The Ghent Rolin-Jaequemyns International Law Institute (GRILI) is a research institute within the Faculty of Law at Ghent University. As one of the founding faculties of Ghent University, the school of law has, since its foundation in 1817, developed a long tradition in the area of international law. Notable figures include François Laurent (author of a monumental 18-volume work on the History of the law of nations), Albéric Rolin (former dean), and his brother and Ghent alumnus Gustave Rolin-Jaequemyns (who was instrumental in the foundation of the Institut de Droit International at the Ghent town hall in 1873). Other distinguished scholars such as Charles De Visscher made part of their career at the school.
The Ghent Rolin-Jaequemyns International Law Institute continues this tradition. Founded in 2015 at the initiative of Prof. Tom Ruys, the Institute brings together the existing expertise within the law school in the broader international law domain. The Institute consists of 10 faculty members and ca. 20 doctoral and post-doctoral researchers. Its activities span the entire realm of public international law, ranging from the law of armed conflict and international human rights law, to the law of the sea, international environmental law, international criminal law, and international economic law, as well as the history of international law.
Specific research interests/ongoing research projects concern inter alia: detention in international military operations, the protection of underwater cultural heritage, the fight against piracy, biodiversity law, maritime spatial planning, third-State intervention in armed conflict, third-party countermeasures, human rights and corporate accountability, indigenous peoples’ rights, etc.
The Institute maintains close links to other research groups at Ghent University, in particular the Maritime Institute, the Human Rights Centre (HRC), the Institute for International Research on Criminal Policy (IRCP) and the Legal History Institute.