Pål Wrange

Pål Wrange


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Works at Department of Law
Telephone 08-16 43 19
Visiting address Universitetsvägen 10 C
Room C 827
Postal address Juridiska institutionen 106 91 Stockholm

About me

My main interests concern the use of violence, international criminal law, human rights and the theory of international law, including the issues of international law which have systemic effects.

I work on two projects. The first concerns non-state actors and the use of violence. I'm investigating whether the state-centered regime on the use of violence is eroding and if it is possible to imagine a public-law system where states are not the only ones allowed to use military violence. This project relates to my PhD project, which was a conceptual history of neutrality. I also participate with two articles in a forthcoming commentary on the aggression crime, published by Cambridge University Press.

The second project is called "Global law, local lives", which involves a number of colleagues in different fields of law. The purpose is to investigate how non-domestic norms -- formal and informal -- affect the lives of ordinare residents in Sweden.

Prior to my current employment, I worked for eleven years as international law adviser at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and during this time I participated and represented the Swedish government in multilateral negotiations in various subjects and gave advice to the government in many international law issues. I have also worked in Uganda for three years as a consultant on transitional law and as a political advisor to the EU.

Since 1988, I have published some sixty works in international law, including the prohibition of violence, international criminal law, self-determination, state immunity, and international law.

I have held visiting positions at Harvard Law School, the European University Institute and the University of Melbourne and at two Ugandan universities.

I am currently the head of subject for international law and course director for the course International Law and the Global Economy. A previous vice-dean for research affairs, I am a present member of the faculty board. I am the chair of the Swedish Research Council's review panel for Philosophy and Law and a member of a number of advisory boards and editorial boards of scholarly institutes and journals. In addition, I am a member of two advisory committees at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and of one governmental legislative committee. My most important assignment is to be the Director of the Stockholm Center for International Law and Justice (


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2017. Pål Wrange. Ethics and International Affairs 31 (2), 191-212

    What does authority mean under international law? There are various actors with different forms of authority, but no overarching concept of what characteristic endows an actor with authority, and even less of a coherent conception of legitimacy as a requirement for such authority. In fact, international law recognizes different authorities for different causes and different contexts, allocated to different actors, who base their authority on different characteristics (state legitimacy, representativity, military power, control). After disaggregating the concept of authority and outlining some of the consequences that follow from each type, this article highlights a number of different actors and describes the various authorities each has under international law. For instance, under jus in bello, nonstate actors can create a state of armed conflict in which they can often continue to use military means without legal sanction. While jus ad bellum may still in principle require legitimacy (in the formal sense of being a state), current jus in bello covers a range of non-state actors. Thus, from a practical point of view, the jus in bello regulations undermine any jus ad bellum requirement of legitimate authority.

  • 2017. Pål Wrange. Scandinavian Studies in Law 62, 145-162
  • 2016. Pål Wrange. The Crime of Aggression: A Commentary, 704-751
  • 2016. Astrid Reisinger Coracini, Pål Wrange. The Crime of Aggression: A Commentary, 307-350
  • 2015. Pål Wrange. Promoting Peace Through International Law, 85-107
Show all publications by Pål Wrange at Stockholm University

Last updated: January 9, 2019

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