Director & Professors
Dr. Robert HeinschProgramme Director & Associate Professor of Public International Law
Dr. Robert Heinsch is an Associate Professor of Public International Law at the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies of Leiden University, and the Director of its regular LL.M. Programme in Public International Law. He is also the Director of the Kalshoven-Gieskes Forum on International Humanitarian Law at Leiden University and its IHL clinic, and has been appointed as Rapporteur of the ILA study group on the “The Conduct of Hostilities under International Humanitarian Law – Challenges from 21st Century Warfare”. Furthermore, he is member of the German National IHL Committee, and held the position of Federal Dissemination Officer for International Humanitarian Law of the German Red Cross from 2011 to 2014. Previously, he has worked as a Legal Advisor in the International Humanitarian Law Department of the Red Cross Headquarters in Berlin, and as a Legal Officer in the Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court in The Hague. In addition, he has worked as a Senior Research Fellow at the Chair for International Law and European Law, Cologne University, and a as Visiting Lecturer at Bochum University, respectively.
Dr. Giulia PinzautiAssistant Professor of Public International Law & Deputy Director IHL Clinic
Dr. Giulia Pinzauti is Assistant Professor at Leiden University (LL.M. Course International Dispute Settlement) and Deputy Director at the IHL Clinic of KGF Leiden.
Prof. Helen DuffyGieskes Professor of IHL and Human Rights
Prof. Helen Duffy has been a staff member of the Grotius Centre since January 2015 when she was appointed as Gieskes Professor of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. She currently teaches a course on ‘Victims of War’ on the LLM programme and another on the ‘International Protection of Human Rights’ course in the Advanced Masters programme. In the academic year 2015/1016 she will teach ‘Humanitarian law, Human Rights and Terrorism’ as part of the LLM. Programme.
Her Leiden position is part-time (.2) and Prof. Helen Duffy also runs ‘Human Rights in Practice,’ an international practice based in the Hague that specializes in strategic litigation before regional and international human rights courts and bodies (www.rightsinpractice.org). Prior to establishing her practice in 2011, she served for many years as the Legal Director of INTERIGHTS, and prior positions included Legal Officer at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Counsel to Human Rights Watch/New York, Legal Director of the Centre for Human Rights Legal Action (Guatemala), Legal Adviser to the UK ‘Arms for Iraq’ Inquiry and Legal Officer in the UK government legal service.
Prof. Helen Duffy is a graduate of the universities of Glasgow (LLB), University College London (LLM), Edinburgh (Dip.LP) and Leiden (PhD). She is Honorary Professor at the University of Glasgow and serves on the advisory boards of several organisations. Her publications on international law and practice are listed below, and include ‘The War on Terror and the Framework of International law’ CUP, 2nd ed. 2015.
Prof. Horst FischerProfessor of IHL
Prof. Horst Fischer is Professor of International Humanitarian Law applicable in armed conflicts at the University of Leiden, Adjunct Professor at Columbia University and Visiting Professor at KU Leuven. Prof. Horst Fischer is director of the GIZ Representation in Brussels since 2007. He is President of the European Interuniversity Center for Human Rights and Democratisation in Venice since 2003. He is Academic Director at Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany (on leave).
His dissertation (Bochum, 1984) focused on the use of nuclear weapons under Article 51 of Additional Protocol I. Since 1990 he has been a member of governmental and non-governmental delegations to international conferences on international humanitarian law and humanitarian actions. He has been a consultant for the UN, the European Union and several national ministries as well as non-governmental organizations on questions of humanitarian law, humanitarian actions and security policy. He edits EIUC Studies in Human Rights and Democratisation (Cambridge), Studien zur Friedensforschung (Münster/Berlin) and is associate editor of Europe’s World (Brussels).
He had been the general editor of the Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law (The Hague) and the Quarterly Journal Humanitäres Völkerrecht (Bochum). Since 1982 he has given courses in Master Programmes at several European universities, to the armed forces and non-governmental organisations, mainly on international law, international humanitarian law, the use of force, peaceful settlement of disputes and arms control, European Union and Human Rights and the practice of EU-Human Rights policies and practice.
Prof. em. Frits Kalshoven (1924-2017)Professor Emeritus of Public International Law and IHL
Frits Kalshoven passed away on 6 September 2017 at the respectable age of 93. Professor Kalshoven was an internationally renowned expert in the field of IHL. From 1970 onwards he was a professor at Leiden Law School, where he had also been a student himself and where he was awarded his doctorate cum laude in 1971 under the supervision of Professor Hajo van Panhuys.
In his early career Frits Kalshoven was mainly a man of practice. In 1945 he joined the navy as an officer. After graduating he worked for many years as a lecturer in criminal law and international law at the Royal Naval Academy in Den Helder. But academia was calling. In the 1960s he worked on his doctoral thesis entitled ‘Belligerent reprisals’, for which he would achieve international recognition. Even now, this dissertation is still viewed as obligatory reading. He considered the time when he was preparing his dissertation as the most fascinating period in his professional career. It brought him to the Red Cross in Geneva, where he met the true greats in his field of expertise. As a result of his academic reputation and experience, Frits Kalshoven was also well equipped to contribute significantly to the further advancement of IHL. One of his achievements was his close involvement in the negotiations on the 1977 Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions which are among the most important treaties in this area. Throughout his work he remained first and foremost a legal expert, who was averse to politics which of course also played and continues to play a large role in the conflicts in which IHL must find its application.
Frits Kalshoven received the recognition he deserved for his contributions to IHL. At our law school, staff members Astrid Delissen and Gerard Tanja edited a Liber Amicorum (Humanitarian law of armed conflict: challenges ahead, 1991). In 2003 he received the Henri Dunant Medal and in 2015 the San Remo Prize for the Promotion, Dissemination and Teaching of International Humanitarian Law.
Frits – as he preferred to be called – inspired generations of students with his teaching on international humanitarian law and was highly approachable for his students. After his retirement he remained involved with his beloved Leiden Law School, up to the last months of his life. He stayed active in particular in the context of our Kalshoven-Gieskes Forum on International Humanitarian Law, which is named in part after him. He was a faithful participant in the activities of this Forum, and also tried to always attend the Moot Court named after him (the ‘Frits Kalshoven Competition on International Humanitarian Law’), even when his health slowly began to fail in recent years. Apart from losing one of the outstanding academics in his field, we will miss him as a dear colleague, friend and human being, who until the end remained kind, humble and giving, and was seen by many as one of the role models of a true humanitarian.
Researchers & PhD Candidates
Ms. Christine Tremblay, LL.M.PhD Fellow & Senior Supervisor
Ms. Christine Tremblay obtained her law degree (BCL and LL.B diplomas) from McGill University in 1999. She is a member of the Quebec Bar. After working for one year at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, she completed her LL.M. (adv.) in Public International Law with a specialization in International Criminal Law at Leiden University (2001-2002). Since the foundation of the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies in 2003, she occupied the position of General Coordinator, managing and coordinating the activities and the finances of the Centre and coordinating the Marie Curie Project sponsored by the European Commission. She was also the Managing Editor of the Leiden Journal of International Law from 2008-2011. In 2011, Ms. Christine Tremblay started her PhD research.
Working title ‘The Femenist Trap: The Use of Gender Stereotyping in International Criminal Law. A discourse Analysis.’ (Dual PhD candidate at the Leiden University Dual PhD Centre The Hague.)
International Criminal Law (hereafter ICL) has immensely developed since the 1990’s. For a long time, women were ‘invisible’ to ICL and sexual crimes were considered side effects of wars and were not prosecuted. Furthermore, women were absent of the structure of ICL. During its last twenty years of development, feminists and women groups have lobbied intensively (and successfully) to ensure that sexual violence would be prosecuted and procedures would be put in place to protect victims testifying about those crimes. They have also lobbied for more women to participate in the institutions of ICL. In her research, Ms. Christine Tremblay intents to analyse, at a moment when we celebrate the gains for women within ICL, which kind of system has been created. For that purpose, she will engage in a discourse analysis from a gender perspective and analyse if gender stereotypes are present in the ICL system.
Mr. Arjen Vermeer, LL.M.Lecturer & Senior Supervisor
Mr. Arjen Vermeer is lecturer at the University Leiden and he is Senior Supervisor at the IHL Clinic of KGF Leiden.
Ms. Catherine Harwood, LL.M.PhD Fellow & Senior Supervisor
Ms. Catherine Harwood has been a staff member of the Grotius Centre since January 2013 as a PhD Researcher. Under the co-supervision of Professor Carsten Stahn and Professor Larissa van den Herik, her doctoral research examines international commissions of inquiry established by the United Nations to investigate situations involving multiple violations of human rights, international humanitarian law (IHL) and/or international crimes, in particular their roles and functions in the international legal order.
Catherine’s teaching interests include IHL, human rights, international criminal law and transitional justice. She has taught IHL at Leiden University College and coaches the Leiden team for the Frits Kalshoven Competition on International Humanitarian Law.
Catherine graduated cum laude from Leiden University in 2012 with a LL.M. in Advanced Studies in Public International Law, with the assistance of a Rotary Vocational Scholarship and a Leiden University Excellence Scholarship. In 2009, she graduated from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, with an LL.B. (Hons) and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, and is admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand. Catherine previously worked as a Judges Clerk at the New Zealand Court of Appeal and was a teaching fellow and researcher at Victoria University. She has also interned at the International Criminal Court and the International Bar Association’s Programme on the ICC.
Ms. Sofia Poulopoulou, LL.M.PhD Fellow & Project Coordinator
Ms. Sofia Poulopoulou is a PhD fellow at the Kalshoven-Gieskes Forum on International Humanitarian Law, which is part of the Grotius Center for International Legal Studies.
Sofia joined the Forum in February 2016, where she has been working as a researcher and project coordinator. As a researcher at the Forum, she has been engaged in research relating to international humanitarian law, international criminal law and human rights. In addition, she has been involved in the supervision of the projects of the International Humanitarian Law Clinic of the Forum.
Sofia pursued her Bachelor’s degree in Law at the Democritus University of Thrace in Greece. She obtained her Master’s degree in International Law at Maastricht University and conducted part of her degree at the University of York in Toronto, Canada as part of an exchange programme. Upon completion of her studies, Sofia did an internship in the Legal Advisory Section at the International Criminal Court (Office of the Prosecutor) as well as at the Coalition for the International Criminal Court in The Hague and Brussels office.
Sofia’s PhD research under the supervision of Prof. Nico Schrijver and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Robert Heinsch focuses on mechanisms for compliance with International Humanitarian Law with a particular focus on the human rights compliance system.
Ms. Yudan Tan, LL.M.PhD Fellow
Ms. Yudan Tan graduated from Southwest University of Political Science and Law (LLB) in 2010. During her master, Yudan studied comparative law in China-EU School of Law at the China University of Political Science and Law (LL.M.). During this master programme, she worked as a teaching assistant on the course Public International Law. She also obtained a master degree in European and International Law from the University of Hamburg. In September 2013, she started working at Leiden University with Prof. William Schabas and Dr. Robert Heinsch. Her PhD research topic is about the Rome Statute as evidence of customary international law.
Ms. Cinny BuysProject Coordinator
Ms. Cinny Buys studied Law at Radboud University Nijmegen before she started her LL.M. Public International Law (reg.) at Leiden University in February 2016. As part of her master, she participated in the IHL Clinic where she conducts a research in the field of international criminal law for a partner NGO of the Forum. In addition to her master, Cinny has worked at the Kalshoven-Gieskes Forum as a Student Assistant since Spring 2016. As an assistant she has been crucial in preparing the new website of the Forum as well as for the preparation of the IHL Clinic Exchange Conference which was hosted by the Forum in December 2016. Since February 2017, Cinny is also coordinating one of the IHL Clinic teams.
Ms. Lotte ChevalierStudent Assistant
Ms. Lotte Chevalier obtained her bachelor’s degree in Law (LL.B.) at Leiden University, before starting the LL.M. in Public International Law in September 2016. Lotte participated in the IHL Clinic for the first time during the Honours College Law Programme, as a part of her bachelor. This year, she was part of an IHL Clinic project for the second time during her master. As of April 2017, Lotte serves as the KGF’s Student Assistant.
Associated & Former Staff
- Lecturer Public International Law, Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies, Leiden University
- Lecturer Public International Law, Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies, Leiden University
- Assistant Professor, Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies, Leiden University
- Associate Professor, University Roma Tre, Rome
- Research Officer for the Global Health Programme, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva
- Legal Officer, International Criminal Court, The Hague
- Assistant Professor, Netherlands Military Academy, Breda
- Trainee Solicitor, Pinsent Masons LLP, Edinburgh, Scotland
- Legal Intern, Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, Cambodia
- Associate Lawyer, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Amsterdam
- Legal Intern, Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, Cambodia
- Judge Associate at the Surpreme Court of Victoria, Australia
- Advisor at KIT, Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam
- Lawyer, Agir Contre la Prostitution des Enfants, Paris, France
- Associate Legal Officer, International Criminal Court, The Hague
- Legal Intern, International Criminal Court, The Hague
- Associate Legal Officer, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, The Hague
- Aspiring Legal Academic, Germany
- Legal Officer, Ministry of Migration, Justice and Consumer Protection, Erfurt, Germany
- Coordinator at Letter to EU Legislators, The Hague
- Legal Intern, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, The Hague
- General Manager at GIANT Management, Melbourne, Australia
- Associate Legal Officer, International Criminal Court, The Hague
- Project Consultant, Amnesty International, The Hague
- Lawyer, Amsterdam area
- PhD Candidate, Leiden University
- Associate Lawyer, Allen & Overy, Amsterdam
- Barrister at 3 Raymond Buildings, London
- Administrative Director, Coexister, Paris
- Assistant Legal Officer, International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, The Hague
- Tutor in Law, Erasmus School of Law, Rotterdam
- Blue Book Trainee, European Commission, Brussels
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)Partner
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) helps those affected by armed conflict and promotes compliance with international humanitarian law. The ICRC responds quickly and efficiently to help people affected by armed conflict. They also respond to disasters in conflict zones, because the effects of a disaster are compounded if a country is already at war. Emergencies are unpredictable, so their rapid deployment capability is hugely important.
Established in 1863, the ICRC operates worldwide, helping people affected by conflict and armed violence and promoting the laws that protect victims of war. An independent and neutral organization, its mandate stems essentially from the Geneva Conventions of 1949. They are based in Geneva, Switzerland, and employ some 14,500 people in more than 80 countries. The ICRC is funded mainly by voluntary donations from governments and from national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
The Netherlands Red CrossPartner
The Netherlands Red Cross seeks to prevent and alleviate human suffering and to improve the situation of vulnerable people. The Netherlands Red Cross helps, protects and takes care of people that are victims of war, conflict and disaster, and those who need assistance because of other circumstances. By promoting respect for international humanitarian law it hopes to strengthen the protection of human dignity and to reduce and alleviate the suffering of those affected by armed conflict.
The German Red CrossPartner
The German Red Cross is a member of the global community of the international Red Cross and Red Crescent movements, providing help without discrimination to the victims of conflicts and disasters and others in need, solely based on their level of need. They act in the name of humanity for the lives, health, wellbeing, protection, peaceful interaction and dignity of all people.
The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR)Partner
The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) is an independent, non-profit legal and educational organization dedicated to protecting civil and human rights worldwide. It was founded in 2007 by a small group of renowned human rights lawyers, in order to protect and enforce the rights guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as other declarations of human rights and national constitutions, by juridical means. ECCHR engages in innovative strategic litigation, using European, international, and national law to enforce human rights and to hold state and non-state actors accountable for egregious abuses.
The Planethood FoundationPartner
Headquartered in White Plains, New York, the Planethood Foundation was established in 1996. Aiming to replace the law of force with the force of law, the Planethood Foundation’s philanthropy focuses primarily on empowering the International Criminal Court to prosecute and punish suspected war criminals when sovereign national governments will not. The name “Planethood” was taken from a book co-authored by Ben Ferencz, one of the surviving prosecutors of the Nuremberg tribunals. The Planethood Foundation’s philosophy derives from President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s assertion that ‘[t]he world no longer has a choice between force and law. If civilization is to survive, it must choose the rule of law.’
Amnesty International is a global movement of more than 7 million people in over 150 countries and territories who campaign to end abuses of human rights. They take injustice personally, and campaign for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all.
The Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC)Partner
The Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC) includes 2,500 civil society organizations in 150 different countries working in partnership to strengthen international cooperation with the ICC; ensure that the Court is fair, effective and independent; make justice both visible and universal; and advance stronger national laws that deliver justice to victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
IHL Clinic at Emory Law School, Atlanta, USAAcademic Partner
Prof. Laurie Blank is Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the IHL Clinic at Emory Law School, Atlanta, USA.
The IHL Clinic at Emory Law School works directly with international tribunals, militaries, non-government organizations, and other entities to enhance protections during wartime and ensure accountability for war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity. Students in the IHL Clinic work on the front lines — researching ways to hold perpetrators accountable, working on detainee cases and other issues in the “war on terror,” and partnering with the US military on strategies for enhanced education and training in the law of armed conflict.
IHL and ICL Clinic at IDC, Radzyner Law School, Herzliya, IsraelAcademic Partner
Adv. Yael Vias Gvirsman is Programme Director of the IHL and ICL Clinic at IDC, Radzyner Law School, Herzliya, Israel.
The IHL and ICL Clinic affords students the opportunity to gain practical experience in international criminal and humanitarian law. Students will work on cases heard before international criminal courts, most of which are based in The Hague, and will provide legal aid services to International Red Cross activities in our region. The field of international criminal law focuses on the prosecution of individuals suspected of committing war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, while adhering to the principles of due process and ensuring the defendants’ rights. The field of international humanitarian law focuses on the laws of war and the laws of belligerent occupation.
As part of the clinic’s practical aspects students, divided into groups and under the guidance of the program director, will work on cases heard in international criminal courts, compose legal reviews, analyze evidence in pending cases, and work with the various elements involved, including the courts, the prosecution, the defense, the victims, and the judges’ chambers. Working with the International Red Cross will include various projects supervised by the legal advisers at the Red Cross and the program director.
IHL Clinic at Roma Tre Law School, Rome, ItalyAcademic Partner
Dr. Giulio Bartolini is Associated Professor of International Humanitarian Law and Director of the IHL Legal Clinic at Roma Tre Law School, Rome, Italy.
The “International Humanitarian Law Legal Clinic” (IHL Legal Clinic) has been established in order to permit students involved in the IHL course of the Law Department to cooperate on a pro bono basis on research projects of relevant stakeholders operating in this area and acquire significant skills beneficial for their competences and future activities.
The IHL Legal Clinic is inspired by a ‘learning by doing’ approach permitting students to develop their competences in legal research, drafting, writing and organization of activities on the basis of knowledges acquired in their academic curricula, in particular through the international humanitarian law course, in order to facilitate the transfer of theoretical analysis into a practical perspective. Creativity and autonomy is encouraged as well as the capacity to cooperate in small working teams able to act through largely independent research and writing. As for the 2016-2017 academic year the IHL Legal Clinic will be involved in two research projects in cooperation with leading institutions in this area, ie. the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Italian Red Cross, IHL Commission.