International Inspections - The Hague Academy of International Law, 20 August - 7 September 2018, Netherlands


March 31, 2018


Event Date:

August 20, 2018 - September 07, 2018

Opportunity Cover Image - International Inspections - The Hague Academy of International Law, 20 August - 7 September 2018, Netherlands

Programme of the Centre

2018 Programme

International Inspections

Directors of Research: Prof. Christian J. Tams (University of Glasgow) & Dr. Anne-Laure Chaumette (Paris Nanterre University)

The usefulness of ‘international inspections’ is recognised in many areas of international law: in one way or another, inspections form part of international legal regimes in fields as diverse as international economic law (World Bank Inspection Panels), disarmament (IAEA, CWC, etc.), the law of the sea (e.g.Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources) and human rights law (e.g.Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities), to name but a few. While the context varies, and with it the specifics of the inspectors’ mandate, inspections seek to assess whether a certain conduct is in line with international expectations/obligations. As such, inspections are best viewed as a form of exercising control of internationally regulated conduct: of variable effectiveness, they form part of international law’s administrative/executive function.

While particular forms of international inspections have been the subject of research, the concept as such remains under-researched and elusive. The 2018 Centre for Research and Studies of The Hague Academy of International Law aims to fill the existing gap by bringing together researchers embarking on a cross-cutting analysis of international inspections. Proceeding from examples in particular fields, the overarching aim of the analysis is

  • to enhance our understanding of the concept of international inspections by distilling, in a comparative analysis, common features and differences of inspection regimes;
  • identify and classify their key functions;
  • assess the potential and limits of inspections; 
  • identify best practices of designing and implementing inspection procedures.

Underlying questions:

  • To what extent are international inspections distinct from inquiries or related forms of exercising international control over State conduct? What is the link between inspections on the one hand, and concepts such as ‘guarantees’ or ‘fact-finding’ on the other?
  • What are commonalities, what are differences between the different forms of inspections recognised in international regimes? Is there a common core to the concept of inspections, and if so, what does it consist of?
  • What lessons, if any, can be learned from the actual practice of inspections in different areas of international law? Have ‘best practices’ emerged, and should they be recorded?
  • What is the role of individuals and NGOs in the framework of international inspections?
  • Is there a tension between the powers of international inspectors and the sovereignty of States, and if so, how can the two be accommodated?
  • How are international inspections regulated, and to what extent does international law restrict the powers of inspectors (e.g. with respect to human rights, to rules governing the conduct of inspections, and/or the protection of confidentiality)?
  • What is the nature of powers enjoyed by international inspectors? Do they enjoy proper authority, or are they merely instruments of verification?
  • What is the role of sanctions in relation to international inspections? Are inspections a substitute for, or subsidiary to, international sanctions? Do they complement sanctions? Or are they a (necessary) first step before sanctions are imposed?
  • What are the legal consequences of inspections? Can they result in accountability or responsibility? Could they dilute the regime of responsibility?
  • Are inspections effective? Are they efficient?
  • What is the probative value of information obtained through inspections?

Application Guidelines

Registration for the Centre is free of charge. Each selected participant receives a daily allowance and a partial reimbursement of travel expenses to and from The Hague.

Students wishing to apply for the Centre should upload the following documents to theonline registration form:

  • A copy of your valid passport or ID;
  • An identity photograph;
  • A copy of your highest degree certificate or an official document from your university certifying that you are preparing to obtain a degree (official transcripts are accepted as well). If the original document isn't in English or French, please add a translation.You can translate the document into English or French yourself, as long as you add a sworn statement to it, certifying its accuracy and adding the date, place, your name and signature.
  • A curriculum vitae with, if applicable, a list of publications
  • A short letter giving reasons for the application (1-2 pages)
  • A recommendation letter from a professor of international law

The results of the selection of participants for the Centrewill be communicated  by e-mail to applicants in April 2017.

Instructions for having the recommendation letter sent by your referee:
In the recommendation letter the professor must indicate his/her full title, name, university/company and email address. References must be written in English or French.

They should be signed and sent personally as PDF files to Please don't ask your referee to send a hard copy.

Applicants are required to fill out the name of their referee in their application form. Letters received by the Academy will be added to the applicant's dossier.

Regulations of the Centre

Article 1

The Centre is open only to high-level academics or lawyers. Applications are open only to those persons who hold advanced university degrees (a doctorate degree or the Academy's Diploma) or to those who provide evidence of their actual involvement, for at least three years, in international legal matters. Candidates must have real practical experience and a proven ability to undertake research.

Article 2

Accepted participants should endeavor to:

  • Carry out research of a qualitatively high academic standard
  • Foster fruitful exchanges among each other, under the guidance of the Directors of Research

Article 3

The Director of Research assigns each participant with a sub-topic relating to the overarching theme. Each participant is expected to subsequently produce a paper, which must be sent to the Director of Research for review within a set deadline. Only the best contributions will be published.

Article 4

The uninterrupted presence in The Hague of participants will be monitored.


The Academy is not responsible for providing accommodation to attendees. They can contact the Legal Lodging agency, run by Mrs. Merula Oomen, who can provide them with addresses of rooms to rent under the following conditions:

With a host family (limited number of rooms):

  • Single room: €25 per person per night (including breakfast or cooking facilities)
  • Double room: €20 per person per night (two persons; including breakfast or cooking facilities)
  • Payment should be made upon arrival, directly to the host family
  • In case of cancellation of a booking less than two weeks before the start of the Centre, an amount of € 150 will have to be paid to the host family in compensation.

Attendees are advised to arrive on the Sunday preceding the beginning of the Centre.

The Academy requires no payment and isn't responsible for the success of the transaction between the attendee and the host family. The Academy isn't liable for cases of non-payment, the quality of the service provided, cancellations or any other difficulties arising between the attendee and the host family.

For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.

Eligible Countries
Host Country
Study Levels
Publish Date
March 20, 2018
Link To Original