The Hague Academy of International Law (Académie de droit international de La Haye) is a center for teaching and research in public and private international law, with the aim of furthering the scientific study of the legal aspects of international relations. The idea of creating an Academy of International Law was raised at the Hague Conference of 1907 by the Dutch lawyer Tobias Asser, in favour of the peace through law movement. Asser was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1911 and affected a part of the prize money to the Academy. The inauguration of the Academy was initially scheduled for October 1914 but due to the war it had to be postponed and the first courses could only take place in 1923.
The Academy is an Institution: it is not a University, as there is no permanent teaching staff. Rather, its scientific body – the Curatorium – calls upon academics, practitioners, diplomats and other expertly qualified personalities from all over the world to give courses. These courses are given in the form of a series of lectures, in English or French (with simultaneous interpretation) on general or specialist subjects.
In the summer of 2015, the Academy will host the first session of a new Advanced Course on International Criminal Law, developed in cooperation with The Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies of Leiden University, with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.
The United Nations General Assembly regularly expresses its appreciation of the Hague Academy for “the contributions of the Hague Academy to the teaching, study, dissemination and wider appreciation of international law.” The Academy was awarded the Wateler Peace Prize (1936, 1950), the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize (1992), the Order of Rio Branco, Brazil (1999), and the Medal of the Royal Institute of European Studies, Spain (2000). The Academy has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 34 times between 1915 and 1956.