People - 01.02.2021 - 00:00 

Appointment: Thomas Burri

Professor Thomas Burri has been an Associate Professor of International Law and European Law at the University of St.Gallen (HSG) since 1 February 2021.

1 Februar 2021. He studied law at the University of Basel from 1996 to 2002. After that, he was awarded summa cum laude for his PhD at the University of Zurich in 2009. The title of his doctoral thesis was “Models of Autonomy? Case Studies of Minority Regimes in Hungary and French Polynesia.” During his doctoral studies, he completed a legal postgraduate degree course and obtained an LLM at the College of Europe in Bruges (Belgium). Thomas Burri was Assistant Professor of Public International Law and European Law at the University of St.Gallen from 2011. His was appointed as a senior lecturer (with venia legendi for Public International Law, European Law and Constitutional Law) in 2015. The title of his professorial dissertation was “The Greatest Possible Freedom – Interpretive Formulas and Their Spin in Free Movement Case Law”. Since 2016, he has been the Academic Director for the Master in International Law (MIL) at the University of St.Gallen. In 2017 and 2018, he took over as substitute chairholder for International Law at TU Dresden and the Humboldt University of Berlin.

Research: International Law and Technology, General Public International Law, European Law

Professor Thomas Burri’s research has a broad basis. It covers three fields of study in particular. He investigates the implications of new technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics (e.g. automatic weapons and disaster relief systems) for International Law. In General Public International Law, he focuses on the role of international courts – the International Court of Justice in particular – in the development and application of Public International Law. In this context, he has examined the human rights of people on the Chagos Archipelago (which has an American military air base on one of its islands, Diego Garcia) and language policies. In the field of European Law, his research builds on his many years working on his habilitation thesis on free movement rights in the EU. He also investigates other aspects of European foreign relations (e.g. EU relations with Switzerland and Great Britain). Professor Thomas Burri’s research has been published in internationally renowned journals (e.g. the German Yearbook of International Law and the European Journal of Risk Regulation) and highly regarded publishing houses (e.g. Cambridge University Press). He has been invited to present at some of the most renowned universities in the world (e.g. Cambridge, Oxford, Stanford and Princeton).

Many years of teaching experience

Professor Thomas Burri has many years of teaching experience at HSG and other institutions (e.g. Fribourg, TU Dresden and the Humboldt University of Berlin). He has been regularly teaching on the Major in International Affairs (BIA), including compulsory lectures on “Public International Law” and “European Law”, as well as on the Master in International Affairs and Governance (MIA) (e.g. “International Law and Business Strategy”). For the Master in International Law (MIL), he has been teaching the compulsory lecture “Foundations of International and European Business and Economic Law” since 2015. Since 2011, he has supervised over 70 theses (as main supervisor for Bachelor, Master and PhD theses). Professor Thomas Burri has been Programme Leader for the MIL since the spring semester in 2016. Under his leadership, he has managed to significantly diversify the teaching staff for the MIL. From the spring semester in 2020 onwards, he has also taken over the role of International Officer for the Law School.

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