Thilo Marauhn appointed Extraordinary Professor of International Arms Control Law

Published 13 September 2021

Photo: @JLU / Rolf K. Wegst

Prof. Dr. Thilo Marauhn (58) has been appointed Extraordinary Professor of International Arms Control Law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Amsterdam (UvA). Marauhn will conduct research on international arms control agreements and their compliance. The new Chair was established on behalf of the T.M.C. Asser Instituut for International and European Law and with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Netherlands.

As an Extraordinary Professor at the UvA, and working at the Asser Institute in The Hague, Marauhn will focus on innovative research in arms control law. This is a highly specialised and relevant area of law, which is not a structural subject of research or education at any other Dutch university or research institute. With the new Chair, academic knowledge of this field, vital for national and international security, will be preserved in the Netherlands.

In his research, Marauhn, a widely recognised expert in International Law, will address international arms control law in the area of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. He will conduct research on chemical biological radiological and nuclear (CBRN) security. Marauhn will further monitor compliance with existing arms control treaties and the practical implementation of arms control law obligations in the national legal sphere. Most important, he will critically review the appropriateness of existing approaches and investigate prospects to enhance and further develop the law of arms control, among others, in respect of new and emerging technologies.

Chairperson of the Executive Board and Academic Director of the Asser Institute, Prof. Dr Janne Nijman, is delighted with the appointment. According to Nijman, the support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is part of "a steady line of commitment by the Netherlands to the development of arms control law and the knowledge that is needed for that purpose." She looks forward to working with Prof. Marauhn and foresees synergies with the Asser Institute’s research team on the control and regulation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in weapons. Janne Nijman: “The Asser Institute is well-known for its innovative academic environment, so I am convinced that Thilo Marauhn and the researchers of our DILEMA project will inspire each other in finding practically relevant research synergies."

National research network and knowledge hub
“Having researched, commented upon and contributed to the development of international arms control law throughout my academic career, I am most happy and honoured to take on this new position”, says Thilo Marauhn. “I am convinced that, building upon my work at Justus Liebig University Giessen and at the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt, our joint work in The Hague will not only strengthen this important part of international law but also help to make it fit for the future.”

From The Hague-based Asser Institute, Marauhn will set up and coordinate a national research network and a knowledge hub. Asser Chairperson Janne Nijman: "The subject of arms control is traditionally linked to the city of The Hague. It was here that the Hague Conferences of 1899 and 1907 took place, which included arms control as one of their topics. Today, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), our partner in our annual course on non-proliferation and arms control, is located at a stone's throw from our Institute."

About the Chair
In his research, Marauhn will focus on knowledge preservation, knowledge development and knowledge transfer in the field of international arms control law in the area of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction, Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear (CBRN) security in general, and nuclear security in particular. It also includes the monitoring of compliance with arms control treaties and the concrete implementation of agreed arms control law obligations in the national legal sphere. In addition to his research, Mahrauhn will contribute to the development of the field by supervising PhD students. He will also play a key role in the annual "Disarmament and Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction in a Changing World training", co-organised with Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). Marauhn will further develop an in-depth course on Arms Control Law for both Master- and PhD students and interested professionals, covering military-technical and legal topics and angles.  

Marauhn will work, in close cooperation with colleagues from the T.M.C. Asser Institute, with the UvA research group Law of Armed Conflict and Military Operations (LACMO), led by Prof. Martin Zwanenburg. LACMO is an independent programme within the Amsterdam Center for International Law (ACIL) of the UvA.

About Prof. Dr Thilo Marauhn
Thilo Marauhn graduated from the law faculty of the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität in Heidelberg, Germany, and obtained his doctorate in law (Dr.iur.) in 1994 on the legal basis for Germany's rejection of chemical weapons, a thesis for which he received the highest distinction. In 1995, he received a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree from the University of Wales, based upon a thesis dealing with the formation of a European Security and Defence Identity.

Marauhn worked as a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg. He also was an assistant professor at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt. In 2001, after a short period as Professor of European Law at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, he was appointed professor of Public Law, International Law and European Law at the law faculty of the Justus Liebig University Giessen, where he served as dean from 2006 to 2009. In addition, Marauhn, since 2001, holds the position as a permanent visiting professor at the faculty of law at the University of Lucerne, Switzerland.

For his second dissertation "Reconstruction of fundamental social rights as a normative category", Marauhn received the Werner Pünder Prize for the best dissertation at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in the field of "freedom and totalitarianism/constitution and history of political ideas since the 19th century."

Since 2016 Marauhn has been Head of the Research Group on International Law at the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF), Member of the Leibniz Association. PRIF is one of the leading peace research institutes in Europe.

Beyond his research, Marauhn has continuously been involved in consultancy work. Since 2017 he has been President of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission.

Marauhn will combine his endowed professorship in Arms Control Law with his work as Professor of Public Law and International Law at the Justus-Liebig Universität Giessen and at the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt in Germany.