Each session comprises a general course and special courses. The general course is given over a period of three weeks in Public International Law and three weeks in Private International Law.
General courses (morning - compulsory - everyday), which are presented by experienced and recognized lecturers, address in depth the trends and main features of international law and offer students a comprehensive view of their subject.
Special courses (morning - compulsory - everyday), which last for 5 hours during one week, are devoted to specific questions or single topics, and are given by lecturers who have made these subjects an important part of their research.
At the end of the session, students who have regularly attended all the courses will receive a certificate of attendance.
Seminars (afternoon - not compulsory - one per lecturer per week), each lecturer conducts a seminar on the subject of his lecture. These seminars allow the students a greater opportunity to ask questions or to request additional information on the course and to participate in discussions of particular issues raised during the lectures.
Directed studies (afternoon - consult the admission criteria), for advanced students who wish to study for the examination leading to the award of the Academy's diploma (or who wish to participate in intensive seminars on questions of private and public international law, even if they do not intend to sit for the diploma), under the direction of a professor.
Other activities In addition to the courses, seminars and directed studies that are the « core » of the summer programme in public and private international law, the Academy organises other activities for its students. The aim of these activities is both to help them to set up networks amongst themselves, within the hundred or so nationalities that are represented, so that they can reap the full benefit and have enduring memories of their stay in The Hague, and also to add to their knowledge through practical and concrete experiences that allow them better to grasp the effects and scope of international law.
For these purposes,
1° The Academy organises on its premises a number of lectures on the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the International Court of Justice and the various international criminal courts and tribunals. These lectures, which are given by members of those courts and tribunals, are followed by question-and-answer sessions.
2° In addition, visits to those institutions are organised by the Association of Attendees and Alumni of the Academy (AAA), allowing the students to understand how they work.
3° On occasions when the International Court of Justice delivers a judgement during a session, arrangements are made to allow the students to follow this event.
4° At the request of the Academy, many Ambassadors based in The Hague are pleased to receive groups of students in order to explain to them the role and activities of an Embassy and to give them direct insight into the work of a diplomat and the actual role played by diplomacy in international relations.
5° Doctoral students who are working on identical or related subjects in different countries are given the opportunity to meet regularly throughout the session with the support of a teacher or a practitioner whose time is devoted to this specific task, in order to exchange their various knowledge, views and approaches with respect to the questions that they are studying, resulting in cross-fertilisation that can of course be continued after they have left the Academy.
6° Sales are held each week, in the Academy's lobby, of legal publications, the Academy's Collected Courses at a special price, and the pocketbooks.