2018 UNOG International Law Seminar in Geneva-Switzerland


This is to notify all Lawyers, government officials, postgraduate students in International Law, young scholars to apply for the 54th session of the International Law seminar in Geneva set to hold from the 2nd of July to the 22nd of July. 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.

Fellowship stipend

While participation in the Seminar is free of charge, the United Nations is unable to cover the cost of travel or subsistence for all participants. Governments have however contributed to the Trust Fund of the Seminar which awards fellowship stipends every year to participants, primarily from developing countries.

Candidates can request for fellowship on the application form and justification must be provided in the letter of motivation. The awarding of fellowships will be decided by the Selection Committee, depending on the availability of funds.

Fellowships awarded for subsistence

An allowance to cover accommodation, meals and miscellaneous will be paid to participants upon their arrival at Geneva. Participants must provide proof of accommodation to the Legal Office.

This allowance does not cover (and the United Nations does not assume responsibility for) the following:

a)  all expenses for passport, visa, vaccination and other miscellaneous items; all expenditures in the home country and in connection with the travel;
b)  payment of any salary and related allowances from the current employer of participants during the period of the Seminar;
c)   travel and other costs incurred by dependents who might accompany participants;
d)  costs incurred with respect to travel and accident insurance, medical bills and hospitalization costs in connection with attending the Seminar;
e)  compensation in the event of death or disability in connection with attendance of the Seminar.

Fellowships awarded for travel

Participants will be awarded a return air ticket to Geneva from their country of residence for the period concerned (arrival the day before the opening of the Seminar, return at the latest the day after closure). No payment will be made to cover other routing or modes of transportation or extension of the period referred to above.

The ticket issued to you will be in economy class and no change in the reservation will be permitted which would incur additional expenses to the Organization.


Twenty-five participants will be selected, by a Selection Committee, to participate in the Seminar.  The Selection Committee is composed of three officials of the United Nations and is chaired by a professor of public international or humanitarian law of a Geneva-based university.  All applications will be considered, but the Selection Committee does not disclose the motivation of its choices and decisions are final and cannot be appealed.

Participation and organization

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 (travel and/or subsistence allowance), depending on the amount of voluntary contributions received from Governments prior to the start of the Seminar.


Subject to the adoption of the Agenda at the beginning of its seventieth session, the International Law Commission is expected to deal with the following topics: Immunity of State officials from foreign criminal jurisdiction; Subsequent agreements and subsequent practice in relation to the interpretation of treaties; Provisional application of treaties, Identification of customary international aw, Protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts; Protection of the atmosphere, Crimes against humanity, Peremptory norms of general international law (Jus Cogens), Succession of States in respect of State responsibility.



Legal Office
United Nations Office at Geneva
Palais des Nations
Avenue de la Paix 8 – 14
1211 Geneva 10

Tel: +41 (0)22 917 11 21 29 – 11 40
Email : ils@un.org

2018 UNOG International Law Seminar in Geneva-Switzerland-Scholarship for Africans
2018 UNOG International Law Seminar in Geneva-Switzerland-Scholarship for Africans

For more information, visit the official page of the UNOG International Law seminar


Speak up