Summer School in Human Rights Litigation

Application Deadline
April 10, 2023

For further information and to apply, please visit the Hertie School website.

June 26 to June 30, 2023

Berlin, Germany


The Open Society Justice Initiative and Hertie School

The summer school provides a unique opportunity for human rights lawyers to brainstorm and network within a community of practice. Participants will develop their skills in achieving practical change through litigation before domestic, regional, and international courts as well as human rights mechanisms. This year’s summer school will focus on human rights issues arising in climate change and digital technology, including the digitization of the State and access to public services. All selected participants will receive a full scholarship, and all travel and accommodation costs, including visas, will be paid for by the Justice Initiative.

Eligibility Criteria

Eligible candidates must be practicing lawyers, ideally with a minimum of three years’ post-qualification experience in human rights. 

Instruction will be in English.

Purpose and Priorities

The course aims to provide 20 participants with the opportunity to gain and share knowledge on human rights legal frameworks and developments and to consider litigation strategically as one step in the process of achieving social change. The curriculum will combine presentations from leading academics and practitioners together with group discussions to “workshop” participants’ case ideas. This will include how to build a strong evidential record in support of a case, how to develop campaigns and advocacy to raise awareness of the issues involved, and how to implement a successful judgment. 

The course will enable participants to brainstorm and receive peer and expert feedback on their case ideas or ongoing work, with a possibility of further collaboration with the Open Society Justice Initiative in the form of continuing technical support and partnership. The course encourages participating litigators to network with their peers from around the world who share their subject-matter interests and ambitions. 


Please apply by April 10, 2023 (23:59 CET) via the online application module. When registering, please select “Human Rights Litigation Summer School 2023” under "Executive Programmes" and upload the following documents: 

The Hertie School online application form

Hertie School's online application form enables the online submission of the application itself as well as of all other relevant documentation, including CVs and resumes, reference contacts and statements of purpose.

Evidence of professional experience

Please attach a CV no longer than three pages. Include all relevant professional experience (paid or voluntary), including your roles and responsibilities. 

Statement of purpose: Cover letter and accompanying materials 

Please submit a cover letter explaining your motivation to attend. Additionally, please submit one of the following materials relating to climate change or digital technology (maximum of four pages): 

  1. A new case idea (including a succinct summary of the issue to be tackled and intended outcome, as well as the heads of claim, type of plaintiffs, target, forum, timeline and approximate budget);
  2. A proposal to reframe a current case; or
  3. An overview of the relevant legal frameworks in the applicant’s jurisdiction(s). 

Preference will be given to new case ideas. 

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