News & events 2023

International Conference “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 75"

The 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights will be celebrated on 10 December 2023. Since its adoption, the Declaration has been read in multiple ways. Some have been inspired by it, others have found it wanting. At this conference, Ghent University will take stock and look forward, embracing a resolute engagement with human rights in their multiple contemporary dimensions.

The conference, which takes place from 6 to 8 December 2023 in Ghent, will put special emphasis on stepping out of our comfort or habitual zones and creating spaces for debating and learning from different perspectives. We invite contributions from scholars, practitioners, policy makers and artists who cross or are willing to cross boundaries and build bridges between academic disciplines, theory and practice, and political action and artistic engagement. Activists, policy makers, artists, and students are warmly invited to participate alongside both emerging and established academics.

We want to inject human rights with new energy, learn from each other and join forces. We shall meet, we shall walk, we shall talk, we shall co-create. Look at this conference as a major brainstorm—or as a big celebration from which you will return with new ideas, new friendships and new resolutions.

Check the programme and register here

Tom Ruys
4th International Order & Justice Lecture Series

Frederik Rogiers
EU Sanctions against Russia: Impact and Implementation Challenges

On Friday the 9th of June from 09.00h to 17.15h, the Ghent Eureast Platform, in cooperation with the Ghent European Law Insitute & GRILI and with the support of ENLIGHT and the Stibbe law firm organizes a one-day conference on "EU Sanctions against Russia: Impact and Implementation Challenges". Proceeding from a multidisciplinary approach, this conference aims to discuss and assess EU sanctions against Russia. Specific attention will be devoted to their legal, political and economic impact and the challenges of implementation in practice. Panels will include both academics, civil servants (at EU and national levels) and practitioners working in the field. The Conference will take place at the offices of Stibbe in Brussels (Loksumstraat/Rue Loxum 25, 1000 Brussels). Registration for a number or all panels is possible via

Lecture by Hilary Charlesworth

On Thursday 27 April 2023 at VUB, Judge Hilary Charlesworth will give a public lecture (14:00 - 15:30) on "Feminist Approaches to International Law" as part of the 2022-23 International Order & Justice Lecture Series (Doctoral schools, Volume IV) (Registration). The public lecture will take place at the VUB Main campus Etterbeek in Aud. Q.C (Building Q). Judge Charlesworth will also take part in a closed seminar (16:00 - 17:30) with (post-)doctoral researchers (Registration). The closed seminar takes place in meeting room C.2.07a.

Hilary Charlesworth is a Judge of the International Court of Justice since 5 November 2021, and is Harrison Moore Professor of Law and Melbourne Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne, and Distinguished Professor at the Australian National University. Her research includes the structure of the international legal system, peacebuilding, human rights law and international humanitarian law, international legal theory, particularly feminist approaches to international law, and the art of international law. Judge Charlesworth received the American Society of International Law’s award for creative legal scholarship for her book, co-authored with Christine Chinkin, The Boundaries of International Law.

With the support of the Flemish Government.










Sebastiaan Van Severen
Lecture by Joost Pauwelyn

On 25 April 2023, Professor Joost Pauwelyn will give a public lecture (from 10.00 to 11.30) as part of the 2022-23 International Order & Justice Lecture Series at Ghent University (Volume IV). The title of the lecture is 'Settling International Trade Disputes: What Went Wrong, What To Expect Now?' This lecture will take place in Room 7.1 "Pleading Room". Professor Pauwelyn will also take part in a closed seminar (from 12.00 to 13.30) with (post-)doctoral researchers in Room 7.2 "Fairness".

Joost Pauwelyn is Professor of International Law at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva and Co-Director of the Institute’s Centre for Trade and Economic Integration (CTEI). He is also the Murase Visiting Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center (since 2014).  Previously he was Professor of Law at Duke University (2002-2007). He has also taught at Neuchâtel, Columbia, NYU, Stanford and Harvard law schools and worked as legal adviser for the WTO Secretariat (1996-2002).










Sebastiaan Van Severen
Lecture by Eric De Brabandere

On 31 March 2023, Professor Eric De Brabandere will give a public lecture (from 13.30 to 15.00) in the Academy Council Room (Academieraadzaal) as part of the 2022-23 International Order & Justice Lecture Series at Ghent University (Volume IV). The title of the lecture is 'The protection of foreign investment in times of conflict'. Professor De Brabandere will also take part in a closed seminar (from 10.00 to 12.00) in meeting room "Fairness" with (post-)doctoral researchers.

Eric De Brabandere is an international lawyer, with special expertise in international investment law and arbitration, and international dispute settlement. He holds a Cand. Jur. and Lic. Jur. degree from Ghent University, an LL.M. (DEA) in International Law from the University of Geneva, and a PhD from Ghent University. He holds the chair of international dispute settlement at Leiden University, where he also serves as Director of the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies.






Even Wars Have Laws: Ghent students win the Frits Kalshoven International Humanitarian Law Competition

Victoria Wuyts, Elien Desmet, and Mona Ghyoot, Master of Law students specializing in Public International Law at Gent University, won the Frits Kalshoven International Humanitarian Law (IHL) competition that took place in The Hague in the beginning of March. The competition is an annual event jointly organized by the Dutch Red Cross and the Belgian Red Cross-Flanders on all matters related to the law of armed conflict.

The competition aims to provide students with an opportunity to practically engage with international humanitarian law (IHL) and deepen their knowledge thereof by attending expert lectures, engaging in real-life armed conflict simulations or roleplays, expand their professional network and ultimately, by competing against other teams during the Moot Court, in which they will plead a fictional case related to IHL. – Rode Kruis

This year, nine teams from Belgian and Dutch universities participated.  Ghent University’s team won the moot court finals of the competition. As for the role play aspect, it was Leiden University’s win. The Ghent team competed against the University of Amsterdam (UVA) in the final rounds of the competition before a renowned jury consisting of Judge Alphons Orie (UN International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals), Judge Marleen Hendriks (Court of the Hague) and Mireille Hector (Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs). The judges shared their impression with the public regarding the finalists' 'impressive' performance.

We enjoyed very much. We really enjoyed your performance. – Judge orie

The judges emphasized that the strength of Ghent University’s team was in their pleading style and the reference – ‘quite precisely’ – to well specified provisions of the Geneva Conventions. In preparation of the competition, the students were coached by prof. Tom Ruys and drs. Waleed Mahmoud Elfarrs of the Ghent Rolin-Jeaqumyns International Law Institute (GRILI).

Frederik Rogiers
Guest lecture by Elizabeth Wathuti

On Thursday the 23rd of March, Elizabeth Wathuti will give a guest lecture within the course of 'International & European Biodiversity Law' at 2PM in Aud. E, Faculty of Law, Ghent. There is no requirement of registration, admission is free of charge.

Elizabeth Wathuti is a prominent climate activist from Kenya. She is a Green Climate Fund Youth Champion and the founder of the Green Generation Initiative. She is also the 2023 laureate of the Amnesty International Chair at Ghent University.

Sebastiaan Van Severen
Lecture by Frank Hoffmeister

On 7 March 2023, Professor Frank Hoffmeister will give a public lecture (from 10.00 to 11.30, Room 7.1 Pleading Room) as part of the 2022-23 International Order & Justice Lecture Series at Ghent University (Volume IV).  The title of the lecture is 'The significance of international law for EU trade and foreign policy'. Professor Hoffmeister will also take part in a closed seminar (from 12.00 to 13.30, Former EU Law Library meeting room) with (post-)doctoral researchers.

Prof. Dr. Frank Hoffmeister is a Director for General Affairs and the Chief Legal Officer at European External Action Services (EEAS) and Professor of International Economic Law in the LLM in International and European Law programme of the Brussels School of Governance. He holds a PhD from the University of Heidelberg and worked as an Academic Assistant at the Humboldt-University in Berlin. Since 2001, he has served as Member of the Legal Service and Deputy Head of Cabinet of the EU Trade Commissioner.

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