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Samantha Besson

Bok Visiting Professor

Samantha Besson

Samantha Besson is Professor of Public International Law and European Law at the University of Fribourg where she is Vice-Dean of the Law Faculty.  Besson’s work addresses a wide variety of controversial and urgent issues facing Europe—international, European and comparative human rights law and theory, the sources of international and European law, international and European responsibility law, comparative international law, and European foreign relations law.  Her research interests include public international law, European Union constitutional law, and legal and political philosophy. Besson is Co-Director of the European Law Institute of the Universities of Bern, Fribourg and Neuchâtel.


She holds a degree in Swiss and European Law (Universities of Fribourg and Vienna, 1996), a Magister Juris in European and Comparative Law (University of Oxford, 1998), a PhD in Law (University of Fribourg, 1999) and a Habilitation in Legal Theory and Swiss, Comparative, European and International Constitutional Law (University of Bern, 2004).


She has published widely in French, including her first monograph L’égalité horizontale – L’égalité de traitement entre particuliers (AISUF: Fribourg, 1999), three textbooks (Droit international public – Abrégé et résumés de jurisprudence, 2016; Droit constitutionnel européen – Abrégé et résumés de jurisprudence, 2016; and Aide-mémoire bilingue, Droit international public, 2013, co-authored with Stephan Breitenmoser, Marco Sassoli and Andreas R. Ziegler), and a collection of international law texts, including Traités internationaux – Recueil de textes de droit international public, 2016; co-edited with Andreas R. Ziegler. In addition, Professor Besson’s work has an extensive list of English-language publications, including The Morality of Conflict: Reasonable Disagreement and Law (Hart Publishing: Oxford, 2005), and has co-edited Deliberative Democracy and its Discontents (Ashgate: Aldershot, 2006, with José Luis Martí), Legal Republicanism: National and International Perspectives (Oxford University Press: Oxford 2009, with José Luis Martí), The Philosophy of International Law (Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2010, with John Tasioulas), and The Oxford Handbook on the Sources of International Law (Oxford University Press: Oxford, forthcoming, with Jean d’Aspremont). She is currently finalizing a monograph in human rights theory entitled The Making of Equality – A Legal Theory of Human Rights (forthcoming).


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