Prof. Dr. Silja Voeneky is the (Co-)Director of the Institute for Public Law and the Professor of Public International Law, Comparative Law and Ethics of Law. She joined the University of Freiburg in 2010 and is an associated member of the Institute for Philosophy of Law. In 2015-2016, she was a Visiting Fellow at Harvard Law School and will be a Fellow at the 2018-2019 Freiburg FRIAS Research Group "Emerging ethical, legal, philosophical and social aspects of the interaction between humans and autonomous intelligent systems". Her areas of focus include Security Law and Humanitarian Law, International Environmental Law, the Law of the Sea, Human Rights Law, the interdependence of Ethics and Law, and questions on Legitimacy, Democracy, Biomedicine, and the governance of catastrophic risks.
Voeneky previously served as the Director of the Heidelberg Max Planck Research Group (“Democratic Legitimacy of Ethical Decisions"). From 2012-2016, she was a member of the German Ethics Council, whose members are appointed by the Federal Government, and was the head of the Council’s Working Group on Biosecurity. Currently, she is, inter alia, a member of the international law expert group of the German Federal Foreign Office (Völkerrechtswissenschaftlicher Beirat), a member of the Standing Committee on Science and Ethics of the Leopoldina, National Academy of Sciences, and a member of the Ethics Council of the Max Planck Society (since 2016). Previously, she was member of the Board of Directors of the Network for Civil Security Law in Europe (KORSE). Born in Germany, Voeneky studied Law and Philosophy of Law at the Universities of Freiburg, Bonn, Heidelberg, and Edinburgh. She began her career at the Max Planck Institute for Public International Law in Heidelberg