Summer courses

If you have a keen interest in international law, or one of its sub-domains, taking a summer course may be a useful and exciting way to expand your knowledge and strengthen your curriculum, while broadening your horizons and getting to know like-minded students, as well as researchers and practitioners from other countries.

The range of existing summer schools is very wide. The content of the programmes, the cost, timing and application requirements vary considerably. Below is a non-exhaustive list of qualitative summer schools with renowned institutions, which may be of interest to students. It is noted that many other summer schools exist. In particular, the present page does not cover summer schools in the human rights field. Information on relevant international human rights summer schools can be found on the separate International Human Rights Courses Blog by GRILI members Yves Haeck and Clara Burbano Herrero (the blog also contains information on human rights traineeships and vacancies in Europe).

The GRILI cannot guarantee that all information provided is accurate and up-to-date. Not all summer schools are offered every year. Students are expected to further verify and explore the relevant information (including deadlines for application) on their own initiative. We invite users of this page to notify the GRILI contact persons if certain links are not functioning or if relevant information is found missing. In addition, Ghent students or alumni that do a summer school are invited to signal this to the GRILI so that their experiences may be shared with future candidates.

A useful way to periodically receive up-to-date information on international law summer schools (as well as, for instance, academic vacancies) is to keep track of the weekly announcements on the EJIL:Talk! Blog or to sign up for e-mail alerts by EJIL:Talk!, Opinio Juris or International Law Reporter.

Please note that because of Covid-19, many summer schools have switched to online classes during the summer of 2020 or are postponed to 2021. Always check the summer school's homepage for the latest information.

General courses on Public International Law / International and Comparative Law

Summer Course of the Hague Academy of International Law

  • The Hague, Netherlands.
  • Two sessions of 3 weeks each, one focusing on Public International Law (July) and one on Private International Law (July-August). 
  • Application requirements: at least 4 years of university studies (including lectures on international law) or a 3-year law degree on the date of the opening of the upcoming summer course. Candidates must also have proper knowledge of one of the two working languages (English or French), although a certificate is not required when applying.
  • Cost: € 1150 for each three-week session or € 2050 for both.
  • Scholarships: An exclusively merit-based scholarship programme allows approximately 20% of participants to the Summer Courses to receive financial assistance from public and private funding sources.
  • Available places tend to fill up quickly (Registration starts November 1st and is done on a first-come, first-served basis).
  • Students with a proven advanced knowledge of the field can also participate in an exam to obtain a diploma from the Hague Academy. In light of the extremely selective nature of the examination, the diploma is issued to only one or two candidates per period.

Helsinki Summer Seminar on International Law

  • Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights, University of Helsinki.
  • Helsinki, Finland.
  • One-week series of lectures and debates (August) focussing every year on a different international law topic.
  • Cost: € 200 for students and post graduates and € 300 for professionals (does not cover accommodation costs, travel tickets, coffee or meals)
  • No scholarships available.
  • Registration begins at the end of April.

Munich Advanced Course in International Law

  • Ludwig-Maximilians Universität München.
  • Munich, Germany.
  • Two weeks (August) of intense and in-depth study of Public International Law for approximately 30 participants.
  • Application requirements: basic knowledge of Public International Law and advanced knowledge of English.
  • Aimed at Graduate students of law or any related field (e.g. International Relations) and academics that work in the field of Public International Law. Undergraduate students of law or a related field may also apply if they already have substantial experience in their studies and are able to show a keen interest in Public International Law.
  • Cost: € 100 (early birds), € 200 registration fee, € 500 tuition fee, and € 430 accomodation.
  • A number of tuition fee waivers are available based on academic performance.
  • Respective deadlines: March 1st (early birds), May 1st (final deadline).
  • All participants receive a certificate of attendance (4 ECTS credits without a grade). If you choose to sit a written exam, the course counts for 6 ECTS credits.

Paris Summer Institute

  • Cornell Law School & Sorbonne Law School.
  • Paris, France.
  • Four-week program focused on International and comparative law.
  • Application requirements: application is open to law students (completed at least one year of law studies) and lawyers; proof of English proficiency required.
  • Cost: $150 application fee, $ 3900 - $ 4400 (depending on the time of application). Students are responsible for their own housing, transportation and meals.
  • Application opens in October, final deadline: June 1st. Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis, beginning in October, until enrollment if full.

U.S.-German Summer School in International and comparative Law

  • Justus Liebig University Giessen (Franz von Liszt-Institut für internationales Recht und Rechtsvergleichung) in cooperation with the University of Wiscinson.
  • Giessen, Germany.
  • Two-week program with a choice of 2 out of 4 courses on international human rights law and international humanitarian law.
  • The program is designed for undergraduate students, graduate students and young professionals interested in international and comparative law.
  • Cost: € 100 application fee for one course and € 150 for both courses.
  • Scholarship options available.
  • Application deadline in July.
  • Participants can earn 6 ECTS credits (3 for each course) for successfully passing the academic program as well as 1 ECTS credit for the successful participation in the (optional) German language course.

Martens Summer School on International Law

  • Faculty of Law of the University of Tartu.
  • Pärnu, Estonia.
  • The one-week course (end of July) deals with comparative aspects of international law and human rights, particularly focusing on the issues related to Russia and Eurasia. Each year 4 distinguished lecturers from different countries are invited, and each lecturer will present 5 lectures over 5 days of the week.
  • Aimed at graduate and post-graduate students of law, international relations and history who already have basic knowledge of international law and who are also specifically interested in legal-political developments in Russia and the CIS countries. Practitioners from ministries, think tanks, NGOs, etc in these areas are also encouraged to apply. Approximately 25-30 students are allowed.
  • Cost:  € 50 admission fee, a limited number of places are reserved for applicants at a nearby hostel for the price of € 135.
  • Application deadline in May.
  • The programme awards 2 ECTS credits with the option of 4 ECTS credits in case the student submits an individual research paper.

International Law & International Humanitarian Law

  • University of Geneva.
  • Geneva, Switzerland
  • This three-week programme is split into two modules focussing on general international law (week one and two) and international humanitarian law (week three) respectively, during each of the courses attention is given to some of the present-day hot topics in international law.
  • The course is aimed towards upper-year undergraduates, Master's degree students and Professionals and is done entirely in English.
  • Cost: CHF 2100 for the first module, CHF for the 1300 for the second module, CHF 2600 for both modules.
  • Students who satisfy attendance will receive a certificate of completion. Possibility of receiving 6 (first module), 3 (second module) or 9 (both modules) ECTS credits upon completion of the courses.

International Humanitarian Law and Transitional Justice

Summer course on International Humanitarian Law

  • International Institute of Humanitarian Law.
  • San Remo, Italy, and Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Two-week intensive course (one week in San Remo and one week in Geneva) for 50 participants (professionals and graduate students) on international humanitarian law and human rights.
  • Cost: € 1800 registration fee (accomodation not included).
  • No scholarschips available.
  • The participants will receive a certificate in International Humanitarian Law after completion of the programme.

International Humanitarian law in theory and practice

  • Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies, Leiden University.
  • The Hague, the Netherlands.
  • One-week intensive course aimed at law students, researchers and professionals working in the field of human rights and transitional justice. A maximum of 40 participants may be allowed to partake. English proficiency is required (a certificate is not however).
  • Cost: € 800 - € 950 (accomodation not included).
  • No scholarschips available.
  • Application deadline: Before the 1st of January.
  • The participants will receive a certificate of participation after completion of the programme with a possibility of obtaining 2 ECTS credits.

International Criminal Law

International Criminal law from theory to practice

  • Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies, Leiden University.
  • The Hague, the Netherlands.
  • Two-week intensive course for 75 participants aimed at law students (who have completed at least one year of their degree), young graduates and professionals with a background in law. English proficiency is required (a certificate is not however).
  • Cost: € 1150 - € 1300 course fee (accomodation not included).
  • No scholarships available.
  • Application deadline: Before the 1st of January.
  • The participants will receive a certificate of participation after completion of the programme with a possibility of obtaining 4 ECTS credits.

Summer School on International Criminal Justice

  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  • This course offers a multidisciplinary approach to designing effective “real-world” response strategies and understanding the underlying human behaviour of mass atrocity crimes.
  • Two-week course aimed at advanced bachelor-level students of Law, Criminology, Criminal Justice, Sociology, History, Journalism, Anthropology, Political Science and Psychology. English proficiency is required (a certificate is not however)
  • Cost: € 1150 tuition fee.
  • Participants have to prepare both a presentation and a short paper for which 3 ECTS credits may be awarded.

Specialization Course in International Criminal law, human rights, criminal justice and international Law

  • Siracusa International Institute for Criminal Justice and Human Rights
  • Siracusa, Italy.
  • Ten-day intensive course for 60 participants. 
  • Application requirements: Participants should have at a minimum a first degree in law, having graduated in the last eight years (between 2007 and 2015), and be 35 years of age or under.
  • Cost: € 800 registration fee, € 500 for accomodation.
  • Scholarships: 10 scholarships to applicants from developing and less developed countries.
  • Deadline in March.
  • Every participant in the Specialization Course receives a certificate of attendance to the course.
  • Covid-19: Course moved to December

International Law and Human Rights

Summer school in international human rights law

  • René Cassin International Institute of Human Rights.
  • Strasbourg, France.
  • The Institute holds two summer courses of two weeks each, on Human Rights Law and on International Criminal Law & Humanitarian Law.
  • Aimed at students with an advanced level in law, political sciences, human or social sciences; professors and researchers; professionals dealing with human rights issues; civil servants; NGO’s.
  • Application requirements: fluency in French and English.
  • Cost: To be determined.
  • Covid-19: Course on human rights law moved to October and one-week format, cost € 300, courses provided in French only, registration by October 5th). Course on International Criminal and Humanitarian Law split into a one-week courses on international criminal law (moved to December, cost € 300) and a course on international humanitarian law (moved to October, cost € 300).

Academy of European Law Summer School

  • The European University Institute.
  • Fiesole (Florence), Italy.
  • The Academy of European Law (AEL) holds two summer courses of two weeks each, on Human Rights Law and the Law of the European Union.
  • Application requirements: applicants must hold a 3-year law degree, or have completed at least 4 years of university studies, including courses on international law and/or EU Law.
  • Cost: € 1000 for one course and € 1600 for both courses (accomodation and travel not included).
  • No scholarships or fee waivers available.
  • Applications are considered on a rolling basis.
  • A certificate of attendance is given at the end of the course.
  • The Academy's Diploma examination is held on the last day of each course. Only those participants who demonstrate the highest competence in the subject are awarded the Diploma, exceptionally cum laude.

Intensive Courses on Human Rights Law

  • Abo Akademi University.
  • Turku, Finland.
  • The Institute for Human Rights organizes intensive (one–two weeks) human rights law courses (one during the summer), which are taught by internationally renowned human rights experts.
  • The course is designed for PhD students, scholars, practitioners (e.g. law, human rights or development), policy-makers and advanced master's students. The number of participants is restricted to 30.
  • Cost: € 700 (accomodation and travel not included).
  • Those who successfully complete the course, including the written examination, will receive a Diploma equivalent to 10 ECTS credits. With no written examination, the participants will receive a Certificate of Attendance equivalent to 2 ECTS credits.

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in International Law: Human Rights and Beyond

  • Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies, Leiden University.
  • The Hague, the Netherlands.
  • This summer school focuses on the emergence of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) and intersex issues in different areas of international law, such as human rights law, refugee law and international criminal law
  • Ten-day intensive course aimed at advanced law students, Legal and other professionals in governmental and non-governmental organisations (maximum of 50 participants). Completion of at least one year of university education is required, as is some knowledge of law, especially human rights law and gender issues.
  • Cost: € 1000 - € 1150 course fee (accomodation not included)

International Law of the Sea and Maritime Law

Summer Academy at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea

  • International foundation for the Law of the Sea.
  • Hamburg, Germany.
  • Four-week programme with two modules of two weeks, the first focusing on International Law of the Sea and the second on Maritime Law from an international perspective, interspersed by lectures from other scientific areas connected to the maritime environment.
  • It is designed for 35 participants: highly qualified graduates, diplomats, civil servants and advocates.
  • Application requirements: As a rule, applicants are expected to be in possession of a Master's  degree (LL.M. or equivalent) and to have an advanced knowledge of public international law, Law of the Sea or Maritime Law. A good knowledge of English and French is required.
  • Upon completion of the course, Participants will receive a certificate issued by the Foundation. Participants that successfully take the exam in the Summer Academy’s last week will receive a qualified certificate.
  • The course fees are determined on an annual basis and cover half board accommodation (For 2019 the fee was € 1590).

International Nuclear Law

International School of Nuclear Law

  • OECD Nuclear Energy Agency & University of Montpellier.
  • Montpellier, France.
  • Ten-day programme designed to provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of the various interrelated legal issues relating to the safe, efficient and secure use of nuclear energy.
  • Application requirements: applicants must have an undergraduate university degree in a relevant discipline as well as sufficient knowledge of English.
  • Cost: € 2500 for professionals and € 550 for students enrolled in a degree-granting program at the time of the application deadline (accomodation and travel not included).
  • Financial support: The NEA awards grants to students from its member countries qualified to participate in this programme. Financial support is also available from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
  • ISNL participants have the possibility to apply for a University Diploma (Diplôme d'université - D.U.) in International Nuclear Law from the University of Montpellier.

International Arbitration

International Arbitration Training Course

  • Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies, Leiden University, in cooperation with the Permanent Court of Arbitration.
  • The Hague, the Netherlands.
  • Five-day programme designed for a maximum of 40 participants. Applicants should be advanced law students, researchers or professionals. The course focuses on the theory and practice of international arbitration as a distinct field of the law and field of legal practice. Besides a general introduction to the principles and practice of international arbitration, the programme also offers several thematic courses.
  • Cost: € 950 course fee (accomodation not included).
  • No scholarschips available.
  • All participants receive a certificate of participation.

Other Summer Courses

The Summer School on Law and Logic

  • The European University Institute – Harvard Law School.
  • Fiesole (Florence), Italy.
  • This course is designed to give students rigorous training in a wide variety of logical methods that can assist in the analysis of law for all kinds of legal analysts, including students, lawyers, judges and scholars. The overall framework for the course is the Logocratic Method, a systematic method for assessing the strengths and weaknesses of arguments, including, but not limited to, legal arguments.
  • One-week course for max 45 participants.
  • Cost: € 430 registration fee (accomodation not included).

Recurring Courses

In addition to the foregoing, there are various academic institutions whose summer course offering varies from one year to another. Students are advised to access the relevant homepages for up-to-date information.