Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons vacancy search engine

Internship - Office of the Legal Adviser

About Us


The OPCW internship programme is aimed at motivated students with an interest in gaining experience in international organisations. The programme normally provides work placements in the Technical Secretariat for a three to six month period. The objective of the internship is to provide you with first-hand experience in the day-to-day working environment of an international organisation. You will work with our international experts towards the OPCW mission to achieve a world permanently free of chemical weapons.

As part of our team, working directly with outstanding and inspiring career professionals, you will be exposed to high-profile conferences, participate in meetings, and contribute to our analytical work as well as the organisational policy of the OPCW.

General Information

  • Contract Type
  • Remuneration
    A monthly stipend of €450 (four hundred fifty euro)
  • Closing Date


Job Summary

The Office of the Legal Adviser provides legal advice and support to the Director-General, the Divisions and Branches of the Secretariat, and States Parties on a wide range of legal issues. In doing so, the Office ensures that the Organisation’s activities are conducted in accordance with the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), and relevant rules, policies and agreements.

The primary responsibility of the Office is to assist in the interpretation and implementation of the CWC, the decisions and rules of procedure of the policy-making organs, the internal legislation of the Organisation, and various sources of public international law.

The Office advises on commercial matters, the development of new internal administrative policies and procedures, and personnel-related administrative issues. Its legal services include assistance in drafting, reviewing, and negotiating international agreements and interpretation of the Headquarters Agreement between the OPCW and the Host Country.

Main Responsibilities

Interns will be asked to conduct the following tasks:

  • Prepare first drafts of memoranda and other communications, as requested, on a variety of legal issues arising from the CWC implementation;
  • Research rules of public international law on matters related to the interpretation of the CWC;
  • Prepare background notes on legal issues relating to individual States to guide senior officials of the OPCW in their bilateral discussions with the States;
  • Provide support in preparation for meetings of States Parties and prepare records of such meetings;
  • Research on administrative law matters, including the jurisprudence of the 1LOAT, related to the implementation and interpretation of the OPCW Staff Regulations and Interim Staff Rules, the OPCW Financial Regulations and Rules, and other internal legislation.

Qualifications and Experience


To be eligible for the OPCW internship programme, you must be:



  • enrolled in and have completed at least one year of a degree programme in a university (or equivalent tertiary institution) or; in a graduate school programme (second university degree or higher) or;
  • have graduated from a university or a graduate school within a year prior to the commencement of the internship and;
  • be a citizen of an OPCW Member State.

Skills and Competencies

  • Excellent research and analytical skills;
  • Teamwork - We work collectively towards a common goal and together we get the job done. As a team member you have to genuinely value other people’s ideas and expertise and be willing to learn from others;
  • Commitment to Continuous Learning - The OPCW is committed to a process of continuous learning;
  • Technological Awareness - It is hard to keep up with the fast pace of technological change, but the Organization offers training as well as support to keep abreast of technological development.


Fluency in English is essential and a good working knowledge of one of the other official languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish) is desirable.

Additional Information

Acceptance for the programme shall not carry with it any expectation of employment with the OPCW. Interns may not apply for, or be appointed to, any posts or positions at the OPCW within six months of the internship agreement end date. The internship programme is run in accordance with the applicable internal rules and where applicable the OPCW Staff Regulations and Interim Staff Rules.


  1. Participants in the Internship Programme receive no financial remuneration from the OPCW for expenses that they incur in relation to the programme. Costs and arrangements for travel, visas, taxes, accommodation, living expenses and repatriation, etc. are the responsibility of the intern. The intern has to enter and exit the country in accordance with the applicable immigration procedures in The Netherlands.
  2. Participants will be asked to provide proof that they have sufficient financial means for living expenses for the period of their internship.
  3. Interns will work with the normal working pattern of the OPCW which will amount to no more than 40 hours a week.
  4. Participants who are citizens of non-EU countries should agree not to undertake other work in the Netherlands during their internship other than as an intern at the OPCW, notwithstanding whether such other work is compatible with the discharge of their functions with the OPCW.

Only fully completed applications submitted before the closing date and through OPCW CandidateSpace will be considered.


Only applicants under serious consideration for a post will be contacted.


Applications from qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged.

OPCW General Terms and Conditions