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John Morijn's inaugural lecture published in Polish and Hungarian newspapers

06 July 2022
Prof. John Morijn during his inaugural lecture. Photo: Pjotr Wiese

The text of Professor John Morijn's inaugural lecture was published almost in its entirety in Polish in the Polish newspaper last weekend. An edited version of the text was also published in both English and Hungarian in the endangered Hungarian newspaper Telex. Morijn: 'With this, I have in fact achieved my main goal, namely to reach Poles and Hungarians directly with my message'.

From his full inaugural lecture text, the following passage is most important to Morijn:

Over the last years, I have often been asked whether it would not be better to remove Hungary and Poland from the EU. As a lawyer, my answer must be that this is impossible within the current setting. As a scholar focused on persons who make a difference in real life my rejection of that notion is more fundamental. Fellow EU citizens from Hungary and Polen, judges, activists, academics and journalists, and media platforms elsewhere that continue to put their plight in the spotlight, have done more than anyone to fight for the EU to remain true to its mission. How could we justify punishing them for something their governments do, and against which we have not sufficiently helped them push back?

Morijn: 'I have great admiration for the courage and continuous energy of Polish and Hungarian judges, scientists, journalists, and activists who have to work under often increasingly difficult circumstances - but who nonetheless continue to speak out. Here in the Netherlands and in the EU, everyone is convinced that there is a problem, but in those countries, the debate is often much more polarised and politicized. In that context, I think it is also my role and responsibility as a legal scholar to make it clear that those who want to protect the rule of law have the law and European justice on their side, and that the actions of their compatriots who are working towards that end certainly do not go unnoticed and are of great European interest'.

This article was published by the Faculty of Law.

Last modified:06 July 2022 1.48 p.m.
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