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Internship - Preliminary Examination Section - JCCD - OTP

The Hague (Netherlands)

  • Organization: ICC - International Criminal Court
  • Location: The Hague (Netherlands)
  • Grade: Internship
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Legal - Broad
  • Closing Date:

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  20268 | OTP

Organisational Unit: Preliminary Examination Section | Jurisdiction, Complementarity and Cooperation Division | Office of the Prosecutor            
Duty Station: The Hague - NL
Contract Duration: 6 months
Deadline for Applications:                31 December 2021

Required Documents for this Application

Please note that you will need to have the following information ready in order to complete your application:

  • A completed “Duties and Responsibilities Form” (refer to step 1 on your eRecruitment Profile page).
  • Motivation letter (maximum of 400 words).
  • Two reference letters (one academic).
  • Scanned copies of university degrees and/or diplomas.
  • Scanned copies of official academic transcripts that state your courses, results and completion date.
  • One short essay on a subject relevant to the work of the Court and/or a situation currently under preliminary examination (maximum of 750 words, single spaced, type written).

Important message

To participate in containing the COVID-19 spread and in line with the measures adopted by the Host State, the ICC staff members, interns and visiting professional based in The Hague are currently working remotely. Accordingly, the candidates selected for this position are expected to work remotely from within the duty station (The Hague) until the re-opening of the ICC’s premises. They are also expected to work with their own computer and internet connection.

Contract Duration

Interns are required to work full time for a period of six months (preferably with a starting date either in March or July/August). Candidates are invited to specify their exact availability in their application. 


Organisational Context

The Office of the Prosecutor investigates and prosecutes genocide, crimes against humanity, the crime of aggression and war crimes committed by nationals of a State Party or on the territory of a State Party on or after 1 July 2002, the date of entry into force of the Rome Statute.

The Preliminary Examination Section, which forms part of the Jurisdiction, Complementarity and Cooperation Division (JCCD), is the section in charge of all preliminary examination activities carried out by the Office of the Prosecutor. 

The conduct of preliminary examinations is one of the three core activities of the Office, together with investigations and prosecutions. The purpose of a preliminary examination is to gather and analyse factual and legal information necessary to reach a fully informed determination of whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation in accordance with the criteria stipulated in Article 53(1) of the Rome Statute.

In practice the day to day activities of the Preliminary Examination Section revolve around the research, collection and analysis of information received under Article 15 of the Rome Statute or on the basis of State Party or UNSC referrals alleging the commission of Rome Statute crimes. Information may also be sought and received from multiple sources, including States, organs of the UN, intergovernmental or non-governmental organisations, open sources and any other reliable source.

On the basis of this information the Preliminary Examination Section’s staff conduct contextual and factual analysis as well as legal assessments in relation to a wide variety of situations involving allegations of Rome Statute crimes. On the basis of its conclusions the Preliminary Examination Section makes recommendations to the Prosecutor regarding matters of jurisdiction, admissibility (including complementarity and gravity), and the interests of justice and ultimately whether or not the legal criteria are met to open a new investigation. The Section organises its work by way of multidisciplinary teams that include staff from the Investigation Division, Prosecution Division and the International Cooperation Section.

The Office is presently conducting preliminary examinations relating to the situations in Bolivia, Colombia, Guinea, Iraq/UK, Philippines, Nigeria, Ukraine, Venezuela I and Venezuela II. It also routinely assesses all communications received at the initial filtering stage to determine whether they are manifestly outside of the jurisdiction of the Court.

After the successful completion of an internship in the Preliminary Examination Section candidates can expect to have gained valuable insight into the starting point of international criminal investigations, and have acquired skills in field of open source analysis, large data processing and legal review related to international criminal law as well as improved drafting skills.

Duties and Responsibilities

As part of the Preliminary Examination Section you will assist in performing research and analytical tasks and duties as requested by the Head of the Preliminary Examinations Section and the staff of the section in relation to situations under preliminary examination, such as:

  • Factual research using open sources and communications submitted to the Office of the Prosecutor (pursuant to article 15 of the Statute);  
  • Factual and legal assessment of matters relating to subject-matter jurisdiction, such as of crime patterns and incidents potentially amounting to core crimes under Article 5 of the Rome Statute.
  • Legal research and review of matters relating to admissibility (pursuant to Article 17 of the Statute), such as of any relevant legal system and relevant national proceedings;
  • Contextual analysis and research of situations involving armed conflict and mass violence, including on relevant regional and international political events;
  • Research and analysis of the structures of armed groups and other relevant actors in relation to situations under preliminary examinations;
  • Drafting memos, summaries, reports or other products in relation to all aspects of analysis conducted by the Preliminary Examination Section;
  • Populating databases to collect information in relation to analysis conducted by the Preliminary Examination Section;
  • Monitoring news and other open sources for relevant information;
  • Collecting open source information, including through basic open source research techniques, in relation to all aspects of analysis conducted by the Preliminary Examination Section;
  • Assisting with meetings and other ad hoc events with external partners;
  • Performing any other duties as required to support teams conducting preliminary examinations.

Required Qualifications


Candidates must have a degree in law (preferably with an international criminal law or international humanitarian law component), criminology, international relations, political/social science or a related field or be in the final stages of their studies at a recognised university. Candidates are expected to have a very good record of academic performance.


Internship placements focus on candidates in the early stages of their professional careers.  Practical experience is not, therefore, an essential prerequisite for selection.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

An intern in the Preliminary Examination Section ideally will have a combination of the following knowledge, skills and abilities:

  • Takes pride in providing high quality products, even when conducting simple tasks.
  • Pays good attention to detail in all tasks.
  • Ability to work in a multicultural and multilingual working environment.
  • Strong teamwork skills (listens, consults and communicates proactively).
  • Ability to process large amounts of information in an often-pressurised environment;  
  • Good analytical skills (legal or other).
  • Good computer skills (including Microsoft Office applications such as Word and Excel).
  • Good drafting skills, including proof-reading and cite-checking own work.
  • Good internet research skills, including some aspects of open source research.
  • Knowledge of and/or demonstrable interest in the geographical areas and situations under preliminary examination.
  • Strong sense of confidentiality.  


Proficiency in one of the working languages of the Court, French or English, is required. Working knowledge of the other is desirable. Knowledge of another official language of the Court (Arabic, Chinese, Russian and Spanish) is an asset. Special Notice: For the position advertised, knowledge of Spanish or Russian is desirable.


The work of the Preliminary Examination Section is both legal and factual in nature. Candidates with legal, social science or other relevant education and/or experience (in particular with knowledge of or interest in international criminal and humanitarian law and good analytical skills) are encouraged to apply. Tasks will be assigned on the basis of the intern’s profile, languages and skills.

Other criteria:

In line with the ICC’s efforts to improve geographical representation among staff, nationals of the countries listed below are strongly encouraged to apply.

Non-represented or under-represented countries at the ICC as of 30 September 2020: Afghanistan, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Austria, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Comoros, Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Gabon, Germany, Grenada, Guyana, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Kiribati, Japan, Jordan, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Montenegro, Namibia, Nauru, North Macedonia, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Republic of Korea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Seychelles, Slovakia, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Tunisia, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Zambia.


Please note that internship and visiting professional placements at the ICC are unfunded. The ICC is not able to provide participants in the Internship and Visiting Professional Programme with any remuneration, nor is it possible to provide reimbursement for expenses incurred prior, during or after the internship or visiting professional placement.

Applicants must therefore be able to support themselves for the entire duration of their internship or visiting professional placement.

Limited funding may, however, be available through the ICC’s Trust Fund for the Development of Interns and Visiting Professionals, which receives donations from States Parties and other donors.

If funding is available, the Human Resources Section will advertise a funded vacancy announcement in accordance with the terms of reference of the Trust Fund as agreed by the donors.

In order to be eligible for a funded placement, if advertised, the applicant must, among other criteria, be a national from a country that is a State Party to the Rome Statue and appears on the United Nations Statistics Division’s list of developing regions.


We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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