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Criminal Justice Clinic

Amsterdam Law Clinics

In international, transnational and domestic legal practice a growing interest exists for lawyers with a deeper understanding of and experience in the functioning and the application of (international) criminal law. The clinic offers students the possibility to gain such experience and at the same time make contact with their future profession in a direct manner.

Lady Liberty

The co-operation between (inter)national justice organizations, including international criminal courts and tribunals, and NGOs on the one hand and students of international criminal law and Dutch criminal law on the other, provides an exceptional experience. As the Amsterdam Law School has specific expertise on (international) criminal law due to its Master's programme International Criminal Law and Dutch programme in Criminal Law, and due to its broad range of innovative research in those areas under the umbrella of the Amsterdam Center of Criminal Justice (ACCJ), it is perfectly situated to support clients on (international) criminal law related cases. 

Clients may include among others the Office of the Prosecutor of the UN International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, and defence and victims counsel operating in international and domestic criminal justice systems.

Teamwork and a hands-on approach

Top students in their final years of study at the Amsterdam Law School carry out research at the Criminal Justice Clinic. They are selected on the basis of superior academic performance and closely supervised by the faculty from the Master's International Criminal Law and the Dutch programme Criminal Law. They receive intensive, hands-on, guidance on how to conduct legal research, and how to write a legal opinion for external clients. Emphasis is placed on professionalism, high quality work, teamwork, and respect for confidentiality. 

Globe

Clinical work

Clinical work consists of projects undertaken for clients for which the students conduct legal research, provide legal advice and draft legal documents. The clinical work is conducted in a team of 3-5 students with regular meetings with supervisors (and clients). An international, cross-border and interdisciplinary perspective is characteristic of the clinical work.

Future projects

  • In February 2022, a group of clinic students will work on a project that entails providing research assistance to an international criminal tribunal through a range of analysis, research, and drafting tasks to identify potential accountability gaps for core international crimes. In particular, students will be involved in reviewing and analyzing international and domestic judgements, open source information and other materials with a view to conducting a legal assessment of the involvement of identified perpetrators in the commission of international crimes. 
  • In addition, another group of students will work with the specialized international crimes unit of the Dutch Public Prosecutor’s Office on a project that entails providing research on a number current legal and policy questions. In particular, students will be involved in researching and analyzing (case) law from various jurisdictions in relation to evidence evaluation and (secondary) universal jurisdiction. For more general information on the office’s work, see: www.warcrimes.nl.
  • A third case involves a cooperation with Dutch&Detained. Dutch&Detained provides independent legal support to Dutch citizens detained abroad. Infringements in their rights are numerous, varying from lacking proper counsel and interpreters, endless pre-trial detentions, to forced testimony by torture. You will be working on the right to fair trial in a specific country, which massively improves our ability to provide quick and effective assistance to the hundreds of Dutch nationals detained abroad.
  • A final project sees on assisting the defence counsel in an ongoing criminal procedure in appeal against a conviction for war crimes and participation in a terrorist organisation. The research will focus on the existence and/or scope of criminal accountability as a war crime for creation and making public of footage of interrogation of prisoners of war and displaying the dead bodies of opponents.
Copyright: Marielotte van Ballegooijen
During my time at the Criminal Justice Clinic, my understanding of the topic was strengthened, my creativity towards legal arguments was tested, and I got to work with some amazing people along the way. I would highly recommend students to partake in the Clinic as it teaches you the necessary skills to prepare you for your future career in law . Marielotte van Ballegooijen, CJC clinic student 2020/2021

Contact us

For any questions regarding the Criminal Justice Clinic, please email us at amsterdamlawclinics@uva.nl or contact Marieke de Hoon:

Mr. dr. A.M. (Marieke) de Hoon

Faculty of Law

Criminal Law

Requirements and eligibility

The Criminal Justice Clinic is in principle open for all Master's students of the Amsterdam Law School.

Other requirements are:

  • You are available at least 10 hours per week in a semester.
  • You have a strong work ethic, excellent communication and English-writing skills, and a genuine interest in (international) criminal law.

Contact former clinic students

If you're interested in more hands-on information about participating in a clinic and experiences from former Criminal Justice Clinic students, you can contact any of the following former students. Send an e-mail to amsterdamlawclinics@uva.nl and we will provide you with the relevant contact information.

Former Criminal Justice Clinic students, academic year 2020-2021

Silvia Ottinetti
Rebecca Bakos Blumenthal
Stella Pizzato
Ari Bilotta
Jadé Botha
Zenzi Ophof
Leila Katšajeva