Public Interest Law Careers Guide - Castan Centre for Human Rights Law

Field of Law

Human rights

Stage of Career

Secondary; Undergraduates; Practicing Lawyers

Contact Details

Address: C/- Monash University, Law Faculty, Building 12, Wellington Road, Clayton  VIC  3800
Phone: 03 9905 3327
Visit the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law website
Contact person: Janice Hugo

Description of Organisation

The Castan Centre is a non-profit, non-partisan centre, focusing on the study of human rights law globally, regionally and in Australia

Number of legal positions within organisation: 2

Does your organisation have a human rights officer?

As a human rights organisation, our program staff are required to have significant expertise in human rights.

Information for secondary schools

Do you have work experience placements for secondary school students?


Contact person for work experience placements: Marius Smith

Other opportunities for secondary school students: The Centre is preparing a schools resource page with information on human rights for secondary school students.

Information for university students/graduates

How many law graduates do you employ outside your graduate program, and what sort of roles do they fill?

Our Director, Manager and Project Officer are all law graduates.  Our Director is also a Professor of the Law Faculty.  Our Manager oversees all aspects of the Centre's operations, including designing and impelenting the Centre's strategic direction, which requires knowledge of human rights law. Our Project Officer directly manages the Centre's programs, which requires a diverse range of law and non-law skills. 

What sort of volunteer/internship opportunities are available?

  • Global Internships for Monash University Law students.
  • In-house internships mainly available for Monash University Law students (external university law students can apply for internships on an ad hoc basis)

Do you have a minimum Grade Point Average standard for an applicant's academic record?

When selecting interns, we have a minimum WAM of 60. When selecting employees, there is no cut off. Rather a broad range of factors - especially knowledge of and interest in human rights - is taken into account. 

If there are any fails on a candidate's academic record how will they affect the recruitment process?

Applicants may be required to explain fails, but we look more at the total academic record and especially marks in human rights related subjects. We would expect a candidate's human rights marks to be as good or - preferably - better than their average.

Contact person for volunteers: Marius Smith

 Information for practicing lawyers

What are you looking for in a permanent employee?

  • Specific knowledge or training in human rights law and international Law;
  • Excellent legal research and writing skills; and
  • Admission to practice as a lawyer, with some pre-admission relevant work experience.
  • Good non-law skills, such as project management, supervising volunteers and knowledge of (and passion for) social media.

What prior work is viewed favourably?

Work with community legal centres and other NGOs, experience as a practicing lawyer, experience in a non-law role (management, marketing, social media)

On average, how many positions become available per year?


How many applications do you receive for these?


Where do you advertise your positions?

Email to members, Twitter and Facebook. If you want to be sure of finding out about work opportunities, head to the website and become a member (it's free).

Do you use a recruitment agency?


Advice for applicants

When applying for a position with us, you need to show that you're passionate about human rights law and it's impossible to be passionate about human rights law if you don't have a good knowledge of it. Be sure to demonstrate your knowledge in your application and interview.

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