Study Trip Peace Palace Library and SOLVIT The Netherlands

In: Department IEUL

17 Feb 2015


On Thursday 11 December 2014 the department of International and European Public Law organised a study trip to The Hague. On that day LL.M. students of the ESL IEPL programme together with Mr. Chris Koppe LL.M, B.A, an EU law lecturer at the IEPL department and organiser of the study trip, visited the Peace Palace Library and SOLVIT The Netherlands. The study trip began at Rotterdam Central station where at 09.00 hrs everyone together took a train to The Hague.

Peace Palace Library

When arriving before the gate of the Peace Palace, the group first absorbed the grand view of the Peace Palace, before entering the library section. The Peace Palace Library has one of the most extensive and oldest collections of books and journals on international and European Union Law. For lawyers specialised in international and/or European law, the catalogue of the Peace Palace Library is an indispensable source of information.

After having entered the library, the group received a short lecture on the history of the Peace Palace and its library by legal information specialist Ms. Candice Alihusain. After having explained the need for a Peace Palace, she explained how funds to build the Peace Palace came mainly from the American businessman and philanthropist Alfred Carnegie (1835-1919), to whom the foundation is named as we know it today, and that these funds were used to finance the design of the Peace Palace drafted by the French architect Louis Marie Cordonnier. Besides focussing on the history and how it came into existence, the lecture highlighted last year’s centennial and the way in which the Peace Palace has been a symbol for peace throughout the years (and probably in the years to come…). In addition, the lecturer gave us a small treat, by explaining us about her specific field of interest, namely how women like Bertha von Suttner (1843-1914) and Aletta Jacobs (1854-1929) contributed to peace within the international peace movement.

After the lecture we received information on how to conduct legal research in the Peace Palace library. This type of information is are vital for our IEPL students, since it allows them to further develop their research skills. The librarian was well informed of our programme, and we received a tailor made tour through the library, which ended on a high note in the old reading room (see picture).

After our visit to the Peace Palace Library, it was time for lunch and to enjoy The Hague, the international city of peace and justice.


In the afternoon we visited SOLVIT the Netherlands. SOLVIT is a cross border service for EU citizens and business companies whose EU rights are infringed by government bodies of another EU Member State as a result of the misapplication of EU law. Being a cross-border service, SOLVIT has a service centre in every Member State of the European Union to facilitate EU citizens and companies. In general, these centres are located in the Ministries of Economic Affairs. The centres are financed by the European Commission.

After a few words of introduction, the group received a lecture by one of the Ministry’s Senior Policy Advisors on Internal Market. The Senior Policy Advisor provided us with an insight on how the European Union works in terms of general practice and how the EU functions in Brussels. Moreover, she gave us some insights on the relationship between the European Commission and the Dutch government.  As such, the lecture was received very well, particularly since the lecture provided the group with insight that cannot be found in books.

Subsequently, the group had a Master class organised by two staff members of SOLVIT The Netherlands in which three cases were discussed that SOLVIT has actually dealt with. The group was requested to prepare these cases beforehand which sought the effect that the group engaged lively in the discussion of the cases together with the people of SOLVIT, who were quite impressed by the group’s level of knowledge, reasoning and participation. After the last case was discussed, it was time to head home again.


Overall it was a very insightful day. This study trip not only allowed students to further develop their research skills, but also allowed them to gain insight on how European Union law works in practice. In addition, by means of the study trip international students got to know The Netherlands and The Hague a little bit better.

Chris Koppe


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Erasmus School of Law

In een werkstad als Rotterdam is arbeidsrecht elke dag onderwerp van discussie. Een in arbeidsrechtelijke vraagstukken gespecialiseerde sectie kan dan ook niet ontbreken binnen Erasmus School of Law te Rotterdam. De sectie Arbeidsrecht is een jong en dynamisch team van arbeidsrechtspecialisten. Blijf op de hoogte van de wervelende dynamiek binnen dit wetenschappelijke vakgebied en het praktische werkveld: het arbeidsrecht volgens de Rotterdamse school!

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