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Chair Fassbender

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Chair in Public International Law, European Law and Public Law
Tigerbergstrasse 21
CH-9000 St. Gallen

lehrstuhl.fassbender@unisg.ch

Chair in Public International Law,
European Law and Public Law

Bardo Fassbender is Professor of International Law, European Law and Public Law at the University of St. Gallen. He studied law, history and political science at the University of Bonn (Germany) and holds an LL.M from Yale Law School and a Doctor iuris from the Humboldt University in Berlin, where he also completed his Habilitation and became Privatdozent for the disciplines of public law, international law, European law and constitutional history. He was a Ford Foundation Senior Fellow in Public International Law at Yale University and a Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence. He advised the Legal Counsel and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations on the subject of “Targeted sanctions of the UN Security Council and Due Process of Law”. Before joining the University of St. Gallen in 2013, he held the chair in international law and human rights law at the Bundeswehr University in Munich. In the years 2019 and 2020, he was Vice Dean, and in 2021 and 2022 Dean of the Law School of the University of St. Gallen.

His principal fields of research are public international law, United Nations law, comparative constitutional law and theory, and the history of international and constitutional law.

 His books include UN Security Council and the Right of Veto: A Constitutional Perspective (Kluwer Law International, 1998), Der offene Bundesstaat [The Federal State as an Open System: Foreign Relations Powers and the International Legal Personality of States Members of Federal States in Europe] (Mohr Siebeck, 2007), and The United Nations Charter as the Constitution of the International Community (Martinus Nijhoff, 2009). He edited the volume Securing Human Rights? Achievements and Challenges of the UN Security Council (Oxford University Press, 2011) and, together with Anne Peters, The Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law (Oxford University Press, 2012). He is co-editor of the series Studien zur Geschichte des Völkerrechts (Studies in the History of International Law, Nomos).

News

Resignation of Professor Fassbender as full professor

Professor Dr Bardo Fassbender, LL.M. (Yale), will finish his work as Full Professor of Public International Law, European Law and Public Law at the University of St.Gallen at the end of the spring semester 2024. In his letter of resignation dated 5 August 2023, addressed to the Rector and the President of the University Council, Professor Fassbender explained that he would like to concentrate on his academic and publishing work in international law in a new context in the coming years. He added that it had been an honour for him to succeed renowned colleagues as Chair of International and European Law at the University of St. Gallen. "My best wishes for the chair, the department and the university in the future."

Prof. Fassbender took up his post in St. Gallen in spring 2013. Previously, he was a full professor of international law with a focus on international human rights at the University of the Federal Armed Forces in Munich. In 2019 and 2020, he was Vice Dean, and in 2021 and 2022 Dean of the Law School of the University of St. Gallen. From 2014 to 2022, he was a member of the Research Commission of the University of St. Gallen, and from 2015 to 2019 a member of the Council of the Swiss "Professor Walther Hug Foundation for the Promotion of Legal Research". Bardo Fassbender studied law, history and political science at the University of Bonn and Yale Law School. He holds a Master of Laws (LL.M.) from Yale Law School and a doctorate in law from Humboldt University in Berlin. He also completed his habilitation at the Humboldt University and received his teaching qualification for the subjects of public law, international and European law, and constitutional history. He was Ford Foundation Senior Fellow in Public International Law at Yale University, Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence, and a substitute of the Chair of Public Law, Public International Law and European Law at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich. His main areas of research are general international law, the law of the United Nations, comparative constitutional law and constitutional theory as well as the history of constitutional and international law. He is the author and (co-)editor of fourteen books, author of around 180 academic articles and commentaries, co-editor of the series "Studien zur Geschichte des Völkerrechts", and member of the academic advisory board of the journal "Diritti umani e diritto internazionale".

International Moot Court in International Criminal Law 2023 

For the first time in four years, the International Criminal Court Moot Court was once again physically taking place in The Hague. The team of the University of St.Gallen, consisting of Ritwik Dwivedi, Dalia Hofstettler, Dzianis Kryvashei, Livia Lüdin und Dominik Wawer, had intensively studied issues of international criminal law and procedure over the last two semesters. Supervised by Prof. Bardo Fassbender and his assistant Martin Bader, the students dealt, in particular, with the criminal prosecution of the crime of ecocide, the legitimacy of UN investigative bodies and the jurisdiction of the ICC in the case of a secession. Out of more than eighty participating teams, the Universidade Federal da Bahia (Brazil) finally succeeded. For more information, please see the 2023 experience report. The Chair of International and European Law (Prof. Fassbender) will again participate in the competition with a student team next year. Interested students can already apply for participation (see the section “Moot Court” on this page).

Public Lecture on the Right of Self-Determination of Peoples 

In the autumn semester of 2022, Prof. Fassbender gave a three-part lecture on "The Right of Peoples to Self-Determination - Empty Promise or Building Block of a Future International Order?" 
Contrary to what its name suggests, "international law" is still today primarily a right that entitles and obligates not peoples but states in their relationship to each other. At its center are still the "sovereign states" and the attempt to balance their interests. It was not until the 20th century that peoples also found a place in this intergovernmental order. During World War I, American President Woodrow Wilson advocated a "right of self-determination" that would give each people the right to freely shape its political and economic circumstances. After the Second World War, the right of self-determination formed a basis for the dissolution of the European colonial empires in Africa, Asia and America. In today's international law, the right of self-determination is generally recognized, but many difficulties stand in the way of its realization in concrete cases. This is particularly evident when a people wants to secede from its previous state. 
The three-part public lecture examined the origin and development of the right of peoples to self-determination from a historical and legal perspective. How does this right relate to the rights of minorities on the one hand and to human rights on the other? What is meant by the right to "autonomy"? Are there legal procedures in which the right to self-determination can be asserted? These questions were illustrated with current examples of conflicts over the right to self-determination in Palestine, Scotland and Catalonia. The demand of indigenous peoples for self-determination was also discussed in the lectures. In summary, answers were sought to the question "Can the right to self-determination be a building block of a future, more pluralistic international order?" The lecture met with lively interest, also among students of the Vocational and Continuing Education Center Wil-Uzwil.

New book on the reform of the United Nations Security Council

Since the early 1990s, a reform of the UN Security Council has been discussed at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York. The reform efforts, which aim to make the Security Council more representative and effective, focus primarily on the composition of the Security Council and its voting rules. The composition of the Council has remained unchanged since 1965, when the number of non-permanent members was increased from six to ten. Even since 1945, when the UN was founded, the category of permanent members, consisting of five states, has remained unchanged. As far as voting rules are concerned, the so-called right of veto is at the center of the reform discussion, with which each permanent member can prevent the adoption of a Security Council resolution. Behind the question of the future composition and functioning of the Security Council ultimately lies the problem of legal world order in the 21st century.

A new book edited by Prof. Bardo Fassbender entitled Key Documents on the Reform of the UN Security Council 1991-2019 now compiles the most important documents and texts from the almost thirty-year reform discussion. Published by the renowned Brill Nijhoff in Leiden and Boston, the volume aims to document the discussion in an unbiased manner by reflecting the positions of UN member states and groups of states, international organizations, and nongovernmental organizations as they have evolved over the years. The volume also takes into account proposals and opinions of individual scholars and think tanks for a reform of the Security Council. A comprehensive introduction provides an overview of the reform discussion and its main points, while appendices provide information on the content of the documents. With this documentation, scholars, diplomats and policymakers now have at their disposal a work that organizes and edits the long-standing and confusing discussion on the future of the Security Council, and thus also provides a basis for further negotiations.

The Limits of Human Rights

Prof. Bardo Fassbender (Chair of International and European Law), together with his colleague Knut Traisbach (University of Barcelona), has published an interdisciplinary book on The Limits of Human Rights with Oxford University Press. The book will be published in December 2019. In the anthology, the editors and twenty-six authors explore the question of what is meant by "limits of human rights" today and which inherent, functional, pragmatic, and ideological limits of human rights can be identified and analyzed in more detail. The book thus aims to make an original contribution to the current scholarly discussion on the meaning of human rights, without fundamentally questioning this meaning or deconstructing the idea of human rights. The volume's distinguished authors, representing law, political science, anthropology, history, philosophy, and sociology, include Hilary Charles-worth (Melbourne Law School), Christine Chinkin (London School of Economics), Andrew Clapham (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva), Mireille Delmas-Marty (Collège de France, Paris), David Dyzenhaus (University of Toronto), Conor Gearty (London School of Economics), Lynn Hunt (University of California at Los Angeles), Douglas A. Johnson (Harvard Kennedy School), Jan Klabbers (University of Helsinki), Martha C. Nussbaum (University of Chicago), Jeremy Perelman (Sciences Po Paris), Yuval Shany (Hebrew University Jerusalem), Kathryn Sikkink (Harvard Kennedy School), and Henry J. Steiner (Harvard Law School).

Courses

Here we keep you informed about current courses:

Spring Semester 2024

 

8,495,1.00          Moot Court INternational Law: International Criminal Court - Part II

 

                            Vorlesungsunterlagen finden Sie in den jeweiligen Readern bzw. auf StudyNet (Canvas).

Recent publications

Commentary on Article 2 para. 1 of the UN Charter (Principle of Sovereign Equality of States). In: The Charter of the United Nations. Fourth Edition (Bruno Simma et al. eds., Oxford University Press, 2024) (forthcoming).

Are the EU Member States still Sovereign States? The Perspective of International Law. In: European Papers - A Journal on Law and Integration (https://www.europeanpapers.eu/) 2024 (forthcoming).

Written versus unwritten: two views on the form of an international constitution. In: Anthony F. Lang & Antje Wiener (eds.), Handbook on Global Constitutionalism, Second Edition. Edward Elgar Publishing, 2023, pp. 363-72.

Commentaries on several provisions of the Swiss Federal Constitution. In: Bernhard Ehrenzeller et al. (eds.), Die schweizerische Bundesverfassung – St. Galler Kommentar, Zürich / St. Gallen / Genf: Dike Verlag / Schulthess, 4th edn. 2023: Commentary on Article 55 (Participation of the Cantons in the Decision-Making of the Federation in the Field of Foreign Affairs), Article 56 (Foreign Relations of the Cantons), Article 166 para. 2 (Approval of International Treaties by the Federal Assembly), and Article 197 no. 1 (Accession of Switzerland to the United Nations).

Kommentierung des Art. 32 Grundgesetz [Commentary on Article 32 of the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany]. In: Wolfgang Kahl / Christian Waldhoff / Christian Walter (eds.), Bonner Kommentar zum Grundgesetz, Heidelberg: C.F. Müller. 216th update, August 2022, 197 pp.

Das Völkerrecht als Gegenstand der Beratungen der Vereinigung: Bildnis eines Unsichtbaren? [International Law as a Theme of the Proceedings of the Society of German Professors of Public Law.] In: Pascale Cancik / Andreas Kley et al. (eds.), Streitsache Staat: Die Vereinigung der Deutschen Staatsrechtslehrer 1922-2022. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2022, pp. 567-83.

Selected publications

On this page, you find a list of Prof. Fassbender’s selected publications, with the newest listed first in each of the sections. For a more comprehensive list (which includes case notes and book reviews), please refer to this PDF document.

1. Books

2. Edited books

3. Journal articles

4. Book chapters

5. Contributions to legal commentaries
 

1.  Books

Menschenrechteerklärung. Universal Declaration of Human Rights – Allgemeine Erklärung der Menschenrechte. Neuübersetzung, Synopse, Erläuterung, Materialien. München: sellier.european law publishers, 2009. ISBN 978-3-86653-134-5 (print), 978-3-86653-881-8 (eBook).

The United Nations Charter as the Constitution of the International Community. Leiden/Boston: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2009. (Legal Aspects of International Organization, vol. 51). ISBN 978 90 04 17510 5.

Der offene Bundesstaat. Studien zur auswärtigen Gewalt und zur Völkerrechtssubjektivität bundesstaatlicher Teilstaaten in Europa. [The Federal State as an Open System: The Foreign Relations Powers and the International Legal Personality of States Members of Federal States in Europe.] Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2007 ("Jus Publicum", vol. 161). ISBN 978-3-16-149218-1.

UN Security Council and the Right of Veto: A Constitutional Perspective.The Hague/London/Boston: Kluwer Law International, 1998. (Legal Aspects of International Organization, vol. 32). ISBN 90-411-0592-1.

2.  Edited books

Key Documents on the Reform of the UN Security Council 1991-2019. Leiden/Boston: Brill Nijhoff, 2020. lxvii, 1375 pp. ISBN 978-90-04-41517-1 (hardback), 978-90-04-42173-8 (E-Book).

The Limits of Human Rights (Bardo Fassbender and Knut Traisbach eds.). Oxford University Press, 2019. xx, 388 pp. ISBN 978-0-19-882475-6 (hardback), 978-0-19-882476-3 (paperback).

Konstitutionalisierung in Zeiten globaler Krisen [Constitutionalization of International Law in Times of Global Crises] (Jonathan Bauerschmidt, Bardo Fassbender, Michael W. Müller, Angelika Siehr and Christopher Unseld eds.). Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2015. ISBN 978-3-8487-1962-4.

Quellen zur Geschichte der Menschenrechte. Von der amerikanischen Revolution zu den Vereinten Nationen. [Sources on the History of Human Rights: From the American Revolution to the United Nations.] Stuttgart: Philipp Reclam jun., 2014. ISBN 978-3-15-019209-2.

The Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law (Bardo Fassbender and Anne Peters eds.). Oxford University Press, 2012. ISBN 978-0-19-959975-2.

Paperback edition 2014. ISBN 978-0-19-872522-0.

Winner of the 2014 “Certificate of Merit in a specialized area of international law 2014” of the American Society of International Law.

Basistexte: Völkerrechtsdenken (Bardo Fassbender and Helmut Ph. Aust eds.). Baden-Baden: No-mos/UTB, 2012. UTB 3721. ISBN 978-3-8252-3721-9.

Suprastaatliche Konstitutionalisierung. Perspektiven auf die Legitimität, Kohärenz und Effektivität des Völkerrechts [Supranational Constitutiona-lization: The Legitimacy, Coherence and Effectiveness of In-ternational Law] (Bardo Fassbender and Angelika Siehr eds.). Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2012. ISBN 978-3-8329-7853-2.

Securing Human Rights? Achievements and Challenges of the UN Security Council. Oxford University Press, 2011. ISBN 978-0-19-964149-9.

Völkerrecht als Wertordnung – Common Values in International Law. Essays in Honour of Christian Tomuschat (Pierre-Marie Dupuy, Bardo Fassbender, Malcolm N. Shaw and Karl-Peter Sommermann eds.). Kehl am Rhein / Strasbourg / Arlington, VA: N.P. Engel Verlag, 2006. Pp. xv, 1184. ISBN 3-88357-136-9.

3.  Journal articles

Die Beharrungskraft des Status quo: Die Bemühungen um eine Reform des Sicherheitsrates im Jahr des 75-jährigen Bestehens der Vereinten Nationen [The Persistence of the Status quo: The Efforts to Reform the UN Security Council in the Year of the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations]. In: 93 Die Friedens-Warte – Journal of International Peace and Organization 390-412 (2020).

The state’s unabandoned claim to be the center of the legal universe. In: 16 ICON – International Journal of Constitutional Law 1207-14 (2018).

What’s in a Name? The International Rule of Law and the United Nations Charter. In:  17 Chinese Jour-nal of International Law 761–97 (2018).

International Constitutional Law: Written or Unwritten? In: 15 Chinese Journal of International Law, 489-515 (2016).

Völkerrechtsfähigkeit und Völkerrechtsvergesslichkeit der deutschen Länder: Neue Erscheinungsformen des „offenen Bundesstaates“. [The International Legal Personality of the Individual German States: New Forms of the “Open Federal State”.] In: 71 Juristenzeitung (JZ) 280-87 (2016).

Hybris und Überforderung. Die Krise der Europäischen Union und ihre Konsequenzen für die Völker-rechtsordnung. [Hubris and Overextension: The Crisis of the European Union and its Consequences for the International Legal Order.] 23 Aktuelle Juristische Praxis / Pratique Juridique Actuelle (AJP/PJA) 820-26 (2014).

„Völkerrecht und Landesrecht“. Zur Genese und heutigen Bedeutung der Konfrontation zweier Rechtsordnungen. [International Law and Domestic Law: The Historical Development and Present Importance of a Juxtaposition of Two Legal Orders.] 23 Aktuelle Juristische Praxis / Pratique Juridique Actuelle (AJP/PJA) 437-50 (2014).

Nachruf auf Detlev Vagts (1929-2013). [Detlev Vagts: An Obituary.] In: 51 Archiv des Völkerrechts 509-13 (2013).

Der deutsch-französische Elysée-Vertrag von 1963. Idee und Zukunft eines bilateralen Freundschaftsvertrags im Rahmen der Europäischen Union. [The French-German Elysée Treaty of 1963: The Idea and Future of a Bilateral Treaty of Friendship in the Framework of the European Union.] In: 66 Die Öffentliche Verwaltung (DÖV) 125-33 (2013).

Optimismus und Skepsis im Völkerrechtsdenken der Gegenwart: Zur Bedeutung von "Denkschulen" in der Völkerrechtswissenschaft. [Optimism and Scepticism in Contemporary International Legal Jurisprudence: The Importance of "Schools of Thought" in the Science of International Law.] In: 65 Die Öffentliche Verwaltung (DÖV) 41-48 (2012).

Triepel in Luxemburg. [The dualist construction of the relationship between EU law and international law in the Kadi jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice: A problem of the self-perception of the European Union.] In: 63 Die Öffentliche Verwaltung (DÖV) 333-41 (2010).

Can Victims Sue State Officials for Torture? Reflections on Rasul v. Myers from the Perspective of International Law. In: 6 Journal of International Criminal Justice 347-69 (2008).

Reflections on the International Legality of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. In: 5 Journal of International Criminal Justice 1091-05 (2007).

Art. 19 Abs. 4 GG als Garantie innerstaatlichen Rechtsschutzes gegen Individualsanktionen des UN-Sicherheitsrates. (Article 19 para. 4 of the German Constitution as a Guarantee of Legal Protection Against Targeted Sanctions of the UN Security Council Before German Courts.) In: 132 Archiv des öffentlichen Rechts (AöR) 257-86 (2007).

Targeted Sanctions Imposed by the UN Security Council and Due Process Rights: A Study Commissio-ned by the UN Office of Legal Affairs and Fol-low-up Action by the United Nations. In: 3 International Organizations Law Review 437-85 (2006).

"Wo aber Gefahr ist, wächst das Rettende auch"? Die Internationalisierung von Risiken und die Entwicklung des völkerrechtlichen Katastrophenschutzrechts. [The Internationalization of Risks and the Development of an International Law of Risk Prevention.] In: 88 Kritische Vierteljahresschrift für Gesetzgebung und Rechtswissenschaft 375-98 (2005).

On the Boulevard of Broken Dreams: The Project of a Reform of the UN Security Council after the 2005 World Summit. In: 2 International Organizations Law Review 391-402 (2005).

Compensation for Forced Labour in World War II: The German Compensation Law of 2 August 2000. In: 3 Journal of International Criminal Justice 243-52 (2005).

The Better Peoples of the United Nations? Europe's Practice and the United Nations. In: 15 European Journal of International Law 857-84 (2004).

Die Gegenwartskrise des völkerrechtlichen Gewaltverbotes vor dem Hintergrund der geschichtlichen Entwicklung. [The Contemporary Crisis of the Prohibition of the Use of Force in International Law Against the Background of European History since the 19th Century.] In: 31 Europäische Grundrechte-Zeitschrift (EuGRZ) 241-56 (2004).

All Illusions Shattered? Looking Back on a Decade of Failed Attempts to Reform the UN Security Council. In: 7 Max Planck Yearbook of United Nations Law 138-218 (2003).

Der Schutz der Menschenrechte als zentraler Inhalt des völkerrechtlichen Gemeinwohls. [The Protection of Human Rights as the Core of the 'Common Good' in International Law.] In: 30 Europäische Grundrechte-Zeitschrift (EuGRZ) 1-16 (2003).

Stories of War and Peace: On Writing the History of International Law in the 'Third Reich' and After. In: 13 European Journal of International Law 479-512 (2002).

Uncertain Steps into a Post-Cold War World: The Role and Functioning of the UN Security Council after a Decade of Measures against Iraq. In: 13 European Journal of International Law 273-303 (2002).

Quis judicabit? The Security Council, Its Powers and Its Legal Control (Review Essay). In: 11 European Journal of International Law 219-32 (2000).

The United Nations Charter as Constitution of the International Community. In: 36 Columbia Journal of Transnational Law 529-619 (1998).

Die prekäre Stellung des Südens im Völkerrecht der Gegenwart. [The Precarious Position of the South in Contemporary International Law.] In: Politische Studien No. 357, at 99-111 (January-February 1998).

Zur staatlichen Ordnung Europas nach der deutschen Einigung. [The Political Structure of Europe After the German Unification.] In: 46 Europa Archiv 395-404 (1991).

Die Völkerrechtssubjektivität internationaler Organisationen. [The International Legal Personality of Intergovernmental Organizations.] In: 37 Österreichische Zeitschrift für öffentliches Recht und Völker-recht – Austrian Journal of Public & International Law 17-49 (1986).

Adenauer und Deutschland 1945-1949. Deutschlandbild und -politik Adenauers nach seinen Briefen. [Adenauer and Germany 1945-49: Adenauer's Image of Germany and his Policy with Respect to Germany as a Whole According to his Correspondence.] In: 18 Deutschland Archiv 996-1004 (1985).

4.  Book chapters

Das Völkerrecht als Gegenstand der Beratungen der Vereinigung: Bildnis eines Unsichtbaren? [International Law as the Subject of Unification Deliberations: Portrait of an Invisible?]. In: Pascale Cancik, Andreas Kley et al. (eds.), Streitsache Staat: Die Vereinigung der Deutschen Staatsrechtslehrer 1922-2022. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2022, pp. 567-583.

Verfassung als plurales Gefüge [Constitutional law as a pluralistic structure]. In: Oliver Diggelmann, Maya Hertig Randall & Benjamin Schindler (eds.), Verfassungsrecht der Schweiz – Droit constitutionnel suisse, vol. I. Zurich / Basel / Geneva: Schulthess, 2020, pp. 187-209.

The Self-Evidence of Human Rights: Origins and Limits of an Idea. In: Bardo Fassbender & Knut Trais-bach (eds.), The Limits of Human Rights. Oxford University Press, 2020, pp. 55-68.

Written versus unwritten: Two views on the form of an international constitution. In: Anthony F. Lang, Jr. & Antje Wiener (eds.), Handbook on Global Constitutionalism. Cheltenham, UK / Northampton, MA, USA: Edward Elgar, 2017, pp. 265-274.

Die Schweiz und Deutschland als „offene Bundesstaaten“: Zur schwindenden Bedeutung der Völker-rechtssubjektivität der Kantone und Länder. [Switzerland and Germany as "Open Federal States": The Declining Importance of the International Legal Personality of the Kantone and Länder.] In: Giovanni Biaggini, Oliver Diggelmann & Christine Kaufmann (eds.), Polis und Kosmopolis: Festschrift für Daniel Thürer. Zürich/St. Gallen/Baden-Baden: Dike/Nomos, 2015, pp. 149-64.

Heinrich Triepel und die Anfänge der dualistischen Sicht von "Völkerrecht und Landesrecht" im späten 19. Jahrhundert. [Heinrich Triepel and the Beginnings of the Dualist Understanding of the Relationship Between International Law and Domestic Law in the Late Nineteenth Century.] In: Lukas Gschwend et al. (eds.), Recht im digitalen Zeitalter: Festgabe Schweizerischer Juristentag 2015 in St. Gallen. Zürich/St. Gallen: Dike, 2015, pp. 449-469.

The Representation of the “Main Forms of Civilization” and of “the Principal Legal Systems of the World” in the International Court of Justice. In: Denis Alland et al. (eds).), Unité et diversité du droit in-ternational – Unity and Diversity of International Law. Ecrits en l’honneur du professeur Pierre-Marie Dupuy – Essays in Honour of Professor Pierre-Marie Dupuy. Leiden/Boston: Martinus Nijhoff, 2014, pp. 581-97.

Militärische Einsätze der Bundeswehr. [Military Operations oft the German Armed Forces under Ger-man Constitutional Law and International Law.] In: Handbuch des Staatsrechts der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. 3rd edn., vol. XI, 643-726 (Josef Isensee & Paul Kirchhof eds., Heidelberg: C.F. Müller, 2013).

Denkschulen im Völkerrecht. [Schools of thought in international law.] In: Bardo Fassbender, Christiane Wendehorst et al., Paradigmen im internationalen Recht – Implikationen der Weltfinanzkrise für das internationale Recht 1-31 (Berichte der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Völkerrecht, vol. 45, Heidelberg: C.F. Müller, 2012).

Hans Kelsen (1881-1973). In: The Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law 1167-72 (Bardo Fassbender and Anne Peters eds., Oxford University Press, 2012).

Carl Schmitt (1888-1985). In: The Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law 1173-78 (Bardo Fassbender and Anne Peters eds., Oxford University Press, 2012).

The Security Council: Progress is Possible but Unlikely. In: Realizing Utopia: The Future of International Law 52-60 (Antonio Cassese ed., Oxford University Press, 2012).

Die Garantie der Rechtspersönlichkeit des Menschen in den internationalen Menschenrechtsverträgen. [The right to recognition as a person before the law in international human rights treaties.] In: Der Mensch als Person und Rechtsperson: Grundlage der Freiheit 119-44 (Eckart Klein & Christoph Menke eds., Berlin: Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag, 2011).

Architectural Clarity or Creative Ambiguity? The Place of the Human Rights Council in the Institutional Structure of the United Nations. In: From Bilateralism to Community Interest: Essays in Honour of Judge Bruno Simma 443-61 (Ulrich Fastenrath et al. eds., Oxford University Press, 2011).

Sources of human rights obligations binding the UN Security Council. In: Making Transnational Law Work in the Global Economy 71-92 (Pieter H.F. Bekker et al. eds., Cambridge University Press, 2010).

Der Gesetzesvorbehalt in europäischen und internationalen Menschenrechtsverträgen. [Clauses in Eu-ropean and international human rights treaties according to which limitations of rights and freedoms must be "determined by law".] In: Gewaltenteilung und Menschenrechte 83-137 (Eckard Klein ed., Berlin: Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag, 2d revised ed., 2010).

Rediscovering a Forgotten Constitution: Notes on the Place of the UN Charter in the International Legal Order. In: Ruling the World? Constitutionalism, International Law, and Global Governance 133-47 (Jeffrey L. Dunoff & Joel P. Trachtman eds., Cambridge University Press, 2009).

Idee und Anspruch der Menschenrechte im Völkerrecht der Gegenwart. [Idea and meaning of human rights in international law today.] In: Menschenrechte als Weltmission 11-41 (Josef Isensee ed., Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 2009).

'We the Peoples of the United Nations': Constituent Power and Constitutional Form in International Law. In: The Paradox of Constitutionalism: Constituent Power and Constitutional Form 269-90 (Martin Loughlin & Neil Walker eds., Oxford University Press, 2007, 2nd edn. 2008).

Paternalismus und Selbstbestimmung im Völkerrecht. [Paternalism and Self-Determination in International Law.] In: Paternalismus und Recht: In memoriam Angela Augustin (1968-2004) 299-311 (Michael Anderheiden et al. eds., Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2006).

Hans Kelsen und die Vereinten Nationen. [Hans Kelsen and the United Nations.] In: Völkerrecht als Wertordnung – Common Values in International Law. Essays in Honour of Christian Tomuschat 763-84 (Pierre-Marie Dupuy, Bardo Fassbender, Malcolm N. Shaw & Karl-Peter Sommermann eds., Kehl am Rhein/Strasbourg/Arlington, VA, 2006).

Wissen als Grundlage staatlichen Handelns. [Knowledge as a Basis of Governmental Action.] In: Handbuch des Staatsrechts der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 3rd ed., vol. IV: Aufgaben des Staates [Functions of the State], 243-312 (Josef Isensee & Paul Kirchhof eds., Heidelberg: C.F. Müller, 2006).

The Meaning of International Constitutional Law. In: Towards World Constitutionalism: Issues in the Legal Ordering of the World Community 837-51 (Ronald St. J. Macdonald & Douglas M. Johnston eds., Leiden / Boston: Brill Nijhoff, 2005).

The UN Security Council and International Terrorism. In: Enforcing International Law Norms Against Terrorism 83-102 (Andrea Bianchi ed., Oxford: Hart, 2004).

Pressure for Security Council Reform. In: The UN Security Council: From the Cold War to the 21st Century 341-55 (David M. Malone ed., Boulder, Colorado, and London: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2004).

Sovereignty and Constitutionalism in International Law. In: Sovereignty in Transition 115-43 (Neil Walker ed., Oxford: Hart, 2003).

Zwischen Staatsräson und Gemeinschaftsbindung. Zur Gemeinwohlorientierung des Völkerrechts der Gegenwart. [The Common Good in International Law.] In: Gemeinwohl und Gemeinsinn im Recht: Konkretisierung und Realisierung öffentlicher Interessen 231-74 (Herfried Münkler & Karsten Fischer eds., Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2002).

Walther Schücking: Champion of the League of Nations Idea in Pre-World War I-Germany. (Presentation in the Panel "The Academic as Cosmopolite: Legal Visions of International Governance in the 20th Century", chaired by Martti Koskenniemi.) Summary of remarks in: The American Society of International Law – Proceedings of the 93rd Annual Meeting 1999, 329-30.

Rehabilitation and Compensation of Victims of Human Rights Violations Suffered in East Germany (1945-1990). In: State Responsibility and the Individual: Reparation in Instances of Grave Violations of Human Rights 251-79 (Albrecht Randelzhofer & Christian Tomuschat eds., The Hague/London/Boston: Martinus Nijhoff, 1999).

Die verfassungs- und völkerrechtsgeschichtliche Bedeutung des Westfälischen Friedens von 1648. [The Importance of the Peace of Westphalia of 1648 in Constitutional History and International Law.] In: Frieden und Recht 9-52 (Ingo Erberich et al. eds., Stuttgart: Richard Boorberg, 1998).

5.  Contributions to legal commentaries

Article 55 of the Swiss Federal Constitution (Participation of the Cantons in the Decision-Making of the Federation in the Field of Foreign Affairs). In: Die schweizerische Bundesverfassung – St. Galler Kommentar. Fourth Edition, pp. 1848-66 (Bernhard Ehrenzeller et al. eds., Zürich / St. Gallen / Genf: Dike Verlag / Schulthess, 2023).

Article 56 of the Swiss Federal Constitution (Foreign Relations of the Cantons). In: Die schweizerische Bundesverfassung – St. Galler Kommentar. Fourth Edition, pp. 1867-92 (Bernhard Ehrenzeller et al. eds., Zürich / St. Gallen / Genf: Dike Verlag / Schulthess, 2023).

Article 166 para. 2 of the Swiss Federal Constitution (Approval of International Treaties by the Federal Assembly). In: Die schweizerische Bundesverfassung – St. Galler Kommentar. Fourth Edition, pp. 3990-4008 (Bernhard Ehrenzeller et al. eds., Zürich / St. Gallen / Genf: Dike Verlag / Schulthess, 2023).

Article 197 no. 1 of the Swiss Federal Constitution (Accession of Switzerland to the United Nations). In: Die schweizerische Bundesverfassung – St. Galler Kommentar. Fourth Edition, pp. 4643-60 (Bernhard Ehrenzeller et al. eds., Zürich / St. Gallen / Genf: Dike Verlag / Schulthess, 2023).

Article 32 of the German Constitution (Grundgesetz) – Foreign Relations Powers. In: Bonner Kommentar zum Grundgesetz (Wolfgang Kahl, Christian Waldhoff & Christian Walter eds., Heidelberg: C.F. Müller, 2022).

Articles 9, 10, 11, 12, 54 and 55 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice. In: The Statute of the International Court of Justice: A Commentary. Third Edition, pp.  355-85, 386-99, 400-02, 403-08, 1499-1504, 1505-10 (Andreas Zimmermann & Christian J. Tams eds., Oxford University Press, 2019).

Article 2 para. 1 of the UN Charter (Principle of Sovereign Equality of States). In: The Charter of the United Nations. Third Edition, vol. 1, 133-65 (Bruno Simma et al. eds., Oxford University Press, 2012).

Moot Court

International Criminal Court (ICC) Moot Court

Master's students from the MLaw, MLE, MIA and MIL programmes can participate in the annual ICC Moot Court. Participation in this moot court in international criminal law offers a unique contribution to legal education in the field of international law and international relations.

Applications for Moot Court 2023-24 are open from now (July 2023). Please write to: lehrstuhl.fassbender@unisg.ch.

For more information, see further below the call for applications and the experience reports of the previous teams.

1) What is the International Criminal Court Moot Court? 

Every year, about 100 teams from all over the world participate in the International Criminal Court (ICC) Moot Court Competition in The Hague, simulating the proceedings of the International Criminal Court in a fictitious dispute. The competition involves collaboration with judges from international courts and tribunals, professors of international law and international criminal law, and other legal professionals. This network makes the ICC Moot Court Competition a realistic simulation of ICC proceedings.

Each team consists of three to five students, and has to argue on behalf of the Prosecutor, the Defense Counsel, the Government Counsel, or the Legal Representative of the Victims. The teams compete with one another in writing memorials and in pleading in front of the judges. The entire competition takes place in English. 

2) Why participate? 

Students learn from each other and improve their presentation and debating skills. This is a unique chance to gain a lot of practical and very useful experience in international law – both international criminal law and general international law. Furthermore, students get a first-hand knowledge of the working of the most important institutions in international criminal law. They meet distinguished international jurists and practitioners who give helpful guidance and feedback. Additionally, the competition unites law students from all over the world who share an interest in international criminal law and related fields of international law (like human rights law and international humanitarian law). Students intensily work together, while forging strong international bonds which can promote their future careers and create new friendships. If you are interested in international law, and in particular international criminal law, this is now your opportunity to apply and participate in this great competition. 

3) Schedule of the Competition 

a) General preparation (September – October) 

Students prepare for the writing of the memorials by familiarizing themselves with general principles of international criminal law, and by studying and discussing important issues of the case as soon as it has been published by the organizers of the competition. 

b) Written memorials (November – February) 

After intensive research, students develop their memorials and improve them until the submission date. 

c) Oral pleadings (February – May) 

Already some time before handing in the memorials, the team will start preparing the oral pleadings. The members must learn how to argue convincingly and successfully before an international court. Only with good debating skills and a profound knowledge of the facts and the applicable law can the judges be convinced. 

Three of the maximum five participating students will each plead for a different side, while being supported by the other team members. 

4) Application

Applicants should have a basic knowledge of public international law and good English language skills. Interested students cannot enroll for the course in the HSG bidding system but must apply for participation with the chair of Prof. Fassbender by sending in a short letter of motivation and a CV.

Shortly after the application deadline, interviews with the applicants will take place. An applicant’s motivation and skills (both in international law and in the English language) are important issues in these interviews. However, there are not any rigid rules for the selection of participants. Accordingly, everybody is encouraged to apply (irrespective of grades attained so far) who is willing to participate actively and joyfully in the work of the HSG team. Please consider applying even if you think that your knowledge in international criminal law is not yet good enough. During the competition you will learn a lot more. Being part of the Moot Court team can truly be a once-in-a-life-time experience! However, work is time-consuming, which also is the reason why 15 ECTS credits are assigned for participation in the course. 

HSG guest students are expressly encouraged to apply. If you are studying in St. Gallen for only one semester, you will only be able to participate during the fall term. In that case, the examination will consist of writing an essay about one of the legal issues in the present Moot Court case.

ICC Moot Court Call for applications 2023

ICC Moot Court Report 2023

ICC Moot Court Report 2022

ICC Moot Court Report 2021

ICC Moot Court Report 2020

ICC Moot Court Report 2019

ICC Moot Court Report 2018

ICC Moot Court Report 2017

ICC Moot Court Report 2016

Team and contact

Bardo Fassbender

Prof. Dr.

Chair in Public International Law, European Law and Public Law

FR-HSG
Lehrstuhl für Völkerrecht, Europarecht und Öffentliches Recht
Tigerbergstrasse 21
9000 St. Gallen

Sonja Beti

Office Manager

Law School, Bodanstrasse 3, Büro 26-004

9000 St. Gallen

Sophie Eileen Daeniker

Assistant

Georgina Louise Howe

Moot Court Assistant

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