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Prof. Dr. Silja Voeneky

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Phone: +49 (0)761/203-2206 (PA)

Prof. Dr. Silja Voeneky
Institute for Public Law
Dep. 2 - International Law, Comparative Law, and Ethics of Law
Faculty of Law
The University of Freiburg
Platz der Alten Synagoge 1
D-79098 Freiburg im Breisgau

 

 

Academic Career, Employment & Appointments

Prof. Dr. Silja Voeneky (Vöneky) is the (Co-)Director of the Institute for Public Law and the Professor of Public International Law, Comparative Law and Ethics of Law. She joined the University of Freiburg in 2010 and is an associated member of the Institute for Philosophy of Law. In 2015-2016, she was a Visiting Fellow at Harvard Law School (Human Rights Program) and will be a Fellow at the 2018-2019 FRIAS Research Group "Emerging ethical, legal, philosophical and social aspects of the interaction between humans and autonomous intelligent systems". In February 2017 she was asked to serve as a member of the Public International Law Advisory Board at the German Federal Foreign Office and appointed as arbitrator of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA).

Her areas of focus include Human Rights Law, International Environmental Law, the Law of the Sea, Security Law and Humanitarian Law, the interdependence of Ethics and Law, questions on Legitimacy, Democracy, Biomedicine, and the governance of scientific and technological innovations.

Voeneky previously served as the Director of the Heidelberg Max Planck Research Group (“Democratic Legitimacy of Ethical Decisions"). From 2012-2016, she was a member of the German Ethics Council, whose members are appointed by the Federal Government, and was the head of the Council’s Working Group on Biosecurity.

Since 2001, Silja Voeneky has been a legal advisor to the German Federal Foreign Office, the German Federal Ministry of Research, the German Federal Ministry of Environment, the German Federal Environmental Agency, and the Alfred Wegener Institute for Scientific Marine and Polar Research. She is a member of the German Delegation to the ATCMs (Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings) and in this capacity negotiated the Liability Annex to the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty.

Currently, she is, inter alia, a member of the Standing Committee on Science and Ethics of the Leopoldina, National Academy of Sciences, and a member of the Ethics Council of the Max Planck Society (since 2016). Previously, she was member of the Board of Directors of the Network for Civil Security Law in Europe (KORSE).

Born in Germany, Voeneky studied Law and Philosophy of Law at the Universities of Freiburg, Bonn, Heidelberg, and Edinburgh. She began her career at the Max Planck Institute for Public International Law in Heidelberg under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Ruediger Wolfrum.

 

International Conferences and Symposia

Silja Voeneky initiated and curated several international conferences and interdisciplinary symposia: Human Rights, Democracy, and Legitimacy” (3/4 May 2016, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, US), "Interdisciplinary Questions of Biosecurity" (3 July 2014, Freiburg i.Br.), “The Ethicalization of Law – Fundamental Questions, Dangers and Opportunities from an Interdisciplinary Perspective“ (29/30 September 2011, Freiburg i. Br.), “Law of the Sea in Dialogue“ (4/5 December 2009, Heidelberg), “Demokratische Legitimation ethischer Entscheidungen” (29/30 November 2007, Heidelberg), “Terrorism as a Challenge for National and International Law“ (24/25 January 2003, Heidelberg), and “Towards an International Ban on Human Cloning” (7/8 October 2003, Heidelberg).

 

Areas of Interest

Public International Law

Human Rights Law, International Environmental Law, Humanitarian and Security Law, the Ethicalization of Law, and the Governance of Scientific and Technological Innovations (esp. AI, Biotechnology)

Constitutional Law

Human Rights, democratic Legitimacy, the Ethicalization of Law, and the Governance of Scientific and Technological Innovations

Philosophy of Law

Ethicalization of Law, Regulating Existential Risks

European Union Law

Agreements with Third Countries, Ethicalization of Law, and the Governance of Scientific and Technological Innovations (esp. AI, Biotechnology)

 

Representative Publications

  • Silja Voeneky, Human Rights and Legitimate Governance of Existential and Global Catastrophic Risks, in: Human Rights, Democracy, and Legitimacy (Silja Voeneky/Gerald Neuman (eds.), CUP, forthcoming 2018)
  • Silja Voeneky, Espionage, Security Interests, and Human Rights in the Second Machine Age: NSA Mass Surveillance and the Framework of Public International Law, in: Russel Miller (ed), Privacy & Power: A Transatlantic Dialogue in the Shadow of the NSA-Affair, CUP, 2017
  • Silja Voeneky, Anja Hoefelmeier, Commentary, Art. 136: Common Heritage of Mankind, in: A. Proelss (ed.), United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea: A Commentary, 2017
  • Silja Voeneky, Anja Hoefelmeier, Commentary, Art. 137: Legal Status of the Area and its Resources, in: A. Proelss (ed.), United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea: A Commentary, 2017
  • Silja Voeneky, Anja Hoefelmeier, Commentary, Art. 138: General Conduct of States in Relation to the Area, in: A. Proelss (ed.), United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea: A Commentary, 2017
  • Silja Voeneky, Anja Hoefelmeier, Commentary, Art. 139: Responsibility to Ensure Compliance and Liability for Damage, in: A. Proelss (ed.), United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea: A Commentary, 2017
  • Silja Voeneky, Anja Hoefelmeier, Commentary, Art. 140: Benefit of Mankind, in: A. Proelss (ed.), United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea: A Commentary, 2017
  • Silja Voeneky, Anja Hoefelmeier, Commentary, Art. 141: Use of the Area Exclusively for Peaceful Purposes, in: A. Proelss (ed.), United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea: A Commentary, 2017
  • Silja Voeneky, Anja Hoefelmeier, Commentary, Art. 142: Rights and Legitimate Interests of Coastal States, in: A. Proelss (ed.), United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea: A Commentary, 2017
  • Silja Voeneky, Felix Beck, Commentary, Art. 143: Marine Scientific Research, in: A. Proelss (ed.), United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea: A Commentary, 2017
  • Silja Voeneky, Felix Beck, Commentary, Art. 144: Transfer of Technology, in: A. Proelss (ed.), United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea: A Commentary, 2017
  • Silja Voeneky, Felix Beck, Commentary, Art. 145: Protection of the Marine Environment, in: A. Proelss (ed.), United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea: A Commentary, 2017
  • Silja Voeneky, Felix Beck, Commentary, Art. 146: Protection of Human Life, in: A. Proelss (ed.), United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea: A Commentary, 2017
  • Silja Voeneky, Felix Beck, Commentary, Art. 147: Accommodation of Activities in the Area and in the Marine Environment, in: A. Proelss (ed.), United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea: A Commentary, 2017
  • Silja Voeneky, Felix Beck, Commentary, Art. 148: Participation of Developing States in Activities in the Area, in: A. Proelss (ed.), United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea: A Commentary, 2017
  • Silja Voeneky, The German Ethics Council Report on Biosecurity, in The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, Medicine (NAS) (ed.), Gain-of-Function Research, Summary of the Second Symposium, March 10-11, 2016, 57-59
  • Silja Voeneky, Biosecurity - Freedom, Responsibility, and Legitimacy of Research, Ordnung der Wissenschaft 2/2015, 117-128, available under www.ordnungderwissenschaft.de/
  • Silja Voeneky, Foundations and Limits of an Ethicalization of Law, in J. Nida-Ruemelin et al (eds.), Rethinking Responsibility in Science and Technology, 2014, 183- 202
  • Silja Voeneky, Implementation and Enforcement of International Humanitarian Law (Chapter 14), in D. Fleck (ed.),The Handbook of International Humanitarian Law, 3rd Edition, Oxford 2013, 647-700
  • Silja Voeneky, Ethics and Law - The Ethicalization of Law / Ethik und Recht - Ethisierung des Rechts, Heidelberg 2013, 456 (edited together with B. Beylage-Haarmann, A. Hoefelmeier, A.-K. Huebler)
  • Silja Voeneky, Francis Lieber (1798-1872), in B. Fassbender/A. Peters (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law, Oxford 2012, 1137-1141
  • Silja Voeneky, Coexistence, Cooperation and Solidarity; Liber Amicorum Ruediger Wolfrum, Vol. I/II, Leiden 2012 (edited together with H. Hestermeyer, D. Koenig, V. Roeben, N. Matz-Lueck, A. Seibert-Fohr and P.-T. Stoll)
  • Silja Voeneky, The Fight against Terrorism and the Rules of International Law - Comment on Papers and Speeches of John B. Bellinger, Chief Legal Advisor to the United States Department, in R. A. Miller (ed.), Comperative Law as Transnational Law, A Decade of the German Law Journal, Oxford 2012, 353-362
  • Silja Voeneky, Ruediger Wolfrum, Environment, Protection in Armed Conflict, in R. Wolfrum (ed.), Encyclopedia of Public International Law, Oxford 2012, Vol. III, 509- 518,  www.mpepil.com
  • Silja Voeneky, Armed Conflict, Effect on Treaties, in R. Wolfrum (ed.), Encyclopedia of Public International Law, Oxford 2012, Vol. I, 606-612, www.mpepil.com
  • Silja Voeneky, Sange Addison- Agyei, Antarctica, in R. Wolfrum (ed.), Encyclopedia of Public International Law, 2012, Vol. I, 418-435, www.mpepil.com
  • Silja Voeneky, Analogy in International Law, in R. Wolfrum (ed.), Encyclopedia of Public International Law, 2012, Vol. I, 374-380, www.mpepil.com
  • Silja Voeneky, Law of the Sea in Dialogue, Heidelberg 2011, 189 (edited together with H. Hestermeyer, N. Matz-Lueck, A. Seibert-Fohr)
  • Silja Voeneky, The Liability Annex to the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, in D. Koenig/ P.-T. Stoll/ V. Roeben/ N. Matz-Lueck (eds.), International Law Today: New Challenges and the Need for Reform?, Heidelberg 2008, 165-197
  • Silja Voeneky, Ruediger Wolfrum, Who is protected by Human Rights Conventions? Protection of the Embryo vs. Scientific Freedom and Public Health, in S. Voeneky/ R. Wolfrum (eds.), Human Dignity and Human Cloning, Leiden 2004, 119-130
  • Silja Voeneky, The Fight against Terrorism and the Rules of the Law of Warfare, in C. Walter/S. Voeneky/V. Roeben/F. Schorkopf (eds.), Terrorism as a Challenge for National and International Law: Security versus Liberty?, Berlin et al 2004, 925-950

 

Education

  • Study of Law and Jurisprudence at the Universities of Freiburg, Bonn, Edinburgh (UK) and Heidelberg
  • First State Examination (Heidelberg), 1995
  • Second State Examination (Berlin), 2000
  • Dr. iur., University of Heidelberg, 2000
  • Habilitation, venia legendi for National Public Law, Public International Law, Comparative Law, European Union Law and Philosophy of Law, University of Heidelberg, 2009

 

Links

German Ethics Council: Biosecurity – Freedom and Responsibility of Research, Opinion, 7 May 2014

On methods for the whole genome sequencing from a legal perspective: Control over One`s Own Gene

First the Trial, Then the Moralizing, MaxPlanckResearch 2/2011

On the work of the Max-Planck Research Group “Democratic Legitimacy of Ethical Decisions - Ethics and Law in the Areas of Biotechnology and Biomedicine”: Turning Morality into Legitimate Law, MaxPlanckResearch 3/2007