The Hague Academy of International Law

Structure of the Summer Courses Programme


Each of the two periods of the summer session is comprised of a General Course and a series of Special Courses.
The General Course is spread over three weeks (15 hours) in Public International Law and over two weeks (10 hours) in Private International Law.


GENERAL COURSES (morning - compulsory - daily) 
These courses highlight developments within the field of international law, and provide attendees with the opportunity to take a step backwards and, through an overall view and a collective thought process, to grasp the main lines of the discipline around which legal thinking is structured.

SPECIAL COURSES (morning - compulsory - daily)
These courses, consisting of 5 hours total spread out over one week, deal with a particular question or topic, and are given by lecturers who have studied the subject extensively and are specialists in the field.

At the end of the session, students who have regularly attended all the courses will receive a certificate of attendance.


SEMINARS (afternoon - optional)
Each lecturer conducts a seminar related to the subject of his or her course. During these interactive meetings, attendees have an opportunity to ask questions, to obtain additional information on the course, and to participate in debates.

DIRECTED STUDIES AND DIPLOMA (afternoon – admission upon selection)
The Directed Studies are conducted under the responsibility of a university lecturer. They are specifically designed for high-level students, who wish to prepare themselves for the examination leading to the Diploma of the Academy or who are interested to participate in seminars delving more deeply into questions of Public or Private International Law without sitting for the examination. The examination for the Diploma comprises a five-hour written test on a subject that has both theoretical and practical aspects. Candidates who pass this part of the examination then take an oral examination.



In addition to the courses, seminars and directed studies that constitute  the « core » of the summer programme in Public and Private International Law, the Academy organises other activities for its attendees. The aim of these activities is both to help them to set up networks amongst themselves, among the hundred or so nationalities that are represented, to allow them to reap the full benefit and make enduring memories of their stay in The Hague, while also enhancing to their knowledge through practical and concrete experiences to better to grasp the effects and scope of international law.

To these ends,

1° The Academy organizes lectures on the International Court of Justice, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, and the various international criminal courts and tribunals. These lectures, which are given at the Academy by members of those courts and tribunals, are followed by question-and-answer sessions.

2° The Academy also organizes visits to these institutions, allowing students to discover their premises and to see how these institutions work in practice; inter alia by attending hearings.

3° When the International Court of Justice hands down a judgment during the session, arrangements are made to allow the students to follow this event in the most appropriate way.

4° At the request of the Academy, many Ambassadors in The Hague are pleased to receive groups of students in order to explain to them the role and activities of an Embassy and to give them a direct vision of a diplomat’s work and of the actual role of diplomatic activities in international relations.

5° Doctoral students who are working on identical or related subjects in different countries are given the opportunity to regularly meet throughout the session, under the guidance of a lecturer or practitioner who is specifically engaged for this purpose. These doctoral meetings allow students to share their views, insights and different approaches with respect to their research topics, leading to reciprocal exchanges that can of course be continued after their time at the

6° Sales of legal publications are held each course week in the Academy’s entrance hall. These comprise books from different legal publishers as well as the Collected Courses of the Academy, offered at a special discounted price, and its Pocketbooks series.

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