted by all the parties to that case” (Statute, article 20)

About the Internship Opportunity

The Tribunal (ITLOS) offers a limited number of internships (20) each year to students and recent graduates of law, international relations, public relations, political science, library science and translation.

Interns work under the supervision of Registry officials on matters relevant to the Tribunal’s work. The 3-month programme allows students to gain an understanding of the way in which the Tribunal functions and to participate in the work of the Registry.

Interns are expected to be able to contribute to the work of the Tribunal in fields such as the law of the sea, public international law, international organizations and international relations, political science, public information, library science and translation.

Legal Office

The Legal Office consists of 4 legal officers, working under the supervision of the Head of the Legal Office. The Legal Office works in close cooperation with the Registrar,

  • conducting research on international law, law of the sea and administrative legal matters;
  • examining legal instruments and precedents relating to the work of the Tribunal;
  • drafting judicial reports on questions relating to the work of the Tribunal;
  • serving the meetings of the Tribunal and preparing background material, reports and papers; and
  • providing legal advice on a diverse range of substantive and procedural questions of law as well as on the management and administration of the Registry.

Tasks involved:

  • Interns work under the close supervision of one of the legal officers. They carry out research on a variety of legal issues and prepare notes for their supervisor, the other legal officers, or the Registrar.
  • Interns are also requested to conduct research on a specific topic of their own choice, upon which they prepare a written paper and give an oral presentation to the Legal Office at the end of the internship.
  • Together with other interns serving at the Tribunal, they also prepare the weekly press review covering recent developments in the law of the sea.


Candidates from the following fields of study may apply for an internship:

  • Law of the sea/public international law
  • International relations/Political science
  • Library science/Archival administration
  • Translation
  • Communications/Journalism/Media studies

Applicants should:

  • have completed at least 3 years of university studies;
  • normally be engaged in a degree-granting or postgraduate course at the time of application and also during their internship, or be a recent graduate;
  • normally not be more than 35 years of age;
  • have a good command of English and/or French; and
  • have an interest in international law, in particular international law of the sea, international affairs or international institutions and organizations.

ITLOS interns are students or recent graduates from all over the world, all sharing an interest in international law and in particular the law of the sea. Their backgrounds are varied and depend on the department they are attached to: those in the Legal Office have usually completed their first law degree or are already working on a masters in international law or a PhD in a law of the sea-related topic.

In the selection of candidates, due consideration is given to geographical diversity and gender balance.

Availability of Funding

A Trust Fund for the Law of the Sea was established in 2010 with the aim of providing financial assistance to participants from developing countries. A limited amount of funding is available to assist interns with their living and travel costs. 

In addition to the requirements for participation in the programme, the following criteria apply in determining eligibility for internship funding:

  • Applicants must be nationals of a developing country included on the OECD list and should normally be resident in that country; and
  • Applicants should be in need of financial assistance to help cover the travel and living costs associated with an internship in Hamburg.

Candidates should indicate their interest in applying for funding in the online application form. Late applications for funding will not be considered.

How to Apply?

If you are interested in participating in the internship programme at the Tribunal in Hamburg you should submit:

  • The duly completed online application form;
  • A covering letter no more than one page in length, explaining why an internship at the Tribunal is important to you, how it would fit in with your academic and career goals, and what benefits you expect to derive from the programme;
  • A résumé/curriculum vitae;
  • A brief sample of research work in English or French of no more than 10 pages, if possible on a topic of relevance to the work of the Tribunal; 
  • Copies of a document as proof of your enrolment in a university course, your university degrees/diplomas and a list of courses taken or grade transcript;
  • References; and
  • Language certificates, where relevant.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Candidates who are nationals of a developing country included in the OECD list intending to apply for funding should indicate their intention to do so in the online application form. Late applications for funding will not be considered.

Please Note: The internship coordinator contacts all applicants by email approximately one month after the closure of the application period.

Certificate and Stipend

  • Certificate: Yes. The certificate states the period of internship, gives examples of the allocated tasks, and evaluates the intern’s performance.
  • Stipend: ITLOS Internships are not remunerated.

Contact Information

If you have any further questions about the programme please contact the internship coordinator via mail (

Click here for more information on the ITLOS Internship.

Click here for the application form.

Disclaimer: We try to ensure that the information we post on Lawctopus is accurate. However, despite our best efforts, some of the content may contain errors. You can trust us, but please conduct your own checks too.

Source: Lawctopus

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