Bochum International Humanitarian Law Clinic (IHL CLINIC)

The "Bochum International Humanitarian Law Clinic" (Bochum IHL Clinic) is designed to provide students with hands-on experience of the practice of humanitarian action. It enables them to conduct research on projects for real life cooperation partners, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, national Red Cross Societies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government agencies, and other actors in the humanitarian field. During, students can draw from any topic within the variety of legal issues currently challenging the field, including the scope of application of IHL, the legal framework for humanitarian assistance, the relationship between IHL, human rights law and refugee law, recent issues concerning the implementation and enforcement of IHL.

The Bochum IHL Clinic empowers students to learn through practical experience by applying theoretical knowledge to real life situations and corresponding legal problems cooperation partners encounter in their day-to-day work. This may include the preparation of litigation before national or international courts, writing expert opinions to support NGO lobby work as well as drafting treaty language or legal handbooks for partner institutions. Students may also contribute to supporting victims of armed conflict in securing reparations or file communications to judicial and non-judicial institutions on their behalf. Participating in clinic work also permits students to acquire and develop skills in research, critical thinking, legal analysis, and problem solving. Additionally, students enhance their abilities to draft texts, give oral presentations, communicate, as well as organize and improve their social skills.

The Bochum IHL Clinic is carried out once a year, in every summer term.

Who can participate?

The course is limited to 8 law students (SPB 4 students and interested others).

The enterance requirements for the IHL Clinic are a sound knowledge of English, at least three completed semesters of study and an interest in international humanitarian law as well as in the interdisciplinary exchange with other students.

Your application should consist of a motivation letter (1-2 pages), an updated CV, and an overview of grades achieved during the course of your studies. All documents should be in English, and be contained in one pdf document, which carries the last name of the applicant in its title.

If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact the IFHVs General Manager Robin Pass:

What is the workload?

Law students work in groups together with students from the Joint Master's Programme in International Humanitarian Action (NOHA Master). The aim is to establish a mid-term project in which students, with the help of close supervision, have the chance to produce a substantive report of high quality on issues raised by the cooperation partners. The law students support their group with their specific legal skills and knowledge making this a fruitful exchange between students from different backgrounds.

Law students have certain dates with obligatory attendance, which are all IHL lectures and common seminar sessions (listed under "Obligatory attendance"). The Clinic includes lectures in international humanitarian law, international criminal law and human rights law, as well as common seminar sessions, in which students will present, discuss and get feedback on their work progress. Between lectures and seminar sessions, the students will have time to research and work in groups.


Students should bring - if possible - an electronic device (laptop, tablet, smartphone) on which they can research during work group sessions and follow the Open Online course "International Humanitarian Law in Theory and Practice" (available on before the kick-off meeting on Tuesday).