Knut Ipsen Lecture Series

In commemoration of our founding director Professor Knut Ipsen, we inaugurated the Knut Ipsen Lecture Series in 2022. This series is a tribute to his tireless commitment and pivotal role in shaping the International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict. Renowned scholars from around the globe engage in discussions concerning contemporary advancements in these legal domains and their interconnected disciplines.

Who was Knut Ipsen?

Professor Ipsen assumed the Chair of Public Law (International Law) at Ruhr University Bochum (RUB) in 1974, leaving an indelible mark on the institution unlike any other. During his tenure as rector, he founded the Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict (IFHV) and steered the RUB's fortunes for one decade–longer than anyone before or after him.

While his contributions to higher education policy were notable, it was his profound impact on International Law that truly distinguished him: Among his students are some of today's foremost scholars and practitioners of International Humanitarian Law. His textbook on international law, which has borne his name since its second edition, has become an indispensable reference work for German-speaking practitioners, scholars, and students alike.

Professor Ipsen's expertise in this field is undeniable, as demonstrated by his role in negotiating the Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions as a member of the German delegation. His work as Federal Convention Commissioner, later President of the German Red Cross, and his many years as a judge at the Permanent Court of Arbitration give an idea of his international reputation as one of the outstanding German International Law scholars of his generation.

The Knut Ipsen Lecture Series honours his special achievements. You are cordially invited to keep the memory of one of Germany's most influential international lawyers of our time alive.

Past Knut Ipsen Lectures

Spring Term 2024 (Summer Semester 2024)

Professor Kristin Bergtora Sandvik (Peace and Research Institute Oslo/University of Oslo): The Juridification of Humanitarian Space, 23 April 2024

Fall Term 2022 (Winter Semester 2022/2023)

Professor Marco Sassòli (University of Geneva): The Armed Conflict in Ukraine: Challenges and Chances for International Humanitarian Law, 06 October 2022

Professor Thea Hillhorst (Erasmus University Rotterdam): Humanitarian Studies Today: Development of a Research Field, 14 December 2022

Professor Wolff Heintschel von Heinegg (European University Viadrina, Frankfurt/Oder): The Future of the Law of Peace and Armed Conflict against the Background of Increasing Confrontations, 26 January 2023

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