Critical Legal Training

Institute – Training & Co-learning – Critical Legal Training

At ECCHR, we look to a growing network to share and develop our motivation, knowledge and innovative approaches to conducting human rights work. With this in mind, ECCHR’s Critical Legal Training focuses on training, networking and collaborative learning. To ensure the future of progressive human rights work, we take part in an ongoing learning process together with young lawyers and our international colleagues.

If you want to apply to ECCHR’s Critical Legal Training, please fill in our application form. You can find more information on criteria and application process in our FAQs.

We are constantly accepting new applications for the Critical Legal Training.

Deadlines for applications are: March 1 - July 1 - October 1

You can expect a response within eight weeks of the respective closing date. We reserve the right to conduct interviews outside the application deadlines if necessary.

Next possible start dates per program area:

Business and Human Rights: November 2024
Institute for Legal Intervention: July 2025
International Crimes and Accountability: November 2024
Border Justice: December 2024 and January 2025

The start of a traineeship is flexible from the next possible starting date at the first of each month but should not be more than 1.5 years in the future.


The core aim of our Critical Legal Training is to further social justice by enforcing human rights and in doing so to find creative ways to push legal boundaries.

The Critical Legal Training is a hub for up-and-coming human rights defenders from all over the world. Participants are involved in ECCHR’s daily work within its key program areas and receive a practical training in strategic litigation. They also have the chance to take part in a range of educational and cultural activities.

Scholarships are an important tool of the CLT to reduce barriers due to financial and immigration restrictions. Calls will be published on this website.

Single traineeships are supported by donations from law firms who share ECCHR's values and goals. For the realization of CLT scholarships in 2024 we thank:

If your law firm is also interested in sponsoring a legal traineeship at ECCHR, please contact Andrea Ries, Coordinator of the Critical Legal Training (


For questions concerning the applications please contact: application[at]

The Critical Legal Training offers:

  • Legal and factual research and casework in one of our four specialist programs – International Crimes and Accountability, Border Justice, Business and Human Rights and the Institute for Legal Intervention – as well as in media and communication
  • Integration into our day-to-day work, including project-related communication and administration (e.g. writing position papers and/or preparing short translations, co-organization of events)
  • Individual supervision by experienced lawyers
  • Teamwork and weekly round-table discussions with trainers and other program participants
  • Regular internal ECCHR Lunch Talks with internationally renowned human rights defenders
  • Cultural events, e.g. Human Rights Cinema

Requirements for Partcipants:

Education: Applicants should be in an advanced stage of their education (at least the advanced stages of undergraduate studies, but ideally graduate studies or professional legal training, i.e. Referendariat) and should have above-average qualifications in law or another relevant field. For those who have already completed their education and training, we can only consider these applications when they are in conjunction with a recognized scholarship.

Note: Unfortunately, we are unable to offer internships to high school students, high school graduates, or undergraduate students during the initial stages of their studies.

Note for German legal trainees: It is possible to do an internship at ECCHR within the framework of the legal traineeship (Rechtsreferendariat).

Duration: Three months – or longer, where the education regulations allow or when you are awarded our scholarship; ideally full time.

Please note: We regret that we cannot offer internships to school students or school graduates.

Language skills: Strong English skills are required; a good knowledge of German is desirable but not obligatory; competency in other languages (e.g. Spanish, Arabic, Russian and French – depending on current projects) is a bonus.

Expertise: All applicants should have a fundamental understanding of human rights and ideally should have previous experience in the NGO sector. They should also have program-specific background knowledge:

Business and Human Rights: Sound knowledge of the international debate on business and human rights and lawsuits taken against corporations on a national level. Background knowledge of climate justice and corporate accountability is a plus.

International Crimes and Accountability: Excellent understanding of international criminal law (incl. extraterritorial cases before national courts) as well as the current legal and political debates on international criminal jurisdiction. Background knowledge of sexualized violence in international criminal law is a plus.

Border Justice: Good knowledge of European and public international law as well as the relevant fundamentals of refugee law, ideally also practical experience in migration law or refugee protection.

Institute for Legal Intervention: Very good knowledge of critical theories of international law and international human rights, e.g. in the areas of intersectionality, postcolonial, Marxist, feminist theory; or interest/practical experience on the role and impact of art and activism in advancing human rights.


Unfortunately, this media is unavailable due to your cookie settings. Please visit our Privacy Policy page to adjust your preferences.


Documents (3)