About Otto Spijkers

Otto Spijkers is Assistant Professor of Public International Law at Utrecht University. He was also guest lecturer at the Université catholique d'Afrique centrale (Yaoundé, Cameroon) and Leiden University. Previously, he was a PhD candidate and lecturer at the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies at the University of Leiden. His doctoral dissertation, entitled The United Nations, the Evolution of Global Values and International Law, was published with Intersentia in 2011. He also worked as public services coordinator at the Peace Palace Library, as international consultant for the United Nations International Law Fellowship Programme, as intern for the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and as intern for the Office of Legal Affairs of United Nations Headquarters. Otto Spijkers is also editor and author of the Invisible College Blog, the blog of the School of Human Rights Research. Otto Spijkers studied the basics of international relations at the University of Sussex. He then studied international law at the University of Amsterdam, New York University School of Law (exchange student), and the Hague Academy of International Law (2009 session). He also studied philosophy at the University of Amsterdam and the University of Malta (exchange). He also obtained a Diplôme approfondi de langue française.

Utrecht University Summer School on Human Rights

From the summer of 2015, Utrecht University will begin offering three summer school options:

International Human Rights Law: An Introduction (one week course)

International Law from a Gender Perspective (one week course)

Specialty Track: Human Rights and Gender (two week combined course)

Please click on the links above to find out more and to register!

Many thanks,


Venice Academy of Human Rights – “(Dis)Integration through Human Rights: Citizens, Courts, Communities”

The Venice Academy of Human Rights will take place from 6-15 July 2015.

The theme of this year’s academy is ‘(Dis)Integration through Human Rights: Citizens, Courts, Communities’.

Online applications are accepted until 3 May 2015.
The Academy offers an “early bird” registration with a reduced participation fee until 15 March 2015.

Faculty of the Venice Academy 2015

Distinguished Opening Lecture
Albie Sachs, Former Judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa

General Course
Will Kymlicka, Canada Research Chair in Political Philosophy, Queen’s University

Armin v. Bogdandy, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Heidelberg

Andreas Føllesdal, Professor of Political Philosophy at the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights and Director of the Norwegian Centre of Excellence PluriCourts for the Study of the Legitimate Roles of the Judiciary in the Global Order, University of Oslo

Marc Weller, Professor of International Law and International Constitutional Studies and Director of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge

Marlene Wind, EURECO Professor and Director of the Centre for European Politics, University of Copenhagen

You can view the detailed programme here.

Key Facts
Participants: Academics, practitioners, PhD/JSD and master students
Type of courses: Lectures, seminars, workshops and discussion sessions
Number of hours: up to 35 hours of courses
Location: Monastery of San Nicolò, Venice – Lido, Italy
Fees: 500 EUR (early bird registration until 15 March), 600 EUR (16 March – 3 May 2015)

Venice Academy of Human Rights
The Venice Academy of Human Rights is an international programme of excellence for human rights education, research and debate. It forms part of the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC).
The Academy offers interdisciplinary thematic programmes open to academics, practitioners, doctoral and master students with an advanced knowledge of human rights. Participants attend morning lectures, participate in discussion sessions and workshops and can exchange views, ideas and arguments with leading international scholars and experts. This includes the opportunity for a number of participants to present and discuss their own “work in progress” such as drafts of articles, chapters of books or doctoral theses and receive comments from faculty members and peers.
At the end of the programme, participants receive a Certificate of Attendance issued by the Venice Academy of Human Rights.

Human Rights after Human Rights (Conference)

This conference will explore themes and perspectives that have emerged after and as a reaction to the increasing number of human rights critiques in the recent years. Some of these have been of such a fundamental nature that they have left not few researchers in the field with a nagging doubt about human rights and their status as an ideological project and a so-called ‘last utopia’. Still, human rights continue to play a significant role both in high-level politics and, even more importantly, in grassroots initiatives, becoming in fact the dominant vocabulary for expressing and challenging injustices. This two day event provides an opportunity to confront the challenges that result from the ambivalence of human rights.

For more information and practicalities, see this flyer.

Conference on ‘Urgency and Human Rights’

The Department of International and European Law of the Law Faculty of the Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands in cooperation with the Seconda Università di Napoli, Dipartimento di Giurisprudenza, Italy and Ghent Human Rights Centre, Belgium will host a two-day conference on ‘Urgency and Human Rights’ planned for Friday 29 and Saturday 30 May 2015, in Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

This conference firstly aims to bring together existing scholarship regarding urgency and human rights and discuss the evolving practices in this respect with practitioners.

Secondly, its objective is to allow for in-depth discussion of what should be the role of the domestic judiciary when dealing with urgent cases.

For the Call for Papers and the Concept Paper for the conference see: www.ru.nl/law/urgencyandhumanrights.

Thessaloniki Summer Courses on International Law and Human Rights

The Kalliopi Koufa Foundation on the Promotion of International Law and Human Rights organizes the inaugural session of the Thessaloniki Summer Courses on International Law and Human Rights from 1 to 10 July 2015 in Thessaloniki, Greece, on the topic of “International Aspects and Issues of Energy Law”. The Thessaloniki Summer Courses are open to students, especially LLM students and PhD candidates, researchers and practitioners from all over the world.
The 2015 course will introduce the subject of international energy law and examine its links and interaction with various relevant fields of international law, such as environmental law, investment law and arbitration, trade law, law of the sea etc. The session will consist of 10-day intensive, introductory and specialized, courses on the topic as well as lectures, roundtables and discussions involving academics, experts and practitioners.
The Faculty of the 2015 session includes, among others: Catherine Redgwell (University of Oxford), August Reinisch (University of Vienna), Andreas Ziegler (University of Lausanne), Andrea Bjorklund (McGill University), Anastasia Strati (Greek MFA and European Commission), Danae Azaria (University College London).
For more information including registration and the provisional programme, please click here.

Dear readers of the blog,

At the request of UNIS Geneva, please find in this letter some information on the next Graduate Study Programme which is now planned for 6 to 17 July 2015. Please note that the deadline for applications is 27 February 2015. If you have any questions on this programme, please contact: cmomal-vanian@unog.ch.



Uitnodiging Film en Debat van Movies that Matter Den Haag

Uitnodiging Film en Debat
Movies that Matter Den Haag

Locatie: Filmhuis Den Haag (Spui 191)
Datum: Zondag 11 januari 2015
Aanvang: 14.00 uur
Toegang: 8,50 euro*
Reserveren: (070) 365 60 30

Op zondag 11 januari a.s. is de screening door Movies that Matter on Tour van de speelfilm Siddharth (2013) van regisseur Richie Mehta in het Filmhuis Den Haag.

De arme ritsenmaker Mahendra woont met zijn gezin in een provinciestadje in India. Hij komt nauwelijks rond en stuurt zijn twaalf jaar oude zoon Siddharth naar New Delhi voor een tijdelijke baan in een fabriek. Wanneer de jongen na enkele maanden niet naar huis komt, begint Mahendra zich ernstige zorgen te maken. Van lokale autoriteiten verneemt hij dat zijn zoon mogelijk slachtoffer is geworden van mensenhandel. Hij start de zoektocht naar zijn Siddharth: een haast onmogelijke missie in een land met 1,2 miljard inwoners. Prachtig verteld verhaal, gebaseerd op een werkelijke ontmoeting met ouders van in India vermiste kinderen.

Na de film wordt een toelichting gegeven door Luuk Esser. Hij is als onderzoeker werkzaam bij de Nationaal Rapporteur Mensenhandel en ook als promovendus bij het Instituut voor Strafrecht en Criminologie van de Universiteit Leiden.

Speelfilm, 96 min.
Gesproken taal: Hindi, Engels ondertiteld