During the Spring Meeting a subject of current interest relating to public international law or private international law is discussed. For this meeting two or sometimes three speakers are invited to give a brief introduction on the chosen subject. This is followed by a debate. Usually, this meeting is held in The Hague during the evening hours. In 2020, the Spring Meeting took place online, in light of COVID-19. Often, English is spoken to render the meeting accessible to a broader audience. The introductions are not published. Generally, the meeting ends with drinks.
Traditionally, the Annual General Meeting is held in the afternoon of the first Friday in November.
The meeting consists firstly of a brief session devoted to the Society’s domestic affairs. During this part of the meeting the internal affairs of the Society are discussed by the members and the Executive Board, new Board members are appointed and a report of the Society’s finances is provided. This is followed by a public session, covering most of the afternoon, which is open also to non-members. Every year, the Board of the Society invites at least two persons to write a paper on a subject of public international law or private international law that is relevant to practice and scholarship in The Netherlands. These papers are sent to the members in September or October. At the meeting a brief introduction by the authors is followed by a discussion of the contents of the papers. A report is made of the discussion. Until 2007 this report was published separately and distributed among the members. Since 2008 the report, together with the minutes of the first part of the meeting, is placed on the Society’s website.
In addition to the Society’s annual meetings members may propose substantive topics for seminars and other meetings to which they will invite one or more experts, or suggest events that may assist them in their professional life in a more practical way. Examples of this are networking activities or a ‘meet and greet’ with a prominent international lawyer (‘meet your bookshelf’) organised by advanced law students or other young professionals. The Board of the Society invites members to submit proposals for such events, for which funding may be requested, and is open to cooperation with likeminded organisations, such as student organisations and law firms. An application form with additional information can be found here. Funding is limited to € 1,000 per event.
In 2020 the Royal Netherlands Society of International Law will, once again, award the biennial J.P.A. François Prize. The François Prize has been created with a view to encouraging the study of public international law and private international law.