A new way forward: T.M.C. Asser Instituut and University of Amsterdam join forces in The HaguePublished 5 October 2020
The Hague, 8 October 2020 – Today, Geert ten Dam, president of the executive board of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and Ernst Hirsch Ballin, chairperson of the supervisory board of T.M.C. Asser Instituut, unveiled a new nameplate with two logos to celebrate a new cooperation agreement between both organisations.
Pursuant to the agreement, T.M.C. Asser Instituut’s governance structure changed, with academic director Prof. Dr. Janne E. Nijman becoming the new chairperson of the executive board.
The new agreement - which entered into force on September 1 - establishes a ten-year framework for increased cooperation between the two organisations - with UvA’s Amsterdam Law School in particular - facilitating dialogue and convergence on their strategic agendas in International and European law.
The new cooperation agreement is aimed at enhancing collaboration in research and education, and in business operations. Although T.M.C. Asser Instituut will continue work on its strategic agenda for research, education and knowledge dissemination, the two organisations will align their (multi-) annual plans with the aim of creating synergy, with the UvA’s strategic agenda being leading. Five-year covenants between the parties will be the basis for the development of shared activities.
The cooperation agreement further stipulates that the University of Amsterdam will continue to contribute its current annual funding level of 2.2 million euros to support the strategic objectives of the UvA and T.M.C. Asser Instituut for the next ten years.
These strategic objectives are:
- Strengthening the research-based knowledge-cycle in the field of international and European law, including the international and European law related aspects of other fields of law, by maintaining close relations with The Hague-based organisations.
- Realising professional education in the field of international and European law, and possibly in other related fields.
- Strengthening the profile and quality of the UvA’s international Master programmes, by offering students a direct link to Hague-based organisations.
The agreement further consolidates T.M.C. Asser Instituut’s inter-university tasks. Founded in 1965 by nine Dutch stakeholder universities, T.M.C. Asser Instituut actively promotes collaboration with - and between Dutch Law schools. To this end, the Institute coordinates inter-university research networks such as the Netherlands Network for Human Rights Research (NNHRR) and CLEER. The NNHRR is a platform for Dutch human rights researchers, and CLEER is an academic platform for research coordination and cooperation of national and international EU external relations experts.
With the agreement, the governance structure of T.M.C. Asser Instituut has changed from a one- to a two-tier board model with a supervisory board. The executive board consists of chairperson and academic director Janne E. Nijman and managing director Gert Grift. The supervisory board of five people, appointed by the UvA, will include representatives from the UvA, the international community in The Hague and the Dutch Law Schools, with the deans of the Dutch stakeholder universities nominating the latter. Ernst Hirsch Ballin is the new chairperson of the supervisory board.
Reactions to the new cooperation agreement between both organisations are positive:
Prof. André Nollkaemper, dean of the Amsterdam Law School (UvA) and member of the supervisory board of T.M.C. Asser Instituut said: “The new collaboration between the UvA Law faculty and the TMC Asser Instituut offers wonderful opportunities for our research - on international criminal law, international dispute settlement and international military operations, for example - to have a direct impact with international institutions in The Hague. We can now jointly strengthen the bridge between academic research, practice and society.”
Prof. Dr. Janne E. Nijman, chairperson and academic director of T.M.C. Asser Instituut commented: “I am delighted that the UvA and T.M.C. Asser Instituut are joining forces in The Hague. Both organisations strive for excellence in research and academic education and always have a keen eye for their societal responsibility. The Asser Institute is proud to be part of the UvA family and to be able to continue its interuniversity activities at the same time. I believe that supporting each other's strategic objectives will benefit the Asser Institute, the UvA and the wider society.”
Prof. Dr. Yvonne Donders, chair of the steering committee of the Netherlands Network of Human Rights Research (NNHRR): “The Netherlands Network for Human Rights Research (NNHRR) has proven to be an excellent platform to foster close connections and collaborations between human rights researchers from all over the country and beyond. The TMC Asser Instituut successfully hosts and coordinates the NNHRR, reaffirming its longstanding experience as an inter-university research institution.”
Prof. Dr. Suzan Stoter, dean of the Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam and member of the supervisory board of T.M.C. Asser Instituut: “On behalf of all law faculties, I congratulate Asser on this important phase in its history. With the signing of the agreement and the guarantees of the UvA, Asser's future as an independent institute with its university tasks has been secured. I am confident that Asser can continue to offer a good basis for strengthening cooperation in the field of international law by academics from all Dutch law faculties.”
Prof. Dr. Ernst Hirsch Ballin, chairperson of the supervisory board of T.M.C. Asser Institute: “Now that the close relationship between UvA and the Asser Institute has taken on a fixed and lasting shape, new perspectives are opening up. The cooperation between the staff of our Institute and the UvA staff will strengthen both the academic debate and its connection to the Dutch public, and the university will gain access to Asser’s network of international legal institutions based in The Hague.”
Prof. Dr. Ingo Venzke, director of the UvA Amsterdam Center for International Law (ACIL): “The Asser Institute is well-placed to bridge the academic and policy worlds. Together with my colleagues at the Amsterdam Center for International Law, I am looking forward to help strengthen this bridge. It is important to increase the critical understanding of the role of international law in society, and to contribute to international law’s progressive development.”
Read the Dutch-language press release here.
Ernst Hirsch Ballin, chairperson of the supervisory board of T.M.C. Asser Instituut and Janne E. Nijman, chairperson and academic director T.M.C. Asser Instituut
From left to right: Hilbert Bredemeijer, The Hague’s deputy mayor and alderman for Education, Sport and Outdoor Space; Gert Grift, managing director T.M.C. Asser Instituut; Geert ten Dam, president of the UvA executive board, Ernst Hirsch Ballin, chairperson of the supervisory board of T.M.C. Asser Instituut and Janne E. Nijman, chairperson and academic director of T.M.C. Asser Instituut.