International Commission of Jurists (ICJ)

The ICJ provides legal expertise at both the international and national levels to ensure that developments in international law adhere to human rights principles and that international standards are implemented at the national level. The key issues of focus include global security, i.e. terrorism, anti-terrorism and human rights, duties of transnational corporations, equality and non-discrimination including on the ground of sexual orientation, enhancing the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights to the level of enjoyment of civil and political rights, reform of the UN Charter and Treaty Human Rights Bodies and the country engagement.

The International Commission of Jurists is dedicated to the primacy, coherence and implementation of international law and principles that advance human rights. What distinguishes the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) is its impartial, objective and authoritative legal approach to the protection and promotion of human rights through the rule of law.

  • Defence Institutions
  • Development of a Constitution
  • Gender
  • Good Offices and Peace Support
  • Human Rights
  • Humanitarian Protection
  • Judicial and Legal Reform
  • Law Enforcement Institutions
  • Public Administration and Government Strengthening
  • Security Sector Governance
  • Transitional Justice

Human Rights

Detailed knowledge of the international human rights standards, principles and of relevant jurisprudence and the expertise in promotion and protection of human rights through the rule of law, building on monitoring the compliance of national instruments with the international standards and principles. Particular experience in drafting new international instruments and in structural reforms.
  • Capacity and development training
  • Financial support
  • Policy advice
  • Research and policy development
  • Technical assistance
Description of activities
Manuals for local lawyers, reflecting on the relevant jurisprudence / worldwide.
Inquiry Commissions on Lebanon, Zimbabwe, or Eminent Jurists Panels on Sri Lanka, anti-terrorism or corporate complicity in international crimes / Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Lebanon.
Enhancement of capacities of local human rights defenders / Nepal, Colombia, Thailand or Zimbabwe.
Capacity in the administration of justice and the rule of law / Sri Lanka, Thailand, Colombia.
Research and Practitioner´s Guides on legal issues such as anti-terrorism, duties of transnational corporations, non-discrimination and economic, social and cultural rights / worldwide.
Capacity-building of local human rights defenders/lawyers. / Thailand, Nepal, Sudan, Colombia.

Judicial and Legal Reform

Humanitarian Protection

  • Asia
    • South Asia
      • Nepal
      • Sri Lanka
    • South East Asia
      • Thailand
    • Western Asia
      • Lebanon
  • Europe
    • Western Europe
      • Switzerland
  • Africa
    • Eastern Africa
      • Kenya
      • Sudan
  • Americas
    • Central America
      • Guatemala
    • South America
      • Colombia
International Commission of Jurists (ICJ)
Rue des Bains 33 P.O. Box 91
Geneva 8 CH-1211
Non-governmental organisation
Rue des Bains 33 P.O. Box 91
Geneva 8 CH-1211

The Commission was founded in Berlin in 1952 and its membership is composed of sixty eminent jurists who are representatives of the different legal systems of the world. Based in Geneva, the International Secretariat is responsible for the realisation of the aims and objectives of the Commission. In carrying out its work, the International Secretariat benefits from a network of autonomous national sections and affiliated organisations located in all continents. The ICJ Secretariat is also responsible for servicing the work of its Commissioners and providing strategic guidance to its field offices.

Nicholas Howen
Dr. Lukas Machon


Arab Center for the Promotion of the Independence of Judiciary and Legal Practitioners


A networking with NGOs is organised informally and on ad hoc basis (Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco). The ICJ uses this avenue to raise awareness about the international standards and assist in drafting the human rights measures by the local actors.

Field Offices of the OHCHR

United Nations

Informal regular exchanges with local UN HR experts at the country level (Nepal, Thailand, Colombia, Guatemala, Beirut) to assess outcomes of monitoring of human rights, draft human rights advocacy strategies, engage in drafting political and legal measures and divide other roles with respect to the Governments and other stakeholders.

Local human rights defenders


he ICJ engages predominantly, both on informal and formal basis, with local lawyers to train them how to monitor and represent the human rights cases in different countries (Sudan, Nepal, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Guatemala). The ICJ compiles practitioners guides on different thematic issues (economic, social and cultural rights, non-discrimination, independence of judiciary) and distributes them to local counterparts.

Presidential Coordinating Commission for Executive Policy on Human Rights Matters


The Government`s Offices or focal points are lobbied both formally and informally on human rights strategies to be taken or how to improve accountability by the respective State (e.g. Guatemala). The ICJ has similar counterparts also in Morocco and other countries.

UN Country Teams

United Nations

Informal interactions and briefings to assess situation of human rights and the gaps in sectoral strategies to promote and protect human rights. The aim is to include a human rights component into the different sectoral strategies promoted by the UN (, housing, food, migration, refugees).