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Disputation: Margrét Vala Kristjánsdóttir

LLM/MPA Margrét Vala Kristjánsdóttir will be defending the thesis Administrative Law and Service Contracts -Adding Colour to the Grey - for the degree of Ph.D.

Trial lecture - time and place

Aug. 16, 2019 10:15 AM–11:00 AM, Gamle festsal, 1. etg. Urbygningen 

Title:  Legal homogeneity after 25 year EEA - status, challenges and solutions   

Adjudication committee

  • Professor Finn Arnesen, University of Oslo (leader)
  • Professor Anna Sara Lind, Uppsala University (1. opponent)
  • Dr. Páll Hreinsson, EFTA Court Luxembourg (2. opponent)

Chair of defence

Dean Dag Michalsen


  • Professor Hans Petter Graver.
  • Professor Ragnhildur Helgadóttir


Do principles of public administrative law apply to public services delivered by private entities under service contracts?

When provided by a public authority, the delivery of public services is subject to the rules of the Public Administrative Procedure Act. Both the formal (a public actor) and the substantive elements (public functions) of public administration are involved. When delivered by a private party under a service contract, the former element is not in place and thereby, under a strict dichotomy between public and private law, the protection provided by administrative rules may be lost.

The thesis casts a wide net in its attempt to explain the reach of administrative law, define criteria and discover approaches and methods that could be helpful in determining its applicability. Relying on a functional approach, i.e. the function instead of the actor, it shows that general principles of administrative law apply - insofar as the contracted service constitutes a public function. Thus, ‘publicness’ is the key to the applicability of administrative rules in service contract situations. The thesis provides methods and holistic criteria by which ‘publicness’ may be evaluated.

Seeking guidance in Services of General Interest (SGIs) as defined in EU law, it is claimed that the characteristics and categorisation of SGIs support the ‘publicness’ criteria and provide additional information as to how public functions may be singled out. It also addresses the principle of good administration as a fundamental right in EU law and examines the possibility of approaching the applicability question through the principle of horizontal effect, looking for methods and arguments, legal (through the EEA Agreement) and/or inspirational, for dealing with service contract situations.




Published Aug. 5, 2019 3:14 PM - Last modified Jan. 23, 2020 2:46 PM