The College of Law welcomed Willem Theus, a PhD candidate in law at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven) and UC Louvain, as a visiting scholar during April. Theus spent a month conducting research on his thesis, which focuses on special economic and internationalized zones, including the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC).
Dr. Georgios Dimitropoulos, Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the College of Law, whose research interests focus on the legal and historical aspects of special economic and international zones, is an outside member of Theus’s PhD committee. Their association gave rise to Theus’s visit and while at HBKU, they collaborated on a paper titled “SEIZe the Money – Introducing the Concept of Special Economic and Internationalized Zones.” Theus presented the paper at the HBKU Law Research Forum on April 28, where his supervisor, Professor Geert Van Calster, head of the Institute for Private International Law at KU Leuven, also participated.
Commenting on his time at the College of Law, Theus said: “It was a very enriching and energizing experience to be here at the faculty in Qatar, especially after the difficult pandemic years which severely impacted my (archival) research. Everyone was very welcoming and interested in my work. I hope to return soon, as the region is at the forefront of developments regarding special economic and internationalized zones.”
Dr. Dimitropoulos added: “It was a great privilege having Willem with us for a month. It was an opportunity for an exciting academic exchange on the historical roots of rapidly re-emerging institutions such as special zones and internationalized courts. Willem also enriched our growing community of doctoral candidates, who actively engaged with his exciting work in the SJD Colloquium organized by our candidates in the Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) program, and our colleague Aisha Al-Naama. We look forward to welcoming Willem back to HBKU and the College of Law!”