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Conference Speakers

Robert Alexy

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Robert Alexy is a German jurist and a legal philosopher. Alexy studied law and philosophy at the University of Göttingen. He received his PhD in 1976 with the dissertation A Theory of Legal Argumentation, and he achieved his Habilitation in 1984 with a Theory of Constitutional Rights. He is a professor at the University of Kiel and in 2002 he was appointed to the Academy of Sciences and Humanities at the University of Göttingen. In 2010 he was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Alexy's definition of law looks like a mix of Kelsen's normativism (which was an influential version of legal positivism) and Radbruch's legal naturalism (Alexy, 2002), but Alexy's theory of argumentation (Alexy, 1983) puts him very close to legal interpretivism.

Kurt-Otto Bayertz

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Kurt Bayertz is a professor of Practical Philosophy at the University of Münster. He is a philosopher who has written extensively on key contemporary issues such as solidarity, the philosophical issues of race and genetics, the sanctity of life and human dignity.

Martin Borowski


Martin Borowski is a full professor and Director of the Institute for Constitutional Law, Constitutional Theory, and Legal Philosophy at the Faculty of Law, Uni-versity of Heidelberg. He is a member of the Executive Committeee of the German Section of the International Association for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy and a member of the ‘Vereinigung der Deutschen Staatsrechtslehrer’. 

Professor Borowski's research fields include legal Theory and Legal Philosophy, Constitutional Theory, Fundamental Human Rights, European Union Law, Law and Religion.

Luís Pereira Coutinho


Luís Pereira Coutinho has completed his doctorate in Law at the Instituto de Ciências Jurídico-Políticas (ICJP) of the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon where he is Assistant Professor and a Researcher. He has also taught at the Faculty of Human and Social Sciences of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa. Apart from his academic functions, he is a lawyer. He has devoted a lot of his research to the topics of human rights and fundamental rights, participating in many collective works and in several conferences on the themes both in Portugal and in Germany. His research interests focus above all in the moral authority of the Constitution, in the relation between the Constitution and Sovereignty, in constitutional revision and in various themes in political thought, international relations theory and the philosophy of law. 

Pavlos Eleftheriadis


Pavlos Eleftheriadis is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Mansfield College. He is also a barrister in England and Wales and practises in EU and public law from Francis Taylor Building in the Temple.

He studied at the Universities of Athens (BA, 1990) and Cambridge (LLM, 1991, PhD, 1995). Before joining Oxford he was a lecturer at the London School of Economics. He has been a visiting professor of European Law at Columbia University and a visiting fellow in Hellenic Studies at Princeton. He was awarded the Bodossaki Prize for Law in 2005. His book Legal Rights - which offered arguments against the legal positivist account of law and rights and in favour of a moral account of legal rights based on public reason - was published by Oxford University Press in 2008. Since then he has written on the theory of human rights, the right to health, the idea of sovereignty, the problem of parliamentary sovereignty as well as several aspects of the constitutional theory of the EU.

Matthias Kaufmann


Matthias Kaufmann is professor of Ethics at the Martin-Luther-University,  Halle-Wittenberg Institute for Philosophy. He also serves as the Managing Director of the Institute of Ethnology and Philosophy and a Managing Director of the Department of Philosophy at the Martin-Luther-University.

Matthias Klatt


Matthias Klatt is Chair of Jurisprudence at the Faculty of Law, University of Graz. Previously, he had been a Junior Professor of Public Law, EU Law, Public International Law and Legal Theory in Hamburg. Still previous positions included the Juliana Cuyler Matthews Junior Research Fellowship at New College, Oxford, and an Emmy Noether Research Fellowship, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Matthias Klatt had also served as a law clerk at the German Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe, after completing his legal education in Goettingen, Munich, Kiel, and Duesseldorf. He also held the position of a research and teaching assistant at the Chair for Public Law and Legal Philosophy, University of Kiel (Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Robert Alexy).

Massimo La Torre


Massimo La Torre is a Professor in Philosophy of Law at the Law School of Magna Graecia University in Catanzaro, Italy, and Professor of European Law at the Tallinn University.

He is an international authority on European, Public and  Constitutional Law. Currently he is working on the idea of European Citizenship, the concept of a constitutional state, and the comparative role of defense in different legislative systems.

Dr. La Torre is the author of fifteen books and has published over 150 articles in several different languages. In addition, he is the co-director of the book series Res Publica, an associate editor of Ratio Juris and has been a member of the editorial committee of various international publications.

Agustín José Menéndez


Agustín José Menéndez is Professor Contratado Doctor Permanente I3 at the Universidad de León, Spain. Menéndez holds an LLM from the European Academy of Legal Theory (Brussels) and a PhD in law from the European University Institute in Florenze. He was a visiting researcher at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, at the Centro de Estudios Políticos y Constitucionales (Madrid) and the sub-director of the Programme of European Studies of the Instituto Universitario Ortega y Gasset (Madrid).

Menéndez' main fields of interest include democracy, fundamental rights and legitimacy, the relationship between national and EU law, the constitutional theory of the European Union and the EU's social dimension.

Rein Müllerson


Rein Müllerson is Senior Researcher at the Tallinn University School of Governance, Law and Society. In 1991-92 Müllerson was First Deputy Foreign Minister and in 1988-92 a Member of the UN Human Rights Committee. Between 1987 and 1991 he was the Head of the International Law Department of the Institute of State and Law of the Academy of Sciences in Moscow and adviser to the Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR (M. Gorbachev). Since 1995 Müllerson is a Member of the Institut de Droit International (Geneva). In 2004-2005 he, on Sabbatical from King’s, worked as the UN Regional Adviser for Central Asia. He is also Marco Polo Fellow of Xi’an Jiaotong University in China.

Professor Müllerson is the author of seven books on international law and politics and more than 150 articles and reviews.

Leone Niglia


Leone Niglia is Research Professor at the University of Madrid (CIII). He has been a visiting scholar/fellow at, including, Harvard Law School; the London School of Economics; the Max Planck Institute, Hamburg; the Max Planck Institute, Heidelberg; the University of Heidelberg; the University of Michigan Law School and has been awarded grants and fellowships from, including, the British Academy, UK; the Carnegie Trust (Scotland); the Modern Law Review, UK; Michigan Law School, USA; the Leverhulme Trust, UK. He is author and editor of various monographs and books widely reviewed and internationally acclaimed including The Struggle for European Private Law. A Critique of Codification (Oxford, 2015).

Veronica Rodriguez-Blanco


Professor Veronica Rodriguez-Blanco is the inaugural holder of the Chair of Moral and Political Philosophy (Jurisprudence) in the School of Law, University of Surrey. Her research is located at the intersection of practical reason, philosophy of action and law. She draws insights from ancient, medieval and contemporary moral psychology and action theory to illuminate the nature of private law, legal authority and normativity. Her research has been published in leading journals and she is the author of the monograph Law and Authority Under the Guise of the Good. Veronica is co-editor of the journal Jurisprudence: An International Journal of Legal and Political Thought.

Mart Susi


Mart Susi is Professor of Human Rights Law at Tallinn University and Head of the University's Law program. He has held senior positions in various academic institutions. Currently he is also heading two international projects: a Horizon 2020 project Hurmur in co-operation with the Danish Institute of Human Rights and Walther-Schücking Institute of International law of Kiel University; and the Nordplus Law and Media Network financed by the Nordic Council of Ministers. His research focuses mainly on new human rights, remedies in international law and and the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights.

Kaarlo Tuori


Kaarlo Tuori is a Director of the Center of Excellence in research on the Fondations of European Law and Polity and a Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of Helsinki.

He is particularly interested in how the professional and institutional affiliations, cultural backgrounds and political and ideological commitments of scientific contributors impact the interpretation of constitutional concepts, how the concept of constitution varies and how the diversity of European constitutions is reflected in the relationship between the European Constitution and national constitutions.