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The Kooijmans Institute hosts the Kooijmans Lecture.

Kooijmans Lecture 2024: International Criminal Law in Times of Turmoil

On May 30, the faculty will host the Kooijmans Lecture 2024. The speaker this time will be Ward Ferdinandusse. His lecture is entitled International Criminal Law in Times of Turmoil.

As reports of armed conflict and international crimes increasingly dominate the news, renewed questions arise about the state of international criminal law enforcement. What is the interplay between enforcement on the national and international levels? What choices are made in the selection of cases and defendants by national and international prosecutors? Do ad hoc solutions, such as a Special international tribunal for the crime of aggression currently under discussion, contribute to the systemization of international criminal law enforcement, or distract from it? Drawing on both academic and prosecutorial experience, Ward Ferdinandusse will discuss these and other questions about current challenges in international criminal law.

Ward Ferdinandusse is the Deputy Specialist Prosecutor at the Kosovo Specialist Prosecutor’s Office. He has taught International and European Criminal Law at the University of Groningen and published extensively on issues of national and international criminal law. As a prosecutor at the Dutch National Public Prosecutor's Office in Rotterdam, Mr Ferdinandusse worked on criminal cases, extradition proceedings and investigations into international crimes such as genocide, war crimes, torture, piracy and terrorism, as well as the Flight MH17 trial.

Lectures previous years

  • Kooijmans Lecture 2022: Scans, Sticks and Carrots: Improving Cybersecurity With, Without or in Spite of the Law

    After a long break due to the Corona virus, the annual Kooijmans Lecture 2022 took place on the 23rd of May. The speaker was Michel van Eeten. In his lecture, entitled "Scans, Sticks and Carrots: Improving Cybersecurity With, Without or in Spite of the Law", he explained the role law plays in cybersecurity.

    You can watch the lecture online: Kooijmans Lecture 2022.

    Michel van Eeten is a Professor at TU Delft. His chair focuses on cybersecurity governance. He studies the interplay between technological design and economic incentives in cybersecurity. For more information, see his personal webpage

  • Kooijmans Lecture 2017: Beyond White Innocence

    Gloria Wekker wrote the book White Innocence: Paradoxes of Colonialism and Race, a much-discussed work in which she explores a central paradox of Dutch culture: the passionate denial of racial discrimination and colonial violence coexisting alongside aggressive racism and xenophobia. In her lecture, entitled Beyond White Innocence, she will elucidate upon these themes. Wekker  focuses on sciences and applied science to see how the paradoxical role of race is reflected. Ultimately, her lecture will lead to the question:  How do we get beyond 'white innocence'?

    Wekker is social and cultural anthropologist. Since 2001 she holds the Aletta Chair on Gender and Ethnicity at the Utrecht University. Also she is director of GEM, Centre of Expertise on Gender, Ethnicity and Multiculturalism.

    Watch the Kooijmans Lecture 2017 online.

  • Kooijmans Lecture 2016: Nationality as a legal principle

    At the end of September 2016, Prof Joep Leerssen held the Kooijmans lecture, entitled 'Haunted by the Volksgeist: nationality as a legal principle'. In the last two centuries, the law has in some crucial areas been affected by the rise of national thought. Following Savigny, important legal thinkers have considered the law to be an organic reflection of the nation’s character and moral traditions. In addition, a transcendent principle of national identity had been implicitly or explicitly invoked to account for the right to self-determination, or for the state’s continuing permanence across constitutional disruptions or periods of subjection. Not only does the idea of "national identity" affect the emotional sphere of popular politics (as in the Brexit referendum), it has also found formal expression into a notorious clause in the Lisbon Treaty and into a number of rulings by the European Court of Justice.

    Since 1991, Leerssen is Professor of Modern European Letters at the University of Amsterdam. In 2008, he received the Spinozapremie and in 2010 he was appointed Academic Professor by the KNAW, a prize for professors who made a unique contribution to the development of their field of study.

    Read the Kooijmans Lecture 2016.

  • Kooijmans Lecture 2015: Struggling with dimensions

    The Kooijmans lecture 2015 was entitled ‘Struggling with Dimensions: Practice and Procedure in the International Criminal Justice System’, held bij Judge Orie on October 19. International Courts and Tribunals struggle with the magnitude of their cases: crimes allegedly committed over a number of years in a vast geographic area; trial documents consisting of close to, or over a million pages; tens of thousands of transcript pages of court hearings and well over ten thousand exhibits in a case. Which managerial and procedural remedies exist to aid this process and do they actually work? The subject of this lecture fits well with the faculty’s research and education in the field of international crimes, which is an important part of the VU profile theme Governance for Society.

    Judge Orie is a presiding judge at the International Criminal Tribunal of the former Yugoslavia. He was formerly a member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of the Netherlands and has also worked as a practicing lawyer. During the Dies Natalis celebration of October 20, 2015 Orie received an honorary doctorate for his outstanding achievements in the field of International Criminal Law.

    Watch the Kooijmans Lecture 2015 online.

  • Kooijmans Lecture 2014: No use for justice

    Ineke Sluiter, Professor of Greek Language and Literature at Leiden University held the Kooijmans lecture 2014. The lecture was entitled No use for justice. Self-censorship in construing moral arguments.

    In 1990, Sluiter defended her PhD thesis Ancient grammar in context. Contributions to the study of ancient linguistic thought at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (cum laude). In 1998 she was appointed full professor at Leiden University and in 2010 she won the Spinozapremie.