06 Februar 2020

In Defense of Academic Freedom and Autonomy

We, members of the academic community, hereby express our full support to the Editors-in-Chiefs, the Editorial and Scientific Advisory Board who resigned en masse from the European Law Journal, owned by Wiley. The conduct of the publishing house has shown total lack of appreciation of the values of academic integrity and autonomy. The Scientific Board’s brave move seeks not to be praised as heroic, but it firmly posits decency and respect for these principles above all other considerations.

Academic journals cannot merely be considered as random venues for professional publications. They are not isolated entities, nor are they mere commercial products to be owned and fructified. They exist only by virtue of scientific networks of (most often free) cooperation that allow for the production and the sharing of independent, original and reliable knowledge. These are part and parcel of a dense yet fragile ecology of knowledge that runs from universities and research centers to public libraries, students but also to a wider public of medias, representatives, NGOs, etc. The autonomy of the academic community is pivotal to this invisible architecture and is a crucial condition for the quality of public debate and democratic deliberation. In other words, all those who engage in the activity of publishing academic journals should recognize its public value.

European Law Journal has beautifully played that part over the past 25 years. We strongly believe that it is important to keep alive the legacy of the journal. Further, we deem it essential to maintain and preserve the existence of a distinctive platform for theoretical and critical thinking as well as for meaningful exchanges between disciplines and approaches. Independent voices and analyses are all the more necessary in the current turbulent times that the European integration process is going through.

We, as a community, must demonstrate that we have learnt the hard lesson that this deplorable situation is teaching us. In order to voice our disapproval:

We reaffirm the importance of making sure that any new publishing enterprise be developed under conditions in which it is fully owned by the academic component. 

We encourage our colleagues to not submit papers, act as referees, or cooperate in any other form with a commercial publisher who does not respect these fundamental academic values. 

We also invite all academic institutions, EU funding bodies, as well as national agencies funding public research to consider adopting rigorous policies to guarantee academic freedom.

The initiative has been initially promoted by Alessandra Arcuri, Francesco Costamagna and Antoine Vauchez and the letter is open for signature here here with the updated list of signatories.

  • Sébastien Adalid, Professor of EU law, Université du Havre
  • Alberto Alemanno, Professor of Law, HEC Paris
  • Karen J. Alter, Professor of Political Science and Law, Northwestern University
  • Alessandra Arcuri, Professor of Inclusive Global Law and Governance, Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Matej Avbelj, Professor of European Law, New University, Slovenia
  • Loïc Azoulai, Professor of Law, Sciences Po Law School
  • Antoine Bailleux, Professor of EU Law, Université Saint-Louis
  • Julie Bailleux, Associate Professor in Public Law, Université Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas
  • Ségolène Barbou Des Places, Professor of EU Law, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
  • Marija Bartl, Professor of Law, University of Amsterdam
  • Richard Bellamy, Professor of Political Science, University College London
  • Leonard F.M. Besselink, Professor of Constitutional Law, Co-editor-in-chief European Constitutional Law Review, University of Amsterdam
  • Thomas Biermeyer, Assistant Professor, Maastricht University
  • Matteo Bonelli, Assistant Professor of EU Law, Maastricht University
  • Filipe Brito Bastos, Post-doctoral researcher, Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance
  • Laurence Burgorgue-Larsen, Professor at the Sorbonne Law School
  • Federico Casolari, Associate Professor of EU Law, University of Bologna
  • Hugo Canihac, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Université Saint Louis
  • Enzo Cannizzaro, Professor of International and EU Law, Università di Roma „La Sapienza“
  • Eric Carpano, Professor of EU Law, Jean Monnet Chair, Université Lyon III
  • Sabino Cassese, Professor of Public Law, Luiss School of government
  • Damian Chalmers, Professor of EU Law, National University of Singapore
  • Monica Claes, Professor of EU Law, Maastricht University
  • Ramona Coman, Professor in Political Science, Director of the Institut d’études européennes, Université libre de Bruxelles
  • Francesco Costamagna, Associate Professor of EU Law, University of Turin
  • Tom Gerald Daly, Associate Professor, Deputy Director, Melbourne School of Government
  • Mark Dawson, Professor of European Law & Governance, Hertie School, Berlin
  • Josef Falke, Center für European Law and Politics, University of Bremen
  • Daniele Gallo, Professor of EU Law, Law Department, LUISS University (Rome)
  • Federico Ghezzi, Professor of Competition Law, Bocconi University, Milan
  • Matthias Goldmann, Junior Professor, Goethe University Frankfurt, Editor-in-Chief, German Law Journal
  • Lukasz Gruszczynski, Professor, Kozminski University
  • Ulrike Guérot, Professeur de politique européenne, University Krem
  • Gábor Halmai, Professor of Law, European University Institute
  • Stéphanie Hennette-Vauchez, Professor of Public Law, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre
  • Jean Paul Jacqué, Professeur émérite à l’Université de Strasbourg, Directeur de la Revue trimestrielle de droit européen
  • Christian Joerges, Professor for Law and Society, Hertie School of Governance in Berlin
  • Claire Kilpatrick, Professor of International and European Labour and Social Law, EUI
  • Jan Klabbers, Professor, University of Helsinki
  • Jan Komarek, professor of EU Law, iCourts, University of Copenhagen
  • Stephanie Law, Lecturer in Law, University of Southampton
  • Nico Krisch, Professor of International Law, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva
  • Jürgen Kurtz, Professor of International Economic Law, European University Institute
  • Amnon Lev, Associate professor, Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen
  • Marco B.M. Loos, Professor of Private Law, University of Amsterdam
  • Nicola Lupo, Professor of Public Law, Luiss University
  • Chantal Mak, Professor of Private Law, University of Amsterdam
  • Anna-Alexandra Marhold, Assistant Professor, Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies
  • Paola Mariani, Associate Professor of International and EU Law, Università Bocconi
  • Giuseppe Martinico, Associate Professor of Comparative Public Law, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies
  • Francesco Martucci, Professor of EU law, Université Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas
  • Alison McDonnell, Researcher, Leiden University
  • Wolfgang Merkel, Direktor, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung WZB
  • Bastian Michel, Doctoral Student, University of Amsterdam, managing editor, European Constitutional Law Review
  • Hans Micklitz, Professor of Law, University of Helsinki/EUI Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies
  • Christoph Möllers, Professor of Public Law and Legal Philosophy, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
  • Christopher Mondschein, Researcher at Faculty of Law, Maastricht University and Executive Editor at the Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law
  • Stefano Montaldo, Associate Professor of EU Law, University of Turin
  • Lucinda Miller, Associate Professor, UCL Laws
  • Jon Michaels, Professor of Law, UCLA
  • Francesco Munari, Professor of EU Law, University of Genoa
  • Fernanda Nicola, Professor of EU law, American University in Washington
  • Kalypso Nicolaïdis, Professor of Political Science, Oxford University, Professor of International Relations, University of Oxford
  • Janne Nijman, Professor of Law, University of Amsterdam
  • Enrico Partiti – Assistant Professor in Transnational Regulation and Governance, Tilburg University
  • Sébastien Platon, Professor of Public law, University of Bordeaux
  • Thomas Perroud, Professor of Public Law, Université Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas
  • Thomas Poole, Law Professor, London School of Economics & Political Science
  • Denise Prévost, Associate Professor of International Economic Law, Maastricht University
  • Jiří Přibáň, Director of the Centre of Law and Society School of Law and Politics, Cardiff University
  • Mikael Rask Madsen, Professor of Law, ICourts, University of Copenhagen
  • Susan Rose-Ackerman, Emeritus Professor of Jurisprudence, Yale University
  • Ruth Rubio Marin, Professor of Constitutional Law, University of Seville
  • Hélène Ruiz-Fabri, Professor of Law, Director of Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for Procedural Law
  • Guillaume Sacriste, Associate Professor of Political Science, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
  • Stefano Saluzzo, Assistant Professor of International Law, University of Eastern Piedmont
  • Kim Lane Scheppele, Princeton University, Rockefeller Professor of Sociology and International Affairs
  • Robert Schütze, Professor of European and Global Law, Durham University & College of Europe
  • Joanne Scott, Professor of Law, EUI
  • Andrea Spagnolo, Assistant Professor of International Law, University of Turin
  • Eleanor Spaventa, Professor of EU Law, Bocconi University
  • Edoardo Stoppioni, Senior Research Fellow, Institut Max Planck pour le droit procédural (Luxembourg)
  • Anne van Aaken, Alexander von Humboldt Professor for Law and Economics, Legal Theory, Public International Law and European Law, University of Hamburg, Director, Institute of Law and Economics
  • Marijn van der Sluis, Assistant Professor, Maastricht University
  • Antoine Vauchez, Cnrs Research Professor of Political Science, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
  • Marco Ventoruzzo, Professor of Business Law, Director of the Law Department, Bocconi University
  • Ingo Venzke, Professor of International Law, University of Amsterdam
  • Jonathan Zeitlin, Distinguished Faculty Professor of Public Policy and Governance, University of Amsterdam

SUGGESTED CITATION  Arcuri, Alessandra, Costamagna, Francesco; Vauchez, Antoine: In Defense of Academic Freedom and Autonomy, VerfBlog, 2020/2/06, https://verfassungsblog.de/in-defense-of-academic-freedom-and-autonomy/, DOI: 10.17176/20200206-162808-0.


  1. Mario Mendez Do 6 Feb 2020 at 17:56 - Reply

    Mario Mendez, Reader in Law, Queen Mary University of London.

  2. Raphael Oidtmann Do 6 Feb 2020 at 18:55 - Reply

    Raphael Oidtmann, Lecturer in International Law, University of Mannheim

  3. Adrienne Stone Do 6 Feb 2020 at 23:01 - Reply

    Adrienne Stone Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies Melbourne Law School

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