Monday, February 13, 2006

Bjoern's Introduction

First of all, thanks to Nicki for setting up the blog.

I thought I would use this first post to tell our readers something about myself and my interests in international law in general and more specifically in international criminal law.

I studied law at the University of Kiel and passed the First State Examination (J.D./LL.B. equivalent, for you Anglo-American types out there) in April 2004. Since then, I am a research fellow (“wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter”) at the Walther-Schuecking-Institute for International Law here in Kiel, where I teach fundamental rights to small groups of first year law students. I have also worked as “Assistant Editor” for last year’s edition of the faculty-run German Yearbook of International Law and, together with my colleague Tilmann Laubner, coached the Kiel team in the 2004/2005 Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.

I am also (supposed to be) working on my doctoral thesis with the (tentative) title “The Historic Mission of International Criminal Trials and its Influence on the Position of the Accused” and the (very tentative) finishing date of early 2007. Plans afterwards include an LL.M. in the US and finishing my professional training in Germany (which requires two years of mandatory clerkships before one is allowed to take the Second State Examination, the bar exam equivalent). My final goal is to work in criminal defense and/or academia.

Academic interests in international law include “constitutional” public international law, international criminal law, and human rights. I am also interested in international law theory and history – the reissue of Martti Koskenniemi’s “From Apology to Utopia” currently sits on my nightstand. As far as “philosophy of international law” is concerned, I lean towards (Legal) Realism/ Critical Legal Studies/ New Approaches to International Law.

My main publications in the field are “The Ultra Vires Character of Legislative Action by the Security Council”, 2 International Organizations Law Review (2005), 337–360 and (with Kerstin Bartsch) “Jus Cogens v. State Immunity, Round Two: The Decision of the European Court of Human Rights in the Kalogeropoulou et al v. Greece and Germany Decision” (yes, I know that there are two “decisions” in that title), 4 German Law Journal No. 5 (May 2003).

I am excited to be aboard and looking forward to hopefully many interesting discussions.