Justice statue

International Court of Justice Clerkship Program

The International Court of Justice clerkship program provides an opportunity for one student or graduate from the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law to clerk at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations and one of the most influential tribunals in the world.

About the Program

The Court has 15 judges elected by the UN General Assembly and Security Council. It adjudicates international law disputes submitted by member States of the UN or by the various organs and agencies of the UN.

The uOttawa Faculty of Law is among a select group of leading law schools – including Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, Harvard, Yale, NYU, Georgetown, Columbia, Michigan and Geneva – that are eligible to nominate candidates to be considered by the Court for a clerkship position. The program is highly selective and is awarded only to a few outstanding legal scholars around the world. 

The selected clerk is assigned to work for one Judge during a ten-month clerkship (traineeship), usually beginning on September 1st and ending on June 30th. During this period, clerks assist members of the Court by carrying out research, writing memoranda on legal and factual issues, preparing case files and attending public hearings. Clerks are expected to be regularly involved in the Court’s work. 

The University of Ottawa has been fortunate to have many of its nominees selected for a clerkship position at the ICJ.