Department of Law

Graham Butler

Associate professor

Curriculum Vitae


Dr. Graham Butler (B.A., LL.M., Ph.D.) is Associate Professor of Law at Aarhus University, Denmark.

Dr. Butler is the author of Constitutional Law of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (Hart/Bloomsbury 2019), the only monograph dedicated to the law of the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) in modern times. 

His research has been published in the leading academic law reviews and journals related to European law, including the European Law ReviewEuropean Constitutional Law ReviewMaastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law, the Cambridge Yearbook of European Legal Studies, the Yearbook of European LawLegal Issues of Economic Integration, the Columbia Journal of European LawNordic Journal of International Law, the Journal of European Public PolicyInternational Organizations Law Review, the Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law, amongst others.

He has also contributed to several edited volumes and collections published by Oxford University PressCambridge University PressHart PublishingBloomsburyEdward ElgarRoutledgeIntersentia, and more. 

Dr. Butler's research has been cited in two cases before the Court of Justice of the European Union, the EU's highest court. Firstly, his research was cited in a Grand Chamber case concerning the EU's Area of Freedom, Security, and Justice (Justice and Home Affairs) in the Opinion of Advocate General Eleanor Sharpston in Case C-670/16, Tsegezab Mengesteab v Federal Republic of Germany in 2017. Secondly, his research was also cited in another Grand Chamber case concerning, inter alia, the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), EU institutional law, scope of executive discretion, standards of judicial review, and EU procedural law in the Opinion of Advocate General Michal Bobek in Case C-418/18 P, Puppinck and Others v European Commission, an appeal of a judgment of the EU General Court in Case T-561/14, One of Us and Others v Commission. 

Dr. Butler holds a number of academic degrees from University College Dublin (UCD), National University of Ireland (NUI); the University of Iceland (Háskóli Íslands); and the University of Copenhagen (Københavns Universitet), Denmark.

As Associate Professor of Law at Aarhus University, Dr. Butler primarily conducts research in European Union law, EU constitutional law, EU external relations law, EU procedural law, and comparative constitutional law.

His website is


Academic positions

  • Associate Professor of Law, Aarhus University, Denmark (2018-present)
  • Assistant Professor of Law, Aarhus University, Denmark (2017-2018)
  • Stagiaire, Cabinet of Judge, Court of Justice of the European Union, Luxemburg (2016)
  • Ph.D. Fellow, Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen, Denmark (2013-2016).
  • Parliamentary Assistant, Chairman of Joint Oireachtas Committee, Dáil Éireann, Houses of the Oireachtas (national parliament), Dublin, Ireland (2012-2013) 


Academic qualifications

  • Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy), Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen, Denmark (2016) 
  • Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy), Faculty of Law, University of Iceland, Reykjavík, Iceland (2016)
  • LL.M. (Master of Laws), School of Law, University College Dublin, National University of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland (2013)


Research areas

  • European Union law
  • EU constitutional law
  • External relations law
  • European integration
  • EU procedural law
  • EU institutional law


Teaching areas

  • European Union law
  • European constitutional law
  • Law of the EU Internal Market
  • Business in the Internal Market (harmonisation)
  • EU External and International Relations law
  • International business law (in a European context)



Butler, Graham; & Sørensen, Karsten Engsig, 'The Prohibition of Abuse of EU Law: A Special General Principle'. in Research Handbook on General Principles of EU Law (Ziegler, Katja; Neuvonen, Päivi; Moreno-Lax, Violeta (eds), Research Handbooks in European Law, Edward Elgar: Cheltenham, 2020). 

Butler, Graham 'Constitutional Law of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy: Competence and Institutions in External Relations', Modern Studies in European Law, Hart Publishing: Oxford, 2019.

Butler, Graham 'An Interim Post-mortem: Specialised Courts in the EU Judicial Architecture after the Civil Service Tribunal', (2019) 16 International Organizations Law Review. 

Butler, Graham 'The EU Flexibility Clause is Dead, Long Live the EU Flexibility Clause', The Future of Europe: Political and Legal Integration Beyond Brexit (Bakardjieva Engelbrekt, Antonina; Groussot, Xavier (eds), Swedish Studies in European Law, Hart Publishing: Oxford, 2019). ISBN: 978-1-5099-2330-4. pp. 63-95. 

Butler, Graham 'United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO): The EU’s transition from observer to full participant on an ad hoc basis', Research Handbook on the European Union and International Organizations (Wessel, Ramses A.; Odermatt, Jed (eds), Research Handbooks in International Law, Edward Elgar: Cheltenham, 2019). ISBN: 978-1-78643-892-8. pp. 142-164. 

Butler, Graham 'The balance of powers and the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy', Executive-legislative (im)balance in the European Union (Fromage, Diane; Herranz-Surrallés, Anna; Christiansen, Thomas (eds), Parliamentary Democracy in Europe, Hart Publishing: Oxford, 2019). 

Butler, Graham; Snaith, Holly 'Negative solidarity: The EU and the financial crisis', Transnational Solidarity: Concept, Challenges and Opportunities (Krunke, Helle; Petersen, Hanne; Manners, Ian (eds), Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 2019. 

Butler, Graham 'Solidaritet og dets grænser for økonomisk integration i EU’s indre marke', (2019) 26 EU-ret & Menneskeret. 

Butler, Graham ‘Chamber of Deputies’, Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law, (Grote, Rainer; Lachenmann, Frauke; Wolfrum, Rüdiger (eds), Oxford University Press, 2019). 

Butler, Graham; Sadl, Urska 'The Preliminaries of a Reference', (2018) 43 (1) European Law Review, 120-128. 

Butler, Graham 'Pre-Ratification Judicial Review of International Agreements to be Concluded by the European Union', The Court of Justice of the European Union: Multidisciplinary Perspectives (Derlén, Mattias; Lindholm, Johan (eds), Swedish Studies in European Law, Hart Publishing: Oxford, 2018). ISBN: 978-1-5099-1909-3. pp. 53-77. 

Butler, Graham; Barrett, Gavin 'Europe’s ‘Other’ Open-Border Zone: The Common Travel Area under the Shadow of Brexit', (2018) 20 (1) Cambridge Yearbook of European Legal Studies, pp. 252-286. 

Butler, Graham 'Solidarity and its limits for economic integration in the European Unions’s internal market', (2018) 25 (3) Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law, 310-331.

Butler, Graham, 'Legal Responses to the European Union’s Migration Crisis', (2018) 19 (2) San Diego International Law Journal, 277-310. 

Butler, Graham, 'In Search of the Political Question Doctrine in EU Law', (2018) 45 (4) Legal Issues of Economic Integration, 329–354. 

Butler, Graham 'Tvistbilæggelse mellem EU-medlemsstaterne ved Den Europæiske Unions Domstol', (2018) 21 (1) Europarättslig Tidskrift (Swedish European Law Journal), 57-74. 

Butler, Graham 'EU Foreign Policy and Other EU External Relations in Times of Crisis: Forcing the Law to Overlap?', Irregular Migration as a Challenge for Democracy (Kużelewska, Elżbieta; Weatherburn, Amy; Kloza; Dariusz (eds), European Integration and Democracy, Intersentia: Cambridge, 2018). ISBN: 978-1-7806-8622-6. 51-81. 

Butler, Graham 'A post-national legal order: Does the European Union have an imposed constitution?', The Law and Legitimacy of Imposed Constitutions (Albert, Richard; Contiades, Xenophon; Fotiadou, Alkmene (eds), Comparative Constitutional Change, Routledge: Abingdon, 2018). ISBN: 978-1-1384-8898-4. 227-242. 

Butler, Graham 'Implementing a complete system of legal remedies in EU foreign affairs law', (2018) 24 (3) Columbia Journal of European Law, 637-676. 

Butler, Graham 'The Court of Justice as an inter-state court', (2017) 36 (1) Yearbook of European Law, 179-208. 

Butler, Graham 'The Coming of Age of the Court’s Jurisdiction in the Common Foreign and Security Policy', (2017) 13 (4) European Constitutional Law Review, 673-703.

Butler, Graham ‘The European Union and Diplomatic Law: An Emerging Actor in Twenty-First Century Diplomacy’, Diplomatic Law in a New Millennium, (Behrens, Paul (ed), Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2017). ISBN: 978-0-19-879594-0. pp. 319-340. 

Butler, Graham 'Standing the Test of Time: Reference for a Preliminary Ruling', (2017) 20 (1) Irish Journal of European Law, 103-116. 

Butler, Graham 'A Question of Jurisdiction: Art. 267 TFEU Preliminary References of a CFSP Nature', (2017) 2 (1) European Papers, 201-208. 

Butler, Graham; Jensen, Mads Dagnis 'Storbritanniens had-kærlighedsforhold til Den Europæiske Union' (The United Kingdom's Love-Hate Relationship with the European Union), Politologisk Årbog 2016-2017 (Political Science Yearbook 2016-2017) (Grøn, Caroline Howard) (ed), Hans Reitzels Forlag: Copenhagen, 2017). ISBN: 978-87-412-6980-1. pp. 20-23. 

Butler, Graham 'Constitutional Limits of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy', (2016) University of Copenhagen and University of Iceland, Joint PhD Degree.

Butler, Graham 'Attacking or Defending? Jurisdiction of the Court of Justice in the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy', (2016) 19 (4) Europarättslig Tidskrift (Swedish European Law Journal), 671-684. 

Butler, Graham; Ratcovich, Martin 'Operation Sophia in Uncharted Waters: European and International Law Challenges for the EU Naval Mission in the Mediterranean Sea', (2016) 85 (3) Nordic Journal of International Law, 235-259.

Butler, Graham; Jensen, Mads Dagnis; Snaith, Holly (eds), ‘British Exit from the EU: Legal and Political Implications’ (Debate Section), (2016) 23 (9) Journal of European Public Policy, pp. 1278-1328. 

Butler, Graham; Jensen, Mads Dagnis; Snaith, Holly '‘Slow change may pull us apart’: debating a British exit from the European Union', in Butler, Graham; Jensen, Mads Dagnis; Snaith, Holly (eds), ‘British Exit from the EU: Legal and Political Implications’ (Debate Section), (2016) 23 (9) Journal of European Public Policy, 1278-1284. 

Butler, Graham ‘A new means of dissemination for doctoral research in Danish legal education’, (2016) 39 (1/152) Retfaerd (Nordic Journal of Law and Justice), 88-95.

Butler, Graham 'The Ultimate Stumbling Block? The Common Foreign and Security Policy, and Accession of the European Union to the European Convention on Human Rights', (2016) 39 (1) Dublin University Law Journal, 229-244. 

Butler, Graham ‘Pinpointing the appropriate legal basis for external action’, (2015) 6 (2) European Journal of Risk Regulation, 323-328.

Butler, Graham ‘A Political Decision Disguised as Legal Argument? Opinion 2/13 and European Union Accession to the European Convention on Human Rights’, (2015) 31 (81) Utrecht Journal of International and European Law, 104–111.

Butler, Graham ‘The Interparliamentary Conference on the CFSP/CSDP: A new forum for the Oireachtas in Irish and EU foreign policy?’, (2015) 26 Irish Studies in International Affairs, 163-186.

Butler, Graham ‘Not a "real" Common Travel Area: Pachero v Minister for Justice and Equality’, (2015) 54 Irish Jurist, 155-164.  

Butler, Graham ‘The Road to a Court of Appeal—Part I: History and Constitutional Amendment’, (2015) 33 (14) Irish Law Times, 208-211.

Butler, Graham ‘The Road to a Court of Appeal—Part II: Distinguishing Features and Establishment’, (2015) 33 (15) Irish Law Times, 222-226. 


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