The Bonavero Institute of Human Rights is a new research institute in the Law Faculty. The aim of the Bonavero Institute Summer Fellowship programme is to provide financial assistance to Oxford law graduates seeking work experience in human rights law and related fields. The programme will provide support to graduate students within the Faculty as well as to recent Oxford law graduates who wish to undertake internships in a range of organisations that work in the broad field of human rights law, including the rule of law.  The Summer Fellowships will provide students with an opportunity to apply their knowledge of human rights law to obtain a valuable platform to develop careers in this field.

The Bonavero Institute Summer Fellowship at Liberty in London is an eight-week fellowship, tenable from early July to early September 2018.  

About Liberty

Liberty is a high-profile campaigning organisation that has been fighting for human rights and civil liberties for over eighty years. Founded in the vestry hall of St Martin’s-in-the-Fields church in 1934, following a violent police response to national protests against poverty, Liberty today works on a diverse array of issues, including non-discrimination, migrants’ rights, protest, privacy, digital rights, free speech, police misconduct and access to justice.

We are a uniquely multi-disciplinary team, working to achieve change through a powerful combination of lobbying, strategic litigation, public campaigning, member activism, and providing free advice and information to the public. Summer interns at Liberty will join our team of advocates, lawyers, and policy experts.

An intern’s work will vary depending on the organisation’s needs and the timing of certain campaigns, parliamentary events, and legal cases. At the current time, Liberty’s work is focused especially on protecting and strengthening the UK human rights framework after Brexit, ending immigration detention, pushing back on the Government’s “hostile environment” toward migrants, challenging the UK’s surveillance regime, protecting digital rights, challenging the use of privacy-invasive technologies in the criminal justice system (including automated facial recognition, risk assessment algorithms, and predictive policing technology), and protecting soldiers’ rights. Liberty also maintains a consistent focus on the right to protest, free speech, police reform, access to justice, and Government approaches to terrorism and “counter-extremism,” and we are planning to expand our work on the rights of people with mental health disabilities. Within these topics, there is some flexibility to match the intern’s work to his or her particular areas of interest.


The fellowship is open to students currently pursuing a research degree or a taught graduate course in the Law Faculty (BCL/MJur/MSc/MSt/MPhil/DPhil). In addition, the programme is open to students currently in the final year of the BA (Jurisprudence) programme or those who have graduated from Oxford Law Faculty (including the BA programme) within the last twelve months.

Applicants may be about to complete their graduate degrees in Oxford or, in appropriate cases and after consulting their supervisor, may be seeking to intermit their studies in order to undertake the internship.

Applicants may apply to more than one of the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights Fellowships. Where applications are made for more than one fellowship, applicants should indicate their order of preference with regard to the different fellowships.

Applicants should demonstrate from their qualifications, especially their studies in Oxford, that they have sufficient knowledge of human rights law, public law, international law and/or constitutional law to make an effective contribution. Usually, applicants will have taken at least one of these law subjects in an Oxford taught programme or will have engaged in research in one or more of these subjects as part of their studies in Oxford.

Application Process

If you wish to apply for any of these schemes, please read the individual scheme details and submit the following to by 12 noon Thursday 10 May 2018. It is planned that interviews will take place Monday 21st and Tuesday 22nd May 2018.

  1. An application form describing briefly how your area of study is relevant to the chosen placement(s), your reasons for wishing to undertake the internship and a statement of costs and expected expenditure for the duration of the internship. Please also disclose other sources of funding (eg. scholarship stipends, personal funds or college grants) that have been granted to you in respect of this internship or for which you have applied. We also require you to list your chosen internships in order of preference.
  2. A CV (maximum 2pp) which should indicate what previous work you have undertaken, relevant to your application, including whether you have been an active member of any of the organisations or groups linked with the schemes you are applying for.
  3. Official transcripts (scanned copies).
  4. Two letters of reference, preferably from individuals able to speak to your abilities in the field of international law and/or human rights law. In the case of current research students, one of the referees should be the applicant’s supervisor.

All applications should be sent electronically to by the deadline of 12 noon Thursday 10 May 2018. Any applications received after the deadline will not be submitted for review.

The successful candidate will receive a maximum of £2,855 to cover travel, living and other expenses associated with the fellowship. In determining the amount to be awarded, other sources of funding will be taken into account.

This Fellowship is made possible by a generous gift from Eric L. Lewis and the Open Society Foundation.