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Faculty Research Day: Various academic perspectives

At Leiden Law School’s first Faculty Research Day, scholars were invited to consider the ongoing war in Ukraine from their own perspectives and expertise. Various aspects surrounding this topic were addressed during lectures, discussions, and workshops.

Four goals

‘This day has four goals for me,’ said Stefaan Van den Bogaert, Vice Dean Research and Professor of European Law at the opening of the Faculty Research Day. ‘First and foremost, to learn something new. By participating in the various sessions and by listening to speakers, I hope that everyone will learn something today. Second, meeting and getting to know each other. This is the perfect way to make new contacts and to strengthen existing ones. Third, I hope this day will be the starting point of an annual tradition. And finally, and in keeping with today’s theme, research should provide a contribution to the world. This also means - in what ways can we, as scholars, play a role when it comes to the situation in Ukraine?’

Solidarity and collaboration

One of the first speakers of the day was Andrii Zhupanyn, alumnus of Leiden Law School and currently a member of parliament in Ukraine. He talked about how his life, his country, and his plans for the future suddenly changed within a day. ‘It was the worst day of my life. But I was – and still am – amazed by the solidarity and collaboration between people. Both my own countrymen, as well as everyone from outside who pitched in one way or the other. Suddenly, we all had the same goal.’ At the same time, the war rapidly changed the political position of Ukraine within Europe and the way the country was regarded. Something that speakers Antoaneta Dimitrova, Professor of Comparative Governance, and Luuk van Middelaar, Professor of Foundations and Practice of the European Union and its Institutions, addressed from the perspective of their own expertise.

Moral dilemmas

During various sessions, researchers presented the way they address the current situation in Ukraine in their work. From a new tax treaty with Russia, to a discussion on immigration law. At another session, the topic ‘moral wounds’ and the studies conducted on this were addressed. The moral dilemmas that military staff are faced with during missions were the main topic of the elective: Defensie, Veiligheid and Moraliteit, a collaboration between the departments of Criminology and Jurisprudence at our Faculty and the Ministry of Defence.

There was also an opportunity for researchers to get to know each other better at the Research café. Here, issues were discussed such as data management, and applying for and arranging research funding.

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