Q: What drew you to the discipline of law?
EF: I would have loved to have something original and inspiring to say about my first contacts with the discipline but, like many others, I was first attracted by the practice of law, and especially the practice of criminal law. I was lucky enough to have, very soon in my studies, internships in a small law firm in my hometown, in France. These summer internships were crucial for me in discovering what I enjoyed about the practice of law, and more importantly, what I did not like about it. What I really liked was the research part of the case, to search for the case-law, the article or the piece of legislation that will bring some basis to my arguments in the case. That’s how I realised that academia was most probably the best way forward for me.
Q: How did you become interested in your area of research?
EF: Public International Law, which is my main area of research, comes relatively late in the law curriculum in France. I was seduced by the fact that, unlike many law courses I had in my first years of studying, many of the questions developed during the course were often unsettled. It felt like the field was allowing a higher degree of flexibility and creativity.
Q: Who do you admire in your field of research? (Could be Law more widely)
EF: This is a difficult question as I do not tend to admire people so much. I rather focus on their ideas. I am particularly admirative of the ideas developed by scholars like Wolfgang Friedmann or Rene-Jean Dupuy on the structure of international law and how it evolves. Some of their works written in the 1960’ and 1970’ still ring true today. I am also deeply influenced by Marxist and feminist approaches of international law.
Q: Would you share some insights into your current research and what makes it so important?
EF: I am writing a monograph on quasi-judicial bodies in international law, which are institutions that have a dispute settlement function, but cannot be qualified as proper courts of law. Although we have many organs that can be qualified as such, it is a relatively understudied field of law. It is not yet clear what the notion of quasi-judicial dispute settlement even really means.
Q: What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most?
EF: I think there is nothing more rewarding that seeing your students evolve and help them finding out an area of law or a profession in which they will thrive.
Q: What achievement are you most proud of?
EF: I would say I am proud of the monograph that came out of my PhD thesis. Writing it was a long, painful, and tiring process, like many PhD theses. I think it really reflects what I thought about the topic, and I would probably not change a word of it today.
Q: What do you love doing in your spare time?
EF: I scuba dive with the Aberdeen Sub-Aqua Club, and I also teach diving as a BSAC assistant instructor. I am also an avid gamer. I particularly enjoy exploration/survival gaming, my long-time favourites being games such as ‘the long dark’ or ‘elite dangerous’ (o7 to the CMDRs out there!).
Q: What 3 things would we be surprised to learn about you?
EF: I am a retired club-DJ. During my PhD studies, I was working in a club called ‘la SIP’ in Geneva (now converted as a law firm, sadly). It was a great experience, and a good way to pay for my studies and books. I also compose music for more than a decade now. Most of my songs can be classified as lo-fi/nu-disco.