Justin studied Law and European Studies at the University of Malta. After qualifying as an advocate in Malta, he pursued postgraduate studies at the University of Aberdeen. This was followed by a lectureship at the University of Dundee. He joined the School of Law as a lecturer in September 2012 and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2017.
His research and teaching address a wide range of subject matter, principally in European Union law and Private International Law. The work includes analyses of the jurisdictional and choice of law rules in defamation cases, cross-border regulation of companies, and the recognition of same-sex relationships. The unifying theme in this body of work is an exploration of the allocation of decisional power as between individuals, States, and supranational regulators.
Justin is the author of a leading monograph on corporate mobility (The Governing Law of Companies in EU Law (Hart 2012). The book was described as ‘a remarkable analysis of the complex issues resulting from the intersection of private international law of companies and companies' freedom of establishment under the TFEU’ (Behrens (2013) CMLR 1870). Another review says: ‘The book, no doubt, will make an important contribution to the future development of corporate mobility in the European Union…it is highly recommended.’ (Schillig (2014) ELR 151).
Justin's research explores several themes in private international law and EU law. He is able to provide lead supervision across a range of topics relating to his research. His published work explores the balance between individual freedoms and the rights of EU Member States to govern their socio-economic affairs. Publications span several iterations of the problem, including in respect of European company law, defamation, online gambling and the recognition of same-sex relationships.
Justin's current research explores several facets of the prevention of Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP) in the European Union. In particular, the work explores how private international law rules can be deployed to suppress freedom of expression. The research was prompted by the redaction and deletion of press reports in an EU member state following vexatious threats of libel suits in jurisdictions in which a legal defence may have been beyond the prospective defendants' means. Justin's academic contributions in this area are accompanied by extensive public engagement with a view to supporting efforts to instigate legal reform.
Current Research Students
Benedetta Lobina: The rule of law crisis and its implications for the European Union
Magdalena Zabrocka: Citizenship and Residence by Investment Schemes in the European Union
Hannah Duncan: Intercountry adoption and Islamic jurisdictions (2nd supervisor)
Mohammed Alfalhi: Limited liability in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (2nd supervisor)
Mahmoud Ashami: Minority shareholder protection in Libya (2nd supervisor)
Lela Melon: Overcoming the Prisoners Dilemma of European corporations
Chukwudi Ojiegbe: The interface between commercial arbitration and the Brussels I regime
Research Funding and Grants
2021: 'The Use of SLAPPs to Silence Journalists, NGOs and Civil Society', Policy Department for Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs, European Parliament
Advice concerning the introduction of anti-SLAPP legislation to protect freedom of expression in the European Union: Report commissioned by Article 19, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and PEN International.
Borg Barthet, J.
Commissioned by Article 19, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) Reporters Without Borders (RSF), and PEN International.. European Centre for Press and Media Freedom. 21 pages