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Paulina Starski

Dr. iur., LL.B., Senior Research Fellow

Main Fields of Research:

state sovereignty, state responsibility, sustainability, international environmental law, European constitutional law, external relations of the EU, European and international human rights law, secession, "the unwilling or unable state", hybrid sovereignty, history of international law, use of force, environmental law, comparative constitutionalism, German constitutional law, Polish constitutional law, theory of international law, European law, attribution, international investment law, German administrative law

Academic Career:

February/March 2018

Kathleen Fitzpatrick Postdoctoral Visiting Fellow at the University of Melbourne Law School

January 2018

Senior Visiting Scholar at the University of Sydney Law School

September to December 2017

Postdoctoral Hauser Global Fellow at the New York University School of Law

since Oct. 2014

Senior Research Fellow at the MPIL and "Habilitandin"/PostDoc at Bucerius Law School


Assistant Professor/Postdoctoral Researcher at the Chair of Prof. Dr. Axel Kämmerer, Bucerius Law School


Senior Research Assistant to Prof. Dr. Hoffmann-Riem, Judge at the Federal Constitutional Court a. D.


Lecturer at the University of Paderborn (Culture and International Law)


Lecturer/Organizer of the Workshop "Reconstruction and the Law", Summer Academy of the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes, Cracow, Poland


Doctoral Thesis: "The Interfederal Administrative Act" (summa cum laude), Bucerius Law School


Admission to the German Bar Association (Hamburg)


Second State Examination (Hanseatic Higher Court of Appeals)


Clerkship (Hanseatic Higher Court of Appeals) (i. a. Referendar at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, New York - Dispute Resolution/Arbitration/Bilateral Investment Treaties)


Lecturer at the University of Hamburg (Constitutional Law/Basic Rights/International Human Rights Protection)


Research Assistant at the Chair of Prof. Dr. Kämmerer (Constitutional, Administrative, European and International Law), Bucerius Law School


First State Examination (Hamburg)


Baccalaureus Legum (LL.B.) (Bucerius Law School)


University of Sydney (Exchange Program)


Bucerius Law School, Hamburg

Academic Qualification Projects
Postdoctoral Research Thesis: "The Unwilling or Unable State as a Challenge to International Law"

Project funded by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation

Project supported by the Daimler and Benz Foundation

Further Projects

Editor (with Milos Vec) of Volume VII "Western International Law 1776-c. 1870" of the Cambridge History of International Law (CUP) (General Editor Randall Lesaffer)




  • The Interfederal Administrative Act. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, 2014, 516 p., (Doctoral Thesis) Description
  • Das supranational diesziplinierte Völkerrecht. In: European Law Reporter 6, 187-196 (2013).
  • No compliance, no difference? – Neues zu Konzern, Zurechnung und Compliance. In: European Law Reporter 11, 331-346 (2013).
  • Bahnfrei der Bankenunion. In: NVwZ, 830-836 (2013).
  • Die Europäische Zentralbank in der Bankenunion oder - Vor Risiken und Nebenwirkungen wird gewarnt. In: Zeitschrift für Gesetzgebung 28, 318-338 (2013).
  • Das internationale öffentliche Recht. In: Archiv des Öffentlichen Rechts 139/4, 619-629 (2013).


29 Jan 2019

"Unwilling or Unable"

Lecture and Concert

Bayerische Staatsoper München/Bavarian State Opera House, Munich. 19.

Concert Announcement

07 Dec 2018 - 07 Dez 2018

"Unwilling or Unable" and the Right to Self-Defence - Some Critical Remarks

Guest Lecture/Seminar

Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland. 10-14.

Guest Lecture Annoucement

07 Dec 2018

Principle of Mutual Recognition - The Case of Germany

Presentation, Research Seminar of the Network "Transnational Administrative Law"

University of Maastricht, Brussels Campus. 10.

Network "Transnational Administrative Law"

26 Nov 2018

The ILA Report on Aggression and the Use of Force - Some Critical Observations

MPI, Heidelberg. 15:30.

07 Nov 2018

Schutzverantwortung, Selbstverteidigung, Souveränität: Eine kritische Analyse des ILA Final Report on Aggression and the Use of Force (Responsibility to Protect, Self-Defence, Sovereignty - A Critical Reflection on the ILA Final Report on Aggression and the Use of Force)

Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Einstein-Saal, Berlin. 2 pm.


Responsibility to Protect, Self-Defence, Sovereignty (1314.0 KB)

11 Oct 2018

The Unwilling or Unable State as a Challenge to International Law

Fritz Thyssen Stiftung, Köln

14 Sep 2018

Ist Krieg ein Weg zum Frieden?

Panel with Christian Marxsen, Carolyn Moser, Alexander Wentker and Alexandra Kemmerer (Max Planck Day 2018)

MPI for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Heidelberg. 9:00.


17 Jul 2018

“Unwilling or Unable”, Kollektives Selbstverteidigungsrecht und “Responsibility to Protect”

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Neue Aula 236. 18 Uhr.

Forum Junge Rechtswissenschaft

PresentationFlyer (310.1 KB)
PresentationAnnounement (369.2 KB)

11 Jul 2018

The Unwilling or Unable State as a Challenge to International Law

Presentation of Postdoctoral Thesis (Habilitation) within the Senate of the Bucerius Law School.

Bucerius Law School. 2 pm.

18 May 2018

The Unwilling or Unable State as a Challenge to International Law

Bucerius Law School. 5 pm.

01 Mar 2018

The 'Unwilling or Unable State' as a Challenge to International Law: Contextualisation of and Critical Reflection on a Notion

Melbourne Law School. 1 pm.


Talk Announcement (455.6 KB)

20 Nov 2017

The “Unwilling or Unable State” as a Challenge to International Law: A Contextualization and (Preliminary) Deconstruction of a Notion”

Deutsches Haus, NYU. 6:30 pm.

Announcement Deutsches Haus

17 Oct 2017

Commentary on France Peirone's Research Project "The Rule of Law under Corruption: a Threat to Sovereignty?"

Hauser Global Fellows and Emile Noël Fellows Forum,

NYU School of Law

Global Fellows Forum Announcement

03 Oct 2017

"The Unwilling or Unable State as a Challenge to International Law"

Presentation at the Hauser Global Fellows and Emile Noël Fellows Forum

New York University School of Law. 10:30.

Hauser Global Fellows Forum Announcement

07 Sep 2017 - 09 Sep 2017

“Solidarity – Some Observations on its Normative Status and Practical Implications”

Agora of the Interest Group on Peace and Security: "Solidarity and the Promotion of Peace and Security"

University of Naples Federico II

28 Jun 2017 - 30 Jun 2017

"The Polish National Council of the Judiciary" - A Commentary

Conference "Protecting and Advancing the Rule of Law in Europe”

MPI Heidelberg

22 Jun 2017 - 24 Jun 2017

“Limited Statehood and Global Security Threats?” - Commentator

Final Conference Collaborative Research Center (SFB) (“Governance in Areas of Limited Statehood”), Prof. Dr. Thomas Risse) 700, 22-24 June 2017

Freie Universität, Berlin

13 Jan 2017

Urgent Legislative Measures in the EU

Centre of International and European Economic Law (CIEEL), Thessaloniki

28 Nov 2016

Das Kundus-Urteil des BGH - Ein staathaftungsrechtlicher Paukenschlag - (The Kundus Judgment of the Federal Court of Justice and the German State Liability Regime)

MPI Researcher Meeting. 15:30.

KunduzPraesentation2.pdf (341.3 KB)

23 Sep 2016

Problems of Attribution in the Context of Multinational Military Operations

Annual Meeting of the German Society for Military Law and Humanitarian Law

Freie Universität Berlin. 10.

Program of Annual Meeting (48.5 KB)
Presentation (90.7 KB)

20 Jun 2016

Colloquium: Customary International Law – Relevance, Challenges and New Approaches

MPI Heidelberg. 6 pm.

16 Jun 2016

Public Broadcasters and Constitutional Values

Panel Discussion: Professor Dr. Matthias Cornils, Professor Dr. Otto Depenheuer, Professor Dr. Marcus Maurer, Dr. Paulina Starski, LL.B., Professor Dr. Karola Wille Chair: Professor Dr. Dieter Dörr Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz Direktor des Mainzer Medieninstituts Panel Discussion

10 Mar 2016

"The Silent State and Normative Dynamics of the Use of Force"

56. Assistententagung, Mainz (Public Law Scholar Meeting). 11 Uhr.

01 Mar 2016

Silence and the Evolution of the Prohibition on the Use of Force

MPI Research Seminar. 3 pm.

29 Feb 2016

Constitutional Crisis in Poland - A Drama in Several Acts

MPI Researchers' Meeting. 15:30.

18 Jan 2016

Möglichkeiten und Grenzen einer Wohnraumbeschlagnahme aus Sicht des Polizei- und Ordnungsrechts

University of Gießen. 11.30 am.

24 Nov 2015

Application of the ECHR by German Courts

Trier/Straßbourg, Deutsche Richterakademie (German Academy of the Judiciary). 3:30 pm.

20 Nov 2015


Project "The contribution of public international law to the provision of security governance through external actors/Security across borders"

SFB Limited Statehood, Berlin. 14.

19 Oct 2015

Parliamentary Prerogative and Deployment of Armed Forces - Rescue Operation Pegasus

MPI Reachers' Meeting, Heidelberg

29 Jun 2015

Case of Jaber Revisited

MPI Researcher Meeting

MPI, Heidelberg. 15:30.

19 May 2015

Narratives in Legal Scholarship

Yale University, New Haven

Conference Program (61.2 KB)

15 May 2015

Residual Risk in German Environmental Law

Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso, Chile

19 Jan 2015

Drone Attacks in Yemen - The Case of Jaber


17 Nov 2014

Unwilling or Unable - A New Standard of Attribution?

Max-Planck-Institute, Heidelberg

30 Jun 2014

Push-Back Operations and ECtHR's Jurisprudence


Amnesty International, Hamburg (Bucerius Law School)

17 Jun 2014

Some Thoughts on the Constitutionality of the Euro Exit, Research Workshop Prof. Dr. Anne Peters


Trimester 1/2017

International and European Human Rights Law

Bucerius Law School, Hamburg

Trimester 3/2016

Law of the European Union

Bucerius Law School, Hamburg

Trimester 3/2016

Introduction into German Constitutional and Administrative Law

Bucerius Law School, Hamburg


International and European Human Rights Protection

Bucerius Law School, Hamburg


Introduction into German Constitutional and Administrative Law, Bucerius Law School (International Programm)


European Law, Bucerius Law School (International Program)


International and European Human Rights Protection, Bucerius Law School


International Law in Case Studies, University of Heidelberg


Colloquium Current Developments in International Law

May 2015

Introduction into the Principles of State Responsibility and Jurisdiction (Universidad de Chile, Santiago de Chile)

Participation in Conferences at Home and Abroad

Law and Fictional Discourse, Yale University, New Haven, 19.05.2015 - 21.05.2015

ESIL Annual Conference: The Judicalization of International Law - A Mixed Blessing?, Oslo, 09.09.2015 - 12.09.2015


Fritz Thyssen Stiftung für die Wissenschaftsförderung - PostDoc Fellowship ("Eigene Stelle")

Research Project: "The Unwilling or Unable State as a Challenge to International Law"

Postdoctoral Hauser Global Fellow Scholarship by NYU School of Law

 Deutsches Haus DAAD Visiting Fellowship for Research Stay at the NYU School of Law

Robert Bosch Foundation - "Fast Track" Fellow 2017-2019

 "Excellence and Leadership Skills for Outstanding Women in Science"

Daimler and Benz Foundation - PostDoc Fellowship 2017/2018

Kathleen Fitzpatrick Visiting Fellow 2017/2018, Laureate Research Program in International Law at University of Melbourne Law School (International Law, Civil War and Intervention)

Steven Schneebaum Award - Outstanding National Administrator of Preliminaries of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Competition 2015

PhD Scholarship - Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung

Studies Scholarship - Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes

PhD Publication Scholarship - FAZIT (Foundation of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)

Publication Scholarship by the Johanna and Fritz Buch Gedächtnisstiftung


Deutscher Juristinnenbund ("The German Women Lawyer Association")

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Wehrrecht und Humanitäres Völkerrecht e. V.  ("German Society for Military Law and International Humanitarian Law")

International Society for Military Law and the Law of War

European Society of International Law

American Society of International Law

International Law Association

International Society of Public Law

International Law Students' Association

 Deutscher Hochschulverband (German University Association)

Alumna Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes

Alumna Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung


Member of the Network on Transnational Administrative Law

Member of the Committee awarding the Max Planck-Cambridge Prize for International Law 2019

Member of the Coordinating Committee der ESIL Interest Group on Peace and Security

 Peer Reviewer for the "Military Law and Law of War Review"

Peer Reviewer for the Hungarian Yearbook of International Law and European Law

Member of the Advisory Board of the "" Blog

 Member of the Advisory Board of the "Völkerrechtsblog" (

National Administrator of the Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court Competition 2015 (German Preliminaries)

Heidelberg Journal of International Law/ZaöRV - Member of Editorial Board/Review Board

A plea against the abusive invocation of self-defence as a response to terrorism

 Further signatories (PDF, 77.7 KB)