Internship and visiting professional program

FAQ. Online application Accepted interns




General Information Relating to Both Programs

The Internship and Visiting Professionals Program at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights offers students and professionals in the areas of law, international relations, political science, linguistics and translations an opportunity to gain a practical experience in the Inter-American System for the Protection of Human Rights.

Although candidates chosen do not receive compensation, they have the opportunity to work directly with the lawyers of the Court's legal department and provide assistance with the work performed by the Court's Secretariat.

Given the large number of applications, the process is very competitive. To be selected as an intern or visiting professional provides one with the opportunity to be a part of high-level international judicial work and acquire particular knowledge about the Court's case law and international human rights.

Objectives of the Programs:

To offer an understanding of the operation of the Inter-American System for the Protection of Human Rights, the applicable international instruments and the activities of the Tribunal. To provide a practical experience that serves to complement the participant's academic and professional development, which may be applied later in the different work environments that the interns arrive at upon completion of the internship or professional visit. Promote the participation of people of different nationalities, who come from different judicial systems.

Selection Criteria

Internship and Visiting Professionals candidates are expected to be people who are motivated and have the ability to carry out their work in an effective and professional manner, within an international and multicultural environment.

It is essential to have good oral and written skills in Spanish and English. Spanish is one of the official languages used in the Court, and the principle language used at work. Additionally, knowledge of other official languages of the Court, such as Portuguese and French, are greatly valued.

The applications that do not meet the requirements of each program, as described below, will not be considered.

General Description of the Work

Interns and visiting professionals are assigned to work within the Court's legal department, in accordance with the needs of the Tribunal, and, when possible, with the areas of interest of the intern and visiting professional. Given the amount of work and the complexity thereof, the tasks assigned will depend upon the experience and preparation of each person, taking into consideration their ability to respond and complete the tasks assigned in a timely and professional manner.

The work consists of, inter alia, researching human rights issues, writing reports, analyzing international human rights jurisprudence, assisting with the process of contentious cases, advisory opinions, provisional measures and supervision of the compliance of the Court's verdicts, providing logistical assistance during public hearings and developing legal arguments for specific cases. Furthermore, interns and visiting professionals may also be required to conduct more intensive research about specific issues of law. The interns and professional interns must also participate in the daily activities of the Court, such as the review and translation of documents, and other administrative tasks.

If you would like to obtain more information about the Court's internship and Visiting Professionals programs, please refer to the section on frequently asked questions.

Important Dates


If you would like to obtain an internship during the months of: You must apply before: The selected applicants will be notified:
January to April November 1st Early December
May to August March 1st Early April
September to December July 1st Early August




Internship Program


  • Applicants must be students committed to the subject of human rights, who have at least completed their second year of education at a university. Law students will be given priority, as legal assistance is the chief necessity of the Tribunal. However, applications from students in different areas related to the work of the Court will also be considered.
  • A minimum of 3 months of availability is required. Applications for internships longer than three months are highly valued.
  • The online application must be completed..


Visiting Professionals Program


  • Degree in law or a similar area. Moreover, at the present time the Court encourages the application of translators of written Spanish, English and Portuguese.
  • Academic knowledge and professional experience related to the Inter-American System for the Protection of Human Rights, public and private international law, international humanitarian law, international human rights law and international comparative law, is highly valued.
  • • A minimum of 3 months of availability is required. Applications for longer than three months are highly valued.
  • The online application must be completed.
  • A copy (scanned or sent via fax) of the applicant's university degree or, if applicable, a letter from the applicant's academic institution confirming the completion of his or her studies followed by a copy of the applicant's university degree when it is issued.
  • • Complete applications will receive an automatic acknowledgement of receipt.
  • • All requested documentation should be submitted on-line through the Court's webpage or via email to
  • • If it is not possible to send all of the aforementioned documents electronically, applicants may submit them to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Apartado 6906-1000, San Jose, Costa Rica, or by fax at +(506) 234-0584.


Required Vaccine against Yellow Fever to enter Costa Rica.

In order to avoid inconvenience, please note that starting November 29, 2007, by decree of the Costa Rican Government, it is mandatory to get vaccinated against yellow fever.



Everyone who travels to Costa Rica from risk countries, should be vaccinated against yellow fever and carry with them the "International Certificate of Vaccination against yellow fever (CIV)" which must be an original, valid and current.

The "International Certificate of Vaccination against yellow fever (CIV)" is valid 10 days after receiving the vaccination and will last for 10 years.

The vaccine against yellow fever must be gotten at least 10 days before traveling.

In Costa Rica, those traveling to any risk country and returing to Costa Rica that have not been vaccinated at least 10 days before departure will not be allowed to enter.




  • Children under 9 months (should present a valid document that indicates the date of birth).
  • Persons with a severe egg allergy. Immunosuppression.
  • Current thymus disease or a history of having suffered the disease.
  • Persons older than 60 years.
  • Women who are pregnant or nursing.
  • Family history of adverse events associated with the yellow fever vaccination.
  • Hypersensitivity to gelatin.
  • Asymptomatic HIV infection, with laboratory verification of adequate immune system function.


In the previous cases, (except case No. 1) the traveler should present a valid medical certificate endorsed by the National Health Authority of the country they are coming from. For those living in Costa Rica, the medical certificate must be presented on an official form current with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Costa Rica, with the respective stamps and seals. This certificate should be presented to the Ministry of Health prior to leaving the country, in order to get it validated with a international level seal and signature. People who have been in risk countries and before entering Costa Rica have been in a non risk country for at least six days and have not developed a fever at that time.


Risk Countries:


  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • French Guiana
  • Peru
  • Venezuela




  • Angola
  • Benin
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cameroon
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Liberia
  • Nigeria
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Sierra Leona
  • Sudan