Hague Forum for Judicial Expertise

We the peoples of the United Nations determined “to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained”.
(Preamble of the Charter of the United Nations)

In 2005 the Hague Forum for Judicial Expertise (HFJE) was launched by the Hague Academic Coalition (HAC). This Forum offers high quality training modules on a wide range of subjects in the various fields of international law, at basic and advanced level. The modules are specifically designed for national judges and magistrates offering them the opportunity to upgrade their knowledge and expertise in international law.

The internationalisation of law and the establishment of international tribunals have profoundly changed the legal landscape. Nowadays national judges are more and more confronted with aspects of international law in their daily work. States are party to a large number of treaties and have the duty to implement the international rules into their domestic legal system. National courts play an important role in this process. Through the application of international law national judges cannot only improve compliance with and enforcement of international law but also contribute to the development of international law.

The main objectives of the Hague Forum for Judicial Expertise are to provide judges with

  • Insight in to the interaction between international and national law;
  • Practical tools to apply international law;
  • Essential skills to contribute to the development of international law.

The modules

The Hague Forum for Judicial Expertise organises modules covering various fields of international law, such as international criminal law, international private law, arbitration and issues such as court management.

The modules have a theoretical and practical focus. The theoretical part, in the form of lectures, offers judges a solid background in international law. Case studies present an insight into and practical tools for the application of international law at the national level. The modules are developed in such a way that discussion among the participating judges is promoted on issues of mutual interest and the problems they encounter. The duration of the modules is ten working days.

As part of the module, visits are organised to international organisations in The Hague such as the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court. During these visits participants learn more about the functioning of international courts and have the opportunity to exchange views with professionals in the field.

The Forum also designs and conducts tailor-made courses. The content of these modules depends to a large extent on the needs and demands of the participants and sponsors. These tailor-made modules are highly specialised and can be delivered in The Hague or in situ.

The modules are supported by a team of international lecturers, with an academic or professional background in international law and related disciplines. They include staff from the HAC institutes, Dutch universities, international organisations in The Hague and experts from the region of the participating judges.

Target group
The Forum offers modules to national judges who are increasingly confronted with international law aspects in their daily work, be it at the level of a Supreme Court or that of lower courts. In some cases the target group can be expanded to other professionals involved in the implementation and application of international law.

See for more information the website: www.hfje.nl