Koen Lenaerts

Category: 1970s /  All Harkness Stories /  Law & Criminal Justice / 

Koen Lenaerts (HF 1977 - 79) was born in 1954 in Mortsel, Belgium. He obtained his law degree in 1977 at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium). With the award of a Harkness Fellowship in the same year, he continued his studies at Harvard University where he obtained a Master of Laws in 1978 and a Master in Public Administration in 1979. Returning to the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven he became a Doctor of Law in 1982 and started first as a lecturer and then a professor of European law in 1983. He also taught at the College of Europe in Bruges (Belgium) from 1984 to 1989, and at Harvard Law School as a visiting professor in 1989.  Mr Lenaerts’ career at the Court of Justice began when he became legal secretary (law clerk) to Judge René Joliet, a post he occupied from 1984 to 1985, before practising law at the Brussels Bar from 1986 to 1989. He was appointed judge at the Court of First Instance of the European Communities on 25th September 1989, the first day of this newly created court. He served on this Court for more than 14 years before being appointed judge at the Court of Justice in 2003. Mr. Lenaerts was elected by his peers as President of Chamber for two successive mandates from 2006 to 2012 and then as Vice-President of the Court of Justice in 2012. He was elected President of the Court of Justice in 2015, a post he occupies to this day.