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Pavlos Eleftheriadis

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Associate Professor of Law

Pavlos Eleftheriadis is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law and a Fellow of Mansfield College. He teaches and publishes in the philosophy of law and European Union law. He is also a barrister in England and Wales and practises in EU law from Francis Taylor Building in the Temple.

Before joining Oxford he was a lecturer at  the London School of Economics. He has been a visiting professor of European Law at Columbia University and a visiting fellow in Hellenic Studies at Princeton. He was awarded the Bodossaki Prize for Law in 2005.

His book Legal Rightswhich offered arguments against the legal positivist account of law and rights and in favour of a moral account of legal rights based on public reason -  was published by Oxford University Press in 2008. Since then he has written on the theory of human rights, the right to health, the idea of sovereignty, the probelm of parliamentary sovereignty as well as several aspects of the constitutional theory of the EU. He is currently at work on a monograph on constitutional theory entitled The Deliberative Constitution

He is the co-editor (with Julie Dickson) of the collection of essays The Philosophical Foundations of European Union Law (Oxford University Press, 2012). 

In 2013 he was a Distinghuished Global Fellow in Residence at Boston College. In 2012 he was a visiting scholar at the University of Toronto.

In March 2015 he was an invited speaker at the OECD's annual Integrity Forum, in Paris.

On 21 May 2015 he gave the lecture: 'The Deliberative Constitution. Sovereignty and its Alternatives' at KU Leuven, in the series 'Sovereignty, Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow' organised by the KU Leuven Law Faculty, and KU Leuven's Institute of Philosophy.

On June 1 he was a speaker at the Egmonst Institute in Brussels on populism and euro-scepticism in the European Union

On June  June 3 he was a speaker on 'Democracy and the European Union' at Moscow's Institute of Social and Political Studies.

On June 26 he spoke on 'Universal Constitutionalism' at the conference 'Constructive Links or Dangerous Liaisons? The Case of Public International Law and European Union Law', at Queen Mary, University of London

He has been an active commentator on the Eurozone crisis in the press.Some of his articles on the Eurozone crisis are: 

'Only a New Political Order Can Rescue Greece', Financial Times, 28 May 2012

'Greece's Anti-Capitalist Turn', Wall Street Journal, 21 January 2013

 'Why Germany is the Eurozone's Biggest Free Rider' Fortune, 22 October 2014

 'Misrule of the Few', Foreign Affairs, November/December, 2014  

'Syriza's Dark Side' Project Syndicate, 11 Feburary 2015

'Hoffnungsträger Syriza? Nein!', Berliner Republik, 2/2015

'The Real Case for Greece', Policy Network, 22/04/2015

'Cynical Populism', Open Democracy, 10/06/2015

'The Unfair Eurozone',, 11/06/2015

'Greece: Voting for or Against Europe',, 1/07/2015

'What is Wrong With Greece? Telegraph, 10/07/2015

His personal website is here. You can follow him on twitter at @PEleftheriadis. 


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Journal Articles


P Eleftheriadis, 'Legality and Reciprocity: A Discussion of Lon Fuller’s The Morality of Law' (2014) 9 Jerusalem Review of Legal Studies 1

P Eleftheriadis, 'Misrule of the Few' (2014) Foreign Affairs

P Eleftheriadis, 'The Content of European Citizenship' (2014) 15 German Law Journal 777 [...]

Many European Union law scholars, commentators and politicians consider the creation of European citizenship by the Treaty of Maastricht an important landmark in the process towards “ever closer union.” By marking a special relationship with the Union itself, citizenship epitomizes the growing maturity of the Union as a political community and not merely an economic project of a single market. Citizenship introduces the first elements of a political, social, and emotional bond between the peoples of Europe and their new Union. Nonetheless, the content of European citizenship remains a puzzle. The rights it grants are very different to those promised by states. When looked at in detail, it fails to match many of the most central elements of citizenship.

ISBN: ISSN: 2071-8322


P Eleftheriadis, 'A Right to Health Care' (2012) 40 Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 268

P Eleftheriadis, 'Descriptive Jurisprudence' (2012) 5 Problema 117

P Eleftheriadis, 'The Euro and the German Courts' (2012) 128 Law Quarterly Review 216 [...]

This note discusses the judgment of the German Constitutional Court of 9 September 2011, according to which the Euro Bailout agreements of 2010-2011 may be unconstitutional, if they encroach on the 'Budgetary Sovereignty' of the German People.


P Eleftheriadis, 'Austin and the Electors' (2011) 24 Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 441

P Eleftheriadis, Kalypso Nicolaidis and J. H. H. Weiler, 'Foreword: the changing landscape of European constitutionalism' (2011) 9 International Journal of Constitutional Law 673

P Eleftheriadis, 'Planning Agreements as Public Contracts Under the EU Procurement Rules' (2011) 20 Public Procurement Law Review 43

P Eleftheriadis, 'The Moral Distinctiveness of the European Union' (2011) 9 International Journal of Constitutional Law 695


P Eleftheriadis, 'Human Rights as Legal Rights' (2010) 1 Transnational Legal Theory 371

P Eleftheriadis, 'Law and Sovereignty' (2010) 29 Law and Philosophy 535 [...]

How is it possible that the idea of sovereignty still features in law and legal philosophy? Sovereignty is normally taken to refer to absolute power. Yet modern law assumes that power is exercised by officials constrained by legal rules and the rule of law. This essay argues that a closer look at sovereignty and law shows that the first impression is correct: law and sovereignty are mutually exclusive. Philosophically speaking, sovereignty is and has always been incompatible with the rule of law and with constitutional law itself. Sovereignty and constitutional government are mutually exclusive.

ISBN: 0167-5249

P Eleftheriadis, 'On Rights and Responsibilities' [2010] Public Law 31 [...]

The UK Government’s Green Paper Rights and Responsibilities: Developing our Constitutional Framework, outlines a new proposal for a British Bill of Rights and Responsibilities, which may replace the Human Rights Act as the main constitutional statement of human rights in the United Kingdom. The Green Paper does not address squarely the role that rights play in protecting liberty. It does not deal with the modern literature on justice, liberty and democracy. The failures are surprising, given the significance of what is being proposed. The experience of modern constitutional law teaches us that we need strong and independent judges and clear public laws, if rights are to be effective. The Green Paper fails to do justice to this long tradition. By making our rights conditional on someone’s (and mainly the government’s) view of our own virtue, the government’s proposal, at least as it stands today, threatens to undermine some of the most central safeguards of liberty.

P Eleftheriadis, 'Pluralism and Integrity' (2010) Ratio Juris 365 [...]

One of the theoretical developments associated with the law of the European Union has been the flourishing of legal and constitutional theories that extol the virtues of pluralism. Pluralism in constitutional theory is offered in particular as a novel argument for the denial of unity within a framework of constitutional government. This essay argues that pluralism fails to respect the value of integrity. It also shows that at least one pluralist theory seeks to overcome the incoherence of pluralism by implicitly endorsing monism. The coherence of European legal reasoning will be best preserved, if we consider that both the national legal order and the international (or European) such order endorse a sophisticated view of their own limits.

ISBN: 0952-1917

P Eleftheriadis, 'The Law of Laws' (2010) 1 Transnational Legal Theory 597

P Eleftheriadis, 'The Structure of European Union Law' (2010) 12 Cambridge Yearbook of European Legal Studies 121


P Eleftheriadis, 'Parliamentary Sovereignty and the Constitution' (2009) Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence

P Eleftheriadis, 'The Universality of Rights' (2009) Indian Journal of Constitutional Law [...]

This essay argues that the universality claim is a claim concerning two different domains: first, the domain of the political and, second, the domain of foreign policy. The domain of the political gives us a theory of political rights as we find them in Rawls' Political Liberalism. The domain of foreign policy gives us a theory of human rights as we find them in Rawls' Law of Peoples. Both are distinct from a third domain, that of the moral relations of persons, where rights also are seen to have a bearing. We have therefore political rights, human rights, and moral rights. Only the first two enjoy universality. The distinction between the moral, the political and the international domains is crucial to the success of the claim to universality.


P Eleftheriadis, 'Environmental Rights in the EC Legal Order' (2007) 27 Yearbook of European Law

P Eleftheriadis, 'The Idea of a European Constitution' (2007) 27(1) Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 1


P Eleftheriadis, 'Constitutional Reform and the Rule of Law in Greece' (2005) 28 West European Politics 317 [...]

A critical analysis of the last ten years of constitutional developments in Greece

ISBN: 0140-2382


P Eleftheriadis, 'Cosmopolitan Law' (2003) 9(2) European Law Journal 241


P Eleftheriadis and Nicos Alivizatos, 'The Greek Constitutional Amendment of 2001' (2002) 7 South European Society and Poiltics 63


P Eleftheriadis, 'The European Constitution and Cosmopolitan Ideals' (2001) 7 The Columbia Journal of European Law 21


P Eleftheriadis, 'Begging the Constitutional Question' (1998) 36 Journal of Common Market Studies 255

P Eleftheriadis, 'Political Romanticism in Modern Greece' (1998) 17 Journal of Modern Greek Studies 41


P Eleftheriadis, 'The Direct Effect of Community Law' (1997) 16 Yearbook of European Law 205 [...]

‘The Direct Effect of Community Law: Conceptual Issues’ 16 Yearbook of European Law (1996) 205-221.


P Eleftheriadis, 'Aspects of European Constitutionalism' (1996) 21 European Law Review 32

P Eleftheriadis, 'The Analysis of Property Rights' (1996) Oxford Journal of Legal Studies


P Eleftheriadis, 'Unfreedom in a Laissez Faire State' (1994) 80 Archiv für Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie 168


P Eleftheriadis, 'Freedom as a Fact ' (1993) 56 Modern Law Review 897



P Eleftheriadis, Legal Rights (Oxford University Press 2008)


P Eleftheriadis, Constitutionalism and Political Values: The Normative Presuppositions of Constitutional Law [In Greek] (Sakkoulas, Athens 1999)



P Eleftheriadis, 'Democratic Representation and Accountability in the European Union' in Democracies XXI: A Paradigm Shift (ISEPR Foundation, Moscow 2015)

P Eleftheriadis, 'The Institutions, 2nd ed. ' in David Vaughan and Aidan Robertson (eds), The Law of the European Union (Oxford University Press 2015)


P Eleftheriadis, 'Democracy in the Eurozone' in WG Ringe & P Huber (eds), Legal Challenges Arising out of the Global Financial Crisis: Bail-outs, the Euro, and Regulation (Hart Publishing 2014) [...]


In December 2012 Four Presidents of the European Union (of the European Council, the Commission, the Central Bank and the Eurogroup) issued a paper outlining steps for a ‘genuine monetary union’ promising among others better democratic accountability for its institutions. This essay asks if an entity like the European Union - and the Eurozone within it - can indeed become democratic. I distinguish between two approaches to democracy, first as collective self-government or, second, as set of egalitarian institutions. The essay argues that the German Federal Constitutional Court supports the first theory and for that reason is very cautious of the idea of bringing democracy to the European Union. The collective view believes that without a single people, there cannot be self-government. The second theory accepts the primacy of domestic democracy but allows, by contrast, for international institutions of democratic accountability that support domestic democracy. I offer some arguments for this view and conclude that the four Presidents are not mistaken in endorsing the ambition of democratic accountability for the Eurozone. The European Union is a union of peoples. A union of this kind can become more democratic without seeking to become a democracy.

ISBN: 9781849464390


P Eleftheriadis, 'Global Rights and the Sanctity of Life' in Glenn Cohen (ed), The Globalization of Health Care (Oxford University Press 2013)

P Eleftheriadis, 'Hart on Sovereignty' in Andrea Dolcetti, Luís Duarte d’Almeida and James Edwards (eds), Reading HLA Hart's 'The Concept of Law' (Hart Publishing 2013)


P Eleftheriadis, 'Austin and the Electors' in Michael Freeman & Patricia Mindus (eds), The Legacy of John Austin's Jurisprudence (Springer 2012)

P Eleftheriadis, 'Citizenship and Obligation' in Julie Dickson and Pavlos Eleftheriadis (eds), Philosophical Foundations of European Union Law (Oxford University Press 2012)

P Eleftheriadis, 'Federalism and Jurisdiction' in Geert de Baere, Elke Cloots (eds), Federalism and EU Law (Hart Publishing 2012)

Julie Dickson and P Eleftheriadis, 'Introduction: The Puzzles of European Union Law' in Julie Dickson & Pavlos Eleftheriadis (eds), Philosophical Foundations of European Union Law (Oxford University Press 2012)

P Eleftheriadis, 'The Structure of European Union Law' in Thomas Streinz (ed), The EU and National Constitutional Law (Boorberg 2012)


P Eleftheriadis, 'The Institutions' in David Vaughan QC and Aidan Robertson QC (eds), The Law of the European Union (Oxford University Press 2011)


P Eleftheriadis, 'Art and Moral Dilemmas' in Johannes Odenthal and Elina Kountouri (eds), Kalliopi Lemos: A Sculptural Trilogy About Europe’s Fragile Borders (Göttingen: Steidl 2010) [...]

In the last three years the artist Kalliopi Lemos has constructed three large sculptures consisting mainly of boats used by illegal immigrants to cross from Turkey into Greece. These boats were discarded on the island of Chios, where Lemos discovered them. She exhibited these three sculptures in public settings in Athens, Istanbul and Berlin, with the respective titles: Crossing, Round Voyage and Crossroads. What is the meaning of this work? In this essay (which will form part of a forthcoming book on this trilogy, alongside essays by Arthur Danto and Thomas Pogge) Pavlos Eleftheriadis argues that art does not seek to resolve moral dilemmas, such as the dilemma posed by the competing claims of justice made by the illegal immigrants and the neediest of our own society. The power of art is in reminding us (in a way that does not deploy philosophical arguments but is equally or more persuasive) of the profound importance of our moral responsibility towards everyone.

ISBN: 978-3-86930-052-8


P Eleftheriadis, 'The Standing of States in the European Union' in Nicholas Tsagourias (ed), Transnational Constitutionalism: International and European Perspectives (Cambridge University Press 2007)


P Eleftheriadis, 'The Rule of Law in Modern Greece' in Kevin Featherstone (ed), Politics and Policy in Greece: The Challenge of Modernisation (Routledge, London 2006)


P Eleftheriadis, 'The Future of Environmental Rights in the European Union ' in Philip Alston (ed), The European Union and Human Rights (Oxford University Press 1999)

Edited books


P Eleftheriadis and Julie Dickson (eds), Philosophical Foundations of European Union Law (Oxford University Press 2012)

Internet Publications


P Eleftheriadis, 'The Unfair Eurozone' (2015)


P Eleftheriadis, 'Human Rights for Liberals' (2010) 3 Global Justice: Theory, Practice, Rhetoric 42 [...]

James Griffin’s rich and elegant study, On Human Rights (Oxford, 2008), is a superbly accomplished book. Its range is impressive. It offers a discussion of the general status of values, a general theory of rights, concrete accounts of the right to welfare, the right to privacy, the right to life, the link with democracy and the idea of group rights, among other things. At every stage we are treated to a clear, rigorous and elegant discussion full of broad learning and penetrating judgment, which readers of Griffin’s earlier books have perhaps learned to expect. Yet, the view of human rights that Griffin defends is strangely narrow and unfamiliar in that it is not connected to any political or legal framework.

ISBN: ISSN: 1835-6842


P Eleftheriadis, 'Constitution or Treaty?' (2004) The Federal Trust Online Paper 12/04 1 [...]

A discussion of the Draft EU Constitution

Case Notes


P Eleftheriadis, ''High Speed Constitutional Reconstruction'' (2014) Solicitors Journal [...]

The HS2 ruling will restart debates about the fundamental principles of public law. The hierarchy between deeper constitutional principles and ordinary laws is now part of the constitution.


P Eleftheriadis, 'Paradoxes of EU Citizenship' (2012) 156 Solicitors Journal


P Eleftheriadis, 'Tender Moments' (2009) 153 Solicitors Journal 12



P Eleftheriadis, 'Introduction: On Reading Law as a Moral Idea' (2010) 1 Jurisprudence


P Eleftheriadis, 'After Aarhus' (2006) European Advocate 10

Presentation/Conference contributions


P Eleftheriadis, 'Democratic Accountability for a Monetary Union', paper presented at London: UCL European Institute



P Eleftheriadis, 'The Problem with Greece (and with Europe)' (2015) Political Quarterly


P Eleftheriadis, 'Book Review of Philosophy and Resistance in the Crisis' (2013) Times Hihger Education Supplement


P Eleftheriadis, 'Not Quite Lawless' (2006) 77 Political Quarterly 294


P Eleftheriadis, 'Book Review: Governing With Judges by Alec Stone Sweet' (2001) 72 Political Quarterly 402

P Eleftheriadis, 'Book Review: Social Rights Under the Constitution, by C. Fabre' (2001) 72 Political Quarterly 133


Pavlos Eleftheriadis at the OECD Integrity Forum

Pavlos Eleftheriadis, an Associate Professor of Law at the Faculty of Law at the University of Oxford and and a Fellow in Law at Mansfield College at the University of Oxford was an invited speaker at the 3rd OECD Integrity Forum, which took place in Paris in 25 and 26 March 2015 […]


Teaching: Constitutional and Administrative Law; European Union Law; Philosophy of Law


Legal and Political Philosophy, European Union Law

Other details

Correspondence address:

Mansfield College
Mansfield Road, Oxford, OX1 3TF

Link to personal web site

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