Inaugural lecture prof. dr. John morijn

On Friday 24 June 2022, prof. dr. John Morijn gave his inaugural lecture on the acceptance of the post of endowed professor of Law and politics in international relations at the University of Groningen Faculty of Law.

The topic of the lecture was the law and politics of protecting liberal democracy. John Morijn first identified the current challenges to liberal democracy in Europe. He then discussed the law and its potential to protect liberal democracy. Lastly, he reflected on the politics necessary to place law in its social context.

John Morijn presented three main arguments:

(i) “The problem of deterioration of liberal democracy in EU Member States and, as a result, political EU institutions themselves, is much deeper and much more urgent than commonly understood. Opponents of liberal democracy in Europe have a clear gameplan. Its defenders do not – at least not yet.”

(ii) “Existing binding norms and procedures offer many more possibilities to protect liberal democracy than currently used. The challenge is to employ only those tools that are effective to confront the specific challenge we face, and to enforce their outcomes more effectively – particularly ECJ judgments.”

(iii) “We need more, not less politics to protect liberal democracy. But we cannot sit back and leave politics to politicians alone. Instead, we need more conscious and coordinated action from all of us, everyone in this room. Lawyers – legal academics, attorneys, legal advisers to governments and EU institutions – and national and EU-level politicians have an additional role and responsibility.”

The full text of the lecture can be found here

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