Assistant Lawyer - Strasbourg

LOGO Council of Europe

Are you a young law graduate who wants to gain experience in an international Organisation working for human rights, democracy and the rule of law? 

Assistant Lawyer - Strasbourg

Council of Europe, Directorate of Human Resources
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? Are you motivated to contribute to the judgments’ proper execution? If so, our Assistant Lawyers’ scheme may be the right thing 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. 
  • The execution of the Court’s judgments is supervised by the Committee of Ministers. Read more about it here.

Your role

As an Assistant Lawyer at the Registry of the European Court of Human Rights, you will assist more senior members of staff in the preparation of correspondence with applicants and draft decisions in standard form cases. You will: 
  • examine and deal with applications in prima facie inadmissible cases and in cases which can be dealt with in a standard manner;
  • draft decisions, minutes, reports, notes and other documents;
  • advise applicants, in correspondence or, if necessary, in interviews, on the conditions of admissibility of applications;
  • attend the Court’s sessions and present applications;
  • assist in research relating to the Court’s case-law and national law;
  • assist one or more experience case-lawyers, where necessary, in the preparation of Chamber cases for examination by the Court.
As an Assistant Lawyer at the Department for the Execution of Judgments of the Court, you will assist more senior members of staff in the follow-up of the execution of judgments and the dialogue with the various instances concerned. You will: 
  • contribute to the management of cases and friendly settlement decisions transmitted to the Committee of Ministers by the European Court of Human Rights by helping to identify the execution measures required to give full effect to the applicant’s rights and prevent similar violations;
  • assist in the preparation of drafts of legal assessments needed for the “Human Rights” meetings of the Committee of Ministers, including memoranda, briefing notes and, where necessary, summaries of the meeting proceedings;
  • support senior staff by preparing correspondence with the authorities of the respondent States, applicants and other interested parties;
  • participate upon request in the relevant meetings of the Committee of Ministers;
  • prepare draft information documents, summaries, studies and reports;
  • contribute actively to the performance of other specific tasks of the Department.
The Assistant Lawyers’ Scheme opens the Council of Europe’s doors to you, legal professionals at the start of your career, giving you an opportunity to gain experience working within this pan-European institution. You will benefit from regular working contact with experienced lawyers and senior managers as well as with the judges themselves (European Court of Human Rights) or senior authorities (Department for the Execution of Judgments). You will benefit from the Organisation’s training programme while deepening your knowledge of the Organisation and of the functioning of the Convention system. The length of employment is limited to a maximum of three years for this competition. 

What we are looking for

As a minimum you must:
  • have a higher education degree in law obtained in Norway of a standard permitting access, either on the basis of qualifications or after passing a competitive examination, to the judicial administration or legal professions in Norway;
  • after having obtained the relevant higher education degree in law, have at least six months’ professional experience acquired in the legal field (preferably in the judicial service) in Norway or in international Organisations;
  • have a very good knowledge of one of the two official languages of the Council of Europe (English, French) and the ability to draft legal texts therein clearly and precisely; excellent knowledge of Norwegian (mother tongue level);
  • be a citizen of one of the 47 member States of the Council of Europe;
  • be under 35 years of age at the closing date of the vacancy notice.
Show us that you have the following competencies:
  • Professional and technical expertise:
            -    thorough knowledge of the Norwegian legal system and ability to handle cases arising in other jurisdictions;
            -    knowledge of constitutional and of international law.
  • Drafting skills
  • Concern for quality
  • Planning and work organisation
  • Analysis and problem solving
  • Learning and development
  • Teamwork and cooperation
  • Adaptability
These would be an asset:
  • Results orientation
  • Communication
  • Decision-making
  • Initiative

What we offer

  • If successful, you may be offered employment based on a fixed-term contract at grade B3. In Strasbourg, you will receive a basic monthly gross salary of €3 600 which is exempt from national income tax. 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, training and development, possibility of teleworking, etc.). 
  • The Junior Professional Programme, carried out in accordance with Article 16 of the Regulations on Appointments (Appendix II to the Staff Regulations), is a specific recruitment scheme suitable for young graduates at the start of their career. Staff recruited under this scheme get a once-only opportunity of employment for a total maximum duration of three years for this competition and are not eligible for any subsequent internal competition, promotion, transfer or secondment. 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 but you are not recruited straight away, you may be placed on a reserve list, valid for a maximum of four years.

Applications and selection procedure

Deadline for applications is 04 January 2021 (midnight French time). Applications must be made in English or French using the Council of Europe online application system. 

For more information on how to apply, please click the “Apply” button:



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