Opening ceremony

Master of Laws programme

You are cordially invited to the opening ceremony of the Master of Laws programme of the University of Antwerp on monday 27 September from 10.00 to 12.00 am.
This will be a COVID safe event.* (please read the information below).  

This is the start of the sixth year of our English Master's programme. For the opening ceremony we always invite foreign guest speakers with a broad view of law and experience of various legal matters. We debate complex legal and societal issues with the new and returning students, staff and other guests. 

 This year we are proud to present two topics on the broad scope of law, introduced by two international speakers: 

 "Law in a Global World"
- by Professor Saloni Khanderia, Alexander von Humboldt Fellow (Experienced Researcher), Chair for Civil Law, International Private Law and Comparative Law - LMU, München, Professor of Law (full-time), Jindal Global Law School, Visiting Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Johannesburg. Specialised in international contracts and torts, international procedure and harmonisation of law. 

The effects of globalisation may be witnessed by the increased movement of people, goods, services and data across borders like never before - leading to critical changes in the economic, cultural and political structures of the society. On the one hand, globalisation has improved lives in an unprecedented manner - allowing persons to communicate and move easily across borders but also permitting businesses to provide goods and services overseas with reduced restrictions. At the same time, the advent of the global society has led to several unprecedented predicaments that have arisen along with. The increased movement of persons led to an increased flow of refugees and problems such as terrorism and trade in drugs. Likewise, reduced restrictions for foreign businesses to trade on one's land may lead to unique predicaments of reduced job opportunities for people of the home country. These changes have in turn affected the way experts perceive and address legal questions that have increasingly begun to transcend borders. State control has been increasingly diminishing over time and the era of a sovereign State seems short-lived as disputes are more international than ever. The ongoing situation concerning the COVID-19 pandemic or the situation in Afghanistan is illustrative of these effects. Legal principles must, among other things, provide effective solutions to the infringement of human rights of its citizens that has occurred as a result of the violation of the quarantine rules by foreigners that have entered its State. Likewise, the situation in Afghanistan underscores the necessity for States providing refugee status to the victims to have coherent rules to address the problems that may arise as a result of migration. Globalisation has inevitably called for the re-definition of the scope of national law to meet the pace at which the global society is changing. The address seeks to understand the role that law and legal education may play in a globalised world. 

 "Law (and legal education) in an unequal world"
- by Doctor Foluke Adebisi, School of Law, University of Bristol. Specialised in decolonial thought in legal education and its intersection with a history of changing ideas of the 'human'. 

While writing this address, three overarching global ‘events’ demonstrated the perdition in which the earth and humanity exists. The first is the global pandemic which has had a devastating effect on individual and collective ways of living. In 2020, the filming of the killing of George Floyd led to a global outcry that highlighted continuing structural and direct racism as a significant harm to people racialised ‘below the line of the human’. Finally, the danger of climate change has become increasingly evident in environmental devastation and unusual weather patterns around the world. These three global challenges are intertwined through the restriction of breath – the very essence of life. Consequently, many indigenous people, people with postcolonial backgrounds and foregrounds, and people from underrepresented populations choose to enter into the field of law because they heard freedom in its name. This calling sadly often turns out to be an empty promise because the law and legal education are often implicated in the historic and systemic reproduction or maintenance of the challenges listed above. This address seeks to position the global scholar of law at the intersection of these interlocking crises. 

Official Opening of the Academic Year by Professor Frederik Swennen, Dean of the Law Faculty. 

This ceremony will take a hybrid form. You are welcome to join us in room C.103 or online:
You are also invited to the lunch & reception which will take place between 12.00 and 14.00. 

 * Instructions/guidelines for a Covidsafe event at the campus

  • registration/confirmation is required: if you will attend, do send a mail to 
  • proof of full vaccination, recovery or a negative pcr/rapid antigen test is required and will be scanned at the entrance: no proof = no entry. 
  • the setting will be safe: no social distancing or facemasks required.You can download a detailed map or directions to the campus here.