Marc Cogen

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Person.png Marc CogenRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(academic, lawyer)


Cogen graduated in law studies at the University of Ghent in 1978. He became a barrister and joined the staff of the Law School of the University of Ghent after having obtained his doctoral degree in 1986 on a comparative legal analysis of the African, Asian and Inter-American Development Banks. He was a professor of international law at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam from 1988 to 1991 and became professor of international law at the University of Ghent in 1991. He also taught European law and institutions at Vesalius College of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel from 1995 to 2001.[1]

Political activity

In November 2003, Cogen defended the Bush administration's handling of Guantanamo detainees in an interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

"The global war against terrorism is a new phenomenon in our time and we have to address the situation entirely anew. And if international terrorist cells are operating — which is a new phenomenon, not terrorism as such, but the international organization of terrorism — then we have to devise rules and to interpret laws of armed conflict against this background," Cogen said.
Cogen thinks it would be better for critics of the U.S. administration's policies, especially in Europe, to take an active part in drafting new legal procedures for handling what he calls "terrorist war crimes" instead of looking to apply narrow interpretations of existing laws, which he says fail to consider the state of war at hand.[2]

Cogen delivered a talk on 'Opposing Jihadism' at the CounterJihad Brussels conference in October 2007.[3]In it, he concluded:

The war against jihad involves a proper legal framework that enables our governments and agencies to act efficiently. Since jihadist terror groups or private armies are conducting a real war against our society, we need military tribunals to deal with them instead of corroding and misusing the common criminal system. At the same time state practice, by means of national legislation, should develop specific rules within the body of the laws of war, a neglected aspect for a new type of war.[4]

In June 2008, Cogen spoke at 'How Free is the University', a conference in Los Angeles organised by the American Freedom Alliance.[5]

Blogger Luke Ford described his contribution:

Cogen is a law professor in Belgium. He says he’s being persecuted by his peers for his support of Israel and the invasion of Iraq. He’s suing his university. All his classes have been taken from him but one.
"There is a Sovietization of Europe by the majority. They are telling the minority which opinions are acceptable."[6]

In October 2010, Marc Cogen (then 55) was suspended on full pay by Ghent University for "cross-border" activity, apparently accusing the University and a number of his colleagues of anti-semitism.[7] in Jan 2020 had no information on him.



  1. IERU Members, International and European Research Unit, Universiteit Gent, accessed 5 January 2008.
  2. U.K.: Judge Issues Harsh Condemnation Of U.S. Guantanamo Prison Camp, by Jeremy Bransten, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 23 November 2003.
  3. CounterJihad Brussels 2007 Presentations, CounterJihad Europa, accessed 5 January 2009.
  4. OPPOSING JIHADISM – AN ONSET FOR A CURE, by Dr Marc Cogen, CounterJihad Europa, accessed 5 January 2009.
  5. Program - How Free is the University - an International Conference, American Freedom Alliance, accessed, 5 January 2009.
  6. How Free is the University?, Luke, 15 June 2008.
  7. Universiteit Gent schorst professor Marc Cogen "The professor did not shy away from controversial views on Israel and the United States and the war in Iraq. In the past he accused the University and a number of colleagues of anti-Semitism." Gazette Van Antwerpen 14th Oct 2010.