Internship and visiting professional program
Accepted interns Online application FAQ.
General information relating to both Programs
The Programs of Internships and Professional Visits at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights offer students and professionals in the fields of law, international relations, political science, journalism, languages, translation and other relevant disciplines an opportunity to gain practical experience with regard to the inter-American system for the protection of human rights.
Selected applicants do not receive remuneration. However, they work directly with the lawyers from the Court's legal department, assisting them in their tasks.
Owing to the large number of applications, the process is very competitive. Selection as an intern or visiting professional allows applicants to take part in high-level international judicial work and acquire in-depth knowledge of the Court's case law and international human rights law.
Objectives of the Programs
To provide an understanding of how the inter-American system for the protection of human rights functions, as well as the pertinent international instruments and the activities of the Court. To offer participants practical experience and relevant training that complements their academic studies and professional development and that, upon completion of the internship or professional visit, can then be applied in their different work environments. To promote the participation of individuals of different nationalities and from different judicial systems in the work of the Court.
Applicants to the Programs of Internship and Professional Visits are expected to be highly motivated and able to perform their work in an effective and professional manner within an international and multicultural environment.
It is essential that interns or visiting professionals are able to speak, read and write fluently one of the Court’s four official languages. Priority will be given to interns who speak, read and write Spanish fluently. It is also recommendable that they are able to speak, read and write English. In addition, knowledge of other official languages of the Court is valued highly.
Applications that fail to meet the requirements for each program cannot be considered.
General description of the work
Interns and visiting professionals work directly with the lawyers of the Court’s legal department, assisting them in their tasks, in relation to both the merits of contentious cases and monitoring compliance with judgments and provisional measures. In specific cases, some selected applicants, in particular those from the fields of international relations, political science, journalism, social communication, languages and translation, will be assigned to tasks related to the library or to translations in the area of publications, as indicated in the letter of acceptance that the Court’s Secretariat sends to the intern or the visiting professional.
The work of the interns and visiting professionals assigned to the legal department consists, among other matters, in: researching human rights issues; writing reports; analyzing international human rights case law and doctrine; assisting in the processing of contentious cases, advisory opinions, provisional measures and monitoring compliance with the Court's judgments; providing logistical assistance during public hearings and other events; developing legal arguments for specific cases; mapping documents and drawing up indexes for case files and, in some cases, documentary conservation. In addition, they may be required to conduct more in-depth research on specific issues to provide input for the elaboration of draft judgments or to specific information for the Court. Interns and professional visitors must also take part in the Court’s daily activities, such as the review and translation of documents, as well as other administrative tasks.
If you would like to obtain further information about the Court's Programs of Internships and Professional Visits, please refer to the section on frequently asked questions.
For internships from:
You should apply before:
Selected applicants will be notified in:
January to April 2017 and following years
May to August 2017 and following years
September to December 2017 and following years
Programs of Internships and Professional Visits
1. Internship Program:
a. Applicants must be students committed to human rights, who have completed, at least, their second year of university studies in the fieldsof law, international relations, political science, journalism, social communication, languages, translation or other relevant disciplines.
b. Owing to the Court's needs, priority will be given to students of law, or the equivalent, from a State Party to the American Convention. However, applications will also be accepted from students in other fields related to the work of the Court, and from States that are not party to the Convention.
c. Applicants must submit a certification from their university confirming their enrolment and how many years of study they have completed.
2. Program of Professional Visits
a. Applicants must have a degree in law or a similar field, international relations, political science, journalism, social communication, languages, or other relevant disciplines, and/or be an official translator into Spanish, English, Portuguese or French.
b. Owing to the Court's needs, priority will be given to law professionals from a State Party to the American Convention. However, applications will be accepted from professionals in other areas related to the work of the Court, and from States that are not party to the Convention.
c. Applicants should submit a copy of their university degree or, if applicable, a letter from their academic institution stating that they have completed their studies and that their diploma is being processed.
3. For both Programs, Internships and Professional Visits, applicants should:
a. Complete and submit the application form found on the Court's website. Once this requirement has been satisfied, applicants will receive an automatic acknowledgement of receipt that includes the number of the application form.
b. Email their Curriculum Vitae, without a photograph, to:
c. Provide two letters of recommendation. Those applying to the Internship Program should send at least one letter of recommendation from a professor or senior academic. Those applying to the Professional Visits Program should send at least one letter of recommendation from someone who supervises their professional activities. Neither program accepts letters of recommendation from family members.
d. Be available for a stay of a minimum of three months at the Court. Applicants available for longer than this will be greatly appreciated.
e. All required documentation should be submitted on-line through the Court's website or by email to: pasantí
. Applications sent to other email addresses or directly to Court personnel will not be considered.
f. If it is not possible to send all the above-mentioned documents electronically, applicants may mail them to: Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Apartado 6906-1000, San Jose, Costa Rica.
g. Applications that do not comply with the requirements established for the two programs will not be considered. All the requirements must be met and the documents received before the deadline established for each period of internships or professional visits.
h. (h) The intern or visiting professional should consult the nearest Costa Rican Consulate with regard to:
i. The requirements for obtaining an entry visa for Costa Rica, and
ii. The vaccinations required for entry into Costa Rica.
Vaccination against Yellow Fever required to enter Costa Rica.
In order to avoid inconvenience, please note that, starting November 29, 2007, by decree of the Costa Rican Government, it is mandatory to be vaccinated against yellow fever.
Everyone who travels to Costa Rica from a high-risk country must be vaccinated against yellow fever and carry with them their original "International certificate of vaccination against yellow fever" which must be valid and current.
The "International certificate of vaccination against yellow fever" is valid for 10 years, starting 10 days after the person has been vaccinated.
The vaccination against yellow fever must be obtained at least 10 days before traveling.
In Costa Rica, airlines will not board anyone traveling to a high-risk country and then returning to Costa Rica who has not been vaccinated at least 10 days before their departure.
- Children under 9 months (a valid document indicating date of birth must be presented).
- Persons with a severe egg allergy or immunosuppression.
- Persons with thymus disease or a history of having suffered the disease.
- Those aged 60 years or older.
- Women who are pregnant or nursing.
- Persons with a family history of adverse effects associated with yellow fever vaccination.
- Persons with hypersensitivity to gelatin.
- Those with asymptomatic HIV infection, with laboratory verification of adequate immune system function.
- Those who have been in countries considered at risk, but who have remained at least six days in a non-risk country before entering Costa Rican territory and who have not developed yellow fever.
Those with contraindications for vaccination against yellow fever who fall within one of the above categories (with the exception of the first one) must present a valid medical certificate endorsed by the National Health Authority of the country they are coming from. For those living in Costa Rica, the medical certificate must be presented on the official form used by the Costa Rican Professional Association of Physicians and Surgeons, with the respective stamps and seals. This certificate must be presented to the Ministry of Health prior to leaving the country in order to obtain the necessary signature and seals to validate it internationally:
- French Guiana
- Burkina Faso
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Sierra Leone