Achieving a just, democratic, peaceful and humane society through upholding human rights and the rule of law.

ICJ Bar Reader program

ICJ Victoria conducts a program to sponsor a human rights lawyer from the Asia-Pacific region to undertake the Victorian Bar Readers’ Course.

The Victorian Bar Readers’ Course is an intensive two-month programme conducted in Melbourne by legal practitioners, including many of Victoria’s best barristers.  The Bar Readers’ Course provides an opportunity for a foreign trained lawyer to develop their advocacy and other practical legal skills, as well as familiarise themselves with the Australian legal system. The ICJ Bar Reader will be mentored by a senior lawyer and will enjoy access to judges and the courts.  

The central aim of the ICJV programme is to invite a human rights lawyer from the Asia/Pacific region to experience first hand how the rule of law operates in Australia. The candidate will develop their legal and advocacy skills according to the high standard of the Victorian Bar, and build their networks among Australian legal professionals. The ultimate objective is for the candidate to cultivate a broad range of resources that will help them promote human rights and rule of law in their home country.

The ICJ Bar Reader’s programme subsidises the costs of the candidate’s airfare to and from Melbourne; provides accommodation for the duration of the course; and a stipend to cover living expenses.

ICJ Victoria have selected the ICJ Bar Reader for the Bar Readers’ Course to be conducted in September – October 2018.

Lawyer from the Asian/Pacific region with human rights experience and English language skill are encouraged to apply. Applications must include:

  1. A short cover letter;
  2. A resume of relevant professional experience;
  3. A short essay (no more than 1000 words) setting out how the Bar Readers’ Course will positively contribute to the promotion of human rights in the candidate’s home country; and
  4. The details of two professional referees.

And should be forwarded to, by no later than 30 June 2017.

ICJ Victoria encourages members and supporters to share this page with others who may be interested in this program and can assist in identifying a suitable candidate.

The 2016 candidate was Indonesian lawyer Mr Alghiffari Aqsa, from Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (Lembaga Bantuan Hukum, Jakarta).  He had the following to say about the program:

“I spent two months as a reader in Victorian Bar Reader’s Course in Melbourne.  It was a fabulous experience for me as a public interest lawyer. I would like to thank to International Commission of Jurists for giving me an irreplaceable course since the Reader’s Course was very intensive and not an easy course. This reputable course consist of 41 readers who are excellent in their respective fields. Many of them got their Bachelors or Masters Degrees from world top university such as University of Melbourne, Harvard, and Oxford.  One of them already had a PhD. But there was no competition and they helped me many times to tackle my language and knowledge limitation.

This program has help me to enhance my English skill and advocacy skill, especially with oral advocacy and writing. Not only capacity building, this program also helped me to built networks, seeking support to LBH, connected to legal profession in Victoria, spoke in public lecture or discussion so I can have a campaign on Human Rights in Indonesia, opportunity to sat-in at Federal Court and Supreme Court to observe real trial in Victoria, and the opportunity to see nice places in Victoria. 

I didn’t expect mid assessment and final assessment in this course. Miraculously, I passed the assessment and at the end I signed a roll as a Victorian Bar’s Roll of Overseas Counsel (Roll No:138). Thank you ICJ Victoria.”


Alghiffari Aqsa completes the Bar Readers’ Course, and signs the Victorian Bar’s Roll of Overseas Counsel.

ICJ Victoria is looking for a member of the legal profession willing to billet the ICJ Bar Reader.

A very large part of the success of this program is the opportunity it provides to the ICJ Bar Reader to live with and be mentored by an Australian lawyer.  Previous hosts and their families have both enjoyed and benefitted from the experience of getting to know a young human rights lawyer from the Asia/Pacific region.

ICJ Victoria calls for donations to support this program.  

Name: ICJ Victoria
BSB: 083054
Account Number: 635319621

Please include a specific reference to the ICJ Bar Readers’ Course for our records.

ICJ Victoria wishes to acknowledge the support provided for this program by the Victorian Bar and from the Bar Readers’ Committee.