Research

Strategic research agenda 'Rethinking public interests in international and European law (2022-2026)'

The strategic research agenda 'Rethinking public interests in international and European Law' is organised around questions pertaining to the public interest in international and European public and private law. Public interests are central to legal parlance and current global and societal challenges. The strategic research agenda provides the substantive basis for our education, knowledge dissemination activities and advisory work for 2022-2026. Our research is structured along four research strands: 

Research strand A: ‘In the public interest: accountability of the state and the prosecution of crimes’
This research strand will examine i) the accountability of states - individually and collectively (for instance at the level of the United Nations or the European Union) - in light of public interest standards in the context of counter-terrorism; and ii) the prosecution of individuals for international and transnational crimes in the public interest. Moreover, to ensure both the accountability of the state and the prosecution of individuals, this strand will also investigate iii) the role of journalists, the (new) media, human rights NGOs and academics in protecting and promoting public interest standards.

Research strand B: ‘Regulation in the public interest: Disruptive technologies in peace and security’
This research strand will address regulation to safeguard and promote public interests. It focuses, in particular, on the development of the international regulatory framework for the military applications of disruptive technologies and the arms race in conventional and non-conventional weapons. The public interest of peace and security serves as the prime conceptual framework in this strand.

Research strand C: ‘Public interest(s) inside/within international and European institutions and their practices
This research strand zooms in on how public interests shape, and are shaped in the institutional practices of international and European courts, such as the International Court of Justice and the ECtHR, and organisations such as the United Nations and the World Trade Organization. Researchers have a keen eye for how emerging technologies intervene in these practices, and with what implications.

Research strand D: ‘Transnational public interests: constituting public interest beyond and below the state’
This research strand will examine how public interests shape, and are shaped, below and beyond the state. Researchers will investigate what role non-state actors, such as corporations, NGOs, cities and the European Union, play in the constitution and operation of public interests in a transnational context.

In 2020, the Asser Institute was evaluated by an independent committee of experts for the period 2016-2019. The committee has given a highly positive evaluation of the research quality, the societal outreach and relevance, and the viability of the T.M.C. Asser Instituut. Read more here

Publications from Asser Institute researchers can be found here.

The Asser institute endorses the principles of the Netherlands Code of Conduct for Academic Research.