Armin von Bogdandy

is Director at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Heidelberg and Professor of Public Law at the Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt/Main. He is President of the OECD Nuclear Energy Tribunal. He was member of the German Science Council (Wissenschaftsrat). In June 2008 Prof. Bogdandy received the Berlin-Brandenburgian Academy of Sciences Prize for outstanding scientific achievements in the field of foundations of law and economics, sponsored by the Commerzbank Foundation. Member of the Scientific Committee of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (2008-2013). He was invited to be the Inaugural Fellow at the Straus Institute for Advanced Study of Law and Justice, New York University, Academic Year 2009/2010. Global Law Professor at New York University School of Law in 2005 and 2009. Appointment as a Senior Emile Noël Fellow from Global Law School Personnel Committee of the New York University (2010-2015).

Research Project

Developing the Publicness of Public International Law

The research project aims to develop a distinctly public law approach to the deep transformation in the conduct of public affairs epitomized by the term global governance. I am intrigued to find in many policy fields an increasing number of international institutions playing an active and often crucial role in decision-making and policy implementation, sometimes even affecting individuals. Although the discourse on global governance provides important new perspectives on phenomena of international cooperation, it is deficient from a public law perspective as the concept of global governance does not allow for the identification of what the focus of a legal discourse should be, i.e. those acts by which unilateral authority is exercised. Such unilateral authority is the greatest challenge to the basic principle of individual freedom. Public law, at least in a liberal and democratic tradition, concerns the tension between unilateral authority and individual freedom, and is a necessary requirement for the legitimacy of public authority, which is both constituted and limited by public law. In order to provide a basis for legal analysis and to identify phenomena that need justification, the project is focusing on the exercise of international public authority. Any kind of governance activity by international institutions, be it administrative or intergovernmental, should be considered as an exercise of international public authority if it determines individuals, private associations, enterprises, states, or other public institutions. This concept shall enable the identification of all those governance phenomena which public lawyers should study. Proposing this concept means complementing the concept of global governance with a concept more appropriate for legal analysis and the development of legal standards for legitimate governance. On a more general level, this concept should contribute to a deeper understanding of the historic transformation underlying the concept of global governance. On this basis a public law approach to the exercise of international public authority is to be developed. This shares the aim to better understand and develop the law relating to international governance activities with recent streams of legal research such as the Global Administrative Law movement, the research on an emerging international administrative law, as well as the debate surrounding the constitutionalization of international law. It holds that a synthesis of these approaches is best suited to provide a meaningful framework for analysis and critique.