The Hague Inter-University Law Debate Tournament

Information for ed.2023

The Hague Inter-University Law Debate Tournament is a unique international law-focused debate competition. Since its start in 2015, law students from across the globe have had the chance to meet, debate on current legal topics and exchange experiences across the board.

Our team is delighted to announce the start of the registration period for ed.2023. We look forward to welcoming you at the Opening Ceremony in February 2023!

How to participate?

The Hague Inter-University Law Debate Tournament ed.2023 is limited to 32 participants. You can register here:

To fully secure your spot, the team must fully complete 3 steps. Two of them include submitting the following registration forms :

The third and final step to complete registration can be either

(i) a nomination of 2 potential judges (total time commitment of approximately 3.5 hours, which may vary depending on the interest of the judge, participation in networking activities, and availability of matches to oversee) or

(ii) a financial contribution to the organisation of the competition in a form of the registration fee. Either of the two steps should be completed before the official start of the debates. It is possible to reach out to organisers and request an extension.

Should the registered team choose to opt for a financial contribution to the organisation of the competition, the finances shall be used to facilitate primarily the administrative and technical aspects of the Tournament. The registration fee is to be primarily submitted via bank transfer, the organising team will provide the necessary information after the two steps have been completed and then again before the deadline to complete this step.

Registration fee varies per country and is based on the World Bank List of Economies (FY 2022-2023):

  • €350– teams from high-income countries;
  • €300– teams from upper middle-income countries;
  • €250– teams from lower-middle & low income countries.

The purpose of the Tournament is to foster the study of international law in connection with current developments on the global and regional levels. THIULDT provides a practical opportunity for students to efficiently apply their knowledge in a time-limited setting, exchange experiences with their peers and network.

The Tournament is held in English and focuses on the issues falling under International Law – both private and public.

There are two phases in the competition that aid in the growth of advocacy skills:

  • the research and preparation stage – where each team has to prepare for the announced debate topics; and
  • presentation stage – where each team has to adapt to the pro/con position assigned to them and then efficiently use their time to present the acquired knowledge in a convincing matter, whilst rebutting the opposing team.

Teams are paired using a randomizer algorithm, and every effort is made to have law schools from different backgrounds interact with each other. This leads to an exchange between diverse approaches to debate and legal studies, enriching all participants involved.


The Tournament is based in The Hague, Netherlands since 2015. At the moment, its current format is primarily digital. The virtual debates started in the spring of 2020 due to the global epidemiological situation. In the 2023 edition the Tournament is held in a hybrid format, with the majority of its events held virtually and Final round and week held in person in The Hague.*

*it is possible to join virtually should there be conflicts of agendas or other travelling difficulties

Themes & Topics

Each debate round has a different theme, which is shared across the board with all participants and is announced at the start of the competition. Specific topics/debate statements are announced always 10 days before the match, with pro/con positions being assigned at random a few minutes before the start of the match.

This setup requires flexible preparation and encourages dynamic interaction during the match.

Examples of the past debate themes:

  • Environmental law
  • Space law
  • Public order
  • Maritime law
  • Freedom of press
  • Digital human rights

Examples of past debate statements:

  • Control over online information serves the need for public order
  • Economic exploitation of natural areas should be prohibited
  • The freedom of the press is compatible with respect for privacy
  • The law follows the evolution of society and does not make it evolve


The competition consists of 2 stages: the group phase and the elimination phase. Before the start of the competition, it is possible to reach out to the organisers and participate in a debate workshop or a friendly debate match with another participating team.

Judges & Assessment

Every match (up until the final) is observed by 3 judges that share no university/country affiliation with either of the participating teams.

The highest score that a team can acquire is 300 points, as every judge has 100 points to give.

Apply to become a judge

If you are interested in joining our network as a judge, please fill out the following form and we will contact you with the details:

Partners and Sponsors of the THIULDT 2022