In connection with the seventy-fifth session of the International Law Commission to be held from 29 April to 31 May and from 1 July to 2 August 2024, the United Nations Office at Geneva is organizing the fifty-eighth session of the International Law Seminar, to be held at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland from 1 to 19 July 2024.
Candidates can apply online on the website (www.ilsgeneva.ch) between from 16 February to 12 April 2024. Applications received after 12 April 2024 will not be considered. The Selection Committee will meet early May 2024 to select the participants.
New candidates applying this year must be between 24 and 38 years of age on 1 January 2024. This rule will be strictly applied. This year, 25 participants will be selected by the Selection Committee to participate in the Seminar.
The Seminar 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 young lawyers 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 sound knowledge of public international law, based on either their postgraduate studies or significant professional experience.
The Selection Committee is composed of two officials of the United Nations and is chaired by a professor of international law of a Geneva‑based university. All eligible applications will be considered; however, the Selection Committee will not provide individual feedback on applications or explanations of its decisions which are final and cannot be appealed.
The members of the Selection Committee choose an average of six candidates from different countries from four geographic regions (Africa, America, Asia/Middle East and Europe) and are guided by the following criteria:
- Legal experience and academic background
- Usefulness of the Seminar for the career of the applicant and for his/her country
- Good knowledge of at least two of the three working languages of the Seminar (English, French, Spanish)
- Adequate gender balance
- Availability of funds for fellowships.
Participants will attend the plenary meetings of the International Law Commission as well as lectures given by members of the Commission, officials of the United Nations or Specialized Agencies and other professors from academic institutions in Geneva. Participants are expected to take active part in the discussions following each lecture and to produce short reports within small working groups on topics on the agenda of the Commission.
The working languages of the United Nations are English, French and Spanish. As simultaneous interpretation may not be available for all the sessions, candidates must be proficient in at least two of the working languages. All participants will be given access to the library and the cyberspace of the United Nations Office at Geneva.
While participation in the Seminar is free, the United Nations cannot cover the cost of travel or subsistence for all participants. A limited number of fellowships will be made available to participants from developing countries for travel and/or living expenses.