Year of election


  • Professeure et titulaire de la Chaire Droit international des institutions, Collège de France
  • Professeure ordinaire de droit international public et de droit européen,Université de Fribourg, Suisse

Area(s) of Expertise

  • Droit international général
  • Droit international et européen des droits de l’homme
  • Droit international de l’organisation des Etats
  • Droit institutionnel de l’Union européenne
  • Droit des relations extérieures de l’Union européenne


Samantha Besson holds the Chair “Droit international des institutions” at the Collège de France in Paris and is Part-Time Professor of Public International Law and European Law at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland). A dual Swiss/British national, she was educated in Switzerland (Fribourg & Bern), Austria (Vienna), the United Kingdom (Oxford) and the United States (Columbia). She has been a Visiting Professor at the Universities of Zurich, Lausanne and Lisbon and at Duke, Harvard and Penn Law Schools and a Research Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. She has taught in various capacities at the Hague Academy of International Law and is the co-chair of the ILA Study Group on the International Law of Regional Organizations. Samantha Besson’s research interests lie at the intersection of general international law, European Union institutional law and legal philosophy, and in particular: international and European human rights law; international and European law on sources and responsibility; international and European citizenship law and democratic theory.

Selected publications

  1. Besson S., Reconstruire l’ordre institutionnel international, Leçons inaugurales du Collège de France, Paris: Collège de France/Fayard 2021.

English version: Reconstructing the International Institutional Order, translated from French, Inaugural Lectures of the Collège de France, OpenEdition Books/Collège de France 2021,

  1. Besson S., La due diligence en droit international, Recueil des cours de l’Académie de droit international de La Haye, Tome 409 (pp. 153-398), Leiden/Boston: Brill/Nijhoff 2020.

Paperback version: La due diligence en droit international, Livres de poche de l’Académie de droit international de La Haye, Leiden/Boston: Brill/Nijhoff 2021.

  1. Besson S., Droit international public : Précis de droit et résumés de jurisprudence, Bern: Stämpfli 2019.
  2. Besson S., ‘Comparative Law and Human Rights’, in Reimann M. and Zimmermann R. (eds), Oxford Handbook of Comparative Law, 2nd edn, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2019, 1222-49.
  3. Besson S. and Martí J.L., ‘Legitimate Actors of International Law-Making – Towards a Theory of International Democratic Representation’, (2018) 9:3 Jurisprudence 504-40.
  4. Besson S., The Oxford Handbook on the Sources of International Law, edited with Jean d’Aspremont, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2017.
  5. Besson S.,‘State Consent and Disagreement in International Law-Making – Dissolving the Paradox’, (2016) 29:2 Leiden Journal of International Law 289-316.
  6. Besson S., The Philosophy of International Law, edited with John Tasioulas, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2010.
  7. Besson S., ‘The Authority of International Law – Lifting the State Veil’, (2009) 31:3 Sydney Law Review 343-80.
  8. Besson S.,‘La pluralité d’Etats responsables – Vers une solidarité internationale ?’, (2007) 1 Revue suisse de droit international et de droit européen 13-38.
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