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Discover International Law


Or go to the: Chinese version | Dutch version | French version | Spanish version


We hereby proudly inform you that the second edition of Discover International Law has been published. This book has been authored by professor Willem van Genugten, professor Nico Schrijver and PhD candidate Daniela Heerdt. The first edition was published in 2016 and presented to former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Ever since 2016, however, due to rapidly changing circumstances, a second edition was quickly warranted, in order to accurately address obsolete parts present in the first edition, and to remain an eloquent and sound introductory book to public international law. The second edition is available in five languages and has been expertly translated by native speakers.

The purpose of this book is to contribute to a better understanding of public international law and private international law, including the latest trends and highlights. The conclusions of the authors of this book are mostly optimistic. A positive look is sometimes needed to notice the progress and not to go too fast in negative hypes. In order to move forward with international law, we need to understand the state of affairs and the trends, per jurisdiction and in a broader sense, taking into account historical developments and ever-changing geopolitical contexts. The authors note that states are increasingly being forced to accept human rights as a guideline for their actions. Little by little, human rights are conquering a place in all areas of international law and in international relations, where it is ultimately a question of pure power policy coming to its knees for law. In addition, they see a new social contract between states, civil society (NGOs, trade unions, churches) and companies, with support and critical reflection from science and they observe a combination of clarity and diversity.

When developing international law, it is very important not to neglect global cultural and political diversity in theory and practice. The book is written in such a way that it is accessible to anyone interested in these topics. Per chapter the reader is introduced to basic concepts from international law, and to international organizations and historical events that were important for the development of that part of international law. The book aims to impart basic knowledge to each of
the topics discussed, and offers all kinds of options for further study where this is necessary and desirable depending on the needs of the reader. The reader will gradually understand that the various legal areas and developments within them are interconnected.

The book also tells the story of the unique and historical link between international law and the city of The Hague. The city was described by former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as “Epicentre of international justice and accountability.”


Professor Willem van Genugten, Daniela Heerdt, Professor Nico Schrijver. ISBN: 9789462406049


  • Chapter 1: International Peace and Security
  • Chapter 2: International Dispute Settlement
  • Chapter 3: Private International Law
  • Chapter 4: International Family Law
  • Chapter 5: International Economic Law
  • Chapter 6: International Law and Technology
  • Chapter 7: International Criminal Law
  • Chapter 8: International Climate Law
  • Chapter 9: Human Rights Law
  • Chapter 10: Law of the Sea

Additional information

Weight600 g


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