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School of Law

Dr Gunnar Beck

MA, MPhil, DPhil (Oxon), Barrister-at-Law

Overview

Gunnar Beck
School of Law

Reader in Law

Name:
Dr Gunnar Beck
Email address:
Telephone:
020 7898 4661
Address:
SOAS, University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Building:
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
239
On Sabbatical:
Term 1 2014/15

Biography

Biography


Dr Gunnar Beck is an EU lawyer and legal theorist.  He teaches courses in EU law, legal theory and our undergraduate course in legal methodology and systems (ILLP). He is also the convenor for the MA in Law pre-sessional course in legal methodology and reasoning. His book Fichte and Kant on freedom, rights and law offers a new interpretation of the relationship between Kant's and Fichte's theories of freedom and their doctrines of rights, law and the state. Gunnar Beck’s most recent monograph The Legal Reasoning of the Court of Justice of the EU has been published by Richard Hart, Oxford.  In his comprehensive study of the presuppositions of legal reasoning and of the Court of Justice’s case law he develops a heuristic model of judicial reasoning and argues that the Court of Justice’s legal reasoning, although it has a clear communautaire tendency, is less at variance with judicial reasoning in other higher courts than commonly thought. Gunnar Beck has published numerous academic articles on aspects of EU law, legal and political philosophy.


From early 2002 to 2004 Gunnar Beck was a legal adviser to the UK parliamentary delegates at the Convention on the Future of Europe, and one of the UK delegates to the Collaborateurs Committee of the Convention. He continued to serve as part-time deputy legal adviser to the European Scrutiny Committee of the House of Commons until 2010. From 2000 to 2002 Gunnar Beck worked as an employed barrister in the EU & Competition department of the premier London-based international law firm Herbert Smith. In parallel to his work in the City and in Parliament Gunnar Beck taught at the University of Oxford and the London School of Economics where he was a lecturer in EU law and jurisprudence.


In addition to his academic work, Gunnar Beck practices at the English Bar and as a Rechtsanwalt. His practice extends to the following areas of law: EU constitutional law, implementation of EC Directives, EU financial and banking law, EU citizenship and human rights law, social security benefits for migrant workers, environmental impact assessments under EU law, free of movement of persons, goods, capital and services; extradition, VAT, cross-border aspects of direct taxation, competition law. He has also advised extensively on all aspects of financial services regulation, especially the emerging law of the EU banking law and the regulatory regime of the euro zone.
During his time as a legal adviser to the European Scrutiny Committee of the UK Parliament, Gunnar Beck authored numerous reports on EU draft legislation and special reports on EU criminal law, Justice and Home Affairs Issues at EU level, Subsidiarity, The IGC and Treaty of Lisbon, Article 308, and on Mobile Phone Roaming Charges.


Gunnar Beck regularly presents seminars, lectures and other training sessions at leading City law firms. He has given lectures on the euro crisis, the German Constitutional Court’s jurisprudence on the EU, and the Court of Justice’s legal reasoning at leading German, Austrian and US universities.  


He is widely published, and speaks English and German as well as competent French.

PhD Publications

Single authored Books

Fichte and Kant on Freedom, Rights, and Law, Lexington Books (a division of Rowman
& Littlefield) March 2008, ISBN 0-7391-2294-0.
The Legal Reasoning of the Court of Justice of the EU, Hart Publishing, Oxford, ISBN-13: 978-1849463232
Chinese Edition: Fichte and Kant on Freedom, Rights, and Law, February 2013.

Chapters in books:
“Natural law, individual autonomy and history in the Practical Philosophy of Immanuel Kant”, Jahrbuch für Recht und Ethik / Annual Review of Law and Ethics, vol. 16, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2008
“Legal Certainty, the Common Law Tradition, Resistance to Harmonization and Convergence in the European Community Legal Order”, in Larry Cata Backer (ed.), Harmonizing Law in an Era of Globalization - Convergence, Divergence and Resistance, ISBN 978-0-89089-585-6 Carolina Academic Press, Durham/ North Carolina 2007, pp. 241-278
“The normative and conceptual contestability of Human Rights”, Jahrbuch für Recht und Ethik / Annual Review of Law and Ethics, vol. 15, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-428-12610-1, pp. 659-698.
“A Gift to the people of the future from the continent of the past: the abiding relevance of Fichte’s and Kant’s theories of law and rights” - foreword to the Chinese edition of Fichte and Kant on Freedom, Rights, and Law.

Selected Journal Articles:
“The Primacy of EU law, the German Constitutional Court and the problem of Kompetenz-Kompetenz: a conflict between right and right in which there is no Praetor and’where right must bend the knee before the political”, European Law Journal,  vol 17, Issue 4 (July 2011), pages 470-494.
“Human Rights Adjudication under the ECHR between Value Pluralism and Essential Contestability”, European Human Rights Law Review, Issue 2 2008 (214-244).

“The Mythology of Human Rights”, Ratio Juris. Vol. 21 No. 3 (September 2008) pages 312–347.

“Pluralism in Human Rights Adjudication”, seminar paper delivered at the Thomas More Institute, Finsbury Sq/Netherhall Gdns, London on 19 May 2008, subsequently published at: http://www.thomasmoreinstitute.org.uk/?q=node/67

“Legitimation Crisis, Reifying Human Rights and the Norm-Creating Power of the Factual”, Pennsylvania State International Law Review, Winter 2008.
“Common law reasoning and Community law”, Zeitschrift für vergleichende Rechtswissenschaft  (ISSN 0044-3638) I/2008.
“Common law reasoning as ordinary reasoning in extraordinary language”, Zeitschrift für vergleichende Rechtswissenschaft (ISSN 0044-3638) III/2007, pp. 335-358.
“The Idea of Human Rights between Value Pluralism and Conceptual Vagueness”, Pennsylvania State International Law Review,  vol. 25(3), Winter 2007, pp. 615-657.
“The ECJ judgment in Cadman, the state of Community anti-discrimination law, and how the legal becomes the political", European Law Review August 2007
“Immanuel Kant’s Theory of Rights”, Ratio Iuris, vol. 19 issue 4 (July 2011) pp. 470-494.
“The U.K. Courts, the common law approach and the application of E.C. Law”, Pennsylvania State International Law Review, May 2006.
“The British Parliament and the Convention on the Future of Europe”, European Law Review, October 2005)
“The English courts and the Application of Community Law”, Irish Journal of European Law vol 12 (no. 2) (2005) IJEL pp. 182-214
“The problem of Kompetenz-Kompetenz: A conflict between Right and Right, in which there can be no praetor”, European Law Review (I/2005),
“Dresden und das Weltgericht“, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 17 Feb 05 (www.faz.de FAZ-archive).
“Autonomy, History and Political Freedom in Kant’s Political Philosophy,” History of European Ideas 25 [1999]: 217–41.
“From Kant to Hegel - Johann Gottlieb Fichte's Theory of Self- Consciousness”, History of European Ideas 22, 1996, S.275-94.

 
Selected specialist articles in international newspapers, journals and TV/radio interviews and contributions


“Germany the Euro Winner? Hardly”,  International Herald Tribune (op-ed 27 June 2012), New York Times (online 26 June 2012)
“Why Germany's Court Won't Kill the Bailout Fund”, Wall Street Journal (Opinion 10 July 2012)
“Die Mär vom Euro-Gewinner Deutschland”, Tagesspiegel (Meinung 4.07.2012)
„Die wundersame Wandlung des Euro zur Lira, Der Standard, (Meinung der Anderen, 24 August 2012)
„Der ESM  bricht Recht“, Die Welt (weltonline.de 3.09.2012)

„ESM verstößt gegen Gesetz und EU-Verträge“, Die Welt (Meinung, 4.09.2012)
„Der Rettungsfonds ist rechtswidrig“, Süddeutsche Zeitung  (Gastbeitrag zum ESM, 7.09.2012)
„ESM-Vertrag ist völlig rechtswidrig!", heute.de (ZDF, Heute Redaktion: Experteninterview zum ESM, 9.09.2012)
„Germans could be consigned to serfdom to save the euro”, The Guardian (Comment, 9 September 2012)
„Merkel wedded to euro and guilt”, Asia Times Online  (31 August 2012)
Germany: Euro victim, not winner”, Asia Times Online  (6 September 2012)
“An unlawful bet on the euro”, Asia Times Online (8 September 2012)
“Euro snub to German voters”, Asia Times Online (18 September 2012)

“Der Kampf um den Euro”, ZDF 30 October 2012 (one of a handful of experts – including Otmar Issing and George Soros - interviewed, and assisting in the preparation of, the one hour programme by Karl Hinterleitner, Economics Editor ZDF)

Selected Parliamentary Reports based on inquiries commissioned by the European Scrutiny Committee of the House of Commons – single authored unless indicated


“Subsidiarity, National Parliaments, and the Lisbon Treaty”, 33rd Report of Session  2007-08, House of Commons papers 563 2007-08 (jointly written with Sir Edward Osmotherly)
“Article 308 of the EC Treaty”, 29th Report of Session 2006-07, HC 41-xxix, 13th Report 2006-07, 13th July 2007, ISBN 9780215035103.
Aspects of the EU’s Constitutional Treaty, 14th Report of Session 2004-05, HC 38-xiv-l April 2005.
The Convention’s proposals on criminal justice, 26th Report of Session 2002-03, HC 63-xxvi-ll.
“Free Trade and Protectionism in Germany and Great Britain, 1880 -1933”, (127 pages) published by the University of Münster, Faculty of Social Sciences, Münster/Westphalia 1992. Privatdruck  (Schriftenreihe of select theses and working papers).

Seminar & Working Papers and Blogs:


“Pluralism in Human Rights Adjudication”, seminar paper delivered at the Thomas More Institute, Finsbury Sq/Netherhall Gdns, London on 19 May 2008, subsequently published at: http://www.thomasmoreinstitute.org.uk/?q=node/67

Numerous specialist legal essays and other contributions to eutopialaw.com blog and Fair Observer
“The German Constitutional Court versus the EU: self assertion in theory and submission in practice – Euro Aid and Financial Guarantees. Parts 1 to 3”, eutopialaw.com blog, 24 to 27 October 2011
“Has Germany been the winner of the euro?”, eutopialaw.com blog, 21 June 2012
“The suspension of the rule of law in the euro zone and why Chancellor Merkel should not place her trust in rules. Part 1 and 2, eutopialaw.com blog, 2-4 July 2012
“The German Constitutional Court will not stop the euro bailout”, eutopialaw.com blog, 18 July 2012
“Ten bad reasons why Germany will not let go of the euro”, eutopialaw.com blog, 2 August 2012 “The German Constitutional Court no longer takes itself seriously, but Germans still believe in the Bundesbank”, eutopialaw.com blog, 22 September 2012
“Germany Defends the Euro to Her Own Peril”, Fair Observer, 21 August 2012
‘The Myth of Germany’s gain’, Fair Observer, 27 June 2012
“A Threat to Democracy: the European Stability Mechanism”, Fair Observer, 6 September 2012

Expertise

For help in contacting SOAS academics and advice on services to business and the community, please contact SOAS Enterprise on +44(0)20 7898 4837 or email enterprise@soas.ac.uk.
For all press and media enquiries please call +44 (0)20 7898 4135 or email comms@soas.ac.uk

Available for
  • TV
  • Radio
  • Press
Regional Expertise
  • Global
Country Expertise
Languages
  • German

Publications

Book Chapters

Beck, Gunnar (2007) 'Legal Certainty, the Common Law Tradition, Resistance to Harmonization and Convergence in the European Community Legal Order.' In: Backer, L. C., (ed.), Harmonizing Law in an Era of Globalization. Convergence, Divergence, and Resistance. Carolina Academic Press, pp. 241-278.

Beck, Gunnar (2007) 'The Normative and Conceptual Contestability of Human Rights.' In: Byrd, B. S. and Hruschka, J. and Joerden, J. C., (eds.), Jahrbuch fuer Recht und Ethik. Annual Review of Law and Ethics. Band 15. Duncker & Humblot, pp. 659-698.

Beck, Gunnar and Cata, Larry (2006) 'The Common Law Tradition, the English Courts, and the Application of European Community Law in Harmonzing Law in an Era of Globilzation - Convergence, Divergence and Resistance.' In: Cata, Larry, (ed.), UNSPECIFIED Carolina Academic Press.

Articles

Beck, Gunnar (2006) 'Immanuel Kant's Theory of Rights.' Ratio Juris, 19 (4). pp. 371-401.

Beck, Gunnar (2006) 'The English Courts and the Application of Community Law.' Irish Journal of European Law .

Beck, Gunnar (2005) 'The Problem of Kompetenz-Kompetenz: A Conflict Between Right and Right in which There Is No Praetor.' European Law Review, 30 (1). pp. 42-67.

Beck, Gunnar (2005) 'The British Parliament and the Convention on the Future of Europe.' European Law Review, 30 (5). pp. 743-757.

This list was generated on Fri Oct 24 00:39:17 2014 BST.