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Mare Liberum 1609-2009

Hugo de Groot

He was a child prodigy, an intellectual, a renaissance man, who would become a famous philosopher. Hugo de Groot was his name, but he is internationally known as Grotius. In 1609 he wrote Mare Liberum, on the right to free access to the seas and free trade. An evocative work in the time of pirates and buccaneers. It ultimately made him immortal. Hugo de Groot’s Mare Liberum publication stood at the foundation of international law of the seas.

Now, 400 hundred years later, The Hague is celebrating the fact that Hugo de Groot wrote his work in The Hague, then a village, today the international city of peace and justice and home to many major institutes of international jurisprudence.

From 16 September to 11 December 2009 various institutes will focus their attention on his life and legacy of ideas. This will be done via stage plays, historical retrospectives, lectures, visual arts, etc. For more information, please see the programme.

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