Dr Sofia Stolk


  • Department:
    Research Department
  • Main fields of interest: Law and society studies International Criminal Law International Dispute Settlement International Humanitarian Law International Legal Theory Law and Society Studies Philosophy of Law Public International Law Transnational Legal Relations


Dr. Sofia Stolk is a researcher in the Dispute Settlement and Adjudication strand at the T.M.C. Asser Institute. She is also affiliated to the Centre for the Politics of Transnational Law (VU Amsterdam) and Honorary Research Fellow at Liverpool Law School (University of Liverpool). In April 2017, she defended her PhD dissertation entitled ‘A Solemn Tale of Horror: the Opening Statement of the Prosecution in International Criminal Trials’ at VU Amsterdam (cum laude).

Her current research project is entitled ‘Justice needs to be seen to be done’: The International Legal Landscape in a Visual Age’. She studies the use of visual means within international courts and tribunals (specifically the International Court of Justice) and the proliferation of images about international law. The research focuses specifically on the actors and activities in The Hague, the ‘City of Peace as Justice’, as a physical and virtual international law hub.

She is currently editor for the International Legal Theory section of the Leiden Journal of International Law and an associate editor of the interdisciplinary journal New Perspectives.

Sofia has taught courses in Public International Law, International Criminal Law, International Humanitarian Law, Documentary Film and Linguistics at VU Amsterdam, Amsterdam University College and Utrecht University. She also works for the Movies that Matter Foundation and coordinates, amongst other things, the Camera Justitia program on law and social justice at the annual Movies that Matter film festival in The Hague.


Key Publications

  • Sofia Stolk, The Opening Statement of the Prosecution in International Criminal Trials: A Solemn Tale of Horror, Routledge (2020, forthcoming)
  • Lianne Boer and Sofia Stolk (eds.), Backstage Practices of Transnational Law (Routledge, 2019)
  • Sofia Stolk, ‘A Sophisticated Beast? On the Construction of an “Ideal” Perpetrator in the Opening Statements of International Criminal Trials’, European Journal of International Law 29 (2018): 677–701.
  • Sofia Stolk and Renske Vos, 'International Legal Sightseeing', Journal of the Oxford Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, issue 2 (2018)
  • Sofia Stolk and Wouter Werner, ‘Moving Images: Modes of Representation and Images of Victimhood in Audio-Visual Productions', in: Kevin Jon Heller, Jens Ohlin, Sarah Nouwen, Frederic Mégret and Darryl Robinson (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of International Criminal Law Oxford: Oxford University Press, (2019, forthcoming)
  • Sofia Stolk, ‘“Cruel Men Can Do Kind Things and Kind Men Can Do Cruel Things”: Reconsidering the
    Enemy of Humanity in Contemporary International Criminal Trial Discourse’, 47(2) Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy (2018): 149-157.
  • Sofia Stolk, ‘Imagining Scenes of Mass Atrocity from Afar: Maps and Landscapes at the International Criminal Court’, 5(3) London Review of International Law (2017): 425-451.
  • Jillian Dobson and Sofia Stolk ‘The Prosecutor’s important announcements; the communication of moral authority at the International Criminal Court’, Law, Culture and the Humanities (2016), DOI: 10.1177/1743872116666466.
  • Sofia Stolk, ‘The Victim, the International Criminal Court and the Search for Truth: On the Interdependence and Incompatibility of Truths about Mass Atrocity’, 13(5) Journal for International Criminal Justice(2015): 973-994
  • Sofia Stolk, ‘“The Records on Which History Will Judge Us Tomorrow”: Auto-History in the Opening Statements of International Criminal Trials’, 28(4) Leiden Journal of International Law (2015): 993-1012.