Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
OnderwijsUniversity of Groningen Summer SchoolsInternational Law for Sustainable Societies

International Law for Sustainable Societies

The Sustainable Development Goals
light the way
DFID (UK), Creative Commons license

Although the percentage of people living on less than $1.25 a day fell from 43.1% to 20.6% in the last 25 years (World Bank), much more needs to be done to improve the living conditions of people around the world. Following up on the advances made pursuant to the Millennium Development Goals, the equally ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by the General Assembly in October 2015.

This summer school, organized by the Department of Transboundary Legal Studies (formerly International Law), aims to explore the contribution of international law to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The 17 SDGs set 169 targets for advancement, including universal access to food, water, health care and education; the sustainability of economic growth; ensuring protection of the environment; and the promotion of peace and justice. These goals intend to ameliorate everybody’s lives, in particular by ending extreme poverty, eradicating inequalities and injustice, and addressing environmental problems and climate change.

Each day of our summer school will be devoted to a particular subtheme, such as basic human needs; sustainable development; the human environment; migration; crises & transitions. We will discuss the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular the fight against poverty, problems of climate change and pollution, the dilemmas and opportunities of migration, access to essential public services, and the challenges of transitional administration and justice in conflict situations. Starting the morning with an investigation into relevant general international law concepts, this will be followed by invited speakers who will share their expertise on the relevant Sustainable Development Goal(s). In the afternoons, the role of international law and human rights will be thoroughly explored as the indispensable legal framework for the implementation of the SDGs by States and non-state actors alike.

In tackling various issues, the summer school intends to highlight both the prospects and challenges of implementation of the SDGs by analysing these in the light of human rights law, sustainable development law, the law of (international) peace and security, and international law more generally. As goals do not (necessarily) justify the means, we will approach international law and human rights not only as a facilitator enabling the implementation of the SDGs, but also in their roles to prevent arbitrary or unlawful actions. Throughout the programme, participants will be invited to actively discuss – with experts from international law, human rights law, international relations, civil society, and the (social) sciences – the legal and policy framework.

Dates 9 - 13 July 2018
Location Groningen, the Netherlands


Or equivalent degrees covering international law and sustainable development

Coordinators Dr. mr. A.J.J. de Hoogh, Faculty of Law
Dr. mr. A.G. Hallo de Wolf, Faculty of Law


University of Groningen, Faculty of Arts

Globalisation Studies Groningen
Globalisation Studies Groningen
Last modified:02 October 2018 1.07 p.m.