Students on this program study in the historic Dutch city that has become the “world capital of peace and justice.” While in the Netherlands they explore first-hand how international courts confront a range of global problems, meeting with judges, advocates, and academic specialists for a broad survey of the international legal process. Students live in the adjacent university town of Leiden and have direct access to major tribunals sitting in The Hague: the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court and special war-crimes tribunals. They also connect with research centers working on a variety of global issues such as ethnic conflict, gender violence, national and regional reconciliation, economic development, environmental protection, social rights, and responsive governance. The curriculum for the program combines coursework, field visits to international courts, and interactive workshops with court advocates and international lawyers at the Grotius Centre. Seminars lay the foundation for understanding the origins and purposes of the tribunals, while workshops provide an intensive experience with international criminal law.
The Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies is a center of Leiden University, focusing on public international law and has locations both in Leiden and in The Hague. The purpose of the Grotius Centre is the dissemination of knowledge on all fields of international law through high quality training courses, lectures, seminars, summer school programs, and yearly conferences.
Students on the program take two courses over the six-week session for a total of eight credits. Courses are taught in English and supervised by a Brandeis faculty member, who accompanies the group and shares teaching responsibilities with guest faculty from Leiden University. The two courses are jointly developed by programs in Legal Studies and International and Global Studies at Brandeis University.
The Spirit of International Law
Taught in The Hague, this course provides a broad survey of international law—how it aspires to peace, justice, and human rights; and how it meets the hard realities of a complex world. Building on direct contact with international tribunals, the course considers social, cultural, political, and economic factors shaping global justice, along with the impact of legal values on nations, regions, and communities.
Advocacy in the International Criminal Court
After setting the historical and critical framework for international criminal law, this course features intensive workshops with advocates and officials of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, in cooperation with Leiden University. Sessions will include moot court exercises and discussions with judges from the major international tribunals.
Brandeis students apply directly through the Office of Study Abroad for admission into the program. Visit the program website for more information about the application requirements and process. Students are encouraged to apply well before the admissions deadline. Qualified applicants will be accepted on a rolling basis, and applications will be reviewed up until the deadline, provided spaces are still available.
The admissions committee strives to accept students who are the best possible match for the program. Both Brandeis and non-Brandeis students from all majors and minors are encouraged to apply. Interest in human rights and international law should be demonstrated by a commitment to varied academic work, research, internships, and other volunteer work both on and off the home institution’s campus.
Students from outside Brandeis bring valuable diversity to the program and are encouraged to apply. The Hague programs have welcomed students from Albion College, Amherst College, Colby College, Tufts University, the University of Michigan, and Wellesley College. Meet with your college or university’s study abroad advisors, academic advisors, and faculty to assist in program selection and preparation, as well as your specific university's study abroad policies and procedures.
A limited number of need-based travel grants are available to high-need students. Brandeis students interested in learning more about study abroad scholarship opportunities should visit the scholarship section of the Brandeis study abroad website.