Assistant Lawyer

Counsil of Europe

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The Junior Professional Programme: the Assistant Lawyers’ scheme


The Assistant Lawyers’ Scheme opens the doors of the European Court of Human Rights to legal professionals at the start of their career, giving them an opportunity to gain experience working within this European institution. They will benefit from regular working contact with experienced case lawyers, senior managers and the judges themselves. While dealing with individual applications originating from their own legal system and assisting senior colleagues in handling more complex applications, assistant lawyers benefit from the Registry’s in-house training programme and deepen their knowledge of the functioning of the European Court of Human Rights and the Convention case-law.


The Scheme serves the twofold objective of bringing new talent to the Registry and contributing to greater awareness and understanding of the Convention in the legal profession throughout Europe as assistant lawyers advance in their careers elsewhere. The length of employment of assistant lawyers under the Registry’s Assistant Lawyers’ Scheme is limited to four years[1].


Job mission

The principal duties of an assistant lawyer consist of assisting more senior members of staff in the preparation of correspondence with applicants and draft decisions in standard form cases.


Key activities


Under the authority of the Registrar of the European Court of Human Rights and of a Head of a Division, the incumbent will be responsible for the following:

›       examines and deals with applications in prima facie inadmissible cases and in cases which can be dealt with in a standard manner;

›       drafts decisions, minutes, reports, notes and other documents;

›       advises applicants, in correspondence or, if necessary, in interviews, on the conditions of admissibility of applications;

›       attends the Court’s sessions and presents applications;

›       assists one or more experienced case-lawyers, where necessary, in the preparation of Chamber cases for examination by the Court.


Please note that the incumbent may be required to perform other duties not listed in the vacancy notice.


Eligibility criteria


Only applicants who best meet the following criteria will be considered for shortlisting.



›       higher education degree in law obtained in the Netherlands of a standard permitting access, either on the basis of qualifications or after passing a competitive examination, to the judicial administration or legal professions in the Netherlands.


›       after having obtained the relevant higher education degree in law, at least six months professional experience acquired in the legal field (preferably in the judicial service) in the Netherlands or in international Organisations.

Language requirements:

›       very good knowledge of one of the two official languages of the Council of Europe (English, French) and ability to draft legal texts therein clearly and precisely;

›       excellent knowledge of Dutch (mother tongue level).


›       Open to nationals of one of the 47 Council of Europe member states.


›       Under 35 years of age at the closing date of the vacancy notice.


Employee Core Values

Council of Europe staff members adhere to the values Professionalism, Integrity and Respect.




›       Professional and technical expertise

-      thorough knowledge of the Dutch legal system and ability to handle cases arising in other jurisdictions;

-      knowledge of constitutional and of international law.

›       Drafting skills

›       Concern for quality

›       Planning and work organisation

›       Analysis and problem solving

›       Learning and development

›       Teamwork and co-operation

›       Adaptability



›       Results orientation

›       Communication

›       Decision making

›       Initiative


For more information, please refer to the Competency Framework of the Council of Europe.




Applications must be made in English or French using the Council of Europe on-line application system.  By connecting to our website you can create and submit your on-line application.  Applications must be submitted at the latest  15 November 2017 (midnight French time).

[1] External recruitment procedure organised in accordance with Article 16 of the Regulations on Appointments

[2] Staff members or former staff members who are or have previously been employed in the framework of the Junior Professional Programme or Turnover Profiles will not be eligible again for any of the profiles under these schemes. The Council of Europe reserves the right to assess the admissibility of candidates who are or have previously been employed with the Organisation according to their contractual situation at the closing date of this competition.

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