‘The Hope of Ages is in the Process of Realization’

Establishing a World Court, 1920-1922


International Workshop, 11-12 June 2020



We are approaching the centenary of the first ‘World Court’: between 1920 and 1922, experts and diplomats prepared the Statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ), the first ‘World Court’, located in The Hague. Their work drew on the efforts of prior generations of international lawyers and activists, and yet resulted in something new and lasting: a permanent court of potentially general jurisdiction, whose basic structures have remained unchanged for nearly a century. While the PCIJ itself has remained the subject of continuous inquiry, many questions and decisions relating to its establishment have remained understudied. These include:

– The role of key protagonists in the drafting of the PCIJ’s Statute (including, but not limited to, the Advisory Committee of Jurists);

– The role of civil society and of non-European nations in the establishment phase;

– The response of the Dutch government and society to the proposed establishment of a(nother) ‘Hague court’;

– Contemporary views and predictions of the future Court’s role and relevance.

To understand these issues and to close gaps in our understanding of the PCIJ’s ‘establishment phase’, Professors Christian J. Tams (University of Glasgow) and Henri de Waele (Radboud University) will host a two-day workshop in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, on 11-12 June 2020.

As part of this workshop, we invite applications for paper presentations from scholars of international law, history, international relations, and related disciplines.

Interested applicants should submit an abstract of no more than 750 words by 15 December 2019 to the following address: pcijconference@ru.nl. Please include your name, affiliation and email address with the abstract, and indicate succinctly why you feel it offers a novel angle.

The full text of the call is available here.