The first edition of the Summer School on Heritage Destruction, Human Rights and International Law was recently held in The Hague from 27August to 1 September 2018. It was the first time that the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies and the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre for Global Heritage and Development teamed up for an educational initiative, and, in partnership with UNESCO, the results were inspiring. The summer school not only comprised an impressive group of speakers and lectures, including leading scholars in the field, alongside practitioners from the International Criminal Court, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and UNESCO, it also hosted a highly involved group of participants from over 20 countries, with a variety of disciplinary backgrounds and expertise.
The participants in this first year included PhD students from both heritage and law disciplines, staff from the ICC, UNESCO, a diplomat, a lawyer working on the Crimean Gold case, ministerial staff, and a host of other inspiring professionals and students with a shared interest in this cross cutting topic, one that transcends disciplinary boundaries and requires the kind of joint-up thinking that this Grotius Centre- Centre for Global Heritage & Development collaboration permitted.
Despite the normative developments made at the global level, the scholarly interest in the topic and increasing societal awareness, there is still a dearth of available academic courses on the subject, which is why this summer school received such a high level of interest. Due to the exceptional demand and positive feedback from the participants, the academic coordinators, Amy Strecker and Joseph Powderly, are now planning next year’s course.
We would like to thank all the participants, from all around the world, for their enthusiasm and their thirst for knowledge that led to a fruitful week!