“The Hague Institute for Global Justice was established five years ago in response to a growing demand for policy-relevant research and innovative thinking on critical issues of peace and justice. Today, the Institute plays a key role in informing the work of cities, governments and international organizations by conducting research, building capacity, and convening renowned scholars and practitioners to discuss solutions to contemporary global challenges.  I am delighted by what the Institute has achieved in just five years and am confident that it will continue to make important contributions to global peace and justice.”

 Jozias van Aartsen, Mayor of The Hague

Message from the President

On 10 June 2016, The Hague Institute for Global Justice celebrates its fifth anniversary. The past five years have seen the Institute evolve rapidly from a fledgling research institution into a vibrant think- and do-tank that is making a tangible difference in the pursuit of global peace, security and justice. This milestone prompts reflection both on past achievements and the opportunities that lie ahead.

The Hague Institute aims to contribute to informed and effective policy and practice that strengthens conflict prevention, the rule of law and global governance. We advance this mission in several ways. Through policy-relevant research we provide practitioners and policymakers with evidence-based solutions to the global challenges of the twenty-first century.  As part of the centenary celebration of the Peace Palace in 2013, we launched The Hague Approach, which consists of six principles and related tools for building sustainable peace in post-conflict situations. In 2014, the Institute and the Stimson Center convened the Commission on Global Security, Justice & Governance, co-chaired by former US Secretary of State, Madeleine K. Albright and former Foreign Minister of Nigeria, Ibrahim Gambari. The Commission’s final report, Confronting the Crisis of Global Governance, was launched in 2015 and develops new frameworks for collective action in response to threats to global security and justice. Our current research agenda anticipates the needs of decision-makers and includes work on countering violent extremism, managing migration, water diplomacy, the role of cities in conflict prevention, and fact-finding and accountability for international crimes.

Effective policy and practice requires that knowledge is continually reassessed and skillfully applied. Our training and capacity-building activities allow policymakers and practitioners to refine their skills and update their knowledge so that they may better serve the causes of peace and justice worldwide. To date, our staff have provided training to legal practitioners, human rights activists, and representatives of NGOs, international organizations and governments on issues including investigating, prosecuting and adjudicating international crimes; monitoring, investigating and reporting on human rights violations; transitional justice processes; and rights-based responses to climate change. Our current activities include enhancing the understanding and use of forensics in legal proceedings in Lebanon; and facilitating expert-exchanges between professionals from courts and tribunals in The Hague, and with human rights investigators from commissions of inquiry in Geneva.

A critical aspect of our work involves bringing together thinkers and doers to ensure that the best ideas have a hearing and find their way into policy processes. The Distinguished Speaker Series provides world leaders and eminent thinkers with a platform to engage with the diverse community of diplomats, scholars, entrepreneurs and legal experts here in The Hague. We have had the honor of welcoming speakers such as HRH Prince El Hassan of Jordan, Prime Minister of Albania H.E. Edi Rama, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Baroness Patricia Scotland, and former Dutch Prime Ministers Dries van Agt, Ruud Lubbers, Wim Kok and Jan Peter Balkenende. We regularly convene high-level decision-makers and experts to provide input into policy processes or reflect on lessons learned from pivotal international events. These consultations are typically held off-the-record and have addressed consequential matters such as international decision-making related to the genocides in Rwanda and Srebrenica, the forthcoming Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union, and the downing of flight MH17. Being responsive to the needs of policymakers and practitioners will continue to be a priority for the Institute in the years to come.

Leading an organization as dynamic and enterprising as The Hague Institute is an honor and privilege. I am grateful to our extraordinary team for their unwavering enthusiasm and dedication, and to our partners in The Hague and beyond who have enhanced the quality and impact of our work. The Institute has made important strides over the past five years, but much remains to be done. The next stage of the Institute’s story requires us to consolidate the gains we have made to ensure that we can continue in our efforts to help build a safer, more peaceful and just world.

Dr. Abi Williams

Learn about our history

“The Hague Institute’s approach to building sustainable peace highlights the importance of breaking down boundaries across different disciplines and actors. It is only by recognizing the close relationships between peace, development, human rights and the rule of law that we can effectively address the challenges of today’s world. I welcome The Hague Institute’s contribution in this mission and pursuit.”

Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations

Policy-relevant Research

Our research staff carry out a range of projects that aim to assess and improve policy formulation and implementation at the local, national, regional and international level. Research findings and policy recommendations are disseminated through policy briefs, working papers, online commentaries and expert events. Our researchers also brief policymakers directly on issues such as peacekeeping and fact-finding related to international crimes. A selection of our current projects is featured below.

City Responsibility – The Role of Municipalities in Conflict Prevention
This project examines how city municipalities prevent and mitigate violent conflict and other crises in the global North and South. It tests the core assumption that devolved or decentralized power produces a more effective response to preventing the outbreak and escalation of violent conflict. The pilot phase focuses on the city of The Hague. More than 90 local representatives from the private sector, academia, police and health sector in The Hague have participated in our consultations.

“I want to congratulate The Hague Institute for Global Justice on its anniversary. In a very short period of time, The Hague Institute has already left its mark on important areas of research and policy. I am especially pleased to have been able to collaborate with the Institute on the important issue of global cities—and in particular their role in combatting communal violence. As a key knowledge partner of the Chicago Forum on Global Cities, The Hague Institute has much to contribute to this critical set of issues.”

Ivo Daalder, President, Chicago Council on Global Affairs

Education for Peace in DRC Congo
Our team is designing the learning materials and the research component for this project, which is implemented by Radio La Benevolencija as part of UNICEF’s Peace Building Education and Advocacy Program (PBEA). The project is being implemented in four eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Our preliminary findings show that the project promoted a change in attitudes and behavior among school children; improved knowledge and application of values for promoting peace among teachers and parents; and prompted local policymakers to become more active in promoting inclusiveness.

From Fact-Finding to Evidence: Harmonizing Multiple Investigations of International Crimes
This project examines the legal, theoretical and practical aspects and implications of investigations of international crimes by international criminal justice mechanisms and other fact-finding agencies. The project explores challenges and opportunities arising from cooperation between different fact-finders and aims to develop a manual for multiple investigations of international crimes. The manual will be a state-of-the-art compilation of practice-oriented guidelines and recommendations for effective fact finding.

“Since its inception in 2011, The Hague Institute has quickly distinguished itself as an intellectual hub for serious interdisciplinary thinking about ways of promoting international peace and justice. To be sure, in the international city of justice that is The Hague, the Institute has steadily grown into the resource of choice for expert debate and discussion on international criminal justice writ large. The contribution of the Institute to the important issues confronting international criminal justice in general and the International Criminal Court in particular has been noteworthy and is deserving of praise. I thank the Institute for its indefatigable efforts and contributions and wish it continued success.”

Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court

Global Governance Reform Initiative
The Global Governance Reform Initiative seeks to overcome the challenges of global governance in three important domains – cyberspace, migration and oceans – by improving the efficiency, effectiveness and legitimacy of collective actions undertaken by relevant stakeholders.

Governance of Climate Adaptation in Small Island Developing States
The aim of this project is to contribute to sustainable economic development, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction (DRR) through developing effective governance arrangements in a participatory process. The central tenet is to build adaptive capacity at multiple levels and to ensure social justice and human security in local climate action.

Social Justice Expertise Center (SJEC)
The Social Justice Expertise Center (SJEC) is a joint initiative of The Hague Institute and Leiden University. SJEC seeks to improve labor market conditions through research, multi-stakeholder dialogues and capacity-building, thereby strengthening economies and creating safe and productive work environments.

“Over the course of five years, The Hague Institute has developed into a progressive institute which develops and implements cutting-edge research projects to advance peace and justice. The Social Justice Expertise Center, a collaboration between Leiden Law School’s Department of Labor Law and The Hague Institute, which I have the pleasure of chairing, has grown to become a recognized name among both labor law scholars and practitioners in relation to the advancement of international labor rights due to the indispensable role of the Institute in the collaboration.”

Paul F. van der Heijden, Chairman, Board of Directors, Netherlands Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’

Water Diplomacy: Making Water Cooperation Work
Combining Dutch experience with international expertise, the Institute’s water diplomacy team conducts policy-relevant research and actively facilitates stakeholder dialogues.  The team is currently engaged in seven projects across the world.

Advising Policymakers

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The Institute’s reputation for producing first-rate work, together with its institutional culture of flexibility, agility and excellence has resulted in several requests to provide substantive support to Dutch policymakers engaged in critical national, regional and international policy processes.

International Conference on Wildlife Crime
March 2016, NL Ministry of Economic Affairs
The Institute partnered with the NL Ministry of Economic Affairs to organize the conference Save Wildlife: Act Now or Game Over. In addition to drafting the conference concept, the Institute organized a plenary panel discussion and two working groups. Dr. Abi Williams also moderated a ministerial-level meeting to solicit political endorsements for the Dutch government’s concept of “wildlife deals” – voluntary, multi-stakeholder partnerships involving concrete actions to conserve wildlife.

EU Strategic Review of its Common Foreign and Security Policy
December 2015, NL Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Institute partnered with the NL Ministry of Foreign Affairs to host a high-level public panel discussion and closed-door expert consultations within the framework of the EU’s ongoing strategic review of its common foreign and security policy. The public event featured the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini and Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bert Koenders. The expert consultation sought to inform the Netherlands’ input statement concerning the Strategic Review Process.

“In the five years since its establishment, The Hague Institute for Global Justice has become an important resource for policymakers in the Netherlands and beyond. I was delighted to participate in the consultation organized jointly by the Institute and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the Strategic Review of the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union in December 2015. The Institute has demonstrated a keen sensitivity to the needs of policymakers and has much to offer in support of national, regional and international policy processes.”

Bert Koenders, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands

Global Conference on Cyberspace
April 2015, NL Ministry of Security and Justice and NL Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Institute partnered with two Dutch ministries on the ‘Global Conference on Cyberspace.’ In addition to organizing an official side-event of the conference, research staff also provided substantive input into the official Chair’s Statement issued by the Government of the Netherlands.

“The Hague Institute for Global Justice has, in five short years, established itself as a premier forum for bringing international legal frameworks to bear on real humanitarian problems.  Its researchers have focused on practical solutions for breaking cycles of violence, which have deservedly caught the attention of civil society and policy-makers alike.  Peace and disarmament are much more than the absence of war and arms; they demand the active pursuit of holistic, durable solutions – something that resonates strongly with our work at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.”

H.E. Ahmet Üzümcü, Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

Parliamentary Testimony: Mali
November 2013, Dutch Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs
Research staff testified before the Dutch Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs regarding the situation in Mali on the basis of fieldwork carried out by the Institute. Experts were invited to provide input that would help the Dutch parliament determine its position on the Cabinet’s intention to contribute personnel to the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali.

“In the fight against radicalization and violent extremism, two lessons from the 2013 study The Hague Approach:  Six Principles for Achieving Sustainable Peace in Post-Conflict Situations are quite fitting. The first is that prevention matters. The second is that we have to foster a rule of law culture. If we want to counter terrorism and extremism, it would be wise to take these lessons into account.”

Ard van der Steur, Minister of Security and Justice of the Netherlands

Convening Power

The Institute frequently convenes on- and off-the-record policy events involving key decision-makers. Closed-door expert consultations provide substantive support to policymakers and practitioners engaged in critical national, regional and international policy processes and initiatives, while public events allow high-level speakers to share their reflections on contemporary issues related to conflict prevention, rule of law, and global governance with a wider audience.

“The BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt is proud to be a strategic partner for The Hague Institute. The cooperation between our two organizations within the framework of the BMW Foundation Global Table, which brings together leaders from Europe and other world regions on complex issues of global importance from all sectors of society, is a powerful tool in rethinking global concepts and supporting actors to move into new directions.”

Michael Schaefer, Chairman of the Board of Directors, BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt

DSS - Prince HassanDistinguished Speaker Series
The Distinguished Speaker Series (DSS) showcases eminent practitioners in international affairs and is the centerpiece of the Institute’s high-level engagement with practitioners and academics in the city and wider region. Past speakers include world leaders such as HRH Prince El Hassan of Jordan and Prime Minister of Albania, H.E. Edi Rama, as well as former Dutch Prime Ministers Dries van Agt, Ruud Lubbers, Wim Kok and Jan Peter Balkenende, who featured in the Premier Perspectives edition of this series.

Through the DSS and similar events, the Institute has also provided an important platform for sitting Dutch Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Security & Justice to discuss the role and ambitions of the Netherlands on the world stage.

International Decision-Making: Rwanda & Srebrenica
In June 2014, in partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), the Institute convened leading decision-makers from the United Nations, Africa, the United States, and Europe to consider the failure of the international community to prevent or effectively respond to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. Participants in the conference included architects of the 1992-1993 Arusha peace accords; the leadership of the UN peacekeeping force, UNAMIR; and four former members of the UN Security Council.

In June 2015, the Institute and USHMM convened leading decision-makers from more than a dozen countries to consider the failure of the international community to prevent the fall of the United Nations “safe area” of Srebrenica in July 1995. Participants included former Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Yasushi Akashi; former European peace negotiator, Carl Bildt; former commander of UN forces in Bosnia, General Sir Rupert Smith; Srebrenica survivor, Muhamed Durakovic; and three former members of the UN Security Council.

“I am thankful to count [The Hague Institute] as a trusted partner in so much of the work of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Our two-part project on International Decision-Making in the Age of Genocide broke new ground in our collective understanding of how genocide was allowed to unfurl in both Rwanda and Srebrenica. The findings from this effort have been well-received at the highest levels of both the Dutch and American governments and have, I believe, made a considerable contribution to the academic scholarship around these pieces of history.”

Cameron Hudson, Director, Simon-Skodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Albright-Lecture1kopie-NBThe Justice Breyer and Madeleine K. Albright Lecture Series
The Institute has partnered with The Brookings Institution to establish two annual lecture series. The Justice Breyer Lecture addresses critical issues of international law and policy and is hosted in Washington D.C. The Madeleine K. Albright Global Justice Lecture addresses issues at the intersection of peace, security and justice, and is hosted in The Hague. The inaugural lecture of this series was delivered by Secretary Albright in June 2015. The 2016 Global Justice Lecture will be delivered by former Foreign Minister of Canada, Lloyd Axworthy on 28 June.

“Since 2012, the Brookings Institution has been honored to partner with The Hague Institute for Global Justice to tackle some of the greatest challenges at the nexus of international law, justice, and policy facing the international community. Together, through the Washington-based Justice Breyer Lecture on International Law (established in 2014) and the Hague-based Madeleine K. Albright Global Justice Lecture (established in 2015), we maintain a transatlantic dialogue on international norms that informs global debates. We at Brookings are proud of this partnership and look forward to engaging with The Hague Institute for years to come.”

Strobe Talbott, President, The Brookings Institution

Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law
The Platform aims to build a bridge between global issues and Dutch expertise on security and rule of law, and contribute to international knowledge, policy development and implementation in fragile and conflict-affected environments and in the Netherlands. The Secretariat of the Knowledge Platform is administered jointly by The Hague Institute and the Conflict Research Unit of Clingendael.

Training and Capacity-building

The Institute facilitates international professional exchanges between practitioners to build capacity and promote the sharing of knowledge and best practices.

“Although relatively young the Institute is not “new” anymore. It has established itself as a major Think and Do Tank that connects the Dutch government, the city of The Hague (the city of Peace and Justice) and academia with top class research and Think Tanks worldwide. Current topical issues, ranging from failed states, to migration and global governance are being addressed from a multidisciplinary perspective – and always translated into policy recommendations. It has been very rewarding to see the Institute develop into what it is now – realizing that much more can and will be achieved in the years to come”.

Dick Benschop, Chair of the Supervisory Board

Rule of Law and Transitional Justice in Libya
From 11 to 13 June 2013, Libyan judges and prosecutors received training on “Rule of Law and Transitional Justice in Libya.” The goal was to enhance the capabilities of the Libyan justice professionals on the basis of lessons learned from other conflict-affected countries and the Netherlands.

Training School: Climate Justice
Climate Justice focuses on rights-based approaches to development and responses to climate change. In October 2014, the Rule of Law program at The Hague Institute, in partnership with The European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST), hosted a one-week training school on Climate Change Justice: Rule of Law through Good Governance.  The program aimed to achieve two goals:  1) train scholars in international legal instruments and mechanisms, norms and standards that frame the concept of climate justice, and 2) address practical questions on how to deal with the consequences of climate change.

Transitional Justice Fellowship:  A Unique Opportunity In The Heart Of The City of Peace and Justice
The Hague Institute and the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) in South Africa launched an annual Transitional Justice Fellowship. Senior Researcher Dr. Jill Coster van Voorhout and Events Manager Marie-Laure Poiré joined the fellows in Johannesburg and in Cape Town from 7-20 June 2014 for the first two weeks of an intense training on transitional justice. The fellows visited The Hague for the international justice segment of the program from 23-27 June 2014.

“The Hague Institute for Global Justice has become a vital partner of international organisations that aim at contributing to the development and progress of international justice, and a major global think-tank. The Institute has generously given the Tribunals opportunities to add their perspective to significant conversations on international justice. In addition, the Institute has assisted the Mechanism in explaining its unique character and mandate, and has supported the ICTY in cementing its legacy. The Hague Institute for Global Justice has proven to be an invaluable institution for connecting people and ideas, and in turning each event into a source of both reflection and action.”

Theodor Meron, President of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals

Peace-Justice Nexus in Kenya
In October 2015, Senior Researcher Dr. Eamon Aloyo and Researcher Tessa Alleblas traveled to Kenya to train researchers on collecting data about the impact of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The training, in partnership with the Nairobi Peace Initiative-Africa (NPI-Africa) is part of the Institute’s Peace-Justice Nexus project. The project encompasses desk and field research to assess the impact of the ICC on the behavior and policies of state and non-state actors. The Kenyan researchers who received training conducted household surveys and civil society consultations in five specific regions of Kenya. The results will inform policy recommendations on conflict-sensitive approaches and transitional justice strategies for achieving sustainable peace and accountability for gross human rights violations.

Combating Impunity: The Hague Institute hosts Judicial Training on Core International Crimes
From 30 November to 2 December 2015, The Hague Institute hosted a judicial training program organized by the European Judicial Training Network (EJTN) in cooperation with the European Network for investigation and prosecution of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes (European Genocide Network). Entitled Prosecuting and Judging Core International Crimes within the EU, the training was attended by judges and prosecutors from the EU member states with the goal of improving their understanding of issues pertaining to the investigation, prosecution and adjudication of international core crimes at the domestic level, as well as sharing knowledge and related best practices.

An Integrated Approach to Forensics in Lebanon
This training initiative is part of a three-year program funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Netherlands Support to Forensic Capability and Uptake in Lebanon (2016-2018). It aims to enhance the understanding and use of an integrated approach to forensics in legal proceedings in Lebanon, in accordance with international best practices.

“Home to international courts and criminal tribunals, The Hague is the international city of justice. With the Hague Institute for Global Justice, the international criminal justice community now has an important partner that is helping to strengthen our work and broaden our support. By bringing together practitioners, academics and policymakers, the Institute promotes constructive discussions on pressing global challenges in the fight for justice. As the link between The Hague and top institutions and think-tanks around the world, the Institute promotes a more inclusive dialogue with a wider range of stakeholders. I congratulate the Hague Institute for its many achievements so far, and look forward to our continued close collaboration.”

Serge Brammertz, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia


Confronting the Crisis of Global Governance Report

On June 16, 2015, the Report of the Commission on Global Security, Justice & Governance was launched at the Peace Palace in The Hague. Its Co-Chairs, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Nigerian Foreign Minister and UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari, presented the document and its key findings and recommendations.


The-Hague-Approach-coverThe Hague Approach Principles

The Institute’s flagship study ‘The Hague Approach’ was launched as part of the centenary celebrations of the Peace Palace.  It consists of six principles for achieving sustainable peace in post-conflict situations.



RoL-report-coverPromoting the Rule of Law in Peacebuilding: Lessons from Afghanistan and Iraq

This report is a comparative study of rule of law efforts within the context of peacebuilding in Afghanistan and Iraq in the past decade. It elucidates the challenges international and local actors faced in both countries.



International Labor Rights Case Law (ILaRC) is a triannual publication of the Social Justice Expertise Center. It focuses primarily on jurisprudential developments relating to fundamental rights in the workplace. The first volume is available for open access at www.brill.com/ilarc.




Policy Briefs

Hague Institute policy briefs explore contemporary challenges and provide practicable recommendations for policymakers and practitioners.




Working Papers

The Hague Institute Working Paper Series presents the work of our research staff and other experts with whom we collaborate.




The Institute produces a bi-annual magazine highlighting its current work and offering analysis of current affairs from in-house and external contributors. The magazine reaches approximately 2,000 select people worldwide, including high-level officials in the Netherlands, Washington, D.C., Brussels and at the UN in New York. The theme for the Spring 2016 edition is International Migration and the Refugee Crisis.

gloco report

Conflict Prevention in The Hague and the Metropolitan Area

This study takes stock of the growing role and responsibilities of cities in preventing violent conflict and offers innovative recommendations and actionable measures for policy and practice. The findings are based on a series of consultations over 12 months with 100 representatives from the police, municipality, health sector, schools, private sector, civil society, and academia in The Hague.


Further Reading

Active: Fact-Finding in Lebanon

This three-year project, Fact-finding in Lebanon:  The Netherlands Support to Forensic Capability and Uptake in Lebanon, aims to ensure an integrated approach to forensics in…


Completed: Conflict Prevention in The Hague

This pilot project is part of the Institute's international research on City Responsibility: The Role of Municipalities in Conflict Prevention, which aims to understand how municipal…


Active: Distinguished Speaker Series

The Distinguished Speaker Series (DSS) showcases eminent practitioners in international affairs and is the centerpiece of the Institute’s high-level engagement with practitioners and academics in the city…