Grotius Dialogues

Coordinators: Yannick Radi and Dov Jacobs.

The Grotius Dialogues is a discussion forum dedicated to the analysis of practical and conceptual issues in contemporary international law. It will allow us to broaden our daily horizons of research and to share our ideas on issues of interests for our community. Questions about the Dialogues and suggestions for topics should be addressed to:

or .


Upcoming Event

4 June 2013 | Grotius Dialogues

The Dialogue will consist of a presentation by Hanna Bosdriesz on 
Synergies and allergies between international criminal law and (regional) human rights - The regime(s) on enforced disappearance

It has been said that international criminal law is suffering an identity crisis, because it has allowed its development to become too closely intertwined with the related field of human rights law. While both fields are certainly based on the same underlying values, their goals only partly overlap and their methods in achieving those goals require rather different approaches and sensibilities. Furthermore, while international criminal law has strong universal aspirations, the development of human rights law over the last decades has been driven to a large extent by regional actors. This paper will examine the ‘synergies’ and ‘allergies’ between human rights and international criminal law in relation to a norm which exists in both systems: the prohibition of the practice of enforced or involuntary disappearance of persons.

First, this paper tracks the development of a human rights regime on enforced disappearance, particularly within the Inter-American human rights system. Then it seeks to establish if, and to what extent, this regime has influenced the criminalization of enforced disappearance at the international level. In doing so, this paper will refer to the different stages of development of human rights norms as described by Cherif Bassiouni: the enunciative stage, the declarative stage, the prescriptive stage, the enforcement stage and the criminalization stage. It will also consider the effect the criminalization of enforced disappearance has had on the enforcement of the norm. Finally, the paper examines how its criminalization on the international level has in turn influenced the further development the human rights regime on enforced disappearance.Since 1990, the United Nations has established over thirty international commissions of inquiry to undertake fact-finding in respect of a variety of situations.  Many of these commissions have inquired into violations of human rights law and international humanitarian law. In recent years, some commissions have also conducted investigations under the rubric of international criminal law. This article charts key institutional developments in international commissions of inquiry by way of concrete examples and figures. Commissions’ mandates, establishing organs, working methods, findings and recommendations are examined to identify general trends in their establishment and activities.  International commissions of inquiry have emerged as a key mechanism to detect violations of, and promote compliance with, international law. In addition, in many ways their investigations and activities have moved closer to the norms and procedures of international criminal law (ICL). Both beneficial and detrimental consequences may flow from taking ICL beyond the judicial context. The article discusses whether the trend towards criminalization in international commissions of inquiry is to be welcomed from the perspective of international governance and in light of concerns regarding the application of ICL in the absence of procedural safeguards inherent in the trial process.

The event will take place on the 4 June 2013 at 16.00 Noord room (12th floor),  Stichthage Offices, Campus Den Haag.

Previous Events

9 April 2013

International Commissions of Inquiry and the Interplay with International Criminal Law, by Larissa van den Herik, Carsten Stahn and Catherine Harwood.

28 February 2013

Beyond Srebrenica. The Immunity of the United Nations in International Lawby Nico Schrijver.

7 February 2013

Labour provisions in international investment agreementsby Ruben Zandvliet and Vid Prislan.




22 November 2012

A territorial view of State Responsibilityby Andrea Varga.

25 October 2012

The Fragmentation of International Law: A Critical Analysisby Anne-Charlotte Martineau.


7 June 2012

Dynamic Interpretation in International Criminal Lawby Alexander Graber.



24 May 2012

Jus Post Bellum as a system of lawsby Jennifer Easterday and Jens Iverson


5 April 2012

The ICJ Judgement 'Jurisdictional Immunities of the State (Germany v. Italy: Greece intervening), by Dr. Erik Koppe

1 March 2012

Consideration of Non - Investmement Obligations, by Vid Prislan

For more information see here.


2 February 2012

Legitimacy in Legal Sciences , by Dr. Jean D'aspremont

For more information see:

Jean D'aspremont and Eric de Brabandere, The Complementary Faces of Legitimacy in International Law: The Legitimacy of Origin and the Legitimacy of Exercise, Fordham International Law Journal, Vol. 34, pp. 101-145, 2010


26 January 2012

P.R.I.M.E Finance, by Dr. Eric de Brabandere

For more information see:

Eric de Brabandere, P.R.I.M.E. Finance: The Role and Function of the New Arbitral Institution for the Settlement of Financial Disputes in The Hague, ASIL Insights, Vol 16 Issue 3, 8 February 2012.



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