The Forum seeks to foster public debate on issues of international humanitarian law by organizing regularly panel discussions and lectures on current problems and issues in this area.
As from 2011, the Forum hosted the following public events:
25. On Friday 15 September, the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies and the Kalshoven-Gieskes Forum on International Humanitarian Law successfully opened the Regular and Advanced Public International Law LL.M. programmes with a lecture on the prosecution of war crimes and terrorism in the Netherlands. The lecture and discussion were preceded by a tribute to Prof. em. Frits Kalshoven, who passed away at the beginning of September. Mr. Rogier Bartels, Mr. Jeroen van den Boogaard and the KGF’s Director Dr. Robert Heinsch shared some memories and spoke about Professor Kalshoven’s life and career. Afterwards, Advocate-General Simon Minks (The Hague Court of Appeals) and criminal lawyer Michiel Pestman (Prakken d’ Oliveira Amsterdam) presented some of their experiences in the field of international cases involving international crimes and terrorism and had a short discussion.
24. On 8 June 2017, the Kalshoven-Gieskes Forum on International Humanitarian Law, in cooperation with the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies and the Netherlands Red Cross, hosted a panel discussion in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the 1977 Additional Protocols. Ms. Mirjam de Bruin (the Netherlands Red Cross) and Dr. Robert Heinsch (Leiden University) provided a short introduction on the history and relevance of the Additional Protocols. The panelists included: Prof. Horst Fischer (Leiden University, humanitarian and academic perspective), Dr. Hans Boddens Hosang (military and operational perspective), Ms. Mireille Hector (state perspective, NL Ministry of Foreign Affairs), and Judge Alphons Orie (ICTY, judicial perspective). Following the presentations, the panel had a short discussion on several topics including universal jurisdiction, impunity and the need for increased attention for compliance and enforcement of IHL.
23. On 26-28 January 2017, five of our IHL Clinic students of the winter semester 2016/17 (Ms. Clara Burkard, Mr. David Koeller, Mr. Ashwin Manoharan, Ms. Yildiz Miller and Ms. Cristina San Juan Serrano) and their IHL Clinic supervisors (Ms. Christine Tremblay, LL.M. and Ms. Sofia Poulopoulou, LL.M.) participated in a research visit to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva, Switzerland. The students and their supervisors were offered the opportunity to participate in various interactive sessions on specific topics of IHL, to interact directly with the ICRC staff, and discuss the status of their project as part of an ongoing cooperation between the Forum and the ICRC. Moreover, the students and their supervisors had the chance to visit the library, archives and museum of the ICRC and get an invaluable insight into its work and mandate.
22. On 27 October 2016, the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies and the Kalshoven-Gieskes Forum on IHL hosted the Common Fall Lecture of the Regular and Advanced PIL LL.M. Programs and the Opening Lecture of the 2016/2017 IHL Lecture Series: “IHL and Humanitarian Assistance in Contemporary Armed Conflicts against the Background of the Current Refugee Crisis”. The lecture was given by the EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, and special guest speaker, Mr. Christos Stylianides.
21. On 18 October 2016, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Robert Heinsch participated in an expert workshop on “Litigating Drone Attacks”, hosted by the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) in Berlin. The event addressed the impact of drone wars on law, warfare and society. On the first day of the workshop, Dr. Heinsch gave a presentation on “Difficulties in prosecuting drone-strikes under international humanitarian and international criminal law”.
20. On 4 October 2016, Roma Tre Law School launched their newly established IHL Clinic, directed by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Giulio Bartolini. For this occasion, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Robert Heinsch and Ms. Sofia Poulopoulou, LL.M. of the Forum, were invited to Rome to give the inaugural lecture at the start of the University’s IHL Course / Clinic. The IHL Clinic at Roma Tre will be part of an ongoing international cooperation together with Emory Law School, Radzyner Law School, and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
19. On 3 October 2016, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Robert Heinsch was invited to give a presentation to the Legal Advisors of the Italian Armed Forces at the “Centro Alti Studi per la Difesa” in Rome. During this visit, he presented an overview of the current version of the ILA study group report on “The Conduct of Hostilities under IHL – Challenges of 21st Century Warfare”.
18. On 7-11 August 2016, Dr. Robert Heinsch and Prof. Robin Geiss attended the 77th ILA conference in Johannesburg, South Africa. During the conference, they presented the final report of their study group on “Conduct of Hostilities under IHL – Challenges of 21st Century Warfare”. This concludes a 4-year process of
research and discussion within a group 25 IHL experts from around the world. The report will be published later in the year.
17. On 30 March 2016, the Forum hosted a panel discussion on the topic of “The Dynamics of the Syria Conflict: Challenges for Contemporary International Law”. Panelists included Prof. Niels Blokker (Introductory speech), Prof. Nico Schrijver (The UN perspective on the conflict in Syria), Prof. Peter Rodrigues (Refugee law in relation to the humanitarian tragedy in Syria), Dr. Giulio Bartolini (Selected issues of international humanitarian law in the context of the conflict in Syria), and Dr. Robert Heinsch (Syria and international criminal law: what are the possibilities?).
16. On 16-20 November 2015, four members of the spring-semester International Humanitarian Law Clinic of the Forum (Claerwen O’Hara, Lucy Turner, Anne Plouy and Louis Léonet) attended the “RIPE71 Conference on Internet-related Issues” in Bucharest, Romania as a result of the report they submitted to the Netherlands red Cross.
15. On 15-20 November, Dr. Heinsch and Prof. Laurie Blank from Emory Law School (Atlanta, USA) and Adv. Yael Vias Gvirsman (Herzliya, Israel) organized a five-day international IHL clinic exchange conference in Tel Aviv.
14. On 6-7 November 2015, four members of the International Humanitarian Law Clinic of the Kalshoven-Gieskes Forum participated in the 4th Annual Alumni Meeting of the ECCHR. The representatives of the clinic got an insight into the human rights work of this NGO and exchanged ideas and experiences with other international lawyers from all around the world.
13. On 18-20 October 2015, the ILA Study Group on Conduct in Hostilities organized a meeting on “Conduct of hostilities and Modern Warfare” at the University of Oslo. It brought together 20 international experts from around the world to further deepen the analysis of the current regime of international humanitarian law.
12. On 25-26 June 2015, the Forum and the Fundación Internacional Baltasar Garzón (FIBGAR) hosted an expert workshop on “Universal Jurisdiction Guidelines”, to discuss a new set of guidelines for the or the important area of “Universal Jurisdiction”. The two-day expert workshop in The Hague brought together 12 European experts on Universal Jurisdiction who discussed how the existing principles on Universal Jurisdiction could be amended to better protect the victims of these atrocity crimes and to enable faster and more efficient prosecution on a national level.
11. On 19 May 2015, the Forum hosted a panel discussion on the work of the UN Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People with Ambassador Zahir Tanin (Vice-Chair of the CEIRPP), Ambassador Riyad Mansour (Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the UN), and Dr. Victor Kattan (National University of Singapore).
10. On 17 December 2014, the Forum hosted with the T.M.C. Asser Institute a book launch and panel discussion on “Nuclear Weapons under International Law” with Dr. Nobuo Hayashi from ILPI (Oslo), Dr. Erik Koppe (Leiden), Dr. Daniel Rezene Mekonnen (Oslo), as well as Dr. Dieter Fleck (Formerly Ministry of Defence, Germany), discussing recent new developments in the area of limiting the use and proliferation of nuclear weapons.
9. On 25 November 2014, the Forum together with the T.M.C. Asser Institute hosted a panel discussion on “Applying International Humanitarian Law in Judicial and Quasi-Judical Bodies” with Judge Christopher Greenwood from the International Court of Justice, Judge Silvia Fernandez from the International Criminal Court, Professor Cedric Ryngaert from Utrecht University, as well as one of the editors of the book, Mr. Solon Solomon from King’s College London.
8. On 14-15 November 2014, the ILA Study Group on Conduct in Hostilities organized a workshop on modern warfare at Free University Berlin.
7. On 8 May 2014, the Forum and the ECCHR hosted a panel discussion on communication to the ICC with reference to possible war crimes committed in Iraq with several human rights lawyers and academics.
6. On 22-23 November 2013, the Forum and the Grotius Centre (in cooperation with the University of Amsterdam and the University of Glasgow) hosted the expert meeting of the ILA Study Group on “The Conduct of Hostilities and International Humanitarian Law – Challenges of 21st Century Warfare”. The ILA Study Group on Conduct in Hostilities was initiated by Dr. Heinsch.
5. On 30 May 2013, the Forum and the the Volkenrechtelijk Dispuut “Prof. mr B. M. Telders” hosted a panel discussion on cyberwarfare and international law with Prof. Gill and Colonel Dr. Ducheine.
4. On 20 November 2012, the Forum and the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) hosted a panel discussion on a communication from the ECCHR to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court regarding violence against trade unionists in Colombia.
3. On 8 November 2012, the Forum and the Volkenrechtelijk Dispuut “Prof. mr. B.M. Telders” hosted a panel discussion on the protection of civilians in the Syria conflict with Prof. Schrijver, Prof. Saxon, Prof. Zegveld and Dr. Heinsch.
2. On 29 March 2012, the Forum hosted a panel discussion on Palestinian Statehood with Prof. Dugard, Valentina Azarov and Michael Kearny.
1. On 22 September 2011, the Forum hosted the book launch of Prof. Kalshoven and Prof. Zegveld’s 4th edition of their standard textbook on international humanitarian law “Constraints on the Waging of War”, with an ensuing panel discussion on “Challenges of Contemporary Armed Conflicts and International Law” which included Judge Alphonsus Orie as a special guest, and Prof. Kalshoven, Prof. Zegveld, and Prof. Fischer as panelists.