Legal internships

legalLegal internships provide a unique and exciting opportunity to gain insight into the day-to-day work of a prominent international judicial institution. Created by the United Nations Security Council in 2010, the Mechanism is the successor of two pioneering international criminal tribunals, the ICTY and the ICTR. Put your legal studies into practice and gain valuable experience in the field of international law in one of the following areas:

What we need from you

If you‘re applying for a legal internship we require that you be enrolled in, or have completed, a graduate school programme (second university degree or equivalent, or higher) or be enrolled in, or have completed, the final academic year of a first university degree programme (minimum bachelor’s level or equivalent).

We prefer graduates who are specialised in one or more of the following disciplines:

  • International criminal law;
  • Public international law;
  • International humanitarian law;
  • Human rights law;
  • Criminal law; or
  • Criminology.

English and French are the working languages of the Mechanism. Fluency in oral and written English is required. Fluency in oral and written French is an advantage. Check each vacancy notice for specific language requirements.

There is no age restriction to be an intern at the IRMCT. Please note that children or siblings of a staff member are not eligible to apply for an internship at the United Nations.

What you will gain

You will become immersed in the operations of an international criminal tribunal from the day you arrive. Depending on which branch you are located in and which organ you are assigned to, typical responsibilities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Conducting independent legal research;
  • Analysing laws and policies;
  • Assisting legal officers with preparing for examinations of witnesses;
  • Assisting in the drafting of decisions, orders or legal submissions;
  • Classifying and preparing evidence;
  • Assisting in the tracking of fugitives;
  • Assisting in negotiations; or
  • Assisting Judges during hearings.

Further information on duties can be found on each organ’s internship page.

How to Apply

Applications are processed through Inspira, the United Nations’ career management portal. Be sure to follow the instructions in each vacancy notice very carefully. Before sending it to us, be sure you have completed every section in the application in Inspira. Applications that do not contain all elements will be deemed incomplete and will not be considered. A guide to completing applications in Inspira can be found here [PDF].

You may also be required to provide:

  • Two (2) letters of recommendation;
  • Copies of your university transcripts (including courses taken and grades received); and
  • A sample of your written work, preferably in a field relevant to the work of the Mechanism, and no longer than ten (10) pages.

Each vacancy notice may have its own requirements so please read it carefully to ensure you are providing the correct documents.  

If you are applying to several sections of the Mechanism, please make sure to indicate this in your application and clearly state your preference. Also please indicate your preferred internship period at the beginning of your cover letter.


Read our programme guidelines, which contain the answers to most questions we receive. If your question isn’t answered there, feel free to contact us and we will help you.

Not a law student but are still interested in an internship with us? Have a look at our various non-legal internships in areas such as external relations, archive management or human resources.

We look forward to seeing you either in Arusha or The Hague!