Peter Nygh Hague Conference Internship

Call for applications: 2015 Nygh Internship

The Australian Institute of International Affairs and the Australian Branch of the International Law Association call for applications for the 2015 Peter Nygh Hague Conference Internship. 2015 marks the ninth year that the Nygh Internship will be awarded.

Each year, the internship provides a graduate or post graduate student with the rare opportunity to travel to The Hague in the Netherlands and work in the area of Private International Law. Successful applicants receive a contribution towards their living expenses for the duration of the internship.

Applications for the 2015 Nygh Internship close on 30 September 2014. Prospective applicants should visit the AIIA’s website at or email Tsjatsja Westerveld at

Click here for more details.



 The Internship

The Australian Branch of the International Law Association and the Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA) are pleased to present the Peter Nygh Hague Conference Internship. The award will support a post-graduate student or graduate of an Australian law school to undertake an internship with The Hague Conference on Private International Law (The Hague Conference) in the Netherlands by providing funds to cover the cost of travel to the Netherlands and a contribution towards living expenses.

The award will provide a post-graduate student or graduate with the opportunity to work with some of the leading private international law practitioners in the world. With over 70 members (including the European Union) representing all major regions and legal systems, The Hague Conference is a global intergovernmental organisation. A melting pot of different legal traditions, The Hague Conference aims for the ‘progressive unification’ of the various State private international law rules. The work of The Hague Conference involves finding internationally agreed approaches to jurisdiction of courts, applicable law and the recognition and enforcement of judgments. This is achieved through the development and servicing of multilateral legal conventions which respond to global needs in the areas of international commercial law and banking, international civil procedure, international protection of children, international family and family property relations, international legal co-operation and litigation as well as international judicial and administrative co-operation. Activities of The Hague Conference are coordinated by a multinational Secretariat – the Permanent Bureau – located in The Hague. The Conference’s working languages are English and French. The successful intern will work for 5 to 6 months under the direction of the Secretariat assisting with research, translation and preparation of meetings in accordance with the needs of the lawyers of the Permanent Bureau. Please see this article on the first 5 years of the internship and the reports from previous Nygh interns for more information.


The Hon Dr Peter Nygh AM

The Peter Nygh Hague Conference Internship was established in memory of the late Hon Dr Peter Nygh AM, a leading international lawyer and former judge of the Family Court of Australia. Dr Nygh began his 25 year association with The Hague Conference as a member of Australia’s first delegation in 1975. During this time, Dr Nygh helped to draft the Convention on the Celebration and Recognition of the Validity of Marriages as well as the Convention on the Law Applicable to Matrimonial Property Regimes, work which contributed to his appointment to the Family Court of Australia. After his retirement from the bench, Dr Nygh returned to The Hague Conference, and between 1994 and his death in 2002 he contributed in many ways, including serving as a co-rapporteur on The Hague ‘judgments project’ from 1996 and representing Australia in the negotiations that led to the 1996 Child Protection Convention. In his later years Dr Nygh spent extended periods in The Hague without remuneration or payment of his expenses, yet his work did not go unrecognised. He was awarded the Centenary Medal by the Australian Government as well as the Order of Australia, partly in recognition of his outstanding and longstanding contribution to private international law, and in particular his representation of Australia at The Hague Conference.


Support for the Peter Nygh Hague Conference Internship

Dr Nygh’s son and daughter each donated funds to establish the Peter Nygh Hague Conference Internship in his memory. An additional $50,000 has been donated by the Attorney-General’s Department. Allens  is generously supporting the administration of the Internship. Dr Nygh’s brother and his wife have also made a substantial donation to the Peter Nygh Hague Conference Internship.

While president of the ILA(AB) Dr Nygh worked to promote co-operation between the ILA(AB) and the AIIA. Both organisations are pleased to show their appreciation for his work by jointly presenting and promoting the Internship. The AIIA is an independent, non-profit, apolitical national organisation committed to the promotion of informed discussion among members of the Australian public on international issues and their impact on Australia. It provides a forum for discussion by hosting a range of Australian and international expert speakers from the political arena, government, academia, business and the media, as well as publishing the Australian Journal of International Affairs and the Australia in World Affairs book series.


How to apply

Please send a letter of application addressed to the Peter Nygh Hague Conference Internship Board to or to c/- Ms Nicola Nygh, Allens, GPO Box 50, Sydney 2001.

Applications close on 30 September each year. The letter should include:

  • the applicant’s reasons for applying for the Peter Nygh Hague Conference Internship;
  • the benefits which the applicant expects are to be derived from the internship and the contribution which the applicant expects to make to the work of The Hague Conference;
  • the applicant’s career ambitions and how the internship will relate to those ambitions.;
  • a description of the applicant’s current research, if applicable; and
  • the dates when the applicant would be available to undertake the internship (Note: the applicant must be available to undertake the internship for 5 to 6 months).

Please also enclose the following, where applicable:

  • the applicant’s up-to-date résumé;
  • the applicant’s most recent academic transcript;
  • two letters of reference for the applicant (including at least one academic reference), with contact details of referees;
  • a copy of research work by the applicant in a field relevant to the work of The Hague Conference; and
  • any other proof of the applicant’s legal and linguistic abilities and knowledge.

Relevant documents:

For more information, e-mail Tsjatsja Westerveld at