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.

Call for Papers: 2015 ILA-ASIL Asia-Pacific Research Forum, Taipei, Taiwan

Dear readers of the Invisible College Blog,

The Chinese (Taiwan) Society of International Law will hold the ILA-ASIL Asia-Pacific Research Forum on May 25-26, 2015 in Taipei, Taiwan. The theme of the Research Forum is “Integrating the Asia-Pacific: Why International Law Matters?” Paper proposals should be submitted by January 20, 2015 to ila@nccu.edu.tw.

The call for papers is available at http://www.csil.org.tw/2015-research-forum/. Other inquiries can be directed to Pasha Hsieh, co-chair of the Research Forum (pashahsieh@smu.edu.sg).

Many thanks,


The Sustainable Development Goals Process: Making International Water Law More Sustainable and Ecosystem and Public Participation-Friendly

Dear readers,

please have a look at my blog post on The Sustainable Development Goals Process: Making International Water Law More Sustainable and Ecosystem and Public Participation-Friendly: http://www.internationalwaterlaw.org/blog/2014/09/21/the-sustainable-development-goals-process-making-international-water-law-more-sustainable-and-ecosystem-and-public-participation-friendly/.


Venice Academy of Human Rights 2014 – “Judicial Legitimacy and the Rule of Law”

See also this page.

The Venice Academy of Human Rights will take place from 7-16 July 2014.

The theme of this year’s academy is ‘Judicial Legitimacy and the Rule of Law’.

Online applications are accepted until 4 May 2014.

The Academy offers an “early bird” registration with a reduced participation fee until 15 March 2014.

Faculty of the Venice Academy 2014

Distinguished Opening Lecture
Paul Mahoney, Judge at the European Court of Human Rights

General Course
Gráinne de Búrca, Florence Ellinwood Allen Professor of Law, NYU

Philip G. Alston, John Norton Pomeroy Professor of Law, NYU

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

Geir Ulfstein, Professor of International Law and Deputy 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

Jeremy Waldron, University Professor of Law, NYU and Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory, University of Oxford

Michael Zürn, Professor of International Relations at the Free University Berlin and Director of the Research Unit Global Governance at Social Science Research Center Berlin (Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung, WZB)

You can view the detailed programme here.

Call for Applications: Master of Governance and Human Rights in Berlin

• You seek to tackle a human rights challenge through your own project?

• You wish to study at a renowned German institution while staying on your job?

• You want to combine theory and practice in the course of your studies?

Then Master of Governance and Human Rights at HUMBOLDT-VIADRINA School of Governance offers you the training you need to work as a socially and politically committed leader who is able to take decisions, drive change and interact with and within the three areas of economy, politics and civil society.

The programme covers the theory and practical application of governance and human rights and introduces students to the essential tools they need to advance their ideas.

This programme is delivered in English and in blended-learning format, with the majority of learning taking place via distance learning online.

This will be supplemented by 10 face-to-face days in Berlin per semester.

Prospective students have to apply with a first project idea which will be developed during the Master programme with the support of experienced project coaches and a personal tutor. The School’s educational approach of project-based learning enables its students to use human rights as a tool for positive transformation with regards e.g. to the corporate culture of company, an advocacy strategy of a civil society organisation or the ethical sustainability of a public urban planning project.

Main facts about the Master of Governance and Human Rights:
• You design and implement your own project idea – in collaboration with your employer or a partner organisation
• You can stay on your job, while taking part in our distance learning and 4 on-campus seminars à 10 days in Berlin
• You approach human rights and governance from an interdisciplinary perspective combining theory and practice
• HUMBOLDT-VIADRINA offers an unique learning experience with small student groups comprised of experienced practitioners and top-notch lecturers
• You receive a Master degree in “Governance and Human Rights” from Humboldt University (Berlin) and European University Viadrina (Frankfurt/Oder)

For more information, see the website of the Governance and Human Rights programme.

Vacancy Announcement – Senior Researcher (Postdoc) in International and European Sports Law

The T.M.C. Asser Instituut is a unique and leading inter-university research centre specialized in the field of international and European law. Its core activities of fundamental and applied research, postgraduate education, consultancy, knowledge dissemination and valorization are predominantly carried out on and from its premises in The Hague.

The Asser International Sports Law Centre (AISLC) was established in 2002 within the framework of the T.M.C. Asser Instituut. It provides high quality research, legal consultancy, and academic services to the sporting world at large (including sports ministries, international and intergovernmental organizations, sports associations and federations, the professional sports industry, etc.) on both a national and international basis. As a pioneer in the field of international sports law, the AISLC has established a worldwide network of academics and practitioners and cooperation agreements with various sports law institutes and centres in Europe and beyond. The AISLC edits and publishes the International Sports Law Journal (ISLJ) and the Asser International Sports Law book series and organizes a range of seminars, conferences, and training events.

The T.M.C. Asser Instituut is looking to appoint a full-time (38 hours per week) Senior Researcher in international and European sports law to join its dynamic and multinational research team.

Senior Researcher (Postdoc) in international and European sports law (Full-time)

Job description

As an active member of this Sports Law team, you will contribute to the acquisition, development and carrying out of (new) research projects and initiatives in close collaboration with the cluster coordinator.

The specific tasks of the successful candidate will include the following:

• You will conduct fundamental and applied, comparative research in the area of international and European sports law at an advanced level, leading to high-level academic publications and high quality advice/opinions for a multitude of clients.
• You will acquire and carry out externally financed research and academic service projects and participate in coordinating tasks in the management of projects.
• You will be expected, where possible and appropriate, to give presentations on your specific subject field.
• You will help organize dissemination activities such as trainings, workshops and conferences.
• You will maintain and further develop an international network of experts and stakeholders.


• You have recently completed your Ph.D. in an area of law relevant to sport.
• You have a good knowledge of EU law.
• You have a broad general knowledge of European and international sports law. Prior professional expertise in this specialist area, as can be demonstrated by publications and/or experience in legal practice, is desirable. It is more important, however, that you can demonstrate great potential and commitment to pursue a research career in the area of International and European sports law.
• You have an established record of research, publications, and acquisition of external funding for research and dissemination projects.
• You have experience in participating in collaborative research projects and are open to carry out inter-disciplinary research.
• You are an ambitious and motivated scholar with an international profile and an extensive professional network.
• You have excellent writing and presentation skills for promoting and reporting on research.
• You have an excellent command of English, both written and spoken. Knowledge of Dutch and other languages is an asset.
• You are flexible, proactive, and able to work both independently and as a strong team-player.
• You are capable of performing well under the stress of strict deadlines.

Our offer

We offer employment as full-time senior researcher initially for 1 year, but renewable for a period of up to 6 years. The Institute is affiliated with the University of Amsterdam, whose conditions of employment are applicable. The salary will be in accordance with the CAO of the Dutch Universities and depending on the candidate’s qualifications and experience. The gross yearly salary (including holiday pay and an extra monthly payment) will be between € 45,742. — and € 62,627.–.

How to apply?

Applications should comprise a letter of motivation, curriculum vitae in EUROPAS format, a list of publications and the contact details of two referees. Applications must be sent in English, in MS-Word format to HRM@asser.nl before October 15, 2013.

Further information about the position can be obtained from Dr. Ben Van Rompuy, e-mail b.van.rompuy@asser.nl phone +31-(0)70-3420 361) and Drs. Julien Simon, Head of Human Resources, e-mail J.Simon@asser.nl, phone +31-(0)70-3420 375.

Can States Stand Idly By?: Bystander Obligations at the Domestic and International Level Compared

It is always interesting to compare the obligations of States at the international level with the obligations of individuals at the national level. Such a comparison is also interesting when it comes to the obligations of other States to intervene in Syria. In a post published at Opinio Juris, I have suggested some lessons we can learn from domestic experience.

See: Syria Insta-Symposium: Otto Spijkers–Can States Stand Idly By?: Bystander Obligations at the Domestic and International Level Compared.

SHARES Seminar on the EU Accession to the European Convention on Human Rights

On 5 April 2013, a draft agreement was concluded on the modalities for the accession of the European Union to the European Convention on Human Rights. The seminar critically reflects on one key aspect of the draft agreement: the allocation of international responsibility between the EU and its Member States, as well as between the Member States. In particular, it reviews whether the agreement adequately addresses the gaps in human rights protection that presently arise from the specific relationship between the EU and its Member States.

During this seminar, four issues will be discussed: attribution and responsibility; the co-respondent mechanism; allocation of responsibility within the legal order of the EU; and the relationship with the case law of the European Court of Human Rights.

Information can be found on the SHARES website.

The capacity of the venue is limited. To attend the event you must register in advance, please contact Iona Tjiong at: shares-fdr@uva.nl.