Activities in 2015

In 2015, the Asser Institute organised four unique symposia focusing on new perspectives and developments in the distinct areas of research covered by the institute's academic staff. These gatherings aimed to engage a broad segment of the academic and other communities.

This symposium discussed recent developments in international civil procedure and specific features of the Brussels Ibis Regulation. The first part of the programme concerned recent developments in EU private international law, whilst the two subsequent parts dealt with the changes that the Brussels I bis Regulation has brought to the matter of forum selection clauses as well as to the enforcement of foreign judgments. The topics that were dealt with by the panels gave rise to lively discussions. 

This symposium discussed the challenge of regaining the trust of many Europeans in the ideals and goals of European integration through better regulation. The event brought together officials from the European Court of Justice, the European Parliament, the Commission, the Council, the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and prominent academics to discuss institutional and substantive aspects of the EU Better Regulation Agenda. Keynote speeches were given by Prof. Ben Smulders, the Head of Cabinet of the First Vice-President of the European Commission, Mr. Frans Timmermans, and by Mr. Piet Hein Donner, Vice-President of the Netherlands Council of State. The event built on Asser’s 1997 conference and edited volume on the quality of EU legislation.

This symposium looked back to the European Court of Justice (CJEU)’s landmark ruling in the Bosman case and explored its significant legal and political relevance for the development of EU sports law and policy. The event was divided in four main panel sessions and brought a number of distinguished speakers, such as Prof. Dr. Carl Otto Lenz, Advocate General during the proceedings in Bosman; Mr. Ian Forrester, partner at White & Case LLP, representing UEFA in Bosman; Prof. Dr. Stephen Weatherill, Oxford University; Prof. Dr. Simon Gardiner, Leeds Beckett University; Prof. Dr. Stefaan Van den Bogaert, Leiden University; Dr. Borja Garcia, Loughborough University; Mr. Yves Le Lostecque, European Commission, Head of Unit Sport Policy; Mr. Alasdair Bell, UEFA General Counsel and Director of Legal; and Mr. Theo van Seggelen, FIFPro Secretary-General. 

This symposium, co-organised by the Antonio Cassese Initiative, addressed the most important international legal questions regarding the countering of maritime piracy by repressive means. Prof. Dr. Janne Nijman, Academic Director of the T.M.C. Asser Instituut, provided a word of welcome, before Dr. Christophe Paulussen, Senior Researcher at the T.M.C. Asser Instituut, and Ms. Iris van der Heijden, of the Antonio Cassese Initiative, opened the conference by introducing the central themes to be discussed. 

Finally, on the 2nd of December 2015 the T.M.C. Asser Instituut launched the Annual T.M.C. Asser Lecture for the benefit of The Hague’s national and international legal community, scholars, practitioners, judges, policy-makers and journalists who will be able to enjoy, on an annual basis, a lecture by an internationally renowned jurist and outstanding public intellectual.  

The inaugural lecture with as title "Peace in the Middle East: has International Law failed?" was delivered by Prof. Joseph Weiler, President of the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, and University Professor at NYU School of Law, in The Academy Hall of the Peace Palace in The Hague. 

To further commemorate the institute’s 50th anniversary, the afternoon’s programme included the presentation of the first copy of the specially published Asser Jubilee Book entitled "Fundamental Rights in International and European Law. Public and Private Law Perspectives", to Mr. Ard van der Steur, Minister of Security and Justice of the Kingdom of The Netherlands. More than 300 stakeholders and guests attended this festive closing event.