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The Center for Conflict and Security Law (CCSL) functions as both a think tank and academic research institute, focusing in broad terms on the study of international legal issues related to peace, security and armed conflict. Conflict and security law, as an area of public international law, encompasses the interrelated fields of collective security law (centered in the system of collective security of the United Nations), international humanitarian law (or the law of armed conflict) and arms control law. Related areas of interest for CCSL include counterterrorism, cyber-security, and international criminal law.

Within the broader context of conflict and security law, CCSL aims to become a Center of Excellence on the topics of nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear security while continuing to make use of and expand its expertise in areas related to chemical and biological weapons as well as to the use of force in international law. In addition, CCSL also serves as a forum for organizing workshops and conferences, hosting visiting researchers and fellows and, more generally, promoting and facilitating related research projects in cooperation with an extensive academic and practitioner network.

Current activities of CCSL are concentrated on aspects of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) security encompassing those areas of international law aimed at prevention, detection and punishment of unauthorized attainment and malicious use of these materials, as well as unauthorized access to and sabotage of related facilities and non-proliferation, primarily of nuclear weapons.

CCSL is attached to Utrecht University and the Amsterdam Center for International Law at the University of Amsterdam, both in the Netherlands.