79th Session of the Institut de Droit international

Institut de Droit international

From 25 to 31 August 2019 the 79th Session of the renowned Institut de Droit international (Institute of International Law – IDI – established in 1873, Nobel Peace Prize in 1904) will be held at the Peace Palace in The Hague.

Members of the KNVIR are invited to attend the following meetings of this IDI Session:

(1) World Politics: International Law First?

  • Date: Tuesday 27 August 2019
  • Time: 18:00 – 20:00 (coffee and tea from 17:30 onwards)
  • Venue: Auditorium The Hague Academy, Peace Palace
    Carnegieplein 2, 2517 KJ The Hague

This joint panel of IDI and the The Hague Academy of International Law will address the topic ‘World Politics: “International Law First?”’

Panel moderators are prof. dr. Marcelo Kohen (Secretary-General IDI, Graduate Institute Geneva) and prof. dr. Nico Schrijver (Curatorium The Hague Academy, President IDI, Leiden University).
Panel members include:

prof. Hannah Buxbaum
Curatorium The Hague Academy and John E. Schiller Chair in Legal Ethics and Professor of Law at Indiana University

Judge Rosalyn Higgins
Former judge and president of the International Court of Justice and professor emerita of the University of London School of Economics

prof. Maurice Kamto
Curatorium The Hague Academy and presidential candidate of Cameroon

prof. dr. Martti Koskenniemi
Professor of International Law at the University of Helsinki and Director of the Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights

(2) Tobias Asser (1838-1913): pioneer, trendsetter, founder of The Hague tradition

  • Date: Thursday 29 August 2019
  • Time: 18:00 – 20:00 (coffee and tea from 17:30 onwards)
  • Venue: Auditorium The Hague Academy, Peace Palace
    Carnegieplein 2, 2517 KJ The Hague

In a period during which cooperation and attempts to reach mutual understanding were increasingly overshadowed by fighting and preparing for war amongst states, Tobias Asser (1838-1913) was one of those who stood up and came forward with a range of ideas that were new at the time and helped to shape public and private international law to what it is today.  Asser was the representative of his generation in his reliance on liberalism, free markets, and the idea of Progress.  He even upheld his international approach when, towards the close of the century, nationalism and protectionism gained the upper hand in international legal and political thought.  This is exemplified by his (co-)initiative to establish the Institut de Droit international, to start the Hague Conference on Private International Law and to conceive The Hague Academy of International Law, as well as by his role as Dutch representative at the Hague Peace Conferences of 1899 and 1907 and as arbitrator in the newly established Permanent Court of Arbitration and his writings in a wide range of fields.  For all these efforts he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1911.

Tobias Asser

The programme of this mini-symposium, organised to commemorate Asser’s legacy will be as follows:

  • Welcome with coffee/tea (17.30-18.00 hrs)
  • Brief Introduction by prof. dr. Willem van Genugten, President KNVIR
  • Introduction to the work of Tobias Asser, by dr. Arthur Eyffinger, legal historian and former Head of the Library of the ICJ, author of an extensive biography on Asser
  • Presentation of the first copy of the Asser biography, T.M.C. Asser (1838-1913), In Quest of Liberty, Justice and Peace, 2 Vols., Leiden:  Brill, 2019, to prof. dr. Daan Asser, great-grandson of Tobias Asser.
  • Panel, chaired by dr. Hans van Loon, IDI member and former Secretary-General of the Hague Conference of Private International Law.

The panel members are:

prof. dr. Marta Pertegás Sender
Professor of Private International Law and Transnational Law, Maastricht University

prof. dr. Janne Nijman
Professor of Theory and History of International Law, Amsterdam University and Academic Director of the T.M.C. Asser Institute 

prof. dr. Jean Salmon
Professor emeritus of international law, Université libre de Bruxelles.

dr. Van Loon will interview the panel members on their views regarding the meaning of Asser’s work for their own fields of expertise.

(3) Meet Your Bookshelf and/or your Favourite Practitioner

  • Date: Monday 26 August – Friday 30 August 2019
  • Times: To be determined
  • Venue: Auditorium The Hague Academy, Peace Palace
    Carnegieplein 2, 2517 KJ The Hague

Researchers and lecturers in private and/or public international law will be able to have an informal round table meeting of approximately one hour with one of the participating IDI members. Click here to see the list of participating IDI members and the dates and times at which they will be available, insofar as known at this time.

Once we have received all registrations, we will organise the various meetings. There will be one meeting for each IDI member, which may mean that the IDI members will meet with more than one KNVIR-member at the same time.


KNVIR members who wish to attend the joint panel on 27 August and/or the mini-symposium on 29 August or to meet with an IDI member are required to register by sending an e-mail message to gro.r1716896370ivnk@1716896370ofni1716896370. You will receive confirmation of your registration via e-mail. If you sign up to meet with an IDI member, you will be informed of the time of the meeting.


All events will take place on the grounds of the Peace Palace. In order to be admitted to the Peace Palace grounds you will have to go through security and be able to show a valid passport or an EU identity card or driver’s licence. Without such a document you cannot be admitted.