Summer law programme on international criminal law & international legal & comparative approaches to counter-terrorism

26 May - 18 June 2020
  • Starts at: 09:00h
  • Fee: €1.065 (reduced fee for the full summer programme on 26 May - 18 June); €535 (reduced fee for the part on International Criminal Law on 26 May – 5 June); and €535 (reduced fee for the part on Counter-Terrorism on 8 June – 18 June)
  • Venue: Online
  • Organiser: T.M.C. Asser Instituut & American University Washington College of Law
  •   Register

Covid-19 update
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the format of this summer programmes has been changed into an online training for a reduced fee. 

Are you interested in international criminal law and (legal aspects of) counter-terrorism? Are you looking for an opportunity to expand your knowledge on these issues? Then register now for the 14th Annual Summer Law Programme on International Criminal Law and International Legal & Comparative Approaches to Counter-Terrorism in The Hague. The programme takes place from 26 May - 18 June 2020.

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 participate in an online training with internationally renowned legal practitioners and scholars.

An additional ten places are available to other interested law students and professionals who wish to learn more about law and counter-terrorism. Sign up here to secure your seat!

What will you gain?

  • A unique experience of studying and exchanging views with students from the US;
  • A thorough insight into the latest developments in (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
In the first two weeks you will explore the past, present and future of international criminal law (ICL). Our programme provides a comprehensive overview of international crimes, criminal responsibility, immunities and amnesties. We will also cover practical matters in international criminal law, such as victim participation and defence issues. You will thoroughly analyse these topics on both the international and national level. During these two weeks, you will have the chance to experience the law in practice, by visiting international and national courts and international organisations.

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;
  • Role of the International Criminal Court and other tribunals;
  • Individual criminal and command responsibility;
  • Universal jurisdiction and prosecuting international crimes domestically: the Dutch example.

International Legal & Comparative Approaches to Counter-Terrorism 
Since 9/11 the world is witnessing a large expansion of different approaches and measures to counter-terrorism. The second part of the summer programme focuses on various international legal & comparative approaches to counter-terrorism.

The course will begin by looking into the definitions of terrorism and counter-terrorism, and their evolution since 9/11. You will explore the jus ad bellum and jus in bello in counter-terrorism. We will look at the role of human rights law, including case studies on the use of armed drones and extraordinary renditions.

To ensure a comprehensive understanding of (legal aspects of) counter-terrorism, you will learn how the international, regional and national levels tackle the issues of terrorism and foreign fighters through (international) prosecution. Other topics are the role of intelligence in court, countering violent extremism, and rehabilitation and reintegration. Finally, through study visits, you will experience (legal approaches to) counter-terrorism in practice.


  • 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 fighter’s phenomenon.

To view the 2020 full programme click hereIt is possible to attend only 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.

For whom?
Students and early-career professionals who are interested in studying international criminal law and/or the legal aspects of counter-terrorism.

Reduced fee for full summer programme (26 May - 18 June): €1.065
Reduced fee for the part on International Criminal Law (26 May – 5 June): €535
Reduced fee for the part on Counter-Terrorism (8 June – 18 June): €535

This fee includes online lectures and study materials.

After this training course, you will receive a professional certificate of completion from the T.M.C. Asser Instituut.

Speakers in 2019 were:

  • Judge Christine Van Den Wyngaert, Kosovo Specialist Chambers & Specialist Prosecutor’s Office; previously, Judge, International Criminal Court (ICC)
  • Robert Heinsch, Associate Professor of Public International Law at the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies and the Director of LL.M. Programme in Public International Law, Leiden University
  • Geoff Roberts, Sabra Defence Team, Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL)
  • Claire Henderson, Associate Trial Lawyers International Criminal Court (ICC)
  • Amir Čengić, Project Manager, OSCE Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Alexis Demirdjian, Trial Lawyer, Office of the Prosecutor, International Criminal Court (ICC)
  • Barbora Hola, Senior Researcher, Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (NSCR) & Associate Professor, Department of Criminal Law and Criminology, VU University Amsterdam
  • Gregory Townsend, Professor of the Practice, Brandeis University (formerly with MICT, STL, SCSL, ICTY, UNMIK & ICTR)
  • Howard Morrison, Judge International Criminal Court (ICC)
  • Dr Rod Rastan, Legal Adviser, Office of the Prosecutor, International Criminal Court (ICC)
  • Simon Minks, Public Prosecutor, Netherlands Public Prosecution Service
  • 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)
  • Dr Rumyana Grozdanova, Researcher, T.M.C. Asser Instituut
  • Prof. Dr Tom Ruys, Professor of Public International Law, University of Ghent
  • Dr Hans Boddens Hosang, Deputy Director of Legal Affairs, Netherlands 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 Institute & International Centre for Counter-Terrorism - The Hague (ICCT)
  • 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)
  • Sergei Boeke, Researcher Leiden University and Research Fellow International Centre for Counter-Terrorism - The Hague (ICCT)
  • Norman Farrell, Prosecutor, Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL)
  • Prof. Jan Wouters, Professor of International Law and the Law of International Organisations, Director, Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies - Institute for International Law, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven)

Study visits in 2019:

Registration and questions
To register for the summer programme, please click here or on the red register button above to fill out the form. Please read the registration terms & conditions carefully before registration. For inquiries on registration and the programme, please contact

Covid-19 update
Due to the Corona virus outbreak, the format of this summer programme has been changed into a digital format. For any questions, please contact

For more information or questions, please contact