On Wednesday 26 April, Professor L. (Laurence) W. Gormley has been appointed Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau. Mayor P.E.J. Den Oudsten of the Municipality of Groningen presented the decoration in the Groningen Town Hall.
Laurence Gormley (Macclesfield, UK, 1953) is professor of European Law at the University of Groningen as well as the holder of the Jean Monnet Chair, established by the European Commission. This prestigious chair is one of the highest distinctions that can be conferred on a European academic. In the past 25 years, Gormley has had a huge influence on the development of European Law. During this period he has used his vast knowledge, dedication and enthusiasm to promote European Law in general and at the UG in particular.
Gormley is a renowned legal expert both nationally and internationally. His impressive international network enables him to make important contacts at home and abroad, which he does enthusiastically for his staff, PhD students and students.
Gormley was one of the first academics to recognize the potential importance of the free traffic of goods in the European Union and is unanimously regarded as a pioneer in that field. He is one of the giants in that field. He is also an authority in the fields of European procurement law and taxation law. His book, EU Taxation Law, published by Oxford University Press, is a standard work for scholars and legal practice across Europe. Due to this expertise, he became the first honorary member of the Nederlandse Vereniging voor Aanbestedingsrecht [The Dutch Society for Procurement Law].
Gormley heads a group of researchers within his department that is very successful in acquiring European funding for academic research in the field of Digital Security. This concerns assuring human rights such as privacy, which can come under pressure from developments in information technology. In 2015 he was unanimously elected president of the European Law Faculties Association (ELFA). ELFA was founded in 1995 in Louvain and currently over 200 law faculties across Europe are members.
Gormley is an enthusiastic teacher who stimulates and inspires his students, while also expecting them to play an active role. Outside the lecture halls, too, he will tirelessly discuss the law with them. He is very approachable and students can always knock on his door with questions. He often invites prominent academics and practising lawyers from abroad to Groningen to give guest lectures or presentations, and his students are able to come into direct contact with them during the informal session after the presentation.
Gormley has been visiting professor at University College London, the University of Bonn, the University of Leuven, and at the Europa College in Bruges and Warsaw. The appointments as visiting professor to UCL and visiting fellow at the University of Cambridge are particularly impressive.
Gormley is also very active outside his field. He is a member of the University Council and the Faculty Council. He takes these participatory duties very seriously due to his strong sense of involvement in the organization of the University. He prepares well for the meetings and where necessary asks critical questions. He regards the University as a community where students and staff should be stimulated to the maximum to get the best out of themselves. Consultative participation is his way of providing input to help that community function optimally and to ensure that the University does not turn into a ‘factory'.
Gormley was also the chair of the Internationalization Committee of his Faculty for years. This committee was originally founded to further develop the internationalization of teaching in particular, and was dissolved when this was achieved through an exchange programme that functioned well and a broad palette of English-taught course units, five Master’s degree programmes and an independent International Office.
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