The application process of the fifty-sixth session of the International Law Seminar is now closed.

Important notice related to COVID-19

The International Law Seminar is tentatively scheduled to take place from 5 to 23 July 2021 at the United Nations Office at Geneva, Switzerland, subject to the caveats spelled out below.

  • Possibility of cancellation of the seminar at short notice due to lack of clarity on the global pandemic situation resulting in the organizer’s inability to plan with reasonable assurances;
  • Evolution of the local epidemiological situation and the Swiss authorities’ decisions on the easing of restrictions for participation in physical meetings;
  • Health restrictions and strict visa requirements governing entry into Switzerland;
  • Continuing major travel restrictions that may impede participants from one or two regional areas (i.e. Latin America, Africa) to attend the Seminar. The organizers are keen to ensure universality of participation;
  • Adequate funds to cover the costs of fellowship for travel and subsistence for participants, primarily from developing countries, to include up to date negative PCR tests, possible  quarantine requirements for participants from countries with a high risk of coronavirus infection (the relevant list published by Swiss authorities is updated weekly and countries considered at particular risk change constantly);
  • Changes to UN internal rules to ensure that maximum security is guaranteed for physical meetings on UN premises;
  • Unavailability of suitable and reasonably priced accommodation for participants in Geneva due to pandemic-related restrictions.


Important notice for applications submitted in 2020

Candidates who requested for their application to be carried over will have it automatically reviewed this year by the Selection Committee.






UNOG organized the very first International Law Seminar (ILS) in 1965, in connection with the annual session of the International Law Commission (ILC), for a duration of three weeks.

The Seminar takes place on an annual basis and is designed for postgraduate students in international law, young scholars, government officials as well as young lawyers in the field of international law, to widen their knowledge of both the work of the International Law Commission and of the codification and progressive development of international law. It also provides an opportunity for lawyers coming from different legal systems and cultures to exchange views regarding items on the agenda of the Commission.

The International Law Seminar is not intended to be an introduction to international law. Applicants must prove a sound knowledge of international law, on the basis of either their postgraduate studies or significant professional experience in the field. Twenty five participants from various Member States of the United Nations participate in ILS. As well as attending the meetings of ILC, participants are expected to take an active part in the discussions which follow lectures given by members of the Commission, officials of the United Nations or specialized agencies in Geneva and other speakers invited for the occasion.