The Hague Inter-University Law Debate Tournament

The Hague Inter-University Law Debate Tournament is a long-running international competition since 2015.

The purpose of the Tournament is to foster the study of international law in connection with news and developments in the world and to provide a practical opportunity to students to efficiently apply their knowledge in a time-limited setting.

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 a minimum of 4 different international law connected topics; and
  • presentation stage – where team has to adapt to the pro/con position assigned to them and efficiently use time to present their knowledge in a convincing matter, whilst rebutting the opposing team.

Teams are paired using a randomizer algorithm, every effort is made to have law schools from different backgrounds interact with each other— so each may learn from different approaches present in another legal culture. Similarly, the judges overseeing each match are from varying backgrounds to increase the value of feedback that the teams receive.


Whilst the Tournament is based in The Hague, Netherlands since 2015 its current format is digital. This is the case since the spring of 2020 when the Tournament transitioned into a fully virtual experience. Should the global epidemiological situation change, the final of the competition and its accompanying events will be in a hybrid format

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 from the participating teams’ 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 the past debate statements:

  • Control over the online information serves the need for public order
  • Economic exploitation of natural areas should be prohibited
  • The freedom of 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: group phase and 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 as either of the participating teams.

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

How to participate?

The Hague Inter-University Law Debate Tournament ed.2022 is currently in progress. You can follow the progress of the competition here.
Timeline for registration for ed. 2023 will be announced in July 2022,

Typically, in order to participate 2 registration forms must be submitted:

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