The Hague Institute for Global Justice

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The Hague Institute HQ.jpg
The Hague Institute headquarters near Plein 1813 in The Hague
Abbreviation The Hague Institute
Formation 2011
Type International think tank
Headquarters Sophialaan 10
Abiodun Williams

The Hague Institute for Global Justice, or simply The Hague Institute, is an international think tank based in The Hague, Netherlands.[1] The Institute was established in 2011 by a consortium of partners including the Municipality of The Hague, an academic coalition of Hague-based organizations and with support from the Dutch government. Independent and non-partisan, The Hague Institute focuses on interdisciplinary research in three perspectives: conflict prevention, rule of law, and global governance.

Abiodun Williams, former Senior Vice President at the U.S. Institute of Peace and former Director of Strategic Planning for UN Secretaries-General Kofi Annan and Ban Ki-moon, is the president of The Hague Institute.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright chairs the Institute’s Advisory Council.[2]


The Hague Institute works at the intersection of peace, security and justice and according to its website, “aims to contribute to, and further strengthen, the global framework for preventing and resolving conflict and promoting international peace.”[3]


The Hague Institute is supported by an Advisory Council who serve as a "strategic sounding board" for the president of the Institute.[4] Dr. Abiodun Williams was appointed as the Institute's first president on January 1, 2013. Williams previously served as Senior Vice President of the Center for Conflict Management at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) in Washington, D.C. He was preceded by Professor Willem van Genugten who served as Interim Dean of the Institute from September 2011 to December 2012. Professor Nico Schrijver, Academic Director of the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies at Leiden University served as the Institute's first dean between January and August 2011.

Advisory Council


The work of The Hague Institute is organized around three programs - Conflict Prevention, Rule of Law, and Global Governance[5] - and covers a wide range of issues including R2P, education and conflict, climate change, water diplomacy, cyber security, mass atrocities, illicit financial flows and the role of institutions and governance such as the International Criminal Court (ICC), transitional justice.[6] According to the Institute's website, The Hague Institute provides policy-relevant research, practitioner training and convenes actors from various areas of expertise to facilitate dialogue and stimulate knowledge sharing.[7]


Commission on Global Security, Justice & Governance

The Hague Institute and the Stimson Center, based in Washington, DC gathered "a select group of eminent statespersons and public intellectuals"[8] to address global threats and challenges related to fragile states, climate change and the cyber-economy. The Commission convened consultations online and around the world to facilitate a report which complements the UN Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals agenda, the UN Peacebuilding Architecture, the Fourth Global Conference on Cyberspace in The Hague, and the UN Conference on Parties on Climate Change in Paris.

Education and Conflict

In Summer 2014, the Institute began investigating the role of education in conflict prevention. According to the Institute's website, the 30-month research project "aims to assess and measure how formal and non-formal education can mitigate and prevent the escalation of violent conflict in fragile and conflict-affected states."[9]

The Hague Approach

The Hague Approach is a flagship project of The Hague Institute. It comprises "six guiding principles for achieving sustainable peace in post-conflict situations."[10] In August 2013, the Institute presented The Hague Approach Principles during the Peace Palace centenary to King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.[11]

Global Governance Reform Initiative

The Global Governance Reform Initiative tackles issues in cyberspace, migration, and oceans. The initiative brings together stakeholders from different sectors (government, civil society, international organizations, and business) and geographical regions to address pressing issues in global governance collectively. A three-day conference titled The Future of Cyber Governance convened in May 2014 and launched the project.[12]

Water Diplomacy Consortium (WDC)

The Water Diplomacy Consortium combines expertise from five Netherlands-based organizations to serve as a “global hub” to exchange knowledge and experience in water technology and water governance.[13] The Hague Institute serves as the lead partner of the WDC which also includes Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael, Water Governance Centre, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, and UPEACE.

Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law

Consisting of a network of experts and practitioners, the Knowledge Platform focuses on building “security and rule of law” in developing countries.[14] The platform was originally launched in late spring 2012 by Ben Knapen, former Dutch State Secretary for European Affairs and International Cooperation. The Hague Institute serves as the primary facilitator for the platform’s partners including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. The Rule of Law program is headed by Dr. Lyal S. Sunga who joined the Institute on 1 August 2015. Sunga has been drawing upon his comprehensive expertise and experience in international human rights law, international humanitarian law and international criminal law to reorient and strengthen the substantive direction of the Institute's Rule of Law work.

Public Discussions[edit]

The Hague Institute for Global Justice flag

The Institute convenes events and conferences to analyze a broad scope of issues related to conflict prevention, transitional justice, global security and international relations. Expert round tables aim to facilitate dialogue and knowledge sharing. The Institute has welcomed Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Jan Eliasson, Jurist James Crawford, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, Chief Prosecutor of the ICC Fatou Bensouda and United Nations Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) Jennifer Welsh.[15] In April 2014, The Hague Institute partnered with the Brookings Institution to organize the first Annual Justice Stephen Breyer Lecture on International Law.[16]

In November 2013, the Institute launched the "Distinguished Speaker Series." The lecture series invites high-level international experts to discuss topics affecting global progress.[17] Past speakers include Joschka Fischer, Jim Stavridis, Jan Peter Balkenende, Edi Rama and Miroslav Lajčák.

To "stimulate debate about the current course and future trajectory of Dutch foreign policy",[18] The Hague Institute has gathered leading officials in Dutch government for a series of "Inside View" debates focused on the effectiveness of Dutch foreign policy. On September 10, 2013, the series launched with former Dutch political directors from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands exploring the Netherlands' role in international relations, within the EU and at the United Nations.[19] The series continued with former Permanent Representatives to the United Nations on October 24, 2013 and concluded on December 11, 2013 with former Foreign Ministers of the Netherlands addressing present and future challenges of Dutch international relations.

In June 2014, the Institute, in cooperation with the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC and the National Security Archive at George Washington University, convened 35 officials and eyewitnesses for a multi-day conference on the Rwanda Genocide. The event was based on the 'critical oral history' approach. Participants included Ibrahim Gambari, Henry Kwami Anyidoho, Lord David Hannay, Prudence Bushnell, Michael N. Barnett and Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire.[20]


The Hague Institute conducts trainings for academics, field practitioners and peacekeeping professionals working in conflict settings. According to its website, the Institute intends to become a center of expertise for professional skills development on issues related to peace, security and justice.

Training School: Human Rights, Rule of Law and Good Governance in Times of Climate Change

The October 6–10, 2014 program invited 13 trainees from a pool of 110 applicants to explore and analyze legal mechanisms to climate justice. The training also addressed practical questions on how to deal with the consequences of climate change, such as migration and internal displacement.

Governance and Rule of Law Training: Re-establishing Security

The Hague Institute for Global Justice partnered with The Hague Academy for Local Governance to address challenges facing societies in early transition and fragile and conflict affected areas. The two-week training was the second in a four-week program geared towards professional practitioners from various fields, including conflict prevention, the rule of law and security sector reform. The initial two-week training took place in July 2014 at The Hague Institute and focused on "reconstituting legitimacy."[21]

Transitional Justice Fellowship Program

In partnership with The Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) based in Cape Town, South Africa, The Hague Institute invited expert scholars and practitioners from Africa for a fellowship program aimed at "developing initiatives to advance transitional justice."[22] The June 23–27, 2014 program served as an opportunity for the fellows to share personal and professional experiences and seek guidance on how to apply best practices in local contexts.[23]

Training in Project Cycle Management in Fragile and Conflict-affected States

Between March and April 2014, The Hague Institute developed a training curriculum for mid-senior level professionals in project management, with a focus on fragile and conflict-affected states. The Institute's Head of Conflict Prevention program, Dr. David Connolly, designed and led the four-day training course for the Integrated Coordination Office for Development and Humanitarian Affairs at the United Nations Mission to Iraq (ICODHA – UNAMI). The training covered the four main stages of Results-based Management (RBM), including planning, delivery/implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and reporting. The training was funded by United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).

Rule of Law and Transitional Justice in Libya The Institute's inaugural practitioner training took place in June 2013.[24] A delegation of senior judges, prosecutors and diplomats from Libya traveled to The Hague for a week-long program to explore issues related to the rule of law and transitional justice in fragile states. The training incorporated principles from The Hague Approach and empowered the delegation to address "Libya's urgent need for security and justice."[25]

The Hague Institute regularly convenes official and unofficial actors in Track II diplomacy activities.


The Hague Institute's experts and programs produce a variety publications based on research and analysis on a scope of issues affecting global justice. These publications aim to inform policymakers, academics, experts and the general public. In June 2014, the Institute launched a working paper series to complement its existing publication series of Policy Briefs[26] and Commentaries.[27] The working paper series aims to "contribute original research of the highest quality to scholarly and policy debates."[28] Recent working papers addressed just war theory, sanctions against Iran and the relationship between constitutional law and global governance.

In August 2013, the Institute published The Hague Approach Principles, six principles for achieving sustainable peace in post-conflict situations, and a comparative study of rule of law efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq titled, Promoting the Rule of Law in Peacebuilding: Lessons from Afghanistan and Iraq. Both publications, based on empirical evidence, were presented at the centennial celebrations of the Peace Palace in The Hague.[29] The Hague Approach Principles have subsequently been endorsed by current and former UN and global leaders including San-Hyun Song, Judy Cheng-Hopkins and Jan Eliasson.

The Hague Institute produces a biannual magazine called Intersections, which highlights ongoing Institute activities and features columns from public figures working at the intersection of peace, security and global justice issues. Previous contributors to the magazine include, Madeleine Albright, Michael Kirby (judge), Fatou Bensouda and Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert. The magazine is published every winter and summer.


  1. ^ "Albright crowns city with new peace institute". Archived from the original on September 28, 2011. Retrieved August 3, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Madeleine Albright". 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  3. ^ "About us". Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  4. ^ "Advisory Council". Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  5. ^ "Our Work". Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  6. ^ "Programs". Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  7. ^ "Our Work". Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  8. ^ "Programs". Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  9. ^ "Programs". Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  10. ^ "The Hague Approach: What is it? | Recent News". Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  11. ^ "The Hague Institute Commemorates Peace Palace Centenary | News Archives". Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  12. ^ "The Future of Cyber Governance | Recent News". 2014-05-19. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  13. ^ "Stockholm water week: New platform addresses conflicting claims over fresh water use". 2013-09-06. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  14. ^ "Our Work". Archived from the original on September 27, 2013. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  15. ^ "What's Next for R2P? Dr. Jennifer Welsh on the Responsibility to Protect | Recent News". 2014-10-27. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  16. ^ "The Court in the World: First Annual Justice Stephen Breyer Lecture on International Law | Recent News". 2014-04-04. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  17. ^ "Programs". Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  18. ^ "The Effectiveness of Dutch Foreign Policy: Defense and Development | Recent News". 2014-03-25. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  19. ^ "Part I: Herman Schaper: The loss of domestic consensus on foreign policy and its consequences". 2013-09-13. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  20. ^ "UN cables Reveal a Turning Point in Rwanda Crisis". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  21. ^ "First Module on Governance and Rule of Law ‘Inspiring and Insightful’ | Recent News". 2014-07-21. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  22. ^ "Transitional Justice Fellowship Program | Recent News". 2014-04-29. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  23. ^ "In conversation with Sylvain Makangu: Transitional Justice and Reconciliation in DRC". 2014-06-26. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  24. ^ "The Hague Institute Launches Professional Training Program | Recent News". 2013-06-18. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  25. ^ "Recent". 2013-09-16. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  26. ^ "Publications". Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  27. ^ "Recent Commentary". doi:10.1017/S0020589314000438. Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  28. ^ "Publications". Retrieved 2015-03-16. 
  29. ^ "The Hague Institute Commemorates Peace Palace Centenary | Recent News". Retrieved 2015-03-16. 

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