Summer Law Program in The Hague

The program was launched in June 2007, with 26 J.D. and LL.M. participants from six universities. It has since been expanded: in 2015, 26 Washington College of Law students and 12 students from other institutions participated.

The Program in The Hague is the product of a unique collaboration between the War Crimes Research Office of American University’s Washington College of Law, established in 1995 to provide specialized legal research assistance to international/ized criminal tribunals, and the T.M.C. Asser Institute, one of the most prominent research institutes of international law in Europe.

In 1899, the world’s first Peace Conference took place in The Hague; today this city on the North Sea is home to over 150 international legal organizations. Through the Program, participants will have the opportunity to live and learn about key issues in international law among the practitioners, courts, and tribunals that are making history today

Our History

American University Washington College of Law

American University Washington College of Law (WCL) was founded in 1896 by Ellen Spencer Mussey and Emma M. Gillett, who established a coeducational school to ensure that women, as well as men, were given the opportunity to study law. WCL has become one of the leading law schools in the U.S. in the area of international law. It is a member of the Association of American Law Schools and is approved by the American Bar Association.

The T.M.C. Asser Institute

T.M.C. Asser Institute is a prominent research institute in international law. Through its affiliations with the University of Amsterdam and other Dutch centers of learning, the Asser Institute functions as an inter-university center of knowledge and research. The Institute’s research areas include private and public international law, European law, international commercial arbitration, and other related fields, such as international humanitarian law. An essential component of the Institute’s objectives is the development of young talent, including offering promising young lawyers the opportunity to carry out their Ph.D. research at the Institute.

American University Washington Colleg of Law
American University Washington Colleg of Law
The T.M.C. Asser Institute
The T.M.C. Asser Institute

Professors Susana SáCouto and Jayesh Rathod will serve as the Hague Program's WCL Faculty in 2015. In addition to WCL Faculty members, instructors for the program include judges, prosecutors and other staff from the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court (ICC), the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), and the T.M.C. Asser Institute. Past guest lecturers include:

  • Judge Hans-Peter Kaul, Vice President of the ICC
  • HE Judge Kimberly Prost, Judge at the ICTY
  • Mathias Marcussen, Senior Trial Attorney at the ICTY
  • HE Judge Hans-Peter Kaul, Vice President of the ICC
  • Helen Walker, International Cooperation Adviser, Office of the Prosecutor, ICC
  • Stéphane Bourgon, former President of the Association of Defence Counsels Practicing before the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
  • HE Judge Teresa Doherty, Judge at the Special Court for Sierra Leone
  • Gilbert Bitti, Head of the Victim Unit of the ICC
  • HE Judge Fausto Pocar, Judge and former President of the ICTY
  • HE Judge Rene Blattmann, Judge at the ICC
  • HE Judge Bennouna, Judge at the ICJ
  • Norman Farrell, Deputy Prosecutor of the ICTY

Courses

The academic component of the Program consists of two 3-credit courses.

LAW 906-001: International Criminal Law: In Search of Accountability will provide an introduction to international criminal law and explore the various ways in which national, internationalized, and international courts and tribunals have attempted to enforce criminal responsibility for serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law. The course will also examine the role of states, their obligations under international law, and the obstacles they face in bringing to justice those responsible for international crimes.

LAW 907-001: International Legal Approaches to Terrorism in the 21st Century will examine counter-terrorism measures from an international and comparative law perspective and consider the interrelation between these measures and the obligations of states under international human rights and humanitarian law. The course will explore the status of different international players under international law and address questions such as: What is the definition of terrorism? Is the use of force in response to acts of terrorism permitted under international law? Is international law adequately equipped to deal with the “war on terror”?

Each session is taught by experts and/or practitioners in the field, including judges, prosecutors, and other personnel from the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, the T.M.C. Asser Institute, and other international organizations. Students are expected to complete assigned readings, participate regularly in all scheduled classes and events, and successfully pass a final written exam for each course. Class attendance is required. The course grade will be based on attendance, participation, and final exam grade.

Students will live in The Hague and take classes at the T.M.C. Asser Institute. Classes will be held Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. All classes will be taught in English. Knowledge of the Dutch language is not necessary for participation in the Program.

Credits

Program participants are expected to earn six credits for the two courses. Applicants who intend to transfer credits should inquire about their law school’s policy on that issue. Applicants should be aware that participation in the Program is unlikely to accelerate graduation for a full-time student.

Academic Activities

The Hague is the third-largest city in the Netherlands and is the country’s seat of government, housing the First Chamber, the Second Chamber, the Estates-General, the Supreme Court and many other law-making bodies. In 1899, the world’s first Peace Conference took place in The Hague.

As a result of its rich legacy in international politics, The Hague is also home to over 150 international organizations. Integral to the academic program are visits to major courts and legal institutions located in The Hague, where students will have the opportunity to meet and spend time with practitioners, and to observe hearings or proceedings when in progress. Institutions visited in 2013 include:

  • International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
  • International Criminal Court
  • The Special Tribunal for Lebanon

Internships

In prior years, several participants pursued internships directly related to international criminal law. For instance, one student interned with the Voice of the Victims project at the ICTY and another worked with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, monitoring proceedings at the Domestic War Crimes Chamber in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Students have also interned with ICTY defense teams, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, and with the Documentation Center of Cambodia on issues related to public access to proceedings of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia.

Extracurricular Activities

The program includes many opportunities for participants to meet informally with other students, researchers and practitioners in the international justice field.  Additionally, students will have most afternoons and weekends free to explore the city. The Hague is a vibrant, cosmopolitan place with a wide array of museums and cultural institutions to visit. Its North Sea beaches make it a popular tourist destination and it plays host to many international cultural events in the summer.   

Since experiencing the culture is integral to the Program, students will travel to Amsterdam at no additional cost. While there, they will explore the culture and character of the Netherlands' largest city. Trips to other destinations in the region are up to the students themselves.  Some have used their free weekends to take more ambitious excursions; Paris is just under four hours away by train, and London is just under six. 

Washington College of Law Founded February 1, 1896

Each application must be accompanied by a $100 nonrefundable registration fee. Non-WCL students must include a letter of good standing by their Dean or Registrar for the application to be considered. Participation in the program is limited to forty students and is administered on a first come, first served basis. The registration fee will be returned only if the application is rejected, the program is cancelled, or the student is disqualified.

After receiving notice of acceptance, an applicant must submit an additional $500 deposit within three weeks of notice of acceptance. Failure to submit the $500 deposit may result in forfeiture of place in the program. Checks should be made payable to the Washington College of Law. All payments are non-refundable, except in the event the Program is unable to accommodate an accepted applicant. Persons with disabilities should contact Program staff prior to submitting their application fee to learn of any potential challenges while in The Hague. The Program reserves the right to cancel at any time because of insufficient enrollment or for other good cause. For a full explanation of the costs of participating in the program, please visit our expenses page.

Eligibility

  • Full-time and part-time J.D. candidates who have completed their first year of study by May 2015
  • Candidates for graduate law degrees (LL.M., S.J.D.)
  • JD graduates
  • Graduate students in other disciplines may be eligible. The Program Director will determine their eligibility on a case-by-case basis.

Student applicants must be enrolled in good standing at an accredited university or law school, as demonstrated by a letter of good standing to be submitted with the application (A letter of good standing is not necessary for WCL students).

The Peace Palace
The Peace Palace

Expenses

he Program tuition for 2017 is equivalent to the cost of six (6) law school credits ($11,526). For the non-credit certificate option, the cost of tuition is to be announced. For both the credit and non-credit options, there is also a $100 application fee due at the time of application. At no additional cost, the Program includes housing, reading materials, health insurance during the official dates of the Program, organized tours, receptions, and transportation to Program activities. Participants are responsible for the cost of all international travel, most meals (approximately $30 per day), the cost of commuting to and from classes (about $3-5 per day if using public trams or bicycle rental), and any visa charges required.

All non-WCL students who will be sending a consortium agreement to WCL: Please make sure to write the name of the specific program and a contact email address on the agreement before submitting the documents.

2017 Hague Summer Program

2017 Total Academic Tuition and Fees****

 

$11,626

 

See below for payment deadlines 

Tuition* and Fees  Amount  Due Date
Non-refundable Application Fee**  $ 100.00

Due at time of application (applications accepted on a rolling basis until March 13 - please note that programs often fill up well before this date)

Non-refundable Seat Deposit***  $ 500.00

Due three (3) weeks after you have been notified that your application was received

Tuition Balance Due $11,026

May 1, 2017

*Tuition includes the following: 1) 6 hours of credit from American University Washington College of Law, 2) housing from May 30 to June 25, 2015) transportation and admission to required site visits and weekend visit to Amsterdam.   
**Application Fee is not part of tuition but is a separate administrative fee.
***Seat Deposit is the first $500 of the total tuition due for the program.
****Additional program costs for which students are responsible include roundtrip transportation from the United States, food, local transportation, any visa charges, and personal expenses.
     

2017 Total Certificate of Completion****

$7,400

See below for payment details

Certificate of Completion Fees****
Amount Due Date
Non-refundable Application Fee** $100.00

Due at time of application (applications accepted on a rolling basis until March 13 - please note that programs often fill up well before this date)

Non-refundable Seat Deposit*** $500.00 Due three (3) weeks after you have been notified that your application was received
Tuition Balance Due $6,800 May 1, 2017
*Fee includes the following: 1) Certificate of Completition from American University Washington College of Law, 2) housing from May 30 to June 25, 2016 3) transportation and admission to required site visits and weekend visit to Amsterdam.
**Application Fee is not part of tuition but is a separate administrative fee.
***Seat Deposit is the first $500 of the total tuition due for the program.
****Additional program costs for which registrants are responsible include roundtrip transportation from the United States, food, local transportation, any visa charges, and personal expenses.

Travel

Participants must make their own arrangements for travel between their home country and The Hague, the Netherlands. Travel arrangements are the sole responsibility of each participant. The Program does not incur any liability for those arrangements.

Housing

Housing is provided to students at no additional cost. Students share furnished apartments in the center of the Hague.

Passport and Visa

A passport is required for travel to the Netherlands. U.S. citizens with valid passports do not need a visa to travel to the Netherlands for under three months. It is the responsibility of citizens of other countries to obtain a visa, if required, from the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Washington, DC. Students not holding valid passports at the time of application should take immediate steps to obtain them.

Cancellation

This Program has never been cancelled. However, should a security situation or other force majeure require cancellation, students will be notified by email.

Persons with Disabilities

The Program will try to ensure that accessible housing is available upon student request.

Read the ABA Required Study Abroad Program Disclosures

External Links about The Hague and the Netherlands

Check out our exciting Upcoming Events

September 25 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays September 26 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Free Yoga with the Washington Yoga Center! September 26 12:00PM-1:00PM Warren Building - N102 Orange is the New Black: Race, Class, Sexuality, Identity, and the Criminal Justice System in Popular Culture September 26 12:00PM-1:30PM Warren Building - NT03 Human Rights Reading Group September 27 12:00PM-1:00PM NT07 BARBRI Bar Talk September 27 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class September 27 5:30PM-7:30PM Viacom,1515 Broadway, New York, NY 10036 Fall New York Alumni Reception September 28 5:00PM-7:00PM Yuma Building - YT01 On the Docket: Looking Ahead at the New Supreme Court Term September 28 5:30PM-8:00PM Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center,901 K St NW Alumni and Students Intellectual Property Networking Reception September 29 12:00PM-2:00PM Capital Building - C217 Language Volunteer Training October 02 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays October 03 9:00AM-2:00PM Yuma Building - YT01-01 Red Cross Blood Drive October 03 12:00PM-1:30PM Washington College of Law Legalized Families in the Era of Bordered Globalization October 03 6:00PM-9:00PM Rio de Janeiro, Brazil EducationUSA LLM Fair Rio de Janeiro October 04 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class October 04 6:00PM-9:00PM Brasilia, Brazil Education USA LLM Fair - Brasilia October 05 5:30PM-7:30PM 601 Massachusetts Ave, N, Washington, DC Twelfth Annual International Commercial Arbitration Lecture October 06 6:00PM-9:00PM WCL Alumni Reception for Professor Robert Vaughn October 07 10:00AM-1:00PM Sao Paulo, Brazil EducationUSA LLM Fair - Sao Paulo October 09 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays October 09 6:00PM-9:00PM Buenos Aires, Argentina EducationUSA LLM Fair - Buenos Aires October 11 11:30AM-1:30PM Washington College of Law International Law Abroad Table Talks October 11 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class October 11 5:00PM-6:00PM Warren Building - NT02 Information Session: Veteran's Pro Bono Legal Clinic October 11 6:00PM-9:00PM Santiago, Chile EducationUSA LLM Fair - Santiago October 12 12:00PM-1:00PM Warren Building - N104 Pro- Bono Information Session: Washington Lawyers' Committee Workers’ Rights Clinic October 12 12:00PM-1:30PM Yuma Building - Y401 Transatlantic Consumer Protection: The Case of Medical Devices October 12 5:00PM-7:00PM Washington College of Law Gender and Family Law Resume Review Session October 12 6:00PM-9:00PM Lima, Peru EducationUSA LLM Fair - Lima October 16 12:00PM-1:00PM Yuma Building - YT16 Equal Justice Works Career Fair Prep Session October 16 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays October 16 6:00PM-9:00PM Education USA LLM Fair - Bogota October 17 8:30AM-5:00PM Yuma Building - YT01 XIII Symposium on International Trade October 18 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class October 20 7:45AM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Burton D. Wechsler First Amendment Moot Court Competition October 20 9:00AM-5:00PM Yuma Building - YT01 Fall Sports Law Symposium October 21 7:45AM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Burton D. Wechsler First Amendment Moot Court Competition October 23 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays October 25 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class October 26 12:30PM-5:00PM Yuma Building - YT01-01 Next Steps in Health Reform 2017 October 26 6:15PM-7:30PM Warren Building - NT01 Sixth Annual Peter A. Jaszi Distinguished Lecture on Intellectual Property with Professor Rebecca Tushnet October 26 6:15PM-8:15PM Yuma Building - Y112 Preserving Perspectives: International Arbitrators in Their Own Words October 26 6:15PM-8:30PM Yuma Building - Y112 Preserving Perspectives: International Arbitrators in Their Own Words October 27 8:00AM-5:00PM Yuma Building - YT01-01 Next Steps in Health Reform October 27 8:45AM-3:30PM Warren Building - NT08 Unlocking the Promise of Antitrust Enforcement October 30 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays October 31 12:00PM-1:30PM Yuma Building - YT01 A Conversation with David Rubenstein November 01 12:00PM-1:30PM Capital Building - Commons Gender and Law Course Advising November 01 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class November 03 8:00AM-5:00PM Washington College of Law 2017 National SJD Roundtable November 06 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays November 07 12:00PM-12:50PM Washington College of Law Gender and Law Lunch and Learn: Forced Labor Trafficking Panel November 08 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class November 10 9:00AM-5:00PM Yuma Building - YT01 Anatomy of Justice: An Honest Conversation on the Criminal Justice System in 2017 November 13 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays November 15 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class November 20 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays November 20 12:00PM-1:00PM Yuma Building - Y116 Semester Abroad and International Dual Degree Information Session November 22 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class
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