Abstract

This Liber Amicorum focuses on the broad research interests of Professor Nico J. Schrijver, in whose honour it was created. Written by a wide range of international scholars affiliated with Leiden University's Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies, the essays reflect Professor Schrijver's important contribution to academia and practice, particularly in the fields of sovereignty, human rights and sustainable development. The authors aim to reflect on changes in international law and on new developments in the diverse fields they explore. "Furthering frontiers" is the research theme of the Grotius Centre. Its exploration in this thought-provoking volume is a fitting homage to Nico Schrijver's achievements on the occasion of his retirement as Chair of Public International Law of Leiden University.

Professor Nico Schrijver is is a well-respected guest, user and supporter of the Peace Palace Library. He has advised and assisted the Library on various occasions, for which we are grateful to him. He is also currently Curatorium Member of The Hague Academy of International Law.

The title of this book, Furthering the Frontiers of International Law: Sovereignty, Human Rights, Sustainable Development, reflects Nico Schrijver’s most important areas of research. Sovereignty is reflected throughout Nico Schrijver’s work, starting with his monograph on the principle of permanent sovereignty over natural resources. It is furthermore a recurrent theme in his writings on foreign investment and Dutch foreign policy, but especially in his many contributions on the UN system of collective security, ranging from the prohibition on the use of force, to critical reflections on the functioning of the UN Security Council and counter-terrorism. Human rights as a research theme is directly reflected in Nico Schrijver’s work on the right to development, on the remedies related to the immunity of the United Nations, on the Responsibility to Protect, and the functioning of UN human rights bodies. It is, however, also an important underlying theme permeating his other work, as one of the three international legal pillars underpinning the notion of ‘sustainable development’. Sustainable development is omnipresent in Nico Schrijver’s writings. He is one of the leading scholars in this field, laying the theoretical foundations for and giving shape to the concept within international law, including in its various applications: from global resource management to climate change and beyond.

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Nico J. Schrijver

Nico J. Schrijver

Professor Nico Schrijver is is a well-respected guest, user and supporter of the Peace Palace Library. He has advised and assisted the Library on various occasions, for which we are grateful to him. He is also currently Curatorium Member of The Hague Academy of International Law.

Nico Schrijver’s research during his Leiden years covered a wide variety of specific areas of international law: ranging from United Nations law, including the ius ad bellum, to the law of the sea, sustainable development law, human rights law, investment law, counterterrorism and more. Some of his major publications in these years are The Evolution of Sustainable Development in International Law: Inception, Meaning and Status, based on his course for The Hague Academy of International Law, and his award-winning Development Without Destruction: The United Nations and Global Resource Management, in addition to the collaborative projects on The Security Council and the Use of Force: Theory and Reality – A Need for Change? (with Niels Blokker), Elected Members of the Security Council (with Niels Blokker) and Counter-Terrorism Strategies in a Fragmented International Legal Order: Meeting the Challenges (with Larissa van den Herik).

Overall, Nico Schrijver’s approach in teaching and research may be characterized as truly global (hence the title of his textbook Internationaal publiekrecht als wereldrecht), far from ‘Western’ or ‘Eurocentric’, and fully taking into account perspectives from the Global South. Such a perspective generates a strong interest in global challenges, from terrorism to climate change and sustainable development. The seeds of inspiration for some of these themes may perhaps be found in Nico Schrijver’s childhood. Born as the son of a horticulturist, he had the opportunity to familiarize himself with sustainability in the most practical sense from a very young age. Living close to a dyke shielding the land from the destructive powers of the sea made him furthermore aware of the dangers of sea level rise and the need for environmental protection. This background may also explain his highly practical approach as a researcher.

In addition to his academic tasks, he has been active as a Senator in the Dutch Parliament (2011–2017); he was a member of the renowned Dutch Committee of Inquiry on the War in Iraq (2009–2010) and was a member and a vice-chair of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (2008–2016). Furthermore, he has appeared as counsel before the International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, and UNCLOS Annex VII Tribunals, and served as expert before domestic courts, as well as in proceedings before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and before various international investment tribunals. In view of his diplomatic skills and leadership qualities, it is no surprise that he has been the President of the two oldest and most prestigious universal associations of international lawyers: the International Law Association (2010–2012) and the Institut de Droit International (2017–2019). In short, it is clear that Nico is much more than a schrijver (writer).