Current Projects

Governance of Climate Adaptation in Small Island Developing States

The aimof this project is to contribute to sustainable economic development, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction (DRR) through developing effective governance arrangements in a participatory process. The central tenet is to build adaptive capacity at multiple levels and to ensure social justice and human security in local climate action.


A comparative assessment of frontrunner case studies in Small Island Development States (SIDS) will be used to draw lessons on the governance of climate adaptation and DRR, and to enable mutual learning and reflection. The comparative assessment will feed into a participatory planning process, combined with action research, in Zanzibar to develop a consensus-based action plan outlining the design of physical interventions and governance arrangements to implement these interventions. As such we are able to support a planning process that is tailor-made and which is supported by strong scientific evidence on the best approaches to the governance of climate adaptation in SIDS, and low-lying coastal countries more in general.

Ecosystems for Life: A Bangladesh-India Initiative

The Hague Institute supports IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with capacity building and training on participatory planning and conflict prevention in the project ‘Ecosystems for Life (E4L): A Bangladesh-India Initiative’. Within this project The Hague Institute staff provides a training workshop on Benefits of Cooperation for Shared Ecosystems, taking place on 18-19 September 2014 at IUCN Headquarters in Bangkok. 

Debriefing Rule of Law Experts

Many experts are dispatched on rule of law missions, but what mechanisms are currently in place to systematically collect first-hand the valuable information from these experts? Once collected, how can such information best be used for future rule of law missions?

Distinguished Speaker Series

The Distinguished Speaker Series invites prominent experts and practitioners in international affairs to discuss topics and issues related to global governance, the rule of law and conflict prevention. 

Framework for Political Economy Analysis of Transboundary Basins in Africa

The Hague Institute works with Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) on the development and application of a framework for political economy analysis (PEA) in transboundary river basins in Africa, funded by the World Bank. 

From Fact-Finding to Evidence: Harmonizing Multiple Investigations of International Crimes

Rule of Law

Fact-finding missions into human rights violations often precede criminal investigations. Yet, it is not clear how these two types of investigations relate to each other, particularly in terms of the sharing of information and evidence. Can criminal investigators and prosecutors interact more effectively with each other and with other investigators (including commissions of inquiry, UN panels of experts and the OHCHR, truth commissions etc.), without compromising their respective mandates? And if so, how?

Global Governance Reform Initiative (General)

The Global Governance Reform Initiative seeks to overcome the challenges of global governance in three important domains – cyberspace, migration and oceans – by improving the efficiency, effectiveness and legitimacy of collective actions undertaken by relevant stakeholders. 

Guardians of Justice

While exploring how citizens experience justice is a largely neglected area, this project will aim to redress the balance by evaluating how much access citizens have to justice, through which institutions, the quality of the procedures and the fairness of the outcomes obtained. By developing standardized tools, this project aims to support local human rights NGOs, legal aid NGOs and selected legal-service providers in their role as potential guardians of justice. Armed with the appropriate tools, these organizations will be better able to ask specific agents in the legal system for concrete improvements in laws, court procedures, legal information or the provision of legal services. Together with HiiL Innovating Justice, the Rule of Law program will develop and implement a methodology to better understand access to justice in several countries.

Regional and International Rule of Law Promoters

This project analyses and compares different approaches of rule of law  promotion by the EU and other international actors such as the OSCE, the OECD, the CoE, the UN, the World Bank, that could improve, complement or help coordinate rule of law promotion in the targeted region (but also potentially in other areas of the world). Moreover its out to analyze the instruments deployed in rule of law promotion well as their reception in the recipient countries. Finally, this project aims to explore in what way competing approaches of regional and international organizations as well as CSOs can improve and better complement each other rule of law promotion efforts.


Regional Focus: Eastern Europe, South Caucasus, Central Asia and Russia


Rule of Law as a Principle for EU’s External Action

The EU has become such an important global actor in the field of rule of law promotion that it cannot remain ignored. Current research efforts indicate the need for a more coherent conceptualization and operationalization of the EU’s approach towards rule of law promotion. Therefore, the aim of this project is to examine the possibility for generating a common and coherent definition of the concept, its main objectives and scope; and its operationalization on a practical level among EU institutions and EU Member States, but especially within the EU’s foreign policy – in particular the role of EU External Action Service (EEAS). 

Global Justice through Business, Labor, and Economic Governance (General)

This project aims to improve the global governance of economic factors – including trade, financial flows, labor, and intellectual property – both by protecting the “fruits of one’s labor” and fostering innovation, as well as by maximizing these factors to advance global peace, security, and justice (e.g. by strengthening the role if international institutions in the transfer and utilization of climate friendly technologies in developing countries).

Intellectual Property Management for Global Justice

The protection of intellectual property (IP) is an incentive for research. However, developing countries often cannot afford to pay the high price of knowledge and technology that is protected by intellectual property rights (IPR). Several important global initiatives have been promulgated in recent years to promote research and innovation on how intellectual property rights can be harnessed for development and poverty reduction objectives. Unfortunately, the acceptance of the underlying standards, let alone the implementation process necessary for the approximation of these objectives has proven to be rather unwieldy in practice.

Integrated Transboundary Master Plan for the Lower Jordan River Basin

Building on the framework of three important elements -- access, security and sustainability -- this Transboundary Master Plan for the Lower Jordan River Basin seeks to integrate the disparate water management plans of Jordan, Israel and Palestine in an effort to produce a healthy ecosystem, distribute water fairly and provide open public access to the river.

Water as a Permanent Status Issue In The Israeli - Palestinian Negotiations

The Hague Institute for Global Justice and the Geneva Initiative jointly organized two seminars in The Hague: on 1-2 May and 28-29 August 2014. These seminars were part of a series of meetings taking place in Israel, Palestine, and the Netherlands in order to further a project to review the existing Geneva Initiative Water Annex (2009) and to develop a supplementary paper to address outstanding issues not included in the Annex. This event was a civil society initiative and is not related to any formal negotiation within the context of the Middle East Peace Process.

Commission on Global Security, Justice & Governance

The Hague Institute for Global Justice and The Stimson Center, based in Washington, D.C., view the intersection of security and justice as critical to understanding and addressing common global threats and challenges, the effective management of which requires innovative and collaborative action at various levels. On this fundamental theme, we have conceptualized a major new project built around a Commission on Global Security, Justice, and Governance, composed of a select group of eminent statespersons and public intellectuals.

Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law

In June 2012, Ben Knapen, former Dutch State Secretary for European Affairs and International Cooperation, launched five Knowledge Platforms. These platforms are now part of the new knowledge agenda and policy of the Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen. Her current development agenda focuses on a number of spearheads, including Security and Rule of Law. Key to this agenda is improving security for civilians and building rule of law, and developing knowledge infrastructure in developing countries, to make these countries self-reliant in the long term.

Model Code for the Investigation and Prosecution of International Crimes

The foundations of this project were first laid out during the three years of extensive research conducted jointly by the Amsterdam Center for International Law (ACIL) and The Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of Law (HiiL). From that project, came a set of ‘general rules and principles of international criminal procedure’ (to be published with Oxford University Press in March 2013. These principles were found to govern the investigation of international crimes by the various international criminal tribunals and will provide a solid base for a Model Code for the Investigation and Prosecution of International Crimes (‘the Model Code’) in the years to come.

Peace-Justice Nexus

The “peace versus justice” debate is one of the central controversies in the application of international criminal law. The “justice” side of this debate uses fundamentally deontological reasoning to argue that pursuit of justice (human rights) is a social good in and of itself. Thus, the pursuit of justice cannot be held to be subordinate to any other concern, such as the achievement of sustainable peace. 


In contrast, the “peace” side of the debate contends that considerations of conflict resolution should be prioritised and that sometimes justice will need to be sacrificed, or put aside, in order to achieve the greater social good of peace.  Neither side believes that either peace or justice is unimportant, rather the controversy is really a question of priority and strategy. 

Social Justice Expertise Center

Developments in globalization and industrialization continuously push governments, international organizations and NGOs to reexamine the opportunities available to people at all levels of society to attain basic socioeconomic necessities. Research into existing social justice initiatives has shown a need for an institution that serves as a one-stop shop for individuals, businesses, NGOs, and policymakers seeking advice and information or needing technical assistance relating to social justice; specifically pertaining to international labor rights and regulatory framework. 

'Orphan' Crimes

Studies crimes that risk being overlooked, stereotyped or are often not examined holistically such as Illicit Financial Flows, Wartime Sexual Violence, Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling (not limited to the Rome Statute crimes).

The Hague Approach

Rule of Law

Justice can be a scarce commodity in countries affected by conflicts. The Hague Institute draws lessons from experiences of post-conflict rebuilding activities in Afghanistan and Iraq and from current endeavors in Libya for peacebuilding and the rule of law. The Hague Institute is partnering with the Van Vollenhoven Institute (VVI) to examine access to justice and building institutions for the rule of law in these fragile states. Findings will be presented at the centenary celebrations of the Peace Palace on 28 August 2013.

The Hague Institute Roundtable Series

The Hague Roundtable Series gathers international experts, policymakers, global thought leaders, civil society representatives and diplomats to disucss various topics and issues on peace, security and justice. Events from the series are typically held under Chatham House Rule. 

Water Diplomacy

Water management and the fair distribution of water is an issue of growing importance on the international agenda. Building on the internationally renowned Dutch expertise in water technology, water governance, conflict resolution, and legal systems, The Hague Institute for Global Justice has joined forces with the Netherlands Institute for International Relations “Clingendael,” Water Governance Centre, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, and the UPEACE Center The Hague to form a Water Diplomacy Consortium (WDC). The consortium aspires both to become a knowledge hub for water diplomacy, governance, and law, and to contribute to conflict prevention and conflict resolution in relation to water management across and within national borders.

Transnational Governance and Democratic Legitimacy: Exploring Theory and Practice

In 2012, The Hague Institute for Global Justice and the Netherlands Institute for International Relations Clingendael conducted a feasibility study to map out the challenges and problems related to the democratic legitimacy of existing processes of transnational governance. 

ACCESS Facility

ACCESS Facility is a global, nonprofit organization independent of The Hague Institute for Global Justice. ACCESS supports rights-compatible, interest-based problem solving to prevent and resolve conflicts between companies and communities. The organization explores better ways of working together among companies, communities and governments. It is a neutral space for a broad range of stakeholders to learn, explore, share ideas, forge relationships and find solutions appropriate for their work.

Education and Conflict

The Hague Institute will explore the role of education in conflict prevention, which will involve a 30-month research project that aims to assess and measure how formal and non-formal education can mitigate and prevent the escalation of violent conflict in fragile and conflict-affected states.

The Responsibility to Protect, Just War Theory, and the Prevention of Mass Atrocities

This project addresses issues related to the responsibility to protect (R2P), just war theory, and the prevention of mass atrocities. The commissioners of the 2001 International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) developed R2P and states accepted a modified version of it in the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document.


Transitional justice in Yemen

The project, implemented by the UNDP, aims to assist the Government of Yemen in developing its transitional justice strategy by using comparative experiences and international standards. Such a framework can support the national transitional justice process from an early phase. The main tasks of the Rule of Law program, in collaboration with HiiL Innovating Justice, is to provide a methodology to assess citizen perceptions on transitional justice through both quantitative and qualitative approaches. Through questionnaires, focus groups and semi-structured interviews with a wide range of stakeholders and the general population, the findings can help to develop an appropriate approach for dealing with the past in Yemen.


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