Her work is to a very high standard of accuracy. She gives great attention to detail in the many cases with which she deals involving complex issues of law and facts.James G. Lindsay, former Director of the Department of Legal Affairs, UNRWA.
Antje Kunst (AntjeKunst@brettonwoodslaw.com)
Registered European Lawyer for England and Wales (Direct Access accredited) and Rule of Law Expert
- Public International Law
– BWL Rule of Law and IHL Team Leader
- Rule of Law, IHL and Human Rights
- Employment Disputes within International Organisations
- Anti-Corruption Training in post-conflict environments
- Consultancy and advice on the law of International Organisations
Rule of Law
Antje held several senior lawyer positions within the United Nations for 11 years, during which she worked extensively on various rule of law and other host government reform activities and gained profound expertise on how to tackle rule of law matters specific to post-conflict situations. In this context, she provided advice to governments, ministries, parliament, police, judiciary and civil society on the implementation of legislation and on rule of law, legal, judicial, administrative reform, institution-building, legal empowerment and access to justice matters.
Her legislative drafting skills were expansively developed through half a decade with the UN’s mission in Kosovo, where its unique ‘interim administration responsibility and function’ has provided her with comprehensive skills in drafting legislation for a post-conflict country in accordance with international standards. Known for her accuracy and attention to detail she was tasked with and successfully prepared complex legislation on customs, public procurement, budgetary and fiscal affairs, law enforcement and criminal procedure in close consultation with her local counterparts and other stakeholders.
Upon Kosovo’s declaration of independence Antje provided extensive legal advice on all aspects of the EU Rule of Law Mission (EULEX)’s deployment in Kosovo and prepared and negotiated handover arrangements allowing EULEX to assume responsibilities in the field of rule of law (justice, policing and customs). She also advised and prepared legal guidance on the closing down of UNMIK’s Department of Justice.
Based on her work with the UN, Antje developed methods and gained extensive experience on how to prevent and fight corruption (e.g., in the public sector) specifically in a post-conflict or transitional environment. She was involved in a range of anti-corruption activities such as investigations into fraud and corruption, designing corruption prevention tools, reviewing a mission’s procurement actions as member of the UN’s contract committee, preparing anti-corruption related legislation and contributing to building strong and corruption-free institutions.
Antje is an active member of Transparency International’s German Chapter (‘TI’). Through her work with TI she is fully aware of the latest international anti-corruption instruments and commitments (e.g., United Nations Convention against Corruption), and with the challenges arising from reporting corruption at all levels. She is very knowledgeable on the subject of anti-corruption prevention tools such as codes of conduct; whistle blowing; financial disclosure regimes; ethics and disciplinary processes and procedures.
As a result of her project work for the founder of TI on a Global “Contract Negotiation Support” Initiative for (mostly African) host countries negotiating complex natural resources contracts, she has obtained a thorough understanding of the corruption risks and the anti-corruption tools in the natural resources sector.
Antje has decades of experience advising on human rights matters. At the UN, she dealt with complex complaints about human rights violations by individuals including minorities before the UNMIK Human Rights Advisory Panel (created as a result of lack of access by Kosovar citizens to the European Court of Human Rights). She also provided legal advice and revised Kosovo human rights reports to be submitted by UNMIK to the relevant UN and Council of Europe Human Rights Bodies.
International Humanitarian Law
Antje studied International Humanitarian Law during her Master’s at King’s College London and has a diploma from the International Institute of Humanitarian Law in Sanremo on the Law of Armed Conflict. She served from 1999-2004 with the UN in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and gained first-hand experience of international humanitarian law matters relevant to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
With Bretton Woods Law, Antje represents and advises clients before International Administrative Tribunals worldwide, internal appeal bodies and in disciplinary proceedings before disciplinary boards. She represented staff of the United Nations, International Development Law Organisation, European Patent Office, European Union Satellite Centre and EU Missions and was also instructed by international organisations (e.g., the CTBTO).
Antje has more than a decade of experience in international administrative law (i.e., the employment law of the international civil servant) including litigation before courts and tribunals globally. Through the variety of cases she is dealing with both for staff and international organisations, she has an in-depth knowledge of the internal law of a number of organisations and the procedures and case law of International Administrative Tribunals, including the EU Civil Service Tribunal, the International Labour Organisation Administrative Tribunal and the United Nations Tribunals.
Before joining Bretton Woods Law, Antje held senior positions as an institutional lawyer within the United Nations for 11 years, during which she gained extensive expertise in the field of International Organisations Law, including international administrative law. Her work as an institutional lawyer has given her a unique understanding of how international organisations such as the United Nations function and approach matters in relation to their staff.
Whilst working with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (‘UNRWA’), Antje was for more than five years in charge of all grievances filed by UNRWA’s international and local staff (around 22.000 Palestine Refugees), including cases before UNRWA’s internal Appeals Board and the UNAT. She also advised on fraud and corruption cases and on disciplinary matters. In order to avoid lengthy proceedings within the internal justice system of the UN Antje applied a conciliatory approach to resolving cases. She reviewed each case with the eyes of a judge and advised UNRWA in non-defendable cases to settle it and make good for any harm caused. If an employment dispute came before the internal Appeals Board or the UNAT, she would argue the case successfully for the Organisation before these bodies.
Based on her in-depth knowledge of the jurisprudence of International Administrative Tribunals, and coupled with her extensive experience in litigating international employment cases, Antje is well versed in judging the viability of a case and able to determine the likelihood of its success before such Tribunals.
Antje served for more than a decade as a civil servant with the UN in highly corrupt post-conflict environments investigating fraud and corruption, designing corruption prevention tools, reviewing a mission’s procurement actions, preparing anti-corruption related legislation and contributing to building strong and corruption-free institutions. Through her work she became convinced that knowledge and understanding of anti-corruption by peace mission staff serving in post-conflict environments is key for the success of a mission.
She believes that with the right training, mission leaders and their staff can reduce the threat corruption poses and are much better equipped of achieving the mission’s goals. BWL’s anti-corruption training which Antje designed is aimed to provide just this.
Antje is an experienced rule of law practitioner and well acquainted with the principles and objectives of the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) that are particularly relevant for host government/rule of law assistance. The convention prescribes a wide range of measures with an aim to enhance integrity, transparency and accountability in the public service, the judiciary, electoral bodies, civil society and media (e.g., codes of conducts, whistleblower protection laws, declaration of assets, access to information, anti-money laundering legislation). Antje is very knowledgeable and well equipped to train mission staff on these anti-corruption tools.
Based on her work with the UN, Antje developed methods and gained extensive experience on how to prevent and fight against corruption specifically in a post-conflict environment (as well as within international missions operating in post-conflict countries).
She delivered a predecessor of BWL’s anti-corruption course to the German Center for International Peace Operations to German experts serving in peace operations. She also provided training seminars to UN human resources/personnel officers on anti- corruption tools such as codes of conduct, ethics and disciplinary processes and procedures.
Antje has extensive experience, gained as an institutional lawyer for the United Nations, in providing legal advice concerning the law governing an international organisation. She is well versed in drafting the internal law, procedures and policies for an international organisation, including in the area of anti-corruption.
Prior to joining Bretton Woods Law Antje spent many years working internationally both as an institutional lawyer for the UN and in private practice in Kosovo, Palestine, India and South Africa. She also worked for a period in EU missions in Ivory Coast and Pakistan.
Antje worked as a legal adviser for the United Nations for more than a decade including in the Department of Legal Affairs of UNRWA. In the Office of Legal Affairs of UNMIK she was initially tasked with providing legal advice on mission support matters. Very soon she was mainly involved with often highly challenging host government support, rule of law and legal reform matters and eventually led a multinational team of lawyers and advised as Officer-in-Charge the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the Mission in both areas.
Antje co-authored a study for the founder of Transparency International on an initiative on contract negotiations support for developing countries aimed at increasing transparency in the natural resources sector (now the G7-CONNEX Initiative). She also provided advice and prepared studies for the German Center for Peace Operations on various issues.
Antje is an expert on (legal) aspects of peace operations and anti-corruption in post-conflict environments.
Antje studied law in Germany, France, Spain and the U.K.and holds an LLM from King’s College London in international law and a law degree with specialisation in international law from the University of Göttingen, in Germany. In addition, she holds a Spanish law degree of the university of Granada, Spain and a French literature degree of the university of Nantes, France.
Antje is fluent in English and French and has good language skills in Spanish and a good understanding of Media Arabic.
Through her work Antje developed a particular interest in South Asia and the Arab world and has travelled extensively in these parts of the world. She is based in Berlin with her family.
Marler is an established expert in the rule of law and public international law generally. I have seen him at work over the years and he is impressive. A barrister with a quick mind, an eloquent tongue and a talent with a pen, as well as having a keen sense of humour. I selected him to be my General Counsel at EQ-G for a reason.General Sir David Richards GCB CBE DSO (former UK CDS and now Lord Richards of Hertsmonceux)
Lawyers in private practice with talent and expertise in resolving MDB sanctions cases are few and far between, but Lee Marler is one of them. He has proven himself time and again to be knowledgeable and highly effective. He is also a fine advocate and draftsman, and this is why I instruct him – where necessary – to assist IACD in its efforts to curb corruption on AfDB financed projects.Anna Bossman, Director, AfDB’s Integrity and Anticorruption Department (“IACD”)
An unparalleled blend of legal expertise in the area of International Administrative Law and an understanding of the mindset and functioning of legal departments at international institutions.”Zbigniew Kominek, Former Chair, EBRD Staff Council