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Professor Spijkers Otto

Spijkers Otto

Otto Spijkers is Professor at the Research Institute of Environmental Law (RIEL), Professor of International Law at the China Institute of Boundary and Ocean Studies (CIBOS) of Wuhan University, and permanent staff member of the International Water Law Academy (IWLA). He is also a member of the Committee on the Role of International Law in Sustainable Natural Resource Management for Development of the International Law Association.


Prior to joining the IWLA of CIBOS, Professor Spijkers was a guest lecturer with CIBOS for several years, teaching a course on international water law annually. He also taught a course on international water law at Xiamen University’s China International Water Law Programme, and at Utrecht University Law School.


As member of the IWLA, Otto is involved in teaching and research in the field of international water law, law of the sea, and general issues of public international law. His publications include:


1.‘Sustainable management of freshwater resources: Linking international water law and the Sustainable Development Goals’, in GAIA - Ecological Perspectives for Science and Society, Volume 28 (2019), Nr. 2, pp. 135-142.

2.‘Equity across Generations in International and Domestic Water Law’, in Thomas Cottier, Shaheeza Lalani and Clarence Siziba (editors), Intergenerational Equity: Environmental and Cultural Concerns (World Trade Institute Advanced Studies, Volume: 4), Brill, 2019, pp. 90–108.

3.‘The Cross-fertilization between the Sustainable Development Goals and International Water Law,’ in Review of European, Comparative and International Environmental Law (RECIEL), Volume 25 (1) 2016, pp. 39-49.




Prior to joining the IWLA of CIBOS, he was Lecturer of Public International Law at Utrecht University, and researcher at the Utrecht Centre for Water, Oceans and Sustainability Law. He was a visiting lecturer at the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies of Leiden University, Xiamen University’s China International Water Law Programme (China), the Law School of the East China University of Political Science and Law (ECUPL) in Shanghai (China), the Università degli Studi di Salerno (Italy), and the Association pour la promotion des droits de l'homme en Afrique centrale (APDHAC) of the Université Catholique d’Afrique Centrale (Yaoundé, Cameroon).


Previously, he was a PhD candidate and lecturer at the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies at the University of Leiden. His doctoral dissertation, entitled The United Nations, the Evolution of Global Values and International Law, was published with Intersentia in 2011. He worked as public services coordinator at the Peace Palace Library, and as international consultant and coordinator for the United Nations International Law Fellowship Programme. Otto Spijkers studied the basics of international relations at the University of Sussex. He then studied international law at the University of Amsterdam, New York University School of Law (exchange student), and the Hague Academy of International Law (2009 session). He studied philosophy at the University of Amsterdam and the University of Malta (exchange).  He obtained a Diplôme approfondi de langue française.