Scientific & Development Policy Advisory Committee

The Committee evaluates the Foundation’s activities from a scientific and development policy perspective. It also advises the Board of Directors on the Foundation’s strategic development, the thematic and regional focus areas and the conceptualisation of publicly funded projects. The Committee members are renowned individuals from the academic community as well as policy makers who are familiar not only with the project activities of the Foundation, but also with current trends in law and development policy. The last meeting took place in May 2023.

Michael Wood (Chairperson)

Sir Michael is a member of the UN International Law Commission and a Senior Fellow of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge. He is a barrister at 20 Essex Street, London, where he practices in the field of Public International Law, including before international courts and tribunals. He was Legal Adviser to the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office between 1999 and 2006, having joined as an assistant legal adviser in 1970. He has participated in numerous international conferences, such as the “two-plus-four talks” on German unification, Lancaster House conference on Rhodesia, the peace conferences for Cambodia, and the Dayton and Rambouillet conferences on the former Yugoslavia. He has been involved in numerous important cases, including the Lockerbie and Legality of Use of Force cases before the International Court of Justice and the Bangladesh/Myanmar case at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. He was a member of the scientific advisory board of the Heidelberg Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law.

Erika de Wet (Vice Chairperson)

Erika de Wet is Professor of International Law and Head of the Institute of International Law and International Relations, University of Graz, Austria. She was previously SARChI Professor of International Constitutional Law at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. She attended the University of the Free State where she graduated with a Bachelor of Law degree and a doctorate in legal studies. She also holds a Master of Law degree from Harvard University and completed her post-doctoral studies at the University of Zurich where she dealt with the topic of “The Chapter VII Powers of the United Nations Security Council”. From 2004–2010, de Wet was a Professor for International Constitutional Law at the Amsterdam Centre for International Law at the University of Amsterdam. She also teaches regularly at the University of Zurich and University of Bonn. Erika de Wet has had works published in the “Heidelberg Journal of International Law” and other publications. She is the author of numerous entries in the “Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law”. She is co-editor of “Hierarchy in International Law: The Place of Human Rights”. Since 2020 she is co-editor of the Max Planck Yearbook of United Nations Law.

Neeru Chadha

Neeru Chadha is the Vice-President  of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. She has been a member of the Tribunal since October 1, 2017 and from 2020 to 2023 she was also the President of the Seabed Disputes Chamber of the Tribunal. Prior to that she served as the Chief Legal Adviser in the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. She has also served as the Legal Adviser in the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations. Dr Chadha has represented the Government of India in various multilateral and bilateral negotiations on various issues of international law. She also served as the Agent of the Government of India in its maritime delimitation dispute with Bangladesh; in the case concerning the Enrica Lexie Incident with Italy; and in the case concerning Nuclear Disarmament with Marshall Islands. She also served as a Co-Agent in the Kishenganga Arbitration with Pakistan.

Marie-Claire Foblets

Marie-Claire Foblets was trained in law at the universities of Antwerp (1977-1979) and Leuven (1979-1982) in Belgium, and also studied Thomist philosophy in parallel with law. Thanks to a study fellowship (1982-1983), she was given the opportunity to pursue further study in philosophy at the Wilhelms-Universität of Münster, in Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany, and to complete her studies in social and cultural anthropology (1985). Upon completion of her studies, she was called to the French-speaking section of the Brussels Bar. She spent a decade practising law with a firm that specialised in matters related to migration and minority issues. In the same period, she defended her doctoral thesis in social and cultural anthropology, which was inspired to a large extent by her legal practice.

For more than twenty years, she taught law as well as social and cultural anthropology in the universities of Antwerp and Brussels. Before becoming a member of the Max Planck Society in March 2012, she was professeur ordinaire (full professor) at the Catholic University of Leuven, where she headed the Institute for Migration Law and Legal Anthropology. She has also been a member of various networks of researchers focusing either on the study of the application of Islamic Law in Europe or on law and migration in Europe, including the Association française d’anthropologie du droit (AFAD), of which she served as co-president for several years.

In 2001, she was elected to the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts (KVAB). In 2004, she received the Francqui Prize, the most distinguished scientific award in the humanities in Belgium. In 2012, she accepted her current position with the Max Planck Society, with a view to establish a new Department of Law & Anthropology at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology.

Abdul Koroma

Abdul Koroma is a former Judge in the International Court of Justice (1994-2012). He was the Ambassador of Sierra Leone to the UN and served as the Chairman of the UN General Assembly 6th Committee. He was also a member of the International Law Commission (1982-1993) and chaired the Commission for some time. He is Chairman of the African Union’s Panel of Experts on the settlement of territorial and boundary disputes between Sudan and South Sudan. He was arbitrator in the conciliation between Timor-Leste and Australia.

Anne Peters

Anne Peters is Director at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law Heidelberg (Germany), and a professor at the universities of Heidelberg, Freie Universität Berlin, Basel (Switzerland), and a L. Bates Lea Global Law professor at the Law School of the University of Michigan. She is a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration and an associate member of the Institut de Droit International. She was a member (substitute) of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) in respect of Germany (2011-2015) and a legal expert for the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Conflict in Georgia (2009). She was President of the German Society of International Law (DGIR) from 2019-2023. She was also President of the European Society of International Law (2010-2012) and has served on the governance board of various learned societies such as the German Association of Constitutional Law (VDStRL) and the Society of International Constitutional Law (I CON-S).

Former Members

Francisco Orrego Vicuña †

Francisco Orrego Vicuña was a Chilean lawyer and arbitrator at different international courts of arbitration. He was admitted to legal practice in 1965 (Degree in Law, University of Chile) and received his PhD in 1986 from the London School of Economics and Social Sciences. He started his international career as senior legal adviser to the Organization of American States (1965-1969 and 1972-1974). From 1983-1985, he was Ambassador of Chile to the United Kingdom. From 1989-2000, he was President of the Chilean Council on Foreign Relations and a Judge at the World Bank Administrative Tribunal from 1992-2009 (President 2001-2004). He was appointed to be an ad hoc Judge at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea from 2000-2009. He was a member of the Panel of Arbitrators and Conciliators of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) from 1995-2010 and was President of the Panel at the UN Compensation Commission from 1998-2001. In 2007, he was awarded the Medal of Merit by the University of Heidelberg and was also an arbitrator at the International Chamber of Commerce, the London Court of International Arbitration, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the World Trade Organization as well as at 20 Essex Street Chambers, London and Singapore as well as a Judge at the Administrative Tribunal of the International Monetary Fund. He was the Chairperson of the Foundation’s Committee from 2015 to 2018. Francisco Orrego Vicuña sadly passed away on 2 October 2018.

Kamal Hossain

Kamal Hossain is a lawyer and politician in Bangladesh. He received his Bachelor of Jurisprudence in 1957 and Bachelor of Civil Law in 1958 from Oxford University as well as his doctorate in 1964. Kamal Hossain held various offices in Bangladesh’s post independence governments: He was Minister for Justice (1972–1973), Minister for Foreign Affairs (1973–1975) and Minister for Oil and Mineral Resources (1974–1975). During his time as Minister for Justice, he was deeply involved in the development of the Constitution of Bangladesh. Aside from his experience in government, he has been actively involved with the work of the United Nations: From 1998 to 2003, he was UN Special Rapporteur for Afghanistan and a member of the UN Compensation Commission (1999–2005). Additionally, he was a Vice-chairperson of the International Law Association, London until 2017, and is a member of the Advisory Council of Transparency International.

Günther Schlee

Günther Schlee is one of the founding directors of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle (Saale), where he is in charge of the department “integration and conflict” since 1999. Prior to this, he was Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Bielefeld. He is an Honorary Professor at the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg and at the University of Leipzig. Günther Schlee studied ethnology, romance languages and general linguistics at the University of Hamburg. He obtained his doctorate in 1977 for research on the belief and social systems of the Rendille, an ethnic group in northern Kenya. Alongside widespread fieldwork trips in Kenya, Ethiopia and Sudan, he was also guest lecturer in Padang (Sumatra) and at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Science Sociales in Paris. Typical of the research of Günther Schlee is the “inter-ethnic” procedure and the combining of historical, sociological and philological methods. This can also be seen in his “How Enemies Are Made: Towards a Theory of Ethnic and Religious Conflict” (Berghahn Books, 2008). He is editor of the “Zeitschrift für Ethnologie” (1998–2011), “Nomadic Peoples” and “Integration and Conflict Studies” at Berghahn Books. Since 2014, he is Spokesperson of the International Max Planck Research School on Retaliation, Mediation and Punishment.

Joseph Sinde Warioba

Joseph Sinde Warioba held the office of Prime Minister of Tanzania from 1985–1990. Following a period of service at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1971–1975) and Attorney General (1976–1983), he became in 1983 Minister of Justice of Tanzania. He completed his LL.B. at the University College of Dar-es-Salam in 1966 and graduated in 1970 from the Hague Academy of International Law. Mr. Warioba was a judge at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (1996–1999) and at the East African Court of Justice. In April 2012, the President of Tanzania entrusted him with the task of creating a new Constitution for the country as chairperson of the Constitutional Review Commission. His published works include contributions to the “Max Planck Yearbook of United Nations Law” on the subject of “Monitoring Compliance with and Enforcement of Binding Decisions of International Courts”.