Course ObjectiveThe objective of the International Law Clinic is to enable students to
provide legal and policy research assistance to the work of the Public
International Law & Policy Group (PILPG), which is used to assist
clients (which are states, opposition or civil society groups) in
conflict and post-conflict situations. Students thereby acquire advanced
knowledge of international, comparative and human rights law, legal
research and writing skills, as well as professional development towards
becoming an international lawyer.
Course ContentThe International Law Clinic provides students the opportunity to
conduct legal and policy research that is used to assist governments and
non-state actors’ leaderships in conflict or post-conflict situations.
Topics include domestic and international prosecution of international
crimes, transitional justice, and human rights redress.
As research staff to the Netherlands Office of the renowned
international organization the Public International Law & Policy Group
(PILPG), a 2005 Nobel Peace Prize nominee, students are supervised by
and work in close cooperation with senior associates in providing legal
and policy assistance in real-life conflict situations.
In addition to working on research projects throughout the year, they
are allocated with organizational/administrative tasks through which
they can develop their professional and organizational skills.
Furthermore, international law professionals teach professional
development sessions every 2 weeks that help students prepare themselves
for a successful entry into the career
market. For example, they focus on research and writing skills for
effective and client-friendly legal memoranda, networking skills, career
advice, presentation skills, social media and working in international
criminal justice and diplomacy, to name a few.
Moreover, students are encouraged to attend events that are relevant to
their work, and are
provided with business cards and a personal email address to assist
their opportunities to build a network. The International Law Clinic
moreover provides the opportunity to work in a professional and
international climate, with motivated peers and individual supervision.
Teaching MethodsTeam meetings with clinical staff and participants to discuss projects,
as well as current developments in (conflict-)situations of clients;
Students are obliged to attend the meeting with entire clinic staff and
participants that takes place at least once every two weeks. In addition
they are obliged to meet in between those meetings on an individual
basis with supervisors and/or peers to discuss work progress whenever
Students commit to participate in the International Law Clinic for the
full Academic Year. They commit to an average of approximately 12-16
hours per week throughout this period. All participants of the
International Law Clinic need to sign a Confidentiality Agreement to
maintain attorney-client privilege.
Each year, a maximum of 10 students may be accepted to participate in
the International Law Clinic. Successful applicants become Research
Associates of the Netherlands Office of the Public International Law &
Policy Group (PILPG). They are supervised by the senior associates of
PILPG-NL and work in cooperation with PILPG Global. The Clinic continues
throughout the academic year.
To be eligible for the International Law Clinic, students need to have a
basic understanding of public
international law, international relations, international criminal law
and/or human rights law, good research and writing skills, and an
excellent knowledge of English. To apply, students need to send a CV,
cover letter and list of grades to the course coordinator Marieke de
firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline for applications is 7
September. Follow the Facebook page of PILPG's Netherlands Office for
updated information, the Call for Application as well as to get
acquainted with the organization.
Method of AssessmentStudents are assessed based on several written assignments throughout
the year, their team work, and their professional conduct. At the
commencement of the year, students are provided with the detailed
assessment form to make clear on which terms they are assessed.
Moreover, each student will have an individual mid-term assessment
meeting with their supervisor(s). In this mid-term
assessment, the supervisor(s) and student discuss which skills are
performed well and in which ways the student can improve him or herself
for a better grade as well as the student's further professional
development. Successful students receive 12 ECTS and a grade upon
completion of the course.
LiteratureThe literature that students will use will depend on the assignment.
Students are expected to find appropriate literature and case law for
their research assignments themselves, in cooperation with the team, and
may also be directed to relevant literature by supervisors.
Target AudienceAny student of any Dutch university or master's program that believes
s/he can contribute to the team can apply. In the selection process,
team consistence and diversity of knowledge and skills is taken into
consideration. However, since the International Law Clinic functions as
a law firm, there is a need for a sufficient amount of students with a
strong legal background.
Custom Course RegistrationTo apply, students need to send a CV, cover letter and list of grades to the course coordinator through the email address: email@example.com. When you are not a Master student from the Faculty of Law at the VU, you are required to have a registration for subsidiary Master courses (bijvakregistratie). The application period opens in August and closes on Friday 7 September 2017. The first round of selection is on the basis of motivation letter, CV and grades; the second round includes a written assignment; and the final round is an interview with the selection committee. Applicants will receive further information on the rest of the application procedure and subsequent dates by email in response to their application. The selection procedure will take place during September. Successful candidates will commence with the Clinic by or around 1 October.
Recommended background knowledgeStudents should have a basic understanding of public international law,
international relations, international criminal law (and/) or human
rights law, good research and writing skills, and an excellent knowledge
|Period||Ac. Year (sept)|
|Language of Tuition||English|
|Faculty||Faculty of Law|
|Course Coordinator||dr. mr. A.M. de Hoon|
|Examiner||dr. mr. A.M. de Hoon|
dr. mr. A.M. de Hoon
You cannot register for this course yourself; your faculty's education office carries out registration
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