On the occasion of the EUI Degree Conferring Ceremony 2022, the Law Department was delighted to confer the degree of Honoris Causa to Professor Martti Koskenniemi for his exceptional impact on International Law.
Koskenniemi, whose genre-defying work virtuosically combines epochs, ideas, sources, languages, and biographies, is widely regarded as 'the leading international lawyer of his generation.' Koskenniemi has received several awards and honorary doctorates, but one from the European University Institute is particularly fitting: drawing on legal, philosophical and theoretical works in Finnish, Swedish, German, French, Italian, Spanish and English, he has written unprecedented historiographies of international legal thought in Europe, setting in motion the field’s 'historical turn.' Hailing Koskenniemi’s scholarship as not only ‘field defining’, but also 'field generative', EUI Public International Law Professors Neha Jain and Sarah Nouwen delivered the laudatio, recognising the ways in which Koskenniemi’s writings have fundamentally changed the field’s understanding of what it means to do international law and vastly expanded the horizons of international legal research.
Martti Koskenniemi is Emeritus Professor of International Law at the University of Helsinki and Director of the Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights. He was a member of the Finnish diplomatic service, Judge with the Administrative Tribunal of the Asian Development Bank and member of the United Nations International Law Commission. He is world-renowned for his critical approach to International Law. His main publications include From Apology to Utopia: The Structure of International Legal Argument (1989), The Gentle Civilizer of Nations: The Rise and Fall of International Law 1870-1960 (2001), The Politics of International Law (2011), The Cambridge Companion to International Law (2012), and To the Uttermost Ends of the Earth: Legal Imagination and International Power, 1300–1870 (2021).
The Honoris Causa Degree was conferred during the 2022 PhD and LLM Conferring Ceremony, where 60 Law graduates spanning from 2019 to 2022 celebrated the first of many milestones in their academic career.