Pavlos Eleftheriadis is Professor of Public Law and a Fellow of Mansfield College at the University of Oxford. He teaches Constitutional Law, European Union law and philosophy of law. He is also a barrister in England and Wales and practises in EU and public law from Francis Taylor Building in the Temple.
He studied at the Universities of Athens (BA, 1990) and Cambridge (LLM, 1991, PhD, 1995). 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 Rights - which 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 problem 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).
He regularly gives lectures in legal philosophy and public law both in the UK and overseas. Some recent talks include the following:
In March 2015 he was an invited speaker at the OECD's annual Integrity Forum, in Paris.
In 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 1 June 2015 he was a speaker at the Egmonst Institute in Brussels on populism and euro-scepticism in the European Union.
On June 30, 2015 he spoke at the joint PEBA/UKSALA seminar on 'State Aid and Infrastructure Projects' in London.
On 14 October 2015 he spoke on 'Trust, Justice and the Party System' at the international conference 'Greece Forward: Progressive Solutions for Today and Tomorrow' which was organised by the Foundation for European Progressive Studies and To Diktio, in Athens, Greece.
On 7 November 2015 he spoke on 'Constitutional Change through Deliberation' at a workshop on Deliberative Constitutionalism at University College London.
On 11 December 2015 he presented a comment on Frank Michelman's paper on social rights and constitutional legitimacy at a workshop on constitutional values at King's College London.
On January 14-15, 2016 he spoke on 'Global Institutions and Legitimacy' at a workshop at the European University Institute, Florence.
On May 29, 2016 he spoke on 'The UK and the Eurozone' at the Bar European Group Annual Conference in Taormina, Italy.
In June 2016 he presented a paper on 'A Theory of Jurisdiction' at the British Academy Workshop on Natural, Moral and Legal Rights at the Department of Philosophy, Unisversity of Stirling.
In August 25 and 26 he was a keynote speaker on 'Cosmopolitan Legitimacy' at the conference 'Philosophical Foundations of Global Law' at the University of Cartagena, Colombia.
On February 10 2017 he was a speaker on 'Constitutional Rights as Moral Judgments' at a conference on the work of Robert Alexy entitled 'Human Rights and the Nature of Law' in the University of Talinn, Estonia.
He spoke at a workshop on legal pluralism in the EU at the Vrije University of Amsterdam in November 2017.
He has been an active commentator on the Eurozone crisis in the press. He has been interviewed by publications such as Der Spiegel, Le Monde, NRC Handelsblad, El Pais, The Irish Times, The New York Times, Channel 4 and many others. Some of his articles for the press 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, February 2015
'The Real Case for Greece', Policy Network, 22 April 2015
'Cynical Populism', Open Democracy, 10 June 2015
'The Unfair Eurozone', Verfassungsblog.de, 11 June 2015
'What is Wrong with Greece?' Telegraph, 10 July 2015
'The EU Protects Liberty but a British Bill of Rights Would Endanger It', The Conversation, 26 November 2015 & UK Constitutional Law Blog, 14 December 2015.
'Is Greece About to be Martyred Again?' Telegraph, 28 January 2016
' The Proposed New Legal Settlement of the UK with the EU’ U.K. Constitutional Law Blog (13th Feb 2016)
'The UK and the Eurozone' Oxford Business Law Blog, 06 June 2016
'A Second Referendum is Probably Legally Required' InFacts, 06 July 2016
'How Brexit Will Fail' Oxford Business Law Blog, 27 October 2016
'The Illegitimacy of Brexit' Open Democracy, 11 January 2017
'How the Government Lost the Article 50 Case', InFacts, 27 January 2017
'EU Financial Claims Against UK Are Enforceable' InFacts, 22 March 2017
'UK's Obligations Will Not Go to Zero If We Quit With No Deal', InFacts, 23 March 2017
'Right to Remain May Already Be Guaranteed', InFacts, 24 March 2017
His Lexis Nexis Interview on the proposed changes to EU electoral law (taken no 06 January 2016) is here.
His personal website is at: www.pavloseleftheriadis.com. You can follow him on twitter at @PEleftheriadis.
- DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S1574019617000190Abstract -The Gina Miller judgment of the United Kingdom Supreme Court will be famous for its protection of the rule of law against an overreaching executive. But it should also be remembered for affirming the systematic nature of the British unwritten constitution. The Supreme Court rejected the older theory of the constitution, on which some of the government’s submissions relied, according to which the British constitution is based on the political fact of parliamentary sovereignty (or an equivalent ‘rule of recognition’) and is for that reason different from that of all other states. This was the view outlined by A. V. Dicey and endorsed by the British legal community for almost a century. The Supreme Court majority (and it is possible that the minority does too) relies on a different theory of the constitution, widely described as the ‘common law’ theory, which is a better fit with constitutional history. For the majority, the UK’s constitution is higher law made by the conscious decisions of a legislature like all other law. Joining the EU was a constitutional change brought about by parliament. For this reason withdrawal from the EU and its precise terms must also be decided by an act parliament. The Supreme Court considers the unwritten constitution to be a system of principles of the rule of law, whose origins lie not in a fact of sovereignty (or in the identity of the underlying ‘political community’) but in the legal transformation of the United Kingdom three centuries ago by way of the Bill of Rights 1688, the Act of Union 1707 and other constitutional statutes that created the higher law of the constitution.ISBN: 1744-5515Members and supporters of the British government say that the only constitutionally legitimate course of action over Brexit after the referendum is to press ahead with withdrawal from the European Union, even if that would entail the complete severance of all ties (which we normally call ‘hard Brexit’). A more sophisticated view of the constitution, however, shows that these more or less populist arguments are false. As the Supreme Court confirmed in the recent Gina Miller judgment, the constitution did not change with the June referendum. Parliament is still supreme and determines both ordinary legislation and constitutional change. In fact, if one examines closely the claim that the referendum entails hard Brexit, it becomes obvious that this claim is false as well. The referendum opened the door for one among four different possibilities. Which Brexit option—if any—the United Kingdom should take is a matter for Parliament now to decide, following the normal processes of democratic deliberation and representation.DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.17176/20171114-094539DOI: https://ukconstitutionallaw.org/2017/01/30/pavlos-eleftheriadis-the-systematic-constitution/DOI: 10.5553/NJLP/.000052The whole of law, public and private, assumes a particular ordering of social life which presupposes the distinction between higher and ordinary law, in that it subjects all of official action of law-making, administration and adjudication, to a general framework of institutions at the service of equal rights. These self-embracing constitutional institutions create the conditions for political legitimacy. The constitution does not seek to create a morally perfect society. Constitutional law aims to construct legitimate institutions under which we could live side by side in spite of our disagreements and in spite of our mutual suspicion. Constitutional law is therefore invested with a very distinct moral purpose: the construction of an effective and legitimate scheme of social co-operation that enables us to live side by side as free and equal. Power alone cannot achieve this task. In this sense, just like moral reasoning, legal reasoning needs no foundations. It is continuous with practical reason. The constitution is a practical judgment, defended and justified like all others.ISBN: 09672184DOI: https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/business-law-blog/blog/2016/10/how-brexit-will-failDOI: https://infacts.org/obstacles-concluding-transitional-deal-immense/ISBN: 978-1-90-450111-4ISBN: 978-5903111-86-2The 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.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: 9781849464390Many 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: 2071-8322ISBN: 9780199917907ISBN: 978-0-19-958877-0This 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.ISBN: 1073-1105ISBN: 978-0-19-958877-0ISBN: 978-1-90-450111-4In 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: 978-3-86930-052-8James Griffins 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 Griffins 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: 1835-6842The UK Governments 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 someones (and mainly the governments) view of our own virtue, the governments proposal, at least as it stands today, threatens to undermine some of the most central safeguards of liberty.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: 0952-1917How 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: 0167-5249This 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.ISBN: 978-0-19-954528-5DOI: 10.1093/ojls/gql022ISBN: 1464-3820ISBN: 978-0-521-87204-1A critical analysis of the last ten years of constitutional developments in GreeceISBN: 0140-2382A discussion of the Draft EU ConstitutionDOI: 10.1111/1468-0386.00177ISBN: 1468-0386ISBN: 1076-6715The Direct Effect of Community Law: Conceptual Issues 16 Yearbook of European Law (1996) 205-221.
Constitutional Law, Environmental Law, Planning Law, European Union Law, Philosophy of Law