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31 March 2023

Centre of European Law hosts joint lecture with EU Delegation in the UK for King's students

The EU Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders, delivered a guest lecture for King’s students from The Dickson Poon School of Law, outlining the European Commission’s ongoing efforts to ensure justice and accountability are delivered, to effectively prosecute crimes of aggression against Ukraine.

A group of smiling people in front of flags with a man in a blue suit centrally positioned
EU Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders

The event was jointly organised by the Centre of European Law and the EU Delegation in the UK, and was led by the EU Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders.

The Commissioner was in London on 20 March to attend an international conference to support the International Criminal Court’s (ICC), investigations into war crimes in Ukraine. Over 40 Justice ministers from all around the world convened to discuss their ongoing efforts and commitment to resolving the conflict in Ukraine. The conference was jointly organised by the Ministry of Justice of the UK and the Ministry of Justice and Security of the Netherlands.

Only three days earlier on 17 March, the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Russian leader Vladimir Putin with accusations of war crimes. Allegations made against Putin suggest direct involvement of the abduction of children from Ukraine and the unlawful transfer of people from the territory of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.

Commissioner Reynders spoke at the opening session of the Justice Ministers Conference and delivered a guest lecture at Europe House for King’s students in the afternoon.

The EU Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders
The EU Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders

It was a pleasure to sit down with students at King’s College in London and have to opportunity to exchange on international accountability mechanisms. I presented the European Commission’s efforts in ensuring accountability for the international crimes committed in Ukraine, as well as the crime of aggression. This exchange was enriching, and I was glad to see students engaging on such issues. Thank you.

The EU Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders

During the lecture, he highlighted the two biggest priorities in his portfolio; bringing perpetrators of international crimes committed in Ukraine to justice and to ensure that Russia will eventually pay for the reconstruction of Ukraine. In respect to the former, Commissioner Reynders stated clearly that ‘there can be no impunity for the international crimes committed in Ukraine, including the crime of aggression’. In this regard, he also reflected on the EU Commission’s support to the ICC and their investigations into the situation in Ukraine.

Commissioner Reynders concluded by outlining the broader efforts made by the EU Commission in relation to the conflict in Ukraine and reflected upon the challenges faced.

After the Commissioner’s opening address, the floor was opened to students who were given the opportunity to ask questions. The questions were broad in scope, and Commissioner Reynders fully interacted and engaged with students and their concerns about the commission’s efforts in ensuring accountability for Ukraine.

The lecture was moderated by Professor Sir Francis Jacobs, President of the Centre of European Law.

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Professor Sir Francis Jacobs.

Professor of Law and Jean Monnet Professor

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