Summer school - Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in International Law: Human Rights and Beyond

This summer school focuses on the emergence of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) and intersex issues in different areas of international law, such as human rights law, refugee law and international criminal law. The fourth edition will take place from Wednesday 24 July to Friday 2 August 2019 in The Hague and Amsterdam. 

Course information

The programme focuses on the emergence of SOGI and intersex issues in different areas of international law. Some lectures will focus specifically on sexual orientation, on gender identity/expression, or on sex characteristics, while other sessions will focus on specific regions (including Africa and the Middle East). Special attention will be given to important test-cases that have helped to achieve some international protection against homophobia and transphobia. Themes include: global and regional human rights mechanisms, sexual and gender minorities in refugee law, protection for women and LGBTIs in international criminal law.

Why this course?

This summer school offers a unique opportunity to learn from established academics from Leiden University, as well as from world-renowned legal experts from elsewhere, many of whom have been involved in test-cases that have helped to achieve international protection against homophobia and transphobia. Leiden University's Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies in The Hague is home to the world's only university chair in Comparative Sexual Orientation Law.

The summer school provides a platform to network with fellow participants and speakers from all over the world. In each of the previous editions there were participants from at least five continents. And last but not least, this summer school allows you to discover two vibrant Dutch cities: The Hague and Amsterdam.

Target audience

Legal and other professionals in governmental and non-governmental organisations, as well as advanced students are invited to apply. Completion of at least one year of university education is required, as is some knowledge of law, human rights and SOGI issues. 

Class size

To ensure active participation and exchange with teaching staff and fellow participants, a maximum of 50 participants will be admitted to this course.


The application should be completed at once as data cannot be saved. Therefore, make sure to have the following documents ready before starting the application:

1. A copy of your curriculum vitae;
2. A cover letter (one page) in which you clearly explain why you are applying for this course;
3. A recent portrait picture.

Please note that:

  • Some prior knowledge of law, human rights or SOGI issues is required, plus at least one year of university education.
  • All courses are taught in English. An official certificate of language proficiency is not required but you need to be fluent in English to be able to understand the classes and to interact with fellow students.
  • Only complete applications are considered.
  • All applications are dealt with on an individual basis.
  • Provided you are considered eligible, you will receive a pre-admission email.
  • Your admission to the course will be final once the payment of the fee is made.
  • The deadline for applications is 1 May 2019. Applications that are received afterwards will still be considered but admission will depend on the availability of places. Applicants will be admitted on a rolling basis. Early application is strongly advised. 

You can apply here for the 2019 SOGI Summer School.


24. Juli 2019 – 02. August 2019


Leiden University, 2511 DP The Hague