Walther Schücking Institute for International Law

The Walther Schücking Institute for International Law (WSI) at the University of Kiel is the oldest academic institution in Germany dedicated especially to international law. It houses the oldest and largest German academic library on international law, which was the first German library to receive the status of UN Depository Library in 1948. With more than 135,000 volumes, the Institute’s library offers outstanding working and research facilities.

The Institute, founded in 1914 and originally named ‘Institute for International Law’, was renamed in 1995 in memory of its former renowned director and international judge, Walther Schücking, and his strong ties with the idea of international cooperation and peace. Today, research and teaching focus mainly on Public International Law (notably Human Rights Law, International Heritage Protection, Peace and Security, International Environmental Law and Law of the Sea), European Law and Comparative Constitutional Law.

The members of the Institute form a dedicated, co-operative team. They are engaged in a range of activities including the publication of the ‘German Yearbook of International Law' and the series ‘Publications of the Walther Schücking Institute for International Law'.

The Institute promotes the transnational academic exchange and contributes to the resolution of complex issues by regularly holding symposia and conferences. The publications of its members give further impetus to the expansion and development of international law and European law, along with various advisory opinions and commentaries for the private and public sector in Germany and abroad.

Since the creation of a new professorship for the Law of the Sea in 2007, the Institute is linked to the Cluster of Excellence ‘The Future Ocean’. Within this framework it participates in interdisciplinary research projects. With an annual lecture series on topical issues in the domains of international law and European law, the Institute fosters the dialogue with foreign colleagues and with the wider public.

Even beyond teaching, the Institute devotes particular attention to the promotion of young academics. Every year the WSI selects, prepares, and coaches a student team for the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. During the semester, the Institute offers a lecture and discussion panel (‘Völkerrechtliche Tagesthemen') dedicated to current issues regarding international law and European law. Through the Erasmus and LL.M. office of the Faculty of Law, located on the premises of the Institute, it also engages in the promotion of the academic exchange.

Numerous German and foreign LL.M. students as well as PhD candidates are being mentored by professors of the Institute. Various holders of chairs of Public International Law and European Law in Germany and abroad were former research associates at the Institute.

At present, Prof. Dr. Kerstin Odendahl, Prof. Dr. Andreas von Arnauld, and Prof. Dr. Nele Matz-Lück are the directors of the Institute.