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About us Faculty of Law Organization Departments Transboundary Legal Studies Areas of Expertise International Law


The academic staff of the International Law Department participates in a variety of research projects and programmes both inside and outside the University of Groningen. For a current overview of research activities per member of staff please consult the profile pages of our staff members.

Our research covers a broad spectrum of international law topics. Most, if not all, projects are linked to our core theme ‘international law for sustainable societies’ and are undertaken in the context of the following research programmes of our faculty: Public Trust and Public Law, Energy and Sustainability, and Public Interests and Private Relationships. Global Health Law Groningen (GHLG) is our research centre that focuses on the role of international law in addressing worldwide health related issues, such as infectious and chronic diseases, access to medicines, reproductive health, and migrant health.

A selection of recent research projects

Toebes, B. International health law: an emerging field of public international law ' [2015] 55(3) Indian Journal of International Law 299

Rachovitsa, A. Engineering and lawyering privacy by design: understanding online privacy both as a technical and an international human rights issue [2016] 24 International Journal of Law and Information Technology 374

Hallo de Wolf, A and Toebes, B ‘Assessing Private Sector Involvement in Health Care and Universal Health Coverage in Light of the Right to Health’ [2016] 18 Health and Human Rights Journal 78

Hesselman, M, Hallo de Wolf, A and Toebes, B (eds.) Socio-Economic Human Rights in Essential Public Services Provision (Routledge 2016)

Cubie, D and Hesselman, M, ‘Accountability for the Human Rights Implications of Natural Disasters: A Proposal for Systemic International Oversight’ [2015] 33(1) Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights 9

Gispen, MEC, Human Rights and Drug Control (Intersentia 2017)

De Hoogh, A, ‘ Restrictivist Reasoning on the Ratione Personae Dimension of Armed Attacks in the Post 9/11 World’ [2016] 29 Leiden Journal of International Law 19

Ruvebana, E and Brus, M, ‘Before It’s Too Late: Preventing Genocide by Holding the Territorial State Responsible for Not Taking Preventive Action’ [2015] 62 Netherlands International Law Review 25

Merkouris, P, Article 31(3)(c) VCLT and the Principle of Systemic Integration: Normative Shadows in Plato's Cave (Martinus Nijhoff/Brill 2015)

PhD projects

PhD research forms an important part of the research activities in our faculty. The diversity of the PhD researchers in international law forms an inspiring context for realising ambitious research projects. Our PhD candidates participate and receive training in the Groningen Graduate School of Law. The faculty offers scholarships for PhD projects. Applicants are advised to contact senior staff of the Department well in time before submitting an application

Recently completed

  • O'Donoghue, A.M., Norms of Constitutionalism in the International Constitutionalisation Debate, defended 12 April 2012 (published as Constitutionalism in Global Constitutionalisation, CUP 2014)
  • Ruvebana, E., Prevention of Genocide under International Law; An Analysis of the Obligations of States and the United Nations to Prevent Genocide at the Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Levels, defended 12 June 2014 (Published by Intersentia 2014; Winner of the Max van de Stoel Human Rights Award 2014)


  • Mosissa, G.A., Justiciability as a necessary element for effective protection and realization of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Africa
  • Hesselman, M., Human rights and access to energy
  • Knottnerus, A., The Legitimacy of the International Criminal Court
  • Zhang, Y., Accountability for the realization of the right to health in China
  • Lane, C.L., Human Rights Obligations of Private Actors
  • Dyah Kusumawati, E., Accountability and the implementation of the right to adequate housing in Indonesia
  • Berro Pizzarossa, L., Sexual and reproductive health in the Latin American context
  • Flegar, V.L.B., Vulnerability, migration and human rights
  • Perehudoff, K., Model legislation for universal access to medicines
  • Verburg, C.G., Investing in Renewable Energy and Investment Protection under the Energy Charter Treaty

Last modified:19 August 2019 10.02 a.m.