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International Francqui Professor Chair 2011-2012

woensdag, 24 oktober, 2012 - 18:00
Campus: Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering campus
Faculteit: Law and Criminology
Aula QD
Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Law (VUB) & Legal History Institute (UGent)
02/629 26 35 (Dave De ruysscher)

Inaugural Lecture "Lay Judges in Criminal Trials: Historical Remnants or Living Law? Comparative Remarks on Western Legal History"

The Francqui Foundation invites scientists from abroad to stay and work at Belgian universities. Two or more of those universities may propose an exceptional scientist, for the International Francqui Professor Chair.  The holder stays six months at the hosting universities, where he participates in scientific life. He will work with experts in his field, and with doctoral students. The stay culminates in a conference. Professor Heikki Pihlajamäki was granted the chair 2011-12, on the proposal of the Faculties of Law of Ghent University and of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. 
Professor Pihlajamäki is professor of comparative legal history at the Faculty of Law of the University of Helsinki, and he is one of the leading legal historians and comparative lawyers in Northern Europe. He has published many books, peer-reviewed articles and contributions on legal-historical themes of the early modern period, but also on other subjects and other eras. Professor Pihlajamäki is member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Max-Planck-Institut für europäische Rechtsgeschichte in Frankfurt, and of the editorial board of four international legal history journals.


  • 18.00 :  Welcome by Prof. Paul Van Cauwenberge (Rector Ghent University)
  • 18.10 :  Prof. Dave De ruysscher (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) ‘Comparative Legal History: A Revival’
  • 18.20 :  Prof. Pierre van Moerbeke (Francqui Foundation) ‘Introduction of Prof. Heikki Pihlajamäki and handing over of the Francqui Medal’
  • 18.30 :  Prof. Heikki Pihlajamäki (University of Helsinki) ‘Lay Judges in Criminal Trials: Historical Remnants or Living Law? Comparative Remarks on Western Legal History’
  • 19.30 :  Closing remarks by Prof. Piet Taelman (Dean of the Faculty of Law of Ghent University)
  • 19.40 :  Reception

On the hosting Institute and department

The Ghent Legal History Institute (www.rechtsgeschiedenis.be), which is part of the Department of Legal Theory and Legal History, continues the high-level research that was initiated in Ghent by famous legal historians like the late François-Louis Ganshof and by Raoul C. baron van Caenegem. It has taken a leading role in the research on such themes as feudal law, codifications, legal iconography and the history of the legal profession. The Institute hosts three full-time legal history professors, Prof. Dirk Heirbaut, Prof. Georges Martyn and Prof. Rik Opsommer. The Brussels Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Law (www.vub.ac.be/metajuridica)  houses among others the disciplines of legal history and comparative law. It has a strong tradition in comparative legal history, which was initiated there by the late John Gilissen, and in the history of public law (social and social security law, constitutional law), under the wings of Michel Magits. Currently, the Department has two full-time legal history professors, Prof. Machteld De Metsenaere and Prof. Dave De ruysscher.  

Please confirm your attendance via email to activiteiten.rc@vub.ac.be before 17 October 2012.