Face of Flanders | Flanders Today
Face of Flanders Lynn Verrydt Most Masters’ students hope their thesis will be enough to get them through to graduation; Lynn Verrydt hopes one day that her ideas might “make a modest contribution” to a change in international law. A law student at Ghent University, Verrydt was last month awarded the Flemish Thesis Prize, an annual award worth €2,500, which carries with it prestige and media attention. The prize started in 2002, when it was awarded to three winners. It has since gone to theses on subjects as diverse as sports reporter Karel Van Wynendaele, travelling to and from school in the 1950s and variety theatre productions in Ghent. Verrydt’s thesis deals with the legal liability of companies under criminal law. “Whenever people talk about genocide, war crimes or crimes against humanity, we automatically think of names like Radovan Karadzic, Ratko Mladic or JeanPierre Bemba,” she said. “But do people also think of multinationals, like Shell, Chevron or Blackwater? Whether as perpetrator or accomplice, companies are also sometimes guilty of such international crimes. But a loophole in international law makes it impossible to prosecute the entity behind such crimes, even though that is who profits the most.” A weighty question and also a topical one, whether it concerns the widespread use of military contractors in war zones or the inability of any country but Iceland to incarcerate bankers responsible for the financial crisis of 2009. “I realise the legal liability of corporations will probably remain a judicial fiction,” Verrydt admitted. “But it would be nice if my thesis were able to make a modest contribution in support of a new legal model.” Verrydt received the award in the city hall in Ghent from vicepremier Johan Vande Lanotte, himself a jurist by education who has taught parttime at Ghent since 1988. “Here in Flanders we have an extremely valuable raw material with which we can do a great deal: brains and knowledge,” he said at the ceremony. “But knowledge can only develop if we share it with each other. The Flemish Thesis Prize allows the remarkable work of young and ambitious researchers to be shown to the wider public.” Alan Hope
(January 9, 2013)
Published on Jan 9, 2013
Verscheen op 09-01-2013 Flanders Today plaatst Lynn Verrydt, "the winner of the Flemish Thesis Prize", in kijker in de reeks "Face Of Fland...