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Inaugural lecture Wannes Vandenbussche accepting TPR rotating professorship

On 24 May 2023, Professor Wannes VandenBussche of Ghent University delivered his inaugural lecture to accept the TPR rotating professorship in the Leiden Academy Building. The title of his inaugural lecture was: ‘De EU-dimensie van het burgerlijk bewijsrecht: een mozaïek van opportuniteiten en valkuilen’ (The EU dimension of the civil law of evidence: a mosaic of opportunities and pitfalls).

The inaugural lecture focused on the impact of the EU legislation (including topics such as access to evidence, burden of proof, and the protection of confidential data) and Court of Justice case law on national law of evidence in Belgium and the Netherlands. Vandenbussche's assertion was that the EU dimension of the law of evidence has far greater significance and has even caused greater disruption than previously assumed. Provided that a number of preconditions are met (including careful legislative work by both European and national legislatures and well-considered further harmonisation), Vandenbussche considers this to be a good thing. For instance, EU law has brought a number of innovations that would not have happened otherwise. Moreover, the EU challenges us to constantly rethink our law of evidence, an area of law too often neglected.

This academic year, Professor Vandenbussche is a guest lecturer at the Institute of Private Law of Leiden Law School, where he lectures on civil procedural law. He teaches courses on civil procedural law at Ghent University. He is also an attorney at the Brussels Bar (Linklaters).

The Tijdschrift voor Privaatrecht (TPR, Journal of Private Law) is a renowned private law journal from the Benelux. It has a tradition of more than 50 years, which has helped shape private law in Belgium and the Netherlands. 

Since 1998, each year the Journal of Private Law awards one, and since 1999 two, Belgian-Dutch rotating professorships. Every two years, it allows Belgian academics to teach in residence in the Netherlands, and every two years vice versa. More recently, since 2012, TPR has established rotating professorships with South Africa, where every two years a Belgian or Dutch researcher goes to South Africa, and vice versa. The South African rotating professorships was an initiative of Professor Jean Sonnekus.

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