Maastricht University wins Jessup National Round

Maastricht University and Utrecht University competed in the final round of the Dutch National Round for the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. Maastricht University was announced the winner by the Final Bench, consisting of Judges Willibrord Davids, Bart Vis and Matthew Gillett, and will compete at the International Rounds in Washington in April.

John Dugard lecture presented by Judge Kenneth Keith

On Monday 19 January, H.E. Judge Kenneth Keith of the International Court of Justice presented the annual John Dugard Lecture, 'The International Rule of Law' at Campus The Hague.

Children's Rights Moot Court Competition

The Law Society of Ireland won the final round of the very first edition of the Children's Rights Moot Court Competition.
At the CRM 2014 competition, fifteen student-teams from nine different countries pleaded ‘The of AW vs. Landia' involving a fictitious individual petition brought before an International Court on the Rights of the Child.
The CRM was jointly organized by the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies and the Department of Child Law of Leiden University, with the support of UNICEF and the Municipality of Leiden.
The CRM 2014 was a successful three-day event, consisting of two days of preliminary rounds on 18 and 19 November at the Sterrewacht in Leiden. The final round on Thursday 20 November was held at the Child Rights Home in Leiden. Judges on the final bench were H.E. Judge Joyce Aluoch of the ICC, H.E. Judge Flavia Lattanzi and H.E. Judge Mandiaye Niang of the UN ICTY.

Pictures of the CRM 2014

Benjamin Ferencz at Leiden Law School

From 1-5 September Benjamin Ferencz (94) visited the Leiden Law School. He was invited for a special one-day event organized for all 2nd year law students, devoted to the theme ‘ethical dilemmas in war and peace’. In 1947-1948 Ferencz was the chief prosecutor in one of the so-called follow-up Nuremberg trials, the Einsatzgruppen trial.

During his long life he has published extensively and has participated in international negotiations on the definition of aggression and on the crime of aggression. See for further information his website.

Following an inspiring presentation in movie theatre Trianon on 1 September he answered questions from some of the 200 second year law students who were present and had discussions with them. On 3 September Ferencz spoke in the Academy building during an unforgettable meeting with the new group of 38 Advanced LLM Public International Law students, please see the video of this meeting. On 5 September he spoke in the Lorentz lecture hall for academic staff. In between these presentations, Ferencz had interviews (with Mare, Leidsch Dagblad, NRC and Deutschlandradio) and meetings with ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, judges and staff of the ICC, and with the President of the ICTY.

Book Launch

It was a full house on 30 April at the joint launch of two important books, Jus Post Bellum: Mapping the Normative Foundations, edited by Professor Carsten Stahn, Jennifer S. Easterday, and Jens Iverson (all members of faculty at the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies) and Proportionality in International Law, written byProfessor Michael A. Newton and Professor Larry May. The first volumeprovides a detailed understanding of the development and nature of jus post bellum as a concept, including its foundations, criticisms, and relationship to related concepts (such as transitional justice, and the responsibility to protect). The second critically assesses the law of proportionality in a uniquely interdisciplinary way. The crowd was treated to interesting presentations by Professor Naomi Roht Arriaza, Distinguished Professor of Law, University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and Judge Howard Morrison, Judge of the International Criminal Court and International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, as well as a panel with editors Professor Carsten Stahn, Jennifer S. Easterday, Jens Iverson, and author Professor Michael A. Newton.

New Grotius Centre publication on Jus Post Bellum

The Jus Post Bellum project is glad to announce the publication of a new work by Oxford University Press (‘Jus Post Bellum: Mapping the Normative Foundations’) which examines the content and normative foundations of jus post bellum. The book (edited by Carsten Stahn, Jennifer Easterday and Jens Iverson) provides a modern account of core concepts underlying transitions from conflict to peace, i.e. the law ('jus'), temporal aspects of application ('post'), and the nexus of the concept to peace and different types of armed conflict ('bellum'). The volume examines the development and nature of jus post bellum, including its foundations, criticisms, and relationship to related concepts (e.g., transitional justice, responsibility to protect). It investigates the relationship of the concept to jus ad bellum and jus in bello, and its relevance in internal armed conflicts and peacebuilding. It reviews contemporary approaches towards ending of conflict, including indicators for the end of conflict, exit strategies, and institutional responses. It seeks to clarify emerging norms, principles and practices, drawing on disparate bodies and sources of international law such as peace agreements, treaty law, self-determination, norms governing peace operations and the status of foreign armed forces, environmental law, human rights, and amnesty law. The volume contains 26 chapters written by leading experts, including several Leiden scholars (Eric de Brabandere, Dov Jacobs and Freya Baetens). It was made possible by a Vidi grant of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research. For follow-up activities of the Jus Post Bellum project on‘Peacebuilding and Environmental Damage’ and ‘Property and Investment’ in June 2014, see here.

Leiden Fact-Finding Project discussed Future of Human Rights Fact-Finding at New York University

On 1-2 November 2013, NYU’s Center for Human Rights and Global Justice hosted a conference entitled ‘Human Rights Fact-Finding in the Twenty-first Century’. The Grotius Centre contributed two papers to the conference which form part of the fact-finding project of the Centre, carried out in cooperation with the Hague Institute for Global Justice. Prof. dr. Larissa van den Herik and Catherine Harwood spoke about the impact of the use of international criminal law as a normative framework by international commissions of inquiry. Prof. dr. Carsten Stahn and Dov Jacobs discussed the interaction between human rights fact-finding and international criminal proceedings. The conference also explored possibilities offered by new technologies to investigate alleged human rights violations; issues of politics and imperialism; roles of victims and witnesses; fact-finding in advocacy, enforcement, and litigation; and the utility of fact-finding guidelines. One of the outputs of the conference is a volume of essays to be edited by Philip Alston and Sarah Knuckey.


Prof. Dr. N. J. Schrijver
"The challenge is how to make international law instrumental in protecting the vital ecological functions of our planet, also in order to pay justice to the rights and future generations of humankind."


Scholarship opportunities for summer schools

A number of scholarships and fee waivers are available for the Human Rights and Transitional Justice Summer School, the International Children's Rights Summer School and the Women, Peace and Security Summer School.

Telders International Law Moot Court Competition

The 2015 Competition will be held in The Hague from Wednesday 6 to Friday 8 May.

Call for Papers - Leiden Journal of International Law Symposium on 'The Changing Role of Scholarship in International Law'

The Leiden Journal of International Law launches a call for papers for its symposium 'The Changing Role of Scholarship in International Law' which will take place on 11 May 2015 at The Hague. The Keynote will be delivered by Martti Koskenniemi.


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