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Corpus student selected for Judicial Fellowship at International Court of Justice

Law student Dominic Bielby has been selected for the highly sought-after position of Judicial Fellow at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for 2023-2024.

Dom, who is currently studying for an LLM in International Law at Corpus, was up against applicants from universities around the world to fill just 15 positions on the Judicial Fellowship Programme.

As a Judicial Fellow, Dom will attend public hearings, conduct research, and draft memoranda on factual and legal questions before the Court. Each Fellow works full-time under one of the Court's 15 judges, Dom will be working for Judge Georg Nolte. Judge Nolte has served on the Court since February 2021, having previously been a member of the International Law Commission.

The ICJ is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN). The Court’s role is to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by States and to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by authorised United Nations organs and specialised agencies. The Court’s 15 judges are elected for terms of office of nine years by the UN General Assembly and the Security Council.

"To have been selected is an extraordinary privilege, and I still can't quite believe it. Although universities are allowed to nominate several candidates, Cambridge nominates only one per year. The internal process for selection is highly competitive, and is open to LLM and PhD students. This added to my surprise when I received the University's nomination back in January,” says Dom.

“This would not have been possible without the kind and generous support which the College and its members - be they Fellows, staff, or students - have given to me over the course of my studies. A very special thanks is owed to a few people in particular: Dr Andrew Sanger, Dr Jonathan Morgan, Dr Matilda Gillis, Dr Marina Frasca-Spada, Dr Jo Willmott, and Professor Emma Wilson. I really look forward to working at the Court and representing our community at The Hague, although I am certain that I will miss Corpus terribly when I am there."

"We are delighted for Dom: this is a rare and brilliant opportunity arising from a highly selective process, and one that’s so very richly deserved. Congratulations!" adds Dr Andrew Sanger.

After a difficult start to life, losing his left eye due to Retinoblastoma (retinal cancer) at the age of two, Dom has had a successful academic career to date. He received a scholarship and bursary to an independent secondary school in York, before studying the Law Tripos at Corpus. In his final year he was awarded a First and came 6th out of 205 in the Law Tripos, receiving the Lawton Prize for Law and the Simmons & Simmons Prize for his results.

Dom is most proud of his contribution to the College's access and outreach work, as well as helping to represent student interests. He has served on the JCR Committee every year of his undergraduate degree, as Access Officer, President and then Secretary, and has worked as an Undergraduate Assistant on the Bridging Course in 2020 and 2021. For his contributions to College life, he was awarded the Spencer Exhibition in 2020 and again in 2022.

“Both my parents had been the first generations in their families to go to university: on my Dad's side, my grandparents were a domestic servant and a bus driver, and on my Mum's side they were immigrants to the UK from Poland and Italy who worked various 'unskilled' jobs.”

“I first came into contact with Cambridge University on a Law Masterclass which took place at Corpus. From then on, I knew that I wanted to apply to Cambridge, specifically Corpus!”

Dom is currently studying for an LLM in International Law, having been awarded the Arnold McNair Scholarship in International Law by the Faculty of Law.