On 26 November 1940, at a time when his country was under Nazi occupation, Professor Cleveringa spoke out against the occupiers’ order to dismiss Jewish professors from university. His courageous protest was inspired not only by a sense of solidarity among colleagues and friends, but also by a principled belief in the values of equal treatment, freedom of religion, respect for the law – core tenets of a democracy governed by the rule of law. Ten years later, these principles were entrenched in the European Convention of Human Rights that was signed in the Palazzo Barberini in Rome. Since 1950, the Convention has had a tremendous impact on human rights across the continent. But we live in turbulent times. What are the challenges as the Convention nears its 75th anniversary?
About the speaker
Prof.dr. Rick Lawson is a Dutch academic specialising in European human rights law. He has a chair at the Faculty of Law of Leiden University since 2001. He served as Dean of Leiden Law School (2011-2016), was nominated by the Dutch Government for the position of judge in the European Court of Human Rights (2017), and is currently the vice-chair of the Management Board of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency in Vienna.
About the Cleveringa meetings
During the Second World War, on 26 November 1940, several professors from Leiden gave protest speeches following the dismissal of their Jewish colleagues. In his protest speech Professor Cleveringa, the dean of the Faculty of Law, explained in precise detail why the measures introduced by the German occupier were in violation of international law. Professor Van Holk, a professor of theology, also gave a protest speech and devoted his subsequent lecture to the Jewish philosopher Spinoza. To commemorate these famous protest speeches, the Leiden University Fund, in collaboration with the Cleveringa committees, holds its annual Cleveringa meetings around 26 November (also known as the 26 November Meetings) in which academics from Leiden give lectures all around the world.
Free entrance. The lecture will be followed by refreshments.