Cosmas Emeziem, Nigeria, JSD Candidate, Cornell Law School

I first heard of The Hague Academy of International Law and The Peace Palace Library a few years ago as a law undergraduate at the University of Nigeria. This ignited an aspiration in me to attend the Academy, because it was in line with my dream of becoming an expert in international law. Thus attending the Summer Courses of The Hague Academy of International Law this year within the precincts of the Peace Palace and at the same time have a direct access to the rare and outstanding resources of the Peace Palace Library is for me a dream come true.

I am supremely inspired by the rigorous intellectual intercourse here amongst scholars and attendees within and outside the lecture halls. It is amazing the enormity of ideas and intensity of thoughts one encounters even during informal gatherings. Having participated in both the Public and Private International Law Sessions, it was quite significant for me to interact with students, professors and judges from diverse backgrounds and ideological dispositions. It offered me a unique opportunity of learning and generally appreciating the nuanced perspectives of the attendees and scholars to the many concerns of Public and Private International Law. It was somewhat magical to meet and have meaningful conversations with some of the Judges of the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court. Meeting these persons in the course of the lectures and other well-tailored events and sharing their near oracular exposition of issues of international law is simply awesome. Equally, I can say from my experience that friendships sparked off seamlessly amongst the attendees despite backgrounds, origins and cultural differences. Indeed the friendships I have made here from across different regions of the world will remain evergreen in my mind.

Besides the well thought out courses, the Peace Palace Library made an indelible impression on me. The ambience of the library, the serene atmosphere and the existence of some of the most respected collections of international law is highly inspirational. The environment which is very much like a sanctuary whets one’s appetite to study and gives thought to some of the current concerns of international law. Sometimes merely sitting in the library was all that one needed for a proper fermentation and tranquil recollection of ideas on some of the issues raised by any of the professors or judges during the courses. The readiness of the library staff to guide and support research perchance one is confused on any issue highlighted the positive work ethic and standards which they have set for themselves. In all the idea of The Hague Academy of International Law and the Peace Palace Library is very profound. Despite the number of years these institutions have stayed, they appear quite vigorous as if they were still in their youth. One would say that, it is exceedingly humbling to imagine the amount of sacrifice and contribution made by those before us to set up and sustain these institutions over the years and I am glad to be part of it.

 Rafaeli Coscarelli - Italy - Private LawRaffaele Coscarelli, Master of Laws in Comparative Private Law at University of Naples “Federico II”, associate in the law firm Di Genio-Segreto & Ricchiuti in Rome, Italy

Inspired by the work of the surrounding international courts and tribunals, the Hague Academy of International Law is a unique place where best lawyers from all over the world meet for studying and teaching Public and Private International Law.  I found the Academy Courses very helpful  as they follow a practical and technical approach and provide an excellent background for our future case work. The Academy, located in the Peace Palace and in the heart of International Law, has an intensive schedule of lectures, seminars, conferences and network events.  I am grateful for the opportunity to share this experience with other international lawyers with different backgrounds and points of view which helped me to gain a global perspective.

The famous Peace Palace Library is recognized worldwide as one of the most important libraries in the world.  I am very impressed with the hospitality of the librarians.  Besides being very helpful in finding materials, the manner in which they respond to online requests is an epiphany for everyone.

Furthermore, I want to underline the efforts of all operative professionals working for the Academy, the Library and AAA.  Thanks to their brilliant minds and performances, the summer school is the best in its genre. I would like to finish off by saying that attending the academic and social activities of the Hague Academy of International Law constitutes one of the best ways for young students, lawyers and scholars to understand what it is like to work, study and live in an international law environment. Such an experience is likely to have significant positive impact on their lives.

Rosmy - India - Private Law Rosmy Joan, Assistant Professor of Private International Law, National Law University,  New Delhi, India

I am delighted that I have the privilege of being ushered into this wonderful seat of learning at The Hague, the capital of International Peace and Justice. The Hague Academy of International Law, surrounded by academic excellence and scenic beauty, certainly stirs one’s soul, kindles one’s aspirations, and shapes one’s career. Being a student at The Hague Academy is a highly prized opportunity to get to know the veteran views on contemporary issues in international law as very eminent professors give lectures and seminars. Also, this is a very valuable chance for a young professional to interact with one’s counterpart from all over the globe, share experience and views, and exchange knowledge about recent trends and new methodologies followed in research and justification of practice. This is an eye opener to the versatility of current issues in international law.

The highlight of this course is the opportunity to use the Peace Palace Library of International Law. It is indeed a treasure house for any aspirant of international law. Since the first day of the private international law course, I have enjoyed learning a great deal about international law utilizing the Peace Palace Library. Finding what is new in international law using the catalogue, browsing and downloading materials, getting books issued, and so on; everything is organized in a highly efficient and effective way. The staff members of the library are very helpful in finding solutions to the troubles in seconds and render a wonderful service. It enables any participant in a fruitful and gratifying way not only to expand knowledge, but also to deepen the understanding of international law. The books and materials that I could get from the library would be a strong foundation to my research and an asset for my professional development.

This summer course is a unique and ever memorable experience not only in academic interests, but also because of a rich social and cultural feast. Congratulations, best wishes and a heartfelt thank you to The Hague Academy, the City of The Hague and each and every one of the participants.

 Pierre Di Giacomo - Private LawPierre Di Giacomo, étudiant franco-italien en double master de droit français/ droit italien à Paris et Bologne

Etant étudiant en droit international et européen, j’étais plus qu’enthousiaste à l’idée de venir passer six semaines à l’Académie de droit international. Ces deux sessions, de droit international public et de droit international privé, ont été exceptionnelles, aussi bien en ce qui concerne les cours, que les personnes qui y ont assisté avec moi. En effet, lors de mon séjour à La Haye, j’ai eu l’occasion de profiter de l’enseignement de professeurs excellents, et d’accroitre  mes connaissances dans de nombreux domaines. Mais surtout, j’ai eu la chance de rencontrer des personnes incroyables, de différents pays, différentes cultures, avec qui j’ai pu discuter tout au long de six semaines, nouer des amitiés, et que j’espère fortement avoir l’occasion de revoir ces prochaines. Ce fut, à mon avis, l’un des aspects les plus positifs et enrichissants de ce cours d’été.

Par ailleurs, l’une des raisons de ma venue à l’Académie était de réussir à trouver un sujet de mémoire pour l’année prochaine et, je l’espère, de thèse pour les années à venir. A ces fins, la bibliothèque du Palais de la Paix fut d’une aide considérable. En effet, la quantité et diversité d’ouvrages traitant de droit international y est impressionnante, et rares sont les bibliothèques qui peuvent se targuer d’avoir une telle collection. Ce fut un véritable plaisir que d’y avoir eu accès tout au long de ce séjour.

Ce mois et demi passé à l’Académie de Droit international de la Haye fut une incroyable expérience, que j’espère sincèrement pouvoir renouveler dans les prochaines années.

Sophia UgwuSophia Ugwu, LL.M, Commercial Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam  

If one has not been to the Hague academy of international law, (S)he may not have a perfect understanding, even though he is told things like these …

…The Hague Academy of international law is a world academy that connotes a blend of knowledge, Age and peace.

…The iconic Peace Palace building and the glorious garden in the premises reflects a land of marvel, wonders and royalty.

…The age and reputation of the academy attracts over 600 legal scholars from different parts of the world every year…

When one makes it to the Hague Academy of International Law for the Summer Course, it then becomes apparent  that there are many truths of which the full meaning cannot be realized until personal experience brings it home.

Having successfully concluded my 3 week course on Private International Law at the Academy, I can unequivocally state that the vintage summer course at The Hague Academy of International Law is a reflection of knowledge and wisdom that is derived from age. The rich experiential content of the teachings of the professors cannot be over emphasized. Being obviously eminent and very busy, one would expect the professors to be distant, proud and inaccessible. Reality negated such expectations as they revealed that they were begotten from the same progenitor, “Humility’’.  As intellectuals of humble descent, they refused to be ‘possessed ‘’ by the legal knowledge they “possessed’. They opted to take total possession of the knowledge they possessed and dispense same with humility, candor and commitment. Indeed, the professors displayed rare conduct and rectitude, worthy of emulation.

A visit to The Peace palace Library at the end of my first lectures on Conflict of Laws, launched me into another “kettle of conflict”,  namely “the conflict of choices”. One battled between being a permanent resident of the library and attending lectures. Therein, I realized that the oldest book in the Peace Palace Library was written in 1609 by Hugo Grotius, and that every week, the library receives over 100 electronic materials. As the Library held me bound, I acknowledged that  the Peace Palace Library is  indubitably, an invaluable bequest to posterity.

“Hi, can you help me find out if I am related to Hugo Grotius…?”, “smiles… yes Mam, come with me please”… With smiles on their faces, they answer the dumbest questions. The Librarians at the Peace Palace Library are much more than information givers; they are servants of a community who possess a vast store of skill and dedication. With their skills, they catalogue different forms of dumbness and tell people what they didn’t know that they wanted to know. These librarians know where wisdom is stored and how to phrase the questions one wants answered.

Steadying my observation, a throng of thoughts occupied my mind… If nothing lasts forever, if scientific evolution determines the life span of most things and if the prediction that all libraries will soon be gathered in an intangible electronic library firmly grasps the future, one may be bothered about future scholars who may not experience these treasures I speak about.

At the end of the 3 week course, I discovered new things. New things about Private International Law, about myself and about the world. The Curatorium discovered a young distinguished scholar, Mr Tobias Lutzi , who bagged the award of a diploma certificate. The 2015 Summer Course on Private International Law at The Hague Academy was indeed, a rewarding voyage of discovery.

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