T.M.C. Asser Instituut

General introduction
The T.M.C. Asser Instituut, The HagueThe T.M.C. Asser Instituut, established in 1965, is an independent academic institution where research is carried out in the fields of private and public international law, European law and international commercial arbitration. The primary objective of the Institute is to support and promote fundamental and applied academic research in these areas. Using modern means of information and communication, the Institute’s staff is able to follow developments in the fields of research closely, and to place new developments in their legal context.

The Institute’s primary tasks and activities are:

- Academic research
- Applied research
- (International) Legal advice
- Consultancy projects
- Postgraduate Education & Training
- Documentation & Information
- Publications: T.M.C. Asser Press
- Organisation of Conferences and Seminars

The Institute specialises in the following fields of law:

- Private International Law
- Public International Law
- European Law
- International Commercial Arbitration
- International Economic Law / WTO
- International Humanitarian Law
- International Environmental Law
- International Sports Law

In implementing its tasks the T.M.C. Asser Instituut works in close co-operation with, inter alia, national and foreign universities, academic centres, governments, international organisations, the institutions of the European Union and law firms. Within the above-mentioned Dutch interuniversity framework, the Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA) holds a special position as the Asser Instituut’s governing body.

The Hague: an international legal centre
The T.M.C. Asser Instituut is located in The Hague, a city which enjoys international prominence as the world's legal capital. The Hague has earned this renowned reputation thanks to the large number of international legal institutions established there, among which are The Peace Palace - where the International Court of Justice and the Permanent Court of Arbitration are housed - the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the Hague Conference on Private International Law and Europol. The institute's modern office building is in close proximity to most of these institutions. This factor alone ensures the Institute popularity among many researchers since it is the ideal place to carry out research in the fields within the ambit of international law.

Fundamental academic research
The T.M.C. Asser Instituut's main activity is the implementation of fundamental academic research in the international-legal field. A team of expert researchers guarantees high standards. Alongside the Institute's multitude of research facilities is an extensive international network of university and academic contacts.
Another essential component of the Institute’s objective is to develop young talent. In this respect the Asser Dissertations Programme (ADP) offers promising young lawyers the opportunity to carry out their Ph.D. research. To facilitate this purpose, the Institute provides study grants. A part of the research can, moreover, be conducted at one of the participating universities, among others within the Grotius Research Cooperation Network. Connected with this network are renowned universities and institutions from Europe, the United States and Israel.

Applied academic research: consultancy, contract research and legal advice
Alongside fundamental academic research, the Institute is also active in contract research and the provision of legal advice. This tailor-made applied research varies from finding (ad hoc) solutions to, for example, questions of private international law on behalf of the legal profession, to co-ordinating and/or implementing long term (research) projects. The large-scale research projects usually occur within the framework of international development programmes. Among those who have commissioned the Institute in this respect are, inter alia, the European Union, national governments, ministries and international organisations.

Postgraduate education
The T.M.C. Asser Instituut offers postgraduate programmes and, in addition, organises specialised tailor-made courses. In this respect the Institute co-operates with the Dutch universities and other national and foreign academic institutions.
Asser College Europe (ACE) is an international study programme which was set up in co-operation with a large number of foreign universities. The programme has been made possible by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs within the framework of the Transition Programme Central and Eastern Europe (MATRA). Participants can register for various modules and projects concerned with European and international law. The ACE programme also provides training for librarians and documentalists.
Furthermore, the Asser Instituut organises seminars on current developments and, upon request, specialised (in-company) training in the field of international and European law.

Documentation and information
A good and reliable supply of documentation and information is indispensable for academics and practising lawyers alike. The extensive source of materials which the Institute has at its disposal are available to the public and may be accessed in the modern and well-equipped library. Data may also be requested in writing or otherwise.
The library also hosts an officially recognised European Documentation Centre (EDC). A large volume of source materials and information is also available on the Institute's website: T.M.C. Asser Instituut

Academic meetings
In order to promote and sustain academic discussion, the T.M.C. Asser Instituut's Congress bureau regularly organises conferences and meetings. The congresses, usually international in nature, address topical issues and recent trends, and attract a great deal of interest.
Somewhat smaller in dimension are the Asser Round Table Sessions, where participants have the opportunity to exchange their views on contemporary international legal issues and current developments in an informal setting.

T.M.C. Asser Press
Academic research and academic publications are intertwined. The Asser Instituut has thereby established its own, specialised publishing house: T.M.C. Asser Press. For (international) distribution and promotion there is close co-operation with other publishers. In this respect a unique combination of expert knowledge, flexibility and optimal world-wide distribution has been realised. Leading periodicals published by T.M.C. Asser Press are: Netherlands International Law Review (NILR), Netherlands Yearbook of International Law (NYIL), Yearbook International Humanitarian Law (YIHL) and, for the Dutch market, the Nederlands Internationaal Privaatrecht (NIPR).

Tobias Michael Carel Asser (1838-1913)
The Institute is named after Tobias Michael Carel Asser (1838-1913), the Dutch lawyer who, in 1911, was bestowed with the Nobel Peace Prize for his great contribution to the development of international law and especially for his efforts in establishing the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. Asser was also one of the driving forces behind the establishment of the Hague Conference on Private International Law, the first meeting of which he chaired in 1893. From a historical point of view, Asser's efforts led to the materialisation of the first World Peace Conferences around the turn of the 20th century. International case law such as that which emanates from the Peace Palace in The Hague is also largely thanks to him.
Tobias Asser was active on many levels in various guises, as a practising lawyer, a law professor, a diplomat, a state advisor, an academic and a publicist. He practised law, studied, analysed, made suggestions for its improvement and conveyed his experiences to others. The multifaceted quality of this great scholar is reflected in the working methods of the Institute.



Number of staff
Approximately 50

Who's who?
F.A. (Frans) Nelissen - Director
J.S. (Jan) de Jongh - Information Manager 
O.M. (Olivier) Ribbelink - Head of Research 
R.C.R. (Rob) Siekmann - Managing Director, Asser International Sports Centre 
Philip E. van Tongeren - Publisher of T.M.C.Asser Press 

Contact information 
Visiting address
R.J. Schimmelpennincklaan 20-22
2517 JN The Hague

Postal address
P.O. Box 30461
2500 GL The Hague

Tel: +31-(0)70-3420300
Fax: +31-(0)70-3420359

Email: info@asser.nl 
Website: T.M.C. Asser Instituut

Dutch and English