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Inaugural lecture Prof John Morijn: The Law and Politics of Protecting Liberal Democracy

When:Fr 24-06-2022 16:15 - 17:00
Where:Aula Academy Building, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

This inaugural lecture discusses the law and politics of protecting liberal democracy in Europe. It is in three parts. It first discusses the nature of the current challenge to liberal democracy. It then addresses the law in place to protect it (better) and identifies ways to improve the record. Finally, it reflects on the politics needed to bridge the gap between binding law and current realities.

The lecture presents three arguments. First, the problem of deterioration of liberal democracy in EU Member States and, as a result, political EU institutions themselves, is deeper and more urgent than commonly understood. Opponents of liberal democracy have a clear gameplan. Its defenders do not – at least not yet.

Second, existing binding norms and EU procedures offer more possibilities to protect liberal democracy than used. The challenge is to employ only those tools that are effective and to enforce their outcomes more effectively – particularly judgments of the European Court of Justice.

Third and finally, there is a need for more, not less politics to protect liberal democracy. But politics cannot be left to politicians alone. Instead, more conscious and coordinated action from all of us is required. Lawyers and politicians have an additional responsibility.

Law students organize Conversation on the Law and Politics of Protecting Liberal Democracy

Prior to the inaugural lecture, students of the Faculty of Law will host open panel conversations with academics, civil society leaders, and judges from across Europe and beyond working to protect liberal democracy. It is organized by students, for students, but everyone is welcome in the Academy building in Groningen. For more information and registratration please see the Faculty of Law webpage.

More information

Inaugural lecture: Prof John Morijn

  • Title: The Law and Politics of Protecting Liberal Democracy
  • Chair: Law and politics in international relations
  • Faculty: Law

Registration no later than 17 June via the registration form .

Livestream on 24 June, see:

Full-text open access version of the lecture:

View this page in: Nederlands