Justin Borg-Barthet 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. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2017.
Justin’s 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, the recognition of same-sex relationships, Scottish independence and EU membership, and the treatment of migrants' rights in the EU. 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 (Bloomsbury/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’ (P Behrens (2013) CMLRev 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.’ (M Schillig (2014) ELR 151). This book and his other publications are cited extensively in the literature.
Justin has acted as a consultant to the European Parliament on a review of the Brussels IIa Regulation, and as part of a steering committee advising the European Commission on the possible introduction of legislation concerning the cross-border mobility of companies. He has also advised a consortium of press freedom NGOs on the reform of EU defamation law. His work on the recognition of same-sex relationships was cited with approval in Advocate General Wathelet's Opinion in Case C-673/16 Coman.
Further information concerning research, postgraduate supervision, teaching, administrative contributions, and external responsibilities is available under other headings on this page.
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.
Current Research Students
- Benedetta Lobina: The rule of law crisis and its implications for the European Union (lead supervisor)
- 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
Justin's current research 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.
- 2015-16: ‘The judicial application of EU family law’, Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs, European Parliament
- 2015-16: Member of the Steering Group and Country Reporter (Malta) for DG Justice contract JUST/2014/JCOO/PR/CIVI/0051: ‘Study on the law applicable to companies with the aim of a possible harmonisation of conflict of laws rules on the matter’
- 2014-17: Elphinstone Grant to support the award of a PhD scholarship on 'The Architecture of EU Company Law'
- LS 2026 EU Institutions and Law
- LS 4025 Dissertation
- LS/LX 452E Contemporary Legal Issues in European Integration
- LS/LX 452F Company Law (Honours)
- LS 2532 Private International Law
- Further Info
- Advisory Board Member, Scottish Universities Legal Network on Europe (SULNE)
- LLB Coordinator
- Academic Line Manager
- Elected member, Executive Committee (Law)
- Member, Feedback and Assessment Task Force (Institutional)
- Member, Undegraduate Committee (Institutional)
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- Borg Barthet, J 2020, 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. European Centre for Press and Media Freedom.
- Borg Barthet, J 2020, Mutual Recognition of Companies as an Agency Problem. in PJ Cardwell & M-P Granger (eds), Research Handbook on the Politics of EU Law. Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd., pp. 300-319.
- Borg Barthet, J 2019, A Captured State: Why the EU has to Intervene Quickly in the Rule of Law Crisis in Malta. Verfassungsblog.
- Borg Barthet, J 2019, Is a Microstate about to Provide EU Rule of Law with its Van Gend Moment?. Verfassungsblog.
- Borg Barthet, J 2019, Jurisdictional Barriers to Enforcement. in HS Birkmose & K Sergakis (eds), Enforcing Shareholders' Duties. Elgar Financial Law series, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd., Cheltenham, pp. 259-280. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.4337/9781788114875.00022
- Borg Barthet, J & Mallia, A 2019, Malta. in C Gerner-Beuerle, F Mucciarelli, E-P Schuster & M Siems (eds), The Private International Law of Companies in Europe. Verlag C.H. Beck, pp. 555-566.
- Borg Barthet, J 2017, Free Movement of Services and Freedom of Establishment. in N Busby & R Zahn (eds), Studying EU Law in Scotland during and after Brexit. Scottish Universities Legal Network on Europe, pp. 33-36. <> [Online] DOI: https://sulne.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/studying-eu-law-during-and-after-brexit-1st-edition.pdf
- Borg Barthet, J & Mallia, A 2016, Country Report for Malta: Final report. in C Gerner-Beuerle, E Schuster, M Siems & F Mucciarelli (eds), Study on the Law Applicable to Companies. European Commission. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.2838/527231
- Borg Barthet, J 2016, Jurisdiction in matrimonial matters: Reflections for the review of the Brussels IIa Regulation. European Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI). [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.2861/030700
- Borg Barthet, J & Lyons, C 2016, 'The European Union Migration Crisis', Edinburgh Law Review, vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 230-235. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.3366/elr.2016.0346