iCourts / PluriCourts PhD Summer School 2021

PhD Summer School

The Centre of Excellence for International Courts (iCourts) and PluriCourts (Centre for the Study of the Legitimate Roles of the Judiciary in the Global Order) are hosting a Summer School for ambitious PhD students working on international courts in their social and political context. We particularly welcome students whose projects have a strong empirical approach. In its 9th year, the Summer School has challenged and assisted more than 200 PhD students from around the world.

The idea

The iCourts/PluriCourts PhD Summer School is a celebration of intellectual curiosity, academic cooperation, and professional networking. Students who sign up for the Summer School will meet an engaged group of both young and senior scholars who look forward to sharing their experience and knowledge with you.

Listen to PhD Student Sarah Scott Ford describing her experience as a participant of the digital Summer School 2020.

As a participant

You are expected to take an active part in the scholarly discussions, to present your own work, and to give feedback to your co-participants. Given the continued presence of the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure the well-being of participants and iCourts staff, this year’s summer school will be held entirely online. This will not diminish the importance we place on the full engagement of participants.













The continuing pandemic has obviously forced a major reconsideration of the format of the summer school. However, like the ethos we engender in approaching our research, we welcome the opportunity to adapt and learn from the experience of furthering 2020’s online success with a similar format for the 2021 summer school.


Faculty members will teach a session related to their own research interests and methodological approaches. They will present some of their own work and discuss methodological issues related to researching a specified topic. Students will have assigned readings (approximately 200 pages) that they prepare in advance.

Working group sessions

Small groups of 4-5 students will be formed based on similarity or complementarity of topics and methods. These groups of students will meet every day with a professor and a post-doctoral researcher from iCourts or PluriCourts to work on methodological issues related to their own projects. In order for participants to receive diversified input to their work, professors will rotate between groups, while the postdocs will function as directors throughout the week maintaining continuity and a keen eye for specific takeaways for individual projects.

As some participants will be attending from different time zones, there will be dual working groups in the mornings and afternoons to accommodate the global range of participants.

Social programme

As an integrated part of the Summer School, iCourts’ PhD students and Postdocs will arrange social activities  designed to foster the more informal relationships among participants. There will be an informal welcome and closing ‘happy hour’  held online (BYOB!), where students will get a chance to talk more informally with faculty and other students. We aim to organize time zone friendly sessions so all the participants can get to know one another.


Most evenings will involve homework — doing readings for the next morning’s lecture and preparing assignments for the working group session.






















All faculty of the iCourts/ PluriCourts Summer School are experienced and leading researchers from Europe and the United States.


  • Professor Mikael Rask Madsen, Director of iCourts, University of Copenhagen, DK
  • Professor Andreas Føllesdal, Director of PluriCourts, University of Oslo
  • Professor Karen Alter, Political Science and Law, Northwestern University, US/DK
  • Professor Mikkel Jarle Christensen, iCourts, University of Copenhagen, DK
  • Professor Joanna Jemielniak, iCourts, University of Copenhagen, DK
  • Associate Professor Shai Dothan, University of Copenhagen, DK

Organising Committee

  • Associate Professor Veronika Fikfak, iCourts, University of Copenhagen, DK
  • Associate Professor, Anne Lise Kjær, iCourts, University of Copenhagen, DK
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Jacob Livingston Slosser, iCourts, University of Copenhagen, DK