International Criminal Law and Counter-Terrorism


Are you interested in international criminal law and (legal aspects of) counter-terrorism? Are you looking for an opportunity to expand your knowledge of these issues?

Then join the 12th Annual Summer Law Programme on International Criminal Law and International Legal & Comparative Approaches to Counter-Terrorism in The Hague! The Programme takes place from 28 May - 21 June 2018.

This Summer Law Programme is the product of a unique collaboration between the War Crimes Research Office of American University’s Washington College of Law and the T.M.C. Asser Instituut. Forty selected students from top US law colleges and universities will travel to The Hague to learn from international legal practitioners and scholars and to see their knowledge being put to practice through visits to (inter)national courts and institutions. Additional ten places are available to other interested law students and professionals who wish to register.

What will you gain?

  • A unique experience of studying and exchanging views with students from the US;
  • A multilateral approach to the interplay between international criminal law and legal aspects of counter-terrorism;
  • The opportunity to engage in discussions and network with leading academics and legal professionals.


International Criminal Law
The first two weeks explore the past, present and future of international criminal law (ICL), both substantially and practically. The programme provides a comprehensive overview of international crimes, criminal responsibility, immunities and amnesties and practical matters surrounding ICL, such as victim participation and defence issues. Additionally, the participants will explore the issue of state responsibility in ICL, including addressing questions such as to what extent immunities of State officials can provide for a prosecution bar within the international courts.

During these two weeks, the participants will also have the opportunity to visit the international and national courts and international organisations to experience the law in practice.

Topics include among others:

  • Definition and evolution of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide;
  • Victim participation and reparations;
  • State responsibility in international criminal law;
  • The role of the International Criminal Court, ad hoc, and hybrid tribunals;
  • Individual and superior responsibility.

International Legal & Comparative Approaches to Counter-Terrorism 
The second part of the summer programme focuses on international legal & comparative approaches to counter-terrorism. Especially since 9/11 the world is witnessing a large expansion of approaches and measures to counter-terrorism. The course will begin by looking into the definitions of terrorism and counter-terrorism, and their evolution since 9/11. Moreover, the participants will explore the jus ad bellum and jus in bello in counter-terrorism, as well as the role of human rights law including case studies on the use of armed drones and extraordinary renditions. Other topics will be addressed as well, to ensure a comprehensive understanding of (legal aspects of) counter-terrorism. These include the question of how the international, regional and national level tackle the issues of terrorism and foreign fighters through (international) prosecution. Moreover, the role of intelligence in court, countering violent extremism, and rehabilitation and reintegration will also be addressed. Finally, through study visits, the participants will experience (legal approaches to) counter-terrorism in practice.

Topics include among others:

  • Jus ad bellum and jus in bello in counter-terrorism;
  • Human rights issues raised in the context of terrorism and counter-terrorism;
  • National and international prosecutions;
  • Foreign terrorist fighters phenomenon.

To view the the preliminary programme click here

It is possible to only attend one of the two programmes (International Criminal Law or International Legal & Comparative Approaches to Counter-Terrorism). Should this be the case, please include your preference in the registration form.

Confirmed Speakers

  • Dr. Roberta Arnold
    Former Prosecutor, Switzerland          
  • Matthew Gillett
    Senior Staff member, Appeals Division, Office of the Prosecutor, United Nations Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT)     
  • Amir Cengic
    Legal Officer in the Appeals Chamber, United Nations Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT)   
  • Katrina Gustafson
    Senior Appeals Counsel, United Nations Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT)
  • Gregory Townsend
    Senior Legal Officer & Chief, Court Services Support Section, Registry, United Nations Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT)     
  • Judge Christine Van Den Wyngaert
    Judge, Kosovo Specialist Chambers & Specialist Prosecutor’s Office
  • Dr. Rod Rastan
    Legal Advisor, Office of the Prosecutor, International Criminal Court (ICC)
  • Martin Witteveen
    Appeals Prosecutor, specialization International Crimes and Human Trafficking, Public Prosecution Service Netherlands
  • Dr Yasmin Naqvi
    Legal Officer in the Immediate Office of the Registrar, United Nations Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT)      
  • Rodney Dixon QC
    Barrister, Temple Garden Chambers
  • Paolina Massidda
    Principal Counsel of the Office of the Public Counsel for Victims, International Criminal Court (ICC)
  • Judge David Baragwanath
    Judge, former President, Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL)
  • Dr. Bérénice Boutin
    Researcher at the T.M.C. Asser Instituut and Research Fellow, International Centre for Counter-Terrorism – The Hague (ICCT)
  • Prof. Dr. Tom Ruys
    Professor of Public International Law, University of Ghent 
  • Dr. Hans Boddens Hosang
    Deputy Director of Legal Affairs, Ministry of Defence
  • Joanne Mariner
    Interim Director of Law and Policy at Amnesty International 
  • Jessica Dorsey
    Associate Fellow, International Centre for Counter-Terrorism – The Hague (ICCT)
  • Dr. Bibi van Ginkel
    Senior Research Fellow, Clingendael & ICCT. 
  • Sergei Boeke
    Researcher, Leiden University
  • Prof. Jan Wouters
    Professor of International Law and International Organizations, KU Leuven
  • Simon Minks
    Public Prosecutor, Netherlands Public Prosecution Service
  • Liesbeth van der Heide
    Education and Research Staff Member, Institute for Security and Global Affairs, Leiden University; Research Fellow, International Centre for Counter-Terrorism – The Hague (ICCT)

Study Visits
The lectures are complemented with a number of study visits to (inter)national courts and organisations based in The Hague.

Study visits in 2018 will include:

Who should participate?
(Advanced) students and early-career professionals who are interested in studying international criminal law and/or (legal aspects of) counter-terrorism.


Please read the Registration Information & Conditions carefully before registration. 

€ 1590 (full course)
€ 795 (2 weeks programme)

This fee includes lectures, study materials, study visits, water/tea/coffee, a reception and an opening dinner. 

The fee does not cover (international) travel costs, travel to and from airports, (hotel) accommodation, insurance or other expenses. The T.M.C. Asser Instituut can provide participants with a list of suitable hotels in The Hague.


For more information or questions, please contact