Antje Kunst


Antje Kunst


Antje Kunst


Barrister (England & Wales, call 2021, Lincoln’s Inn) and Rechtsanwältin (Berlin, call 2013)


European Union Law and International Law – Litigation before the EU Courts, International Tribunals and other bodies


  • European Law
  • International Public Law
  • Litigation before the EU Courts,  International Tribunals and other bodies
  • EU and UN Sanctions Law
  • International Human Rights Law
  • EU and International Civil Service Law


Antje is an international lawyer and barrister with more than 20 years of experience in the field of European Law and International Public Law. She holds an LLM from King’s College London in International Law. She is admitted as a barrister to the Bar of England and Wales, and as a Rechtsanwältin to the Bar of Berlin and is entitled to practice before the courts of the UK and the EU Courts.

Antje is specialized in litigation before the EU courts, international tribunals and other bodies, which involves European law, international public law, EU fundamental rights and international human rights law.

Since 2015 Antje has been instructed by individuals in a number of proceedings before the EU General Court and the Court of Justice in the field of the EU’s Common Foreign Security Policy representing individuals against decisions of EU missions and agencies. She has represented individuals in numerous cases involving complex internal investigations and disciplinary proceedings not only before the EU courts but also before UN tribunals and other individual bodies. Several cases involved individuals accused of and investigated for sanctionable conduct, i.e. fraud, corruption and other misconduct.

Some of Antje’s cases in the field of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy have become landmark cases in which the EU Courts ruled on her clients’ rights to effective judicial protection, their rights of defence and their rights to equal treatment in obtaining judicial review.

Given Antje’s expertise on EU and international sanctions law, she takes instructions from individuals subject to listings or re-listings of the Council of the European Union and the UN Security Council, to challenge the freezing of their assets and imposition of travel bans which are non-compliant with EU and international law.

Prior to private practice, Antje worked for more than a decade as a senior legal adviser for the United Nations in the Balkans and Palestine advising the legal departments of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and the UN Interim Administration Mission for Kosovo (UNMIK) on international public law, international human rights and rule of law matters. In Kosovo whilst the UN had an executive mandate, she performed a variety of functions that government lawyers in senior positions would be responsible for, including on obligations under international law.

Since 2019, Antje has been assisted by Professor Graham Butler, a renowned expert on EU Law, in particular in relation to the CFSP in cases before the ECJ and the EU General Court. Professor Butler’s assistance takes into account the close relationship between practice and academia in EU Law.

EU Law - Litigation before the EU courts

Antje has expertise in various areas of European Union law, in particular external relations law, fundamental rights, the law on EU sanctions, and annulment actions before the EU Courts, including appeal proceedings. She was instructed to bring direct actions for annulment and compensation on the basis of treaty provisions, actions under an arbitration clause in contracts, interlocutory injunctions (interim measures) before the EU courts, and defending her clients against third party interventions by the Council of the EU.


Some of Antje’s cases in the field of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy have become landmark cases involving the widening of the European Court of Justice’s acceptance of jurisdiction in the area of the EU’s CFSP (European Union Satellite Centre (SatCen) v KF, C-14/19) and clarification of the scope of the ECJ’s judicial review with respect to decisions taken by EU missions against staff in an administrative context, JF v EUCAP Somalia (T-194/20).  One case also concerned whether the rules to access an internal employment board without the possibility of appeal are compliant with the EU treaties and the right to effective judicial protection (KF v SatCen, T-286/15).  


Before the Court of Justice, Antje appeared in Case C-730/18 P, SC v Eulex Kosovo and C-14/19, SatCen v KF which became cases of wider importance; the ECJ providing clarifications on the jurisdiction of the Court in CFSP matters and the scope of judicial review for staff serving in EU international missions across the world.

Before the EU General Court, Antje appeared in proceedings in which the General Court accepted its jurisdiction to judicially review disputes between staff and agencies within the CSDP (KF v SatCen, T-286/15). She brought proceedings for her clients in which she asked the General Court to clarify its case law, the appropriate procedural route (Art. 263 TFEU annulment actions v Art. 272 TFEU arbitration clause invalidity actions) providing legal certainty and effective judicial protection; JF v EUCAP Somalia (T-194/20), SC v Eulex Kosovo P (C-730/18-P), SC v Eulex Kosovo (T-242/17 RENV).

On behalf of her clients, she requested the Court to widen its scope of judicial review which it accepted in JF v EUCAP Somalia examining the pleas alleging infringements of fundamental rights and general principles of EU law in the context of a contract staff dispute. The JF v EUCAP Somalia case is an important development of the General Court’s case law guaranteeing that the judge will examine all questions of fact and law relevant to the resolution of the contractual dispute, thereby strengthening the principle of effective judicial protection guaranteed by Article 47 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

EU and UN Sanctions Law

Antje takes instructions from individuals wrongfully targeted by EU and UN sanctions; she challenges before EU Courts listing and re-listing decisions of the Council and before the UN Ombudsperson and other UN mechanisms listings of the UN Security Council.

Sanctions listings should be based on evidence that can be reviewed by a court of law, and should respect the rights to due process and to an effective judicial remedy of targeted individuals and companies, as guaranteed by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and international human rights law.

These restrictive measures (such as the freezing of funds and travel bans) through decisions of the Council of the EU can be challenged before the EU General Court, resulting in the potential overturning of such listings.


Individuals targeted under the UN sanctions regimes cannot in most cases challenge their listings except if they have been listed by the UN Security Council’s counter-terrorism sanctions regime. The UN Security Council, by virtue of applicable rules of international law, in particular the United Nations Charter, is obliged to ensure that rights of due process, or ‘fair and clear procedures’, are made available to individuals and entities directly targeted with sanctions under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.


Following the Kadi I litigation, the EU courts provide a crucial avenue for challenging EU measures based on UN Security Council measures insofar as they apply in the European Union. This is of particular importance to persons subject to UN regimes other than the counter-terrorism regime: in these cases, there is no UN Ombudsperson process. The EU courts may be more willing to annul an EU measure based on these UN regimes for lack of judicial protection of the targeted individuals.

EU and International Civil Service Law

Antje is an established expert in EU and International Service Law, in particular in challenging disciplinary measures and other decisions against individuals serving in post-conflict countries.

In the field of EU civil service law Antje’s clients have included staff of EU Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions, e.g., the EU Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (Eulex Kosovo), the European Union Capacity Building Mission in Somalia (EUCAP Somalia), the European Border Assistance Mission in Libya (EUBAM), and the EU Satellite Centre (EU SatCen). She has appeared before both the EU General Court (first instance) and the Court of Justice of the European Union on appeal, appearing for both applicants and defendants.

In the area of international civil service law Antje was instructed by various employees and staff associations of international organisations, i.e. the United Nations, Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO), UNICEF, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation (OSCE), International Maritime Organisation (IMO), International Seabed Authority (ISA), European Patent Office (EPO), International Development Law Organisation (IDLO). She also advised international/ regional organisations such as Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites. She brought cases before the ILO Administrative Tribunal, the UN Dispute Tribunal and the UN Appeals Tribunal.

The cases concerned complex disciplinary matters, discrimination claims (e.g., on account of age or nationality) and harassment claims in the workplace of all kinds; non-observance of recruitment and selection procedures; non-observation of the rights to defence, unfair or wrongful dismissal; redundancy; breach of contract claims; failure to extend fixed-term contracts; the non-compliance with the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement, the failure to comply with a judgment annulling a decision of an EU Agency.


Antje is an acknowledged expert on International Human Rights law, advising on various human rights matters related to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), ICCPR, ICESCR (e.g., non-discrimination cases), the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).  In her human rights work, Antje takes a strong interest in access to effective remedies for persons in situations of vulnerability.

Antje has particular expertise in EU law cases raising fundamental rights issues, including cases involving the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, such as the right to a fair trial and an effective remedy, the right to be heard and have access to the evidence.

In her pro bono practice, Antje is committed to use and also push the boundaries of the law in the interests of the most vulnerable children, in particular disabled and institutionalised children. Her empathy for vulnerable children has been informed by her own family’s long legal battle with public authorities denying the right to education for a disabled child.

Antje is particularly interested in advancing children’s rights through strategic litigation in the courts and international treaty-based individual complaint mechanisms; with children at the centre of the complaint.


She is a member of the federation of Asian bar associations LAW ASIA and is a regular speaker at its annual conferences inter alia on human rights.