Short Bio

My name is Matej Avbelj and I am a Professor of European Law at the New University, Ljubljana Slovenia. I teach a variety of EU law, constitutional law and methodology related courses at the Faculty of Government and European Studies, European Faculty of Law and Faculty of Slovenian and International Studies at the New University. I am also actively involved, either as a director or a researcher, in a number of Slovenian and international research projects. As a public lawyer, I specialize in the fields of EU law, constitutional law and legal theory. I have provided expert legal advice to the private and public bodies in constitutional and EU law-related issues.

I graduated from Ljubljana Faculty of Law, obtained an LL.M at NYU School of Law and defended my Ph.D. at the European University Institute. I have written extensively in the fields of EU law, constitutional law and legal theory. I am the author of more than thirty academic articles and several books (most recently: The Impact of European Institutions on the Rule of Law and Democracy, with Letnar Černič, Hart 2020; The EU under Transnational law, Hart 2018 etc). I am also the editor in chief of the Commentary of the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia. My entire bibliography consists of more than 500 entries.

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Academic Positions

  • 2010-PresentAssociate Professor of European Law

    Graduate School of Government and European Studies

  • 2014-PresentAssociate Professor of European Law

    European Faculty of Law

  • Humboldt Senior Fellow

    WZB Berlin

Selected Publications

These publications reflect my essential academic interests, which range from the constitutional theory of the European integration, the role of the EU in a transnational context to the protection of the rule of law in a domestic setting.

A Forward-Design Approach to Increase the The European Union under Transnational Law

For almost a decade the European Union has been stuck in a permanent crisis. Starting with domestic constitutional crises, followed by an imported financial crisis, it has evolved into a fully formed political crisis. This book argues that none of the crises are exclusively internal to the EU and the responses to date, which have taken inward looking approaches, are simply inadequate. Resolution can only come when the EU engages more fully with transnational law. Hart Publishing
Publisher's website

The Impact of European Institutions on the Rule of Law and Democracy

Since 2010 the European Union has been plagued by the crises of the rule of law and democracy, which has been spreading from Central and Eastern Europe and has caught many by surprise. Unjustly so. This book argues that the professed success of the 2004 big bang enlargement was in many respects mirroring only the Potemkin village erected in the new member states on their way back to Europe. The spearheading country of the Potemkin village has been Slovenia.
Publisher's website

Research Handbook on Legal Pluralism and EU Law

Explores the diversity of phenomenon of overlapping legal systems within the European Union, the nature of their interactions, and how they deal with the difficult question of the legal hierarchy between them. The contributors reflect on the history, sociology and legal scholarship on constitutional and legal pluralism, and develop this further in the light of the challenges currently facing the EU.
Publisher's website

A Forward-Design Approach to Increase the Komentar Ustave Republike Slovenije

V obdobju osmih let je v evropskem ustavnem prostoru, ki ga ob boku Evropskega sodišča za človekove pravice in Sodišča Evropske unije tvori tudi slovensko Ustavno sodišče, prišlo do znatnega razvoja sodne prakse, ki jo novi KURS 2019 upošteva.
Publisher's website

Selected Awards

I have received several fellowships, grants and other awards in a recognition of my academic work at home and abroad.

2005-2009Scholarship at European University Institute

For a 4-year PhD research programme at the European University Institute, Florence

2004George Colin Award

For excellence and special achievements in LL.M. studies at the NYU School of Law

2012Listed among 10 most influential lawyers in Slovenia

(Ius-Info web portal)

List of Publications

My scholarly work focuses on EU law, constitutional law, legal theory and transnational law. I have published widely in these fields, including monographs, scientific articles and essays.