The history of the CAVV spans more than 100 years.

First CAVV 1920-1946

The first Advisory Committee on Public International Law was active from 1920 to 1940. However it was not officially abolished until 1 July 1946.

The first CAVV was the successor to the ‘Preparatory Committee of the Third Hague Peace Conference’. The Conference was scheduled to take place in 1915, but could not go ahead because of the First World War. In 1919 the aforementioned committee advised on the establishment of the League of Nations, and one year later it obtained permanent status as the Advisory Committee on Public International Law.

Second CAVV 1953-1996

In 1953 a second Advisory Committee on Public International Law was established. On 21 December 1993 a conference on the theme of ‘The role of public international law in Dutch foreign policy’ was held to the mark the Committee's 40th anniversary.


  • 1953-1969: Professor J.P.A. François
  • 1969-1975: D.J. Veegens
  • 1975-1985: L. Erades
  • 1985-1990: Professor H. Meijers
  • 1990-1996: Professor A.H.A. Soons

Between 1953 and 1996 the CAVV produced 78 reports dealing with a wide range of issues of international law.

Provisional Advisory Committee

On 31 December 1996, the Provisional Advisory Committee on Public International Law was established as a temporary successor to the second CAVV. This body would be abolished as soon as the permanent advisory body on issues of international law was established.

Third CAVV 1998-the present

The third Advisory Committee on Public International Law  was established on 1 January 1998, following a reorganisation of the system of advisory bodies.


  • 1998-2006: Professor K.C. Wellens
  • 2006-2011: Professor M.T. Kamminga
  • 2012-2013: Professor M.M.T.A. Brus
  • 2014-2015: Professor W.G. Werner
  • 2016-2019: Professor R.A. Wessel
  • 2019-present: Professor L.J. van den Herik