Judge Richard J. Goldstone has published a lecture on whether there is a global ethic of international judges. In his lecture, he briefly refers to the problem of judges sitting as arbitrators in the following paragraph:

One potentially worrying activity of full-time international judges relates to their sitting as paid international arbitrators. Many of the judges of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) have accepted such positions. It has been a contentious issue. As full-time and fully paid members of the ICJ, judges should devote their time and work solely to that court. In most domestic jurisdictions, judges are usually strictly limited in the amount and nature of outside remunerated work they may accept. However, as I have been informed by former members of the ICJ, such outside work has been found acceptable over many years.20 Nevertheless, the judges of the ICTY took a contrary view. In its early years, one of the judges on the ICTY accepted paid work as an arbitrator. The other judges objected to this on the ground that once appointed to the ICTY, judges should devote their full time and attention to its work. That judge preferred his work as an arbitrator and resigned from the tribunal.

It is a quite important paragraph coming from a senior judge. I would say, however, that such practice is not «potentially worrying» anymore; it is actually worrying, particularly after the events on the arbitration between Croatia and Slovenia. Moreover, it can be affirmed that such practice is not generally perceived as acceptable at present, as evidenced by last Saturday’s formidable lecture by Professor Philippe Sands at the closing ceremony of the ESIL 2015 Conference.

Deadline for applications : 26 March 2015
Post title : Law Clerk to Judges of the Court (Associate Legal Officer)
Grade : P-2
Reference : 2015/2
Duty Station : International Court of Justice, The Hague, Netherlands
Organizational Unit : Department of Legal Matters
Indicative minimum net annual remuneration (including post adjustment) :
At single rate: €57,019
At dependency rate: €60,791


The International Court of Justice wishes to appoint a Law Clerk who will provide research and other legal assistance to one of the judges of the Court. For administrative purposes, Law Clerks are attached to the Department of Legal Matters.


Under the supervision of the judge to whom he or she will be specifically assigned, the Law Clerk will provide that judge with legal research and related assistance with regard to cases pending before the Court. The Law Clerk may also be required to provide legal assistance and support to a judge ad hoc participating in a particular case. In co-ordination with his or her judge, the Law Clerk may also from time to time be called upon to perform some specific legal tasks for the Registry.

  • an advanced university degree in law, with a significant academic background in public international law or professional experience in the field. A first-level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of an advanced university degree. Postgraduate studies in public international law would be an asset;
  • two years’ experience in the settlement of international legal disputes with an international organization, government, law firm or other private sector entity would be desirable.


French and English are the official and working languages of the Court. Excellent knowledge of and drafting ability in French is required, as well as a good command of English. Knowledge of other official languages of the United Nations would be an asset.


Depending on professional background, experience and family situation, a competitive compensation and benefits package is offered.

The Court’s salaries are calculated in US dollars but paid in euros. They consist of a basic salary and a post adjustment which reflects the cost of living in the Netherlands and the euro/dollar exchange rate.

In addition, the Court offers an attractive benefits package including 30 days of annual leave, home travel every two years, an education grant for dependent children, a pension plan and medical insurance.


How to apply:

Applicants should complete a United Nations Personal History Form (P.11), or submit a full curriculum vitae, and attach a handwritten cover letter. Applicants are specifically requested to provide, with their application, a copy of their complete official academic record or transcript, detailing the grades/marks received for every university or professional qualification obtained (degree class, grade point average, mark or position in the overall ranking). If the relevant university or authority does not make such information available, that fact should be stated.

The selected candidate may be subject to a security clearance, including verification of the information provided in the personal history form and a criminal record check. All candidates should be in a position to submit an electronic copy of their passport and all diplomas listed on their profile when requested.

All applicants are strongly encouraged to send their application by e-mail, addressed to the Registrar of the Court, clearly indicating the vacancy announcement number.

E-mail: recrutement-recruitment@icj-cij.org

Fax: +31 70 364 99 28

Only applications from candidates under serious consideration will be acknowledged. Applications that are found by the Court to meet the above criteria may be added to a reserve list in case a similar vacancy arises in the future.

The Registrar reserves the right not to appoint any candidate to the post, or to appoint one at a lower level or on the basis of a modified description.

Ralph Wilde ha publicado  ‘Human Rights Beyond Borders at the World Court: The Significance of the International Court of Justice’s Jurisprudence on the Extraterritorial Application of International Human Rights Law Treaties’ Chinese Journal of International Law (2013) 12(4) 639-677. El artículo puede ser descargado libremente, porque se ha publicado con el formato «open access».

International_Court_of_JusticeThe International Court of Justice is seeking law clerks to Judges of the Court (Associate Legal Officers). The deadline for applications is 15 November 2013. The information is available here. Good luck!

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