T.M.C. Asser Instituut

The T.M.C. Asser Instituut (or Asser Institute) is a professional inter-university centre of knowledge and research. The institute carries out research in private and public international law, European law, as well as all other related fields, including international commercial arbitration, international sports law and international humanitarian and criminal law. It was established in 1965 in The Hague and it is affiliated with the University of Amsterdam.

T.M.C. Asser Instituut
Founder(s)Eight Dutch universities[1]
Established1965; 56 years ago (1965)
MissionTo further the development of international and European law in such a way that it serves the cultivation of trust and respect in the global, regional, national and local societies in which it operates.[1]
FocusInternational and European law
PresidentProf. Dr. Ernst Hirsch Ballin[1]
HeadProf. Dr. Janne Nijman[1]
Staff38 (10/10/2018)[1]
Key peopleProf. Dr. Ernst Hirsch Ballin
Prof. Dr. Janne Nijman
Gert Grift MSc
AddressR.J. Schimmelpennincklaan 20-22
Building of the Asser Institute in The Hague (December, 2019)

The institute is named after Tobias Michael Carel Asser (1838–1913), who was a Dutch jurist, and co-winner (with Alfred Fried) of the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1911 for his role in the formation of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the first Hague peace conference (1899). He also advocated for the creation of an international academy of law, which led to founding of the Revue de Droit International et de Législation Comparée with John Westlake and Gustave Rolin-Jaequemyns, the Institut de Droit International and the creation of the Hague Academy of International Law.

Fundamental research

The T.M.C. Asser Instituut aims towards fundamental and independent policy-oriented research. Its current (2016-2020) research agenda is ‘International & European law as a source of trust in a hyper-connected world’. Research is conducted within three research strands:

  • Advancing public interest in International and European law
  • Human dignity and human security in International and European law
  • Adequate dispute settlement and adjudication in International and European law

Besides the research facilities for its team of expert researchers, the Institute has access to an extensive international network of academic and scientific contacts. The T.M.C. Asser Instituut aims to develop young talent. The Asser PhD Programme[2] offers promising young lawyers the opportunity to work on their research. The funding and appointment of new candidates is done in collaboration with other institutions, preferably law faculties.

Contract-research and legal advice

The institute carries out contract research and consultancy work. This ranges from tailored consultancy finding (ad hoc) solutions for small legal issues to coordination and/or export of long-term structural (research) projects. Clients include among others the European Union, national governments, ministries, international organizations, and law firms.

Conferences and events

T.M.C. Asser Instituut organizes regular lectures, seminars, and conferences.[3] They serve as a platform for high-level discussions and interactions with the institute’s multitude of partners, academics and practitioners, policy-makers, and the wider legal community of The Hague and beyond.

Annual T.M.C. Asser Lecture

On the occasion of its 50th Anniversary in 2015, the T.M.C Asser Instituut launched the Annual T.M.C. Asser Lecture[4] on the development of international law. Each year the institute invites an internationally renowned jurist and outstanding public intellectual to take inspiration from Tobias Asser’s vision and to examine how to respond to ‘the condition of society’. It aspires to be a platform for constructive, critical reflection on the role of law in addressing the challenges and (potentially radical) changes of the global society of the 21st century.

Speakers at the Annual Lecture have included Martti Koskenniemi (2018), Saskia Sassen (2017), Onora O'Neill (2016), and Joseph Weiler (2015).


The institute has its own publisher: T.M.C. Asser Press.[5] The following yearbooks are published: the Netherlands Yearbook of International Law, the Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law, the Yearbook of International Sports Arbitration, and the NL ARMS Netherlands Annual Review of Military Studies.

T.M.C. Asser Press also publishes scholarly and peer reviewed journals, including the Netherlands International Law Review, the Hague Journal on the Rule of Law, the European Business Organization Law Review, The International Sports Law Journal, and the Nederlands Internationaal Privaatrecht.

T.M.C. Asser Press published in cooperation with Springer-Verlag.[6]

Hague Academic Coalition

The T.M.C. Asser Instituut is a member of the Hague Academic Coalition (HAC).[7]

The member institutions are:

Hague Initiative for Law and Armed Conflict

The HILAC Law and Armed Conflict Lecture Series is an occasional evening lecture series on the subject of law and armed conflict. It is hosted by the Hague Initiative for Law and Armed Conflict (HILAC), consisting of the T.M.C. Asser Instituut, the Netherlands Red Cross and the Amsterdam Center for International Law and held at the T.M.C. Asser Instituut.


  1. T.M.C. Asser Institute: About the institute
  2. "Asser PhD Programme". www.asser.nl.
  3. "Education & Events". www.asser.nl/education-events/.
  4. "Annual T.M.C. Asser Lecture 2018". www.asser.nl.
  5. "Asser Press". www.asser.nl/asserpress.
  6. "Home - page - Publishing Partners". Retrieved 2021-07-04.
  7. "The Hague Academic Coalition (HAC)". The Hague Academic Coalition (HAC).