Universiteit Leiden

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Grotius Centre

About us

The Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies continues Leiden University’s long and outstanding tradition in the study and teaching of public international law.

The Grotius Centre currently hosts more than 30 scholars and almost 200 students of public international law from all over the world. The Grotius Centre is named after the father of public international law and one of its most illustrious alumni – Hugo Grotius –  and is chaired by Prof. Dr. Nico Schrijver.

The Grotius Centre has offices in Leiden and in The Hague, the International City of Peace and Justice. Its proximity to international courts and tribunals in The Hague allows both staff and students to witness first-hand global justice in practice and to exchange ideas with practitioners on a regular basis.

At the Grotius Centre scholars study and explore the frontiers of public international law in light of the increasing transformation of the international legal order. They explore, for example, the promotion of international criminal justice, the promotion of sustainable international trade and the role of international organisation in the rule of law. They also teach the basic principles of public international law to an increasing number of students from all over the world.

Within the Grotius Centre, the Kalshoven-Gieskes Forum on International Humanitarian Law provides a platform for the study, teaching and further dissemination of international humanitarian law. Additionally, the Forum offers students the opportunity to participate in an international humanitarian law clinic to work on projects of partner institutions in the field. The Forum was established in 2011 and named after Frits Kalshoven, Professor Emeritus of public international law and international humanitarian law at Leiden Law School (1967-1989), and the Gieskes-Strijbis Fund. The Forum is directed by Dr. Robert Heinsch.