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Niels Blokker and Brian McGarry organise INTERPOL centenary conference

Professor Niels Blokker, Schermers Chair and Professor of International Institutional Law, and Dr Brian McGarry, Assistant Professor of Public International Law (Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies), organised a first-of-its-kind conference at the headquarters of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) in Lyon, France on 12 April 2024.

INTERPOL enlisted Leiden University as its sole academic partner in the development of this centenary conference (‘INTERPOL at 100: Improving the Organization's Legal Framework’). Professor Blokker and Dr McGarry consulted with the organisation over the course of a year on how an academic event could foster insights into the challenges arising from its atypical legal framework and status.

To promote an objective and informed analysis of these questions, Professor Blokker and Dr McGarry moderated discussions between INTERPOL legal officers and four renowned experts on international organisations: Professor Laurence Boisson de Chazournes (University of Geneva), Professor Kristina Daugirdas (University of Michigan), Professor August Reinisch (University of Vienna), and Sir Michael Wood. These discussions addressed critical issues concerning membership and representation, organisational mandate and decision-making, external relations, compliance and allocation of responsibility.

The unprecedented transparency of this event featured substantial audience input in Lyon and online, including the participation of students from over 20 invited universities around the world. It is intended that the conference’s legacy will include a commemorative publication and the establishment of the 'Lyon Dialogues', a series of conversations building understanding of law enforcement and organised crime and their impact on international affairs and national security.

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