Lawyer – The Netherlands

Are you a lawyer who wants to gain experience in an international Organisation working for human rights, democracy and the rule of law? Do you want to help the European Court of Human Rights to ensure respect for the human rights of 820 million Europeans? Are you interested in dealing with applications alleging violations of the rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights? If so, our job offer may be the right opportunity for you.

Who we are

With over 2000 staff representing all its 47 member States, the Council of Europe is a multicultural organisation. We all strive towards protecting human rights, democracy and the rule of law and our three core values – professionalism, integrity and respect – guide the way we work. 

The European Court of Human Rights oversees the implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights in the member States. See the Court’s website for information about its activities.

Your role

As a Lawyer, you will:

Manage a certain number of case-files in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights and the Court’s procedures:

  • examine and deal with applications lodged with the Court in accordance with the general time-limits, internal guidelines and specific country-management meetings instructions;
  • maintain correspondence with the applicants and, where appropriate, with Governments and third parties;
  • advise applicants in correspondence or, if necessary, in interviews, on the conditions of admissibility of applications to the Court;
  • prepare case-files for the examination by the Judge-rapporteur and for submission to the Court;
  • ensure legal analysis;
  • attend the Court’s sessions and present cases;
  • draft judgments, decisions, minutes, reports, notes and other documents;
  • undertake studies and research relating to the case-law of the Court and national law;
  • analyse and distribute information concerning the Court’s case-law;

Advise and report to the Head of Unit: report on the results achieved, on further requirements, risks and opportunities of developments or events;

Communicate in matters concerning the case-files:

  • ensure that all those concerned are informed appropriately;
  • maintain contacts with counterparts;
  • promote the values of the European Court of Human Rights and the Council of Europe internally and externally.

What we are looking for

As a minimum, you must:

  • hold a higher education degree in law obtained in the Netherlands 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 university degree in law, have at least two years of professional experience acquired in the legal field (preferably in the judicial service) in the Netherlands or in International Organisations;
  • have an excellent knowledge of Dutch (mother tongue level);
  • have very good knowledge of one of the two official languages of the Council of Europe (English or French) and knowledge of the other;
  • have the ability to draft legal texts clearly and precisely in English or French;
  • be a citizen of one of the 47 member States of the Council of Europe;
  • be under 65 years of age at the closing date of this vacancy notice.


  • Demonstrate to us that you have the following competencies:
    Professional and technical expertise:
  1. thorough knowledge of the legal system in the Netherlands and ability to handle cases arising in other jurisdictions;
  2. knowledge of international law and of the application of human rights law in the Dutch legal order.
  • Drafting skills
  • Analysis and problem solving
  • Concern for quality
  • Planning and work organisation
  • Teamwork and co-operation
  • Learning and development
  • Communication

These would be an asset:

  • Decision making
  • Adaptability
  • Initiative
  • Results orientation

What we offer

If successful, you may be offered employment on a renewable fixed-term contract at grade A1/2, depending on your previous professional experience. In Strasbourg, you will receive a basic monthly gross salary of €4 600 (grade A1) or €5 900 (grade A2), which is exempt from national income tax. In our external offices different salary scales are used according to the cost of living conditions. This salary may be supplemented by other allowances depending on your personal situation and you will be affiliated to a Council of Europe pension scheme. You will also benefit from private medical insurance, 32 working days leave per year and other benefits (including flexible working hours, possibility of teleworking, etc.). The Council of Europe and the Court place a strong emphasis on training and development for their staff members. In addition to language courses in both official languages, staff are offered a wide range of training programmes to help them meet the evolving challenges of their work.

This competition is carried out in accordance with Article 15.b of the Regulations on Appointments (Appendix II to the Staff Regulations), which foresees renewable employment on fixed-term contracts. Details on conditions of employment (probationary period, salaries, allowances, pension scheme, social insurance, etc.) can be consulted on our recruitment website. Any changes to these conditions during the recruitment process are updated on this site and will apply at the time of the job offer.

If your profile matches our needs and you are not recruited straight away, you may be placed on a reserve list, valid for a maximum of four years.


Deadline for applications is 02 March 2020 (midnight French time).

For more information on how to apply, please click the ‘Apply’ button.

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