International Summer School - Heritage Destruction, Human Rights and International Law

Start date
End date

This summer the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies and the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre for Global Heritage and Development will host the first edition of the Summer School on Heritage Destruction, Human Rights and International Law.

Target audience

This Summer School is open to students and professionals who would like to acquire a general knowledge of how heritage destruction is dealt with in international law, in times of conflict and in peace. The deadline for application is 1st June 2018. Applications that are received after the 1st of June will still be considered, but admission will depend on the availability of places.

Academic content

This unique programme, which brings together students and professionals from a wide range of backgrounds, experience and perspectives, aims to give a broad overview of heritage protection in international law with a particular emphasis on heritage destruction. The course offers a range of opportunities to test the acquisition of knowledge and participants will engage with some of the most current debates concerning the role of international law in dealing with heritage destruction.  In particular, participants will acquire a solid understanding of how heritage is protected in international law; the rules governing that protection in armed conflict and in peace time; the link between heritage and human rights, and the increasing case law from international criminal courts treating heritage destruction as a war crime and as crimes against humanity.

Study load

The course includes about 34 hours of workshops, lectures and educational field trips, which require approximately 25 hours of preparation.

Class size

To ensure active participation and exchange with teaching staff and fellow participants, a maximum of 40 participants will be admitted to this course.

Why this Summer School?

Historically, heritage has always been targeted in times of conflict and transition for its symbolic value. However, the difference between historical acts of iconoclasm and the destruction of heritage sites today is that we now have a general consensus, embodied in the corpus of international law, that intentionally destroying cultural heritage is an international wrong and, except in the case of absolute military necessity, constitutes a war crime and potentially a crime against humanity. In addition, heritage is increasingly recognised as having a strong human rights dimension.

The Summer School offers a unique opportunity to learn from well-known and influential academics and leading practitioners. You will gain first-hand knowledge of international law governing heritage protection, as well as the role of international courts in prosecuting heritage destruction in The Hague, the International City of Peace and Justice. The course also offers plenty of opportunities to network with fellow students and practitioners from all over the world. And last but not least, The Hague is a wonderful place to stay!


More information about registration will follow