LL.M. Hosts Public Lecture on the Rule of Law2 min read
YEREVAN, Armenia — On November 28, the American University of Armenia (AUA) Master of Laws (LL.M.) program hosted Dr. Rick Lawson for a public lecture on “Staying on Course in Stormy Times: Professor Cleveringa and the Rule of Law.”
Professor Lawson is a Dutch academic specializing in European human rights law. Having served as dean of Leiden Law School from 2011 to 2016, he was nominated by the Dutch Government for the position of judge in the European Court of Human Rights in 2017, and has been a member of the Management Board of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency in Vienna since 2020.
On behalf of the University, LL.M. Program Chair, Professor Adelaida Baghdasaryan welcomed the honorable guests and attendees and presented the speaker and the topic. Her introduction was followed by remarks delivered by the President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia, Arman Dilanyan, and the Ambassador of the Netherlands to Armenia, H.E. Nico Schermers.
Dr. Lawson dedicated his lecture to renowned Dr. Rudolph Cleveringa, Dutch law professor and dean of the Faculty of Law of Leiden University during WW2, and his famous public speech delivered in the Great Auditorium on November 26, 1940. This was a time when his country was under Nazi occupation and he was protesting against the dismissal of his Jewish colleagues by the occupying Nazi powers. His courageous protest was not only an assertion of solidarity among colleagues and friends, but also a principled belief in the values of equal treatment, freedom of religion, and respect for the law — core tenets of a democracy governed by the rule of law. Since 1946, the Leiden University Fund has organized annual Cleveringa lectures in various venues, delivered by Leiden academics who address current topics in their respective areas of expertise.
During the lecture, Dr. Lawson discussed issues related to “unjust laws” and the place of ethics in law within the context of non-discrimination and armed conflict. He summed up his talk by drawing parallels between the 1940s and present days.
The lecture was followed by a Q&A session, during which participants had the opportunity to engage in an interesting conversation with Professor Lawson on the state of human rights and its protection in the world at present.
Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.