5 year covenant between the University of Amsterdam and the T.M.C. Asser Instituut as the start of several successful inter-university research programmes

In the years preceding the signing of the Covenant between the University of Amsterdam as its governing body and the Foundation T.M.C. Asser Instituut, covering the years 2008-2012, the Institute asked for and received high quality advice with respect to its future development and activities.
The signing of the covenant ensured the continued (financial) contribution from the Dutch government/law faculties via the University of Amsterdam for a period of five years and laid down some ground rules concerning the way to increase academic collaboration and output, to stimulate a cost-effective operation of the Institute and it created room to manoeuvre for innovative policies and activities.

Based on the Institute’s strategic plan 2008-2012, its staff started with the development and implementation of several inter-university research programmes of which the Centre for the Law of EU External Relations (see 2009) was the first to be realised.

As one of the main results of this new policy the International Humanitarian and Criminal Law (IHCL) Platform was established in 2010. It currently consists of representatives from the Asser Institute (which coordinates the Platform), the University of Amsterdam (in particular the Amsterdam Center for International Law), the VU University Amsterdam, Leiden University (in particular the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies), the University of Groningen and the Netherlands Defence Academy.

The objective of the IHCL Platform is “to establish an academic network fostering research in the area of international criminal law and humanitarian law, providing an academic platform for discussion of relevant contemporary issues and legal questions for which there is, as yet, no fixed jurisprudential position.”

This important objective is realised through the Platform’s activities. A few examples:

  • 21 January 2011: Conference “On the Front Line of Accountability – War Reporting and Related Contemporary Issues in International Humanitarian and Criminal Law”
  • 27 September 2011: Book Launch “International Humanitarian Law and Terrorism”
  • 7 November 2011: Conference “Protection of the Environment in Armed Conflict: Testing the Adequacy of International Law”
  • 25 May 2012: First IHCL Platform PhD Day
  • 7 December 2012: Conference “Prosecutor, Watchdog, Diplomat, Manager: The Multiple Roles of the International Prosecutor”
  • 10 and 11 January 2013: Symposium “The Boundaries of the Battlefield: A Critical Look at the Legal Paradigms and Rules in Countering Terrorism”
  • 28 June 2013: Second IHCL Platform PhD Day
  • 15 October 2013: Book launch “Armed Conflict and International Law: In Search of the Human Face. Liber Amicorum in Memory of Avril McDonald”
  • 15 May 2014: Third IHCL Platform PhD Day
  • 25 November 2014: Book launch “Applying International Humanitarian Law in Judicial and Quasi-Judicial Bodies: International and Domestic Aspects”
  • 3 December 2014: Conference “The Cyber Warfare Manual: A Detailed Assessment”

T.M.C. Asser Instituut


University of Amsterdam, in particular the Amsterdam Center for International Law

VU University Amsterdam

Leiden University, in particular the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies


University of Groningen


Netherlands Defence Academy