International Law Clinic

Dit vak wordt in het Engels aangeboden. Omschrijvingen kunnen daardoor mogelijk alleen in het Engels worden weergegeven.

Doel vak

The 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 (states, civil society groups) or the general public 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.

Inhoud vak

The International Law Clinic provides students the opportunity to
conduct legal and policy research that is used to assist governments and
non-state actors’ leadership or the general public 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 organisation 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,
students perform organisational/administrative tasks through which they
can develop their professional skills.
Furthermore, international law professionals teach professional
development (PD) sessions that help students prepare themselves for a
successful entry into the career market. These PD sessions 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. Students are moreover encouraged to attend events that are
relevant to their work.
In short, the International Law Clinic provides the opportunity to work
in a professional and
international climate, with motivated peers and individual supervision,
on topics of international law and policy, to address real life
challenges in (post-)conflict situations.


Team meetings with clinical staff and participants to discuss projects,
as well as current developments in (conflict-)situations of clients;
Individual tutorials.
Students are obliged to attend a weekly meeting that comprises of
project progress discussions and substantive and skills training. In
addition they are obliged to meet in between those meetings on an
individual basis with supervisors and/or peers to discuss work progress
when needed.
Students commit to participate in the International Law Clinic for a
semester, with an average of 20 hours per week during that period. All
participants of the International Law Clinic need to sign a
Confidentiality Agreement to maintain attorney-client privilege.
Each semester, a maximum of 10-15 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.
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 dr. Marieke de Hoon, via Deadline for applications for the first
semester is 6 September. For the second semester, it is 7 February.
Follow the Facebook page of PILPG's Netherlands Office for updated
information, the Call for Application as well as to get acquainted with
the organisation.


Students are assessed based on several written assignments throughout
the semester, their team work, and their professional conduct. At the
commencement of the semester, 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.


The 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.


Any 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.

Afwijkende intekenprocedure

To apply, students need to send a CV, cover letter and list of grades to the course coordinator through the email address: 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 for Semester 1 opens in August and closes on Friday 6 September 2019. For Semester 2, the application period opens in January and closes on Friday 7 February 2020. 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 application procedure and subsequent dates by email in response to their application. The selection procedure will take place during September and during February. Successful candidates will commence with the Clinic by or around 1 October or 1 March respectively.

Aanbevolen voorkennis

Students 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
of English. Since one of the projects entails the development of
technology for the field of human rights, computer science students with
affinity for societal impact and human rights are especially encouraged
to apply.

Algemene informatie

Vakcode R_IntLCl12
Studiepunten 12 EC
Periode Ac. Jaar (sept)
Vakniveau 500
Onderwijstaal Engels
Faculteit Faculteit der Rechtsgeleerdheid
Vakcoördinator dr. mr. A.M. de Hoon
Examinator dr. mr. A.M. de Hoon
Docenten dr. mr. A.M. de Hoon

Praktische informatie

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