Nijmegen Law Clinic on human rights

Date of news: 17 August 2021

Sign up for the Nijmegen Law Clinic on human rights

Are you a master student interested in human rights and the rule of law? Would you like to put in practice your legal knowledge, and work on actual human rights protection? Apply for the Nijmegen Law Clinic!
The Nijmegen Law Clinic is meant for enthusiastic and driven Master students who would like to contribute to addressing real human rights problems and working with organisations in that field. Any Master student, whether from the Master Dutch law (any specialisation) or International and European law (any specialisation) can apply. The selection will be made on the basis of motivation, commitment and the competences needed for the specific projects.

What can you expect?

If you are selected you will work in a small group of students on at least one specific assignment, starting in the beginning of October. Under the guidance of the two lecturers, Eva Rieter and Mariana Gkliati, and in consultation with partners and interested parties, you will work as a team to deliver a high-quality product. Think, for instance, of a report to support advocacy or litigation. At the end of the course, you will present your findings to the partner organisation(s).
The projects of this semester:
• The rights of a group of undocumented Surinamese-Dutch people, in light of the colonial context. This project will benefit the Public Interest Litigation Project (PILP), which is acting on behalf of a group of Dutch-Surinamese residents. PILP is part of the Dutch section of the International Commission of Jurists. The assignment concerns Dutch law, comparative law (e.g. the duties of other formerly colonizing states towards their former colonial subjects) and human rights law.
• The responsibility of Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, and of EU member states, in search and rescue at sea. This project will be carried out on behalf of search and rescue NGOs and other organisations that are active as part of a cooperation organised by the Dutch Refugee Council.
Assignment: Drafting a background paper on legal obligations during search and rescue and crafting a practical tool, a checklist to help identify relevant information for evidence gathering and potential victims of human rights violations (for litigation purposes).
• Family reunification of refugees and persons with subsidiary protection rights under human rights treaties. The project is undertaken on behalf of UNHCR. Assignment: analysis of the specific case law by the CJEU and the ECtHR relevant to the EU Directive; analysis of references in this case law to the Children’s Rights Convention and the Refugee Convention; specific issues such as evidentiary requirements and family reunification for dependent extended family members.
• Parallel program:
Besides working on the projects, you will have the opportunity to discuss with interesting guest speakers about your role as a professional, methodology, responsibility & ethics. In addition there are online meet-ups with human rights RU-alumni and an online exchange with the Thai Institute of Justice; and we will watch and discuss a human rights movie.

What are the benefits?

By participating in the Nijmegen Law Clinic, you gain relevant professional experience, contribute to society, learn in an experiential and participatory manner, and acquire new insights on the rule of law and your own role in its protection. You develop new skills that will make you more valuable on the labour market after graduation and expand your professional network, including the most relevant actors in the field. You can earn 7 ECTS for this course.

Are you interested, or do you have questions?

Please attend the online launch of the Clinic, introducing the projects: on Friday 10 September 12.30 to 13.30 CET. You can sign up to attend this seminar by e-mail at

Did we spark your interest in taking part in the Clinic itself, as of October? You can apply with your letter of motivation, at the latest on Wednesday 22 September 10 am CET. Please, submit a motivation letter to explaining your interest, motivation, specific skillset, and what you hope to contribute (please also add a brief CV and grades list).

Interviews will take place around Friday 24 September and you will receive information on whether you have been selected for this semester’s projects by Wednesday 29 September.

The first meeting of the Clinic will take place on Tuesday 5 October at 15:30.
If you have any questions in the meantime, please send an email to: