International Humanitarian Law in Theory and Practice
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International Humanitarian Law in Theory and Practice Law Peace & Justice

For students and professionals | This summer the Grotius Centre will host the third edition of the International Humanitarian Law Summer School. The course is designed by the Grotius Centre Kalshoven-Gieskes Forum on International Humanitarian Law and is organised in close cooperation with the Netherlands Red Cross.

  • Start date 01-07-18
  • Duration 7 days
  • Level Students | Professionals
  • Apply before 01-05-18
  • Location The Hague
  • Course fee 800 - 950

Course information

The third edition of the International Humanitarian Law Summer School will be held in The Hague from Sunday 1 July to Saturday 7 July 2018.

Target audience
This Summer School is opened to students and professionals who would like to acquire general knowledge of International Humanitarian Law. The deadline for application is 1 May 2018. Applications that are received after the 1st of May will still be considered, but admission will depend on the availability of places.

Academic content
This unique programme, which brings together students and professionals from a wide range of backgrounds, experience and perspectives, aims to give a broad overview of the laws of armed conflict, and offers a range of opportunities to test the acquisition of knowledge through interactive exercises, including an exciting paintball simulation game at the end of the week. The course covers, amongst others, the classification of conflicts, protection of the civilian population, combatants and prisoners of war, the rules governing the conduct of hostilities, and the law of non-international armed conflict.

Study load
The course includes about 34 hours of workshops, lectures and educational field trips, which require approximately 25 hours of preparation.

Class size
To ensure active participation and exchange with teaching staff and fellow participants, a maximum of 40 participants will be admitted to this course.

Why this Summer School?

The International Humanitarian Law in Theory and Practice Summer School offers a unique opportunity to learn from well-known and influential academics and leading practitioners from Leiden University, The Netherlands Defence Academy, the University of Amsterdam, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Netherlands Red Cross. You will gain first-hand knowledge on the rules and laws of armed conflict in the heart of The Hague, the International City of Peace and Justice. The course also offers plenty of opportunities to network with fellow students and practitioners from all over the world. And last but not least, The Hague is a wonderful place to stay!

Draft Programme

SundayWelcome Reception and Registration
MondayInternational Humanitarian Law: Past, Present and Future
Classification of Conflicts
Visit of the Netherlands Red Cross Archive
TuesdayProtection of the Civilian Population
Combatants and Prisoners of War
The Role of Disseminating International Humanitarian Law
WednesdayConduct of Hostilities: General Principles and Targeting Cycle
Conduct of Hostilities: Autonomous Weapons and Cyber Warfare
Visit of an International Court of Tribunal
ThursdayThe Law of Non-International Armed Confllict
Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response Law
The Interplay between IHL and International Human Rights Law
FridayEnforcement and Implementation of International Humanitarian Law
The Interplay between IHL and International Criminal Law
Paintball Simulation of Conflict Situations: Application of IHL in Practice
SaturdayMoot Court

Practical information

This course is held at the new Leiden University premises in the city centre of The Hague, Location Wijnhaven. To learn more about The Hague, please visit The Hague, International City of Peace and Justice  and This is The Hague.

The Grotius Centre does not provide housing but we will be happy to assist you in finding a suitable place to stay. Here are some options for accommodation in The Hague

Course fees

The tuition fee for the 2018 session is €950. We offer a special Early Bird fee of €800 to the participants who register before 1 March 2018. Leiden University students, students from partner universities, and participants who have registered for at least another Grotius Centre summer school in 2018 also pay a reduced fee of €800. Unfortunately, there are no scholarships available for this course.

What's included?
The fee includes access to the wifi network of Leiden University, course materials (including the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols), a certificate of participation, an information briefing at one of the International Courts and Tribunals in The Hague, a visit to the archives of the Netherlands Red Cross, a paintball game, lunches and refreshments on class days, a welcome dinner in the city centre and a farewell dinner at the beach.


To apply please complete the online application form.
The application should be completed at once as data cannot be saved. Therefore, make sure to have the following documents ready before starting the application:

1. A copy of your curriculum vitae;
2. A cover letter (one page) in which you clearly explain why you are applying for this course;
3. A recent portrait picture.

Please note that:

  • Prior knowledge of law is desirable.
  • All courses are taught in English. An official certificate of language proficiency is not required but you need to be fluent in English to be able to understand the classes and to interact with fellow students.
  • Only complete applications are considered.
  • All applications are dealt with on an individual basis.
  • Provided you are considered eligible, you will receive a pre-admission email.
  • Your admission to the course will be final once the payment of the fee is made.
  • The deadline for application is 1 May 2018. Applicants will be admitted on a rolling basis. Early application is strongly advised.


Lecturers and speakers

Robert Heinsch (academic coordinator), Associate Professor of Public International Law, Leiden University

Mirjam de Bruin (academic coordinator), Representative of The Netherlands Red Cross

Philipp Ambach, Chief, Victim Participation and Reparations Section Registry, International Criminal Court

Giulio Bartolini, Associate Professor of International Law at the Department of Law, University of “Roma Tre”

Jeroen van den Boogaard, Lecturer at the Amsterdam Law School and Assistant Professor Military Law at the Netherlands Defence Academy

Eleni Chaitidou, Legal Officer, Pre-Trial/Trial Division, International Criminal Court

Paul Ducheine, Professor for Cyber Operations and Cyber Security at the Netherlands Defence Academy

Terry Gill, Professor of Military Law at the University of Amsterdam and the Netherlands Defence Academy

More information

International Humanitarian Law in Theory and Practice


International Humanitarian Law in Theory and Practice


"I was very impressed by the highly competent and interesting lecturers – really very good!"

International Humanitarian Law in Theory and Practice


"Rewarding and fantastic experience!"

International Humanitarian Law in Theory and Practice


"It was a unique experience and a fantastic networking opportunity.”

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