The Law and Politics of Protecting Liberal Democracy

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Inaugural lecture by prof. dr. John Morijn on 24 june 2022 on acceptance of the post of endowed professor of Law and politics in international relations at the Faculty of Law.

This inaugural lecture discusses the law and politics of protecting liberal democracy in Europe. It is in three parts. It first discusses the nature of the current challenge to liberal democracy. It then addresses the law in place to protect it (better) and identifies ways to improve the record. Finally, it reflects on the politics needed to bridge the gap between binding law and current realities.

The lecture presents three arguments. First, the problem of deterioration of liberal democracy in EU Member States and, as a result, political EU institutions themselves, is deeper and more urgent than commonly understood. Opponents of liberal democracy have a clear gameplan. Its defenders do not – at least not yet. Second, existing binding norms and EU procedures offer more possibilities to protect liberal democracy than used. The challenge is to employ only those tools that are effective and to enforce their outcomes more effectively – particularly judgments of the European Court of Justice. Third and finally, there is a need for more, not less politics to protect liberal democracy. But politics cannot be left to politicians alone. Instead, more conscious and coordinated action from all of us is required. Lawyers and politicians have an additional responsibility.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationGroningen
PublisherUniversity of Groningen Press
Number of pages53
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NameInaugural lectures University of Groningen
PublisherUniversity of Groningen Press

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