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New year, new ERC team member!

On 1 January 2020 Betül Kas joined our ERC team as a postdoc researcher on the subproject on privatisation of civil justice. She is the successor of Alexandre Biard, who as of December 2019 continued his career as a senior advisor at BEUC in Brussels, where he will be able to use his extensive research experience for the benefit of enforcing consumer rights in the EU. We are grateful for his invaluable contribution to our project, resulting in an impressive number of publications and conference presentations among others. We all greatly appreciated his many initiatives, his fieldwork, support of the other researchers, work spirit, and good sense of humour. We are happy to keep him in our team as an affiliated researcher and look forward to our futher collaboration.

We welcome Betül to our team as the successor of Alexandre for the postdoc project on privatisation. She has an impressive track record, having worked among others as a PhD researcher in the ERC Advanced project of Hans Micklitz at the European University Institute in Florence and as a postdoc researcher in the Vidi project led by Chantal Mak at the University of Amsterdam. Her German background will further strengthen our research on German law and practice. One of her research focuses will be the interaction between public and private justice. We are very happy to have Betül on our team and look forward to working with her in 2020 and onwards!

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Published: April 5, 2018

On 30 March 2018, at the age of 87, Prof. Marcel Storme passed away in his beloved home city of Ghent. Over and above his many other professional capacities, he was primarily professor emeritus of civil procedure at the University of Ghent, and honorary president of the International Association of Procedural Law. His visionary work in the field of civil procedure and his passion for the harmonisation of procedural laws in Europe remain of immeasurable value.

Professor Storme, in my 2012 inaugural lecture, I called you one of the founding fathers of European civil procedure, and referred to your ‘cathedral builder’s dream’ (Riksumeikan Law Review, 2005). In the same lecture, I also thanked you for being a tremendous source of inspiration. And that is precisely what you have been, and will continue to be. From the beginning, you supported me every step of the way along the path of my career − sometimes visibly and other times behind the scenes. You were present at my inaugural lectures in Rotterdam and Leuven, and at the procedural law conferences I organised in Rotterdam; and you were never more than an email away whenever I needed to call upon you. You were so proud when the endowed chair on European civil procedure − now merged with a permanent chair within the private law department − was established in Rotterdam. I cherish the collection of mostly handwritten letters, the kind notes in the books and paper extracts you gave to me, and every occasion of your personal encouragement over the years. You wrote that not only do I fuel the flame of European civil procedure but academically I also keep it burning.

Dear Professor Storme, dear Marcel, together with my ERC team and our wonderful group of international colleagues and friends (your 'biotope'), I will keep alive your dream of building upon civil justice in Europe. Thank you so much for all you have done for me and for so many others. I can end this tribute in no other way than in the four languages you used so easily and interchangeably in your talks: rest in peace – repose en paix – rust in vrede – ruhe in frieden.

Xandra Kramer