Christophe Paulussen appointed Asser Institute’s acting academic director and chairperson of the board

Published 29 November 2023

@Hilko Visser- Christophe Paulussen appointed as acting chairperson of the executive board and acting academic director. 

Christophe Paulussen has been appointed as acting academic director and chairperson of the board of the Asser Institute, starting 1 December 2023. As one of the longest-serving researchers at the Institute, Christophe has been an integral part of its development and success over many years.

Christophe Paulussen is senior researcher and coordinator of the research strand ‘In the public interest: accountability of the state and the prosecution of crimes’ at the Asser Institute and associate fellow at the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism in The Hague. His expertise in the legal aspects of counter-terrorism and international criminal law is frequently sought. For instance, he has advised the Dutch parliament, the EU, NATO, the Council of Europe and the United Nations on issues such as foreign fighters and accountability for international crimes. Christophe is also coordinator of various projects at the Institute, including the MATRA-Ukraine project, working with Ukrainian stakeholders strengthening Ukraine’s capacity to investigate and prosecute international crimes.

Professor Liesbeth Lijnzaad, chair of the supervisory board of the Asser Institute, is happy with the appointment. Lijnzaad: “Christophe has a deep understanding of the vision and mission of the organisation, as well as its local and international position as academic centre of excellence. We are confident he will guide us with his careful consideration, enthusiasm and academic expertise. The supervisory board greatly appreciates Christophe taking on this responsibility for now.”

Connecting practice and theory
An interview with Benjamin Ferencz, the last surviving Nuremberg prosecutor, inspired Christophe to pursue international criminal law. It was therefore a privilege that Ferencz, many years later, would come to the Asser Institute several times to inspire a new generation of international lawyers at the Annual Summer Law Programme on International Criminal Law and International Legal & Comparative Approaches to Counter-Terrorism, coordinated by Christophe.

Academic excellence has been at the core of Christophe’s work, starting with his PhD thesis on surrendering suspects to the International Criminal Court (ICC), receiving a special mention from the Jury of the Max van der Stoel Human Rights Award 2011. Since then, he has published widely in the fields of international humanitarian law, international criminal law and legal aspects of countering terrorism. He also aims to help young researchers, for instance as a PhD co-supervisor and as coordinator of the inter-faculty research platform International Humanitarian and Criminal Law Platform, which organises annual PhD Days.

Moreover, as coordinator of the Supranational Criminal Law (SCL) Lectures Series and the Lebanon Lecture Series, as well as in his function of editor-in-chief of the journal 'Security and Human Rights', member of the executive board of the Royal Netherlands Society of International Law (KNVIR), and member of different editorial boards, Christophe is strongly committed to contributing to valorisation and the dissemination of academic knowledge.

Christophe looks forward to his new challenge: “It is a true honour for me to lead this talented group of researchers throughout this transition phase and help develop their many exciting avenues of research at the Asser Institute.”

Read the full biography of Dr Christophe Paulussen, M.Phil. LL.M.

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Strategic research agenda (2022-2026): ‘
Rethinking public interests in international and European law; pairing critical reflection with perspectives for action.’
The loss of public trust in international and European law and institutions, seems strongly related to the perception that norms and institutions are failing to serve public interests. Moreover, critical research into international and European public and private law and institutions has shown that our legal regimes and institutions are actually implicated in the global inequality, and in the imminent crash into our Earth’s planetary boundaries. Read more.

[Ukraine] Fair trials key to lasting justice
“Ukraine’s legacy, how this country will be remembered in history, is at stake. And it will be determined by all of you and your commitment to long-lasting justice, not just quick convictions”, said senior researcher Christophe Paulussen (Asser Instituut) during the international conference ‘Justice in the domestic adjudication of war crimes cases’, organised by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in cooperation with international and Ukrainian partners. Read more.

‘Some people expressed their condolences for the state of the international legal system’
On 24 February 2022, Russia started its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, resulting in tens of thousands of deaths and the displacement of 15.7 million Ukrainians, with 7.7 million Ukrainians becoming refugees. International condemnations and the implementation of sanctions followed, as did nuclear threats made by Russia. Christophe Paulussen, senior researcher and coordinator of the research strand In the public interest: accountability of the state and the prosecution of crimes: “All of this understandably led to a lot of anger and despair as well as to fundamental discussions on the role of international law in this chaos.” Read more.

[Interview] Christophe Paulussen: ‘It was an interview with Benjamin Ferencz, the last surviving Nuremberg prosecutor, which pushed me to the field of international criminal law’
An interview with Asser Institute researcher Christophe Paulussen where he discusses his current research and what inspired him to pursue a career in international law.
 Read more.