Who are we

We are a non-profit organization that provides free legal assistance to Dutch detainees in the so called ‘concern countries’, as designated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). Dutch&Detained also represents Dutch nationals at risk for the death penalty. We are funded by the Dutch MFA, which allows us to represent the most vulnerable detainees; those who can’t afford proper local counsel. Each country, each case, each detainee is different. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to our work. We assess each new case and determine on an individual basis how we can assist. For the trial phase, a good local attorney is crucial. So, when we get the chance, we offer a recommendation from our vast network. Often however, there is no (more) budget and the client will get assigned a (grossly underpaid) pro deo attorney, grossly complicating our ability to provide legal assistance. Our added value to the local counsel lies predominantly in the international, Dutch and diplomatic aspects of the case. In addition, much of our efforts are aimed at expediting a return to the Netherlands, through transfer of sentence or deportation. At the post-conviction stage, a local attorney is rarely available and we often conduct the procedure independently. Our work covers criminal, international and human rights law. However, we go beyond the written provisions. The complexities of a detention in a concern country force us to be creative and resourceful in supporting a detainee. Therefore, we work closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Justice and Security, the foreign desk of the Dutch Probation Service, foundation Epafras, several NGOs and local attorneys.

What you’ll be doing

Our interns are invaluable, because they work alongside us as colleagues. You will not be making coffee or copies. Your main task is carrying out legal research into the criminal justice system of one of the concern countries, with the goal of drawing up a ‘country report’. Providing us with durable legal background. A country report includes: an overview of various aspects of the criminal legislation and procedure currently in force. In addition, you will identify and establish contact with relevant local actors, such as attorneys, NGOs and universities. Furthermore, you will be putting your legal research to practice by drafting opinions in our criminal cases.


We’re looking for an advanced student with the following characteristics:
  • Study: international criminal or public law;
  • Able to work independently;
  • Proactive and persistent work attitude;
  • Responsible and reliable;
  • Careful researcher; and
  • Excellent written and oral English skills.
The following qualities are a major added value:
  • Knowledge of any additional language, in particular: Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese and French;
  • Familiarity with the criminal justice system in one of the concern countries; and
  • Prior relevant working experience.

Practical information

Starting date     : Every month (starting on Monday) Duration           : Minimum of 2 months Days                 : Minimum of 2 days a week Location           : At our office: Jacob Obrechtstraat 51, Amsterdam

How to apply

Please send your CV, motivation letter and your grades to Sofie Bollen (info@DutchDetained.com)