Kieran Bradley

Kieran Bradley is a member of several staff appeals bodies for international organizations, notably the Inter-American Bank in Washington D.C., the International Maritime Organization, London, the European Space Agency, Paris, and the European Stability Mechanism, Luxembourg. He is also a candidate trade arbitrator for the European Union, and a member of the Scientific Committee of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency, Vienna.

Kieran was formerly a judge of the European Union Civil Service Tribunal in Luxembourg, and subsequently the European Court’s Special Advisor on Brexit; he had previously acted as a judicial advisor (référendaire) to an Advocate General. Prior to his service at the Court, he was a long-time member of, and latterly Director in, the Legal Service of the European Parliament.

He has taught extensively in the area of European Union law, and in particular at the Global Law School of the Catholic University of Portugal, the Autonomous University of Barcelona, and the College of Europe, Bruges. He is currently an Adjunct professor at Trinity College Dublin, and in 2000 was the first Distinguished Lecturer in European Law at Harvard Law School.

Kieran is an Honorary Vice-President of the Irish Centre for European Law, a member of the Advisory Board of the Common Market Law Review, and the CJEU correspondent for Law and Practice of International Courts and Tribunals. He has published widely in the area of European Union law, with some ninety articles and book chapters to his name, as well as the co-editorship of one collective volume, with two others in the pipeline.


Research Project

Finding nemo iudex: the elusive principle of judicial impartiality at the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). My research topic is the delicate, and somewhat neglected, as least as concerns the Court of Justice of the European Union, topic of judicial impartiality. The question is delicate because it starts with a paradox. In the first instance, the individual judge must evaluate her own impartiality in a given proceeding or with respect to a particular decision; in so doing, the judge is herself assessing the risks of acting with less than perfect impartiality and is, inevitably, acting as judge in her own cause, which is precisely what the principle of judicial impartiality seeks to avoid. How can judges of a court of last instance be induced to comply with their duty of impartiality, where this might be put into doubt? What mechanisms can be devised to ensure impartial conduct by courts or judges whose decisions are subject to appeal? The subject has gained a particular topicality in the European Union in recent years, given the attempts of the governments of certain Member States to bend the judiciary to their will, which goes under the term “constitutional backsliding”, and the initiatives taken by the institutions of the European Union, including the Court of Justice, to counteract this phenomenon within the limits of their competence. My research would start with the definition and application of the principle of judicial impartiality by the courts of the European Union and, as need be, move on to consider its place in the law and practice of higher national courts and other international courts.