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.

This Bonavero Institute Summer Fellowship at Reprieve UK (London) is a ten-week fellowship, tenable from early July to mid-September 2017. 

About Reprieve

Reprieve is an organisation of courageous and committed human rights defenders. Founded in 1999 by the British human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith, Reprieve provides free legal and investigative support to some of the world’s most vulnerable people: those facing execution, and those victimised by states’ abusive counter-terror policies – rendition, torture, extrajudicial imprisonment and extrajudicial killing.

Summer interns at Reprieve will join a team of lawyers, investigators and campaigners seeking to ensure that governments are held to account on human rights issues. The nature of their work as interns will depend on the organisation’s needs and their particular areas of interest. There will always be a combination of investigation and legal work, as that’s where Reprieve’s strength and uniqueness lies. Reprieve is the type of place where students will learn how to and be expected to use all the tools in the tool box, and because we’re a small team, students will get exposure to multiple areas of the work. Further information about Reprieve’s work can be found via their website at


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). It is also open to 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 than one fellowship, applicants may 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 to make an effective contribution. Usually, applicants will have taken at least one human rights law subject in an Oxford taught programme or will have engaged in research in human rights law as part of their studies in Oxford.

Application Process

If you wish to apply for the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights Fellowship hosted by Reprieve UK, please submit the following to by noon, on Monday, 8 May 2017:

1.  A letter of application describing how your area of study is relevant to Reprieve UK and your reasons for wishing to undertake the internship.

2.  A CV, which should indicate what previous work you have undertaken in the broad field of human rights law, including whether you have been an active member of Oxford Pro Bono Publico or undertaken other public interest work.

3.  Official transcripts.

4.  Two letters of reference, preferably from individuals able to speak to your abilities in the field of public law and human rights law. In the case of current research students, at least one of the referees should be your supervisor.

5.  A statement disclosing other sources of funding (eg. scholarship stipends, personal funds or college grants).

The successful candidate will receive a maximum of £2,500 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. Interviews are likely to take place on 22nd May 2017 and the decision will be announced by 12th June 2017.

If you have any enquiries, please contact Zoe Davis-Heaney.

This Fellowship has been made possible by a generous gift from Eric L. Lewis.