SPRING MEETING
OF THE ROYAL NETHERLANDS SOCIETY OF INTERNATIONAL LAW

FINDING BALANCE: LESSONS FROM COURTROOM BATTLES ON INTERNATIONAL CLIMATE LAW

WEDNESDAY 19 JUNE 2024 19.30 – 21.00
HUMANITY HUB, FLUWELEN BURGWAL 58, THE HAGUE AND ONLINE

In 2024, a significant shift occurred in the global climate regime. Struggling to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement, states across the world found themselves in a new dynamic. Courts, originally not envisioned as key players in interpreting and applying international climate law, took centre stage. This was marked by a landmark judgment from the European Court of Human Rights, and (forthcoming) Advisory Opinions from the Law of the Sea Tribunal, the International Court of Justice and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. In over 50 states, individuals, civil society groups, and corporate actors have initiated judicial proceedings to challenge governmental and corporate climate policies, often expressly relying on international climate law.

Both international and national courts play a crucial role in clarifying states’ international obligations and responsibilities. However, they must navigate the intricate landscapes of global and national politics and grapple with the inherent limitations of their role in complex societal trade-offs in climate transitions and the search for climate justice.

This presentation will discuss the lessons that we can draw from international and national caselaw so far. It will evaluate how courts have contributed to developing and implementing international climate law and provide perspectives on how they attempt to balance competing interests in this complex global arena.

Prof. André Nollkaemper, University Professor of International Law and Sustainability, University of Amsterdam, will provide a presentation, followed by a Q&A and drinks.

Registration: Please send an email to gro.r1716897362ivnk@1716897362tcatn1716897362oc1716897362 by Monday 17 June 2024 indicating whether you would like to attend the meeting in person or online.

The Society devoted its Annual General Meeting of 3 November 2023 to the theme: ‘Energy Security in International Economic Law: Balancing Legal Ambitions and Geopolitical Realities’. The recording of the meeting, which was hosted by Leiden University, can be viewed here. Speakers were: Dr Anna-Alexandra Marhold, Assistant Professor, Grotius Centre of Leiden University and Dr Louise van Schaik, Head of Unit EU & Global Affairs/Senior Research Fellow, Clingendael Institute. The meeting was introduced and moderated by Prof. Willem van Genugten (President KNVIR).

For English, please see below.

Op 3 november 2023 hield de Koninklijke Nederlandse Vereniging voor Internationaal Recht (KNVIR) haar Algemene Ledenvergadering in Den Haag. Tijdens deze vergadering trad Prof. Willem van Genugten af als voorzitter van de KNVIR na deze functie 12 jaar te hebben vervuld. Het bestuur van de vereniging heeft de leden aanbevolen om Prof. Aukje van Hoek, hoogleraar Internationaal Privaatrecht en Burgerlijk Procesrecht aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam, te benoemen tot nieuwe voorzitter, hetgeen met consensus is gebeurd. Het Bestuur is Prof. Van Genugten erkentelijk voor al het werk dat hij in de Vereniging heeft geïnvesteerd en wenst Prof. Van Hoek het allerbeste in haar nieuwe rol, die zij vanaf 1 januari 2024 zal vervullen.

Willem en Aukje

On 3 November 2023, the Royal Netherlands Society of International Law held its Annual General Meeting in The Hague. During that meeting, Prof. Willem van Genugten stepped down as President of the Society after holding this position for 12 years. The Board of the Society made a recommendation to the members to appoint Prof. Aukje van Hoek, Professor of Private International Law and Civil Procedure at the University of Amsterdam, as the new President, and she was appointed by consensus. The Board is grateful to Prof. Van Genugten for his dedication to the Society over the past 12 years and wishes Prof. Van Hoek all the best in her new role, which she shall take up on 1 January 2024.

Willem en Aukje

The Society devoted its Spring Meeting of 7 June 2023 to the theme: ‘The Role of the UN in the Conflict in Ukraine: Attempts to Bypass the UN Charter in the Spirit of the Charter Itself?’. The recording of the meeting, which was hosted by Leiden University, can be viewed here. Speakers were: Dr. Alanna O’Malley, Associate Professor at the Leiden University Institute for History, Prof. Niels Blokker, Professor of International Institutional Law at Leiden University, and Mr. Karel van Oosterom, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The meeting was introduced and moderated by Prof. Willem van Genugten (President KNVIR).

KNVIR Spring meeting 7 June 2023
KNVIR Spring meeting 7 June 2023

The Board of the Society is delighted at the news that Prof. Yvonne Donders has been elected as a member of the UN Human Rights Committee for 2023-2026. Prof. Donders was a member of the Board of the Society from 2012-2021. The Board congratulates her on this achievement.

The Society devoted its Spring Meeting of 24 May 2022, which was held in hybrid format, to the theme: ‘Sanctions as the go-to tool: Do they work and what role for international law?’. The recording of the meeting, which was hosted by The Hague Humanity Hub, can be viewed here. Speakers were: Prof. Peter van Bergeijk (Erasmus University) and Prof. Larissa van den Herik (Leiden University). The meeting was introduced and moderated by Prof. Willem van Genugten (President KNVIR).

Like so many around the world, the Executive Board of the Royal Netherlands Society of International Law is shocked about the situation currently unfolding in Ukraine. The purpose of our Society is, among other things, to promote public international law. Promotion includes an explicit condemnation of the blatant violations of the international legal order that we are witnessing these days. This is why we fully endorse the statement of Prof. Chinkin, Executive Chair of the International Law Association (ILA), as well as similar statements issued by other national branches of the ILA.

Update 4 March 2022: the Executive Board further fully endorses the statement by the International Law Association, available here.

The Executive Board of the Royal Netherlands Society of International Law

On 5 November 2021, the Society held its Annual General Meeting which explored the theme ‘Global Health Law Disrupted: COVID-19 and the Climate Change Crisis’. A video recording of the speakers’ presentations and the discussion of the Collected Papers can be viewed here.

KNVIR - Annual General Meeting 2021