I am an Associate Professor (Sw. docent) of International Law at the Faculty of Law,
Lund University. This is where I have been employed since 2001, when I successfully
defended my doctoral dissertation. The dissertation inquires into the system of legal
rules laid down in Articles 31-33 of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.
In 2007, a revised English version of this piece of work was published at Springer
Verlag. (See On the Interpretation of Treaties. The Modern International Law as Expressed
in the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.) The anonymous Springer referee
described the book as “the most analytically refined and theoretically informed analysis
of the rules that govern Treaty interpretation”. The book was nominated for the 2008 Book
Prize awarded by the European Society of International Law. It has been reviewed in
leading international law journals such as the American Journal of International Law, the
European Journal of International Law, and Canadian Yearbook of International Law. My
book has come to be generally recognized as one of two leading works presently existing
on the interpretation of treaties. In the recently published two-volume Commentary on the
1969 and 1986 Vienna Conventions on the Law of Treaties, it is cited extensively. (See
The Vienna Conventions on the Law of Treaties. A Commentary, Vols. 1-2, eds. Corten,
Olivier and Klein Pierre (Oxford University Press, 2011). 

In my later research, I have partly continued exploring the international law of
treaties, particularly in the context of the reservation to treaties and the resolution
of normative conflicts. Partly, I have broadened my field of research to include also a
number other subject-areas. When I am asked to briefly describe my international legal
research, I usually say my interest lies mainly with questions of a systemic character.
Such questions allow me to combine my broad generalist knowledge of international law
with a keen interest for legal theory. I believe this combination has proved productive. 

Since 2007, I am the Chief Investigator of a small research group formed for the purpose
of critically studying the conceptualization and usage of jus cogens norms in
international law and international legal discourse. The project is funded by the Swedish
Council of Research for a period of three years (recently extended up until the end of
2011). The group of peers assigned by the Council to review the project described it as
“excellent”.1 In the terminology of the Council this is tantamount to saying that “the
project represents, and the researcher performs, excellent research that attracts
attention among leading researchers, comparable with the very best achieved in Sweden in
the field”.2 1 My translation. In Swedish, the term used is ”utmärkt”. Hitherto, the Jus
Cogens Project has produced altogether nine articles in peer-reviewed international law
journals; the writing of a monograph was initiated in 2010. According to plans, writing
will be completed at the end of 2012. 

I have received funds from the Swedish Institute on Legal Scientific Research (Institutet
för rättsvetenskaplig forskning) to conduct investigations on The Many Functions of
International Legal Concepts. This project is a spin-off of the earlier Jus Cogens
Project, which addresses, among other things, the role of the jus cogens concept in
international legal discourse. For the purposes of my project, a concept is a mental
representation. It is the generalized idea of an empirical or normative phenomenon or a
class of such phenomena. Such ideas figure prominently in the way international lawyers
think and talk about international law. This raises questions about their possible
function or functions. Arguably, international legal concepts would not be used on such a
large scale if they did not also fill important needs. What exactly are those needs? What
does international legal discourse need legal concepts for? By providing this question
with an answer, we will be equipped to start asking questions about the interplay between
international law and the individuals, groups, and institutions who exploit it. What
function or functions serve whose interest in which context or contexts? Arguably, in the
longer perspective, such questions will contribute to a better understanding of the
creation and development of international law. The project on The Many Functions of
International Legal Concepts extends over a three year period. It will produce two to
three articles a short monograph. 

As an international legal researcher I am anxious and particular about communicating my
research in an effective way. I publish in peer-reviewed international law journals, most
prominently in the European Journal of International Law, in the Netherlands
International Law Review (three articles), and in the Zeitschrift für ausländisches
öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht (two articles). My writing attracts the attention of
colleagues world-wide, as confirmed by the several reviews of my monograph and by the
extensive references to this book in the Commentary to the 1969 and 1986 Vienna
Conventions. Furthermore, and notably, I have been cited and considered by the
International Law Commission in connection with the work accomplished by this important
UN body on the Fragmentation of International Law, and on Reservation to Treaties,
respectively. In 2010, I spent two months as visiting research fellow at the University
of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, after having received a scholarship by this
University funding my entire stay. The scholarship is awarded “to research scholars of
established standing and experience in the academic community”. I contribute to
international legal conferences. Since April 2011, I am the Editor-in-Chief of the Nordic
Journal of International Law. 

An Associate Professor of International Law at the Faculty of Law, Lund University, I am
responsible for the teaching of international law at the Lund LL.M. program. I am the
director of the International and Comparative Law course (15 ECTS) given to students at
their sixth term of studies, and I do most of the teaching at this course, at least as
far as public international law is concerned. At different occasions during my ten years
in Lund, I have had the pleasure of offering three separate Advanced Courses of
International Law (each 15 ECTS), tailored for students at their seventh and eighth terms
of studies, for the purpose of which courses I have also done most of the teaching.
During my stay at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, I gave a 24 hour course to
post-graduate students on Fragmentation of International Law. 

I am the Director of the postgraduate program specializing in General International Law.
I have been a Visiting Professor or Guest Lecturer at the University of New South Wales,
Sydney; at the Faculty of Law, Oslo University; at the Department of Law at the
Gothenburg University of Business; and at the Faculty of Law, Stockholm University. As
can be seen from my list of publication, I have authored two textbooks. I am presently
supervising my first three doctoral candidates. 


What Is so Special About Jus Cogens: On the Distinction between the Ordinary and the Peremptory International Law, International Community Law Review (2012)

What, exactly, is it about Jus Cogens that distinguishes it from ordinary international law? In...

International Legal Hierarchy Revisited: The Status of Obligations Erga Omnes, Nordic Journal of International Law (2011)

Increasingly, international legal arguments exploit the peculiar nature of obligations erga omnes. This practice raises...

The Application of International Legal Norms Over Time: The Second Branch of Intertemporal Law, Netherlands International Law Review (2011)

Intertemporal law governs the applicability of international legal norms ratione temporis. According to often used...

The Creation of Jus Cogens: Making Sense of Article 53 of the Vienna Convention, Zeitschrift für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht (=Heidelberg Journal of International Law) (2011)

This essay provides an analysis of the creation of jus cogens. The analysis makes intelligible...



The Post-9/11 Discourse Revisited: The Self-Image of the International Legal Scientific Discipline, Goettingen Journal of International Law (2010)

A few years ago, the legality of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) was a topic much...



Om tolkningen av traktater (2001)

In the relations between states interpretation of treaties is an everyday issue. When an agent...


Contributions to Books

Jus cogens, IVR Encyclopaedia of Jurisprudence, Legal Theory and Philosophy of Law (2010)
Reservations to Treaties and Norms of Jus Cogens – A Comment on Human Rights General Comment No. 24, Reservations to Human Rights Treaties and the Vienna Convention Regime (2004)

Unpublished Papers


The Many Functions of International Legal Conceps (2011)

According to the ontological stance adopted in this essay, a concept is a mental representation....