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On 6 November 2020, the KNVIR awarded the biennial Francois Prize. The report of the jury reads as follows:

It is my great pleasure and honour to present the jury report of the 2020 François Prize of the Royal Netherlands Society of International Law.  The François Prize was created to promote the study of public international law and private international law and is offered, every other year, to an excellent master’s thesis or other comparable paper in these fields of law.  Ph.D. dissertations, books, articles published in scientific journals or publications that otherwise have been reviewed and revised externally do not qualify.  The anonymised submissions are judged on originality and relevance of the topic, the systematic and logical way of thinking, the quality of the legal analysis and conclusions, style and, finally, presentation.  More information on the Prize can be found in its Bye-Laws, available on the Society’s website.

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It is my great pleasure to announce the winner of the 2018 François Prize of the Royal Netherlands Society of International Law to you today at our annual meeting. This prize is a bi-annual prize that honours the best Master’s thesis in the fields of public international law or private international law written at a Dutch University in the past two years, in as much as these papers have not yet been published and have been sent to the jury. The anonymous or anonymized submissions are judged among other things on their originality, their demon­stration of a profound understanding of the law in a particular field, and the language used.  For those interested, you may find the Bye-Laws for the Prize on our website.

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The Jury of the François Prize received eighteen submissions for this year’s Prize. Most of the submissions deal with a public international law subject. Only one submission concerns a topic of private international law. In 2014 also, the Jury had to conclude that the number of submissions in the field of private international law was lagging far behind when compared to the number of submissions in the field of public international law. If this phenomenon is indicative of the position that private international law currently occupies in academic education in the Netherlands, there is – in view of the societal relevance of private international law in a strongly internationalised society – cause for some concern.

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The jury of the François Prize 2014 received a record-number of 25 submissions, covering a wide range of international law topics. Most of them are on public international law. Only a few concern private international law. The jury notes this development with some concern, but refrains from any speculations as to the cause.

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