Thursday, November 13, 2008

Justice Initiative Fellows Program for 2009-2011

The Open Society Justice Initiative, an operational program of the Open Society Institute (OSI), joins with Central European University (CEU) to announce the Justice Initiative Fellows Program for 2009-2011.

The aim of the Justice Initiative Fellows Program is to support and further develop a network of lawyers and activists working internationally on human rights-related issues. Since its start in 1996, 165 fellows have graduated from the Justice Initiative's Fellowship program.

The Justice Initiative Fellows Program is a two-year program of study and practical work experience. Up to ten applicants will be selected to participate in the 2009 program. Applicants from the following regions and countries are eligible: Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, Africa, East, South and Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Central and South America.

Applicants must be nominated by a non-governmental organization concerned with human rights. The first year is spent at Central European University, the second in the applicant's home country, working with the nominating NGO.

The applicant must demonstrate a strong commitment to human rights, and have a university degree and a high degree of proficiency in English. Criteria for selection will include the applicant's experience, his/her potential to contribute to the protection and promotion of human rights, and the suitability of the applicant's proposed role in the nominating NGO. Upon selection, Fellows will be required to sign an agreement with the Justice Initiative committing themselves to the program for two years.

The Justice Initiative Fellows will reside for one year in Hungary, at CEU Legal Studies Department. They will undertake a degree program (M.A. or LL.M. in Human Rights, depending on their undergraduate degree), in which they will be required to fulfill the requirements of the Human Rights Program at Central European University. During their stay at CEU, the Fellows will also participate in a three-month internship placement with leading NGOs in Europe from January until March. During the first year of the program the Justice Initiative Fellowship will be administered by CEU Legal Studies Department in partnership with the Justice Initiative. Financial conditions will be identical to CEU policies for full scholarship students.

The Justice Initiative Fellows will return to their nominating NGOs after the first year, where they will spend at least one year working in human rights advocacy on a non-profit basis: providing legal services, undertaking human rights litigation, providing training and education, etc. The Justice Initiative will pay a local salary during this second year equal to an amount determined to be similar to equivalent work by the nominating NGO. This amount will be provided to the nominating NGOs in the form of a grant.

Application Procedure

Please note that the applicant must mail his/her application to the CEU Admissions Office (1051 Budapest, Nador u.9, Hungary).

The applicant must meet the general CEU Admissions requirements, which can be viewed online as well as the CEU Legal Studies Department Requirements (

In addition, applicants must include with their application:

1. A nomination letter from an NGO describing the reasons for nominating the applicant, the expectations the NGO has of the project, and contractually committing (to the Justice Initiative) to hire the applicant for at least one year after s/he returns from the twelve-month training program in Hungary. The nomination letter should also indicate a monthly salary gross rate in USD (including all taxes and fees) that will be offered to the applicant by the NGO in the event that s/he is selected for the program (provided to the NGO by the Justice Initiative in the form of a grant).

2. A copy of the applicant's Bar Association membership (if applicable), or the date scheduled for examination.

3. Proof of English proficiency: Candidates staying out of the testing region are required to submit official score reports (See CEU recognized Language exams and score required ). For applicants from the former Soviet Union and Central and Eastern Europe, language tests as well as Legal Reasoning Test and Department essays will be carried out by local Soros Foundation/Open Society Institute coordinators on March 14, 2009. For candidates outside this region the Admission exam will be carried out via e-mail on March 14, 2009, followed by interviews administered at a later date. (See also .)

4. A statement of purpose for applying to the Justice Initiative Fellows program.

5. A proposal of project activities that the candidate plans to work on with the nominating NGO during the second year of the fellowship.

The DEADLINE for receiving applications at CEU is January 26, 2009.


If you have questions regarding the first year of the program, please contact:
Lea Tilless
Special Programs Coordinator, Legal Studies Department,
Central European University, NA?dor u. 9, Budapest 1051,
Tel: +361 327-3205 e-mail:

For more information about the overall program and the second year commitment, please contact:

Anna Fischer
Fellows Program Coordinator at Justice Initiative, Oktober 6. u. 12,
Budapest 1051, Tel: +361 327-3108; fax: 361 327 3103; e-mail:, web:
For more information about this program please visit

The Open Society Justice Initiative, an operational program of the Open Society Institute (OSI), pursues law reform activities grounded in the protection of human rights, and contributes to the development of legal capacity for open societies worldwide. The Justice Initiative combines litigation, legal advocacy, technical assistance, and the dissemination of knowledge to secure advances in the following priority areas: national criminal justice, international justice, freedom of information and expression, and equality and citizenship. Its offices are in Abuja, Budapest, London, New York, and Washington DC.


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