The Annual T.M.C. Asser Lecture

On 8 December 2016, Onora O'Neill (University of Cambridge/House of Lords, UK) delivered the Second T.M.C. Asser Lecture on "Accountable Institutions, Trustworthy Cultures" at the Gotische Zaal in The Hague. 

In her speech, O’Neill focused on the need to include culture when seeking to develop further accountability mechanisms and trustworthiness. While noting the need for law, she highlighted that law in and of itself may be insufficient to address problems of accountability and trust and that further laws and regulations may rather prove to be regressive in promoting trust. The lecture was followed by a lively debate, focusing on key points raised in the lecture.

The speech by Onora O’Neill is now published as a book. Download the text of the Second Annual T.M.C. Asser Lecture.

>>Download programme

Video T.M.C. Asser Lecture by Onora O'Neill:

About the Annual Lecture

On the occasion of its 50th Anniversary (1965 – 2015), the T.M.C Asser Instituut has launched, on 2 December 2015, the Annual T.M.C. Asser Lecture on the development of international law.

Each year the Asser Institute invites an internationally renowned jurist and outstanding public intellectual to take inspiration from Tobias Asser’s vision and to examine – as Asser did in his days – how to respond to ‘the condition of society’. Mutual trust and respect are crucial to the health of any society, especially when it is a heterogeneous one; this holds regardless of whether it is the international society, the European society or the urban society of one of the rapidly growing cities across the globe. A question that Tobias Asser handed down to us is ‘how can law and legal institutions contribute to the cultivation of such necessary trust and respect?’ – a question central to the Asser Institute’s Research Agenda.

The Annual T.M.C. Asser Lecture means to bring this question to different contexts and fields of law. It aspires to be a platform for constructive, critical reflection on the role of law in addressing the challenges and (potentially radical) changes of the global society of the 21st century. 

Download the Annual Lecture’s Background paper for more information.