School of Law and Politics

Dr Martina McClean



Martina Künnecke

Year 2 Tutor

Tel: +44 (0) 1482 46 5916
Office: 444 Wilberforce
Qualifications Law (Mainz, Germany), PhD (Hull), fully qualified German Lawyer, Qualified legal translator (Dip Trans IOL), FHEA


Martina McClean (nee Künnecke) joined the Law School as a Lecturer in 2001. Before that, she studied and taught in the School as a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA). After having spent part of her studies at Glasgow University Law School, she obtained her law degree at Mainz University, Germany. She trained both in Britain and Germany, with Freshfields Solicitors, Frankfurt and Dundas & Wilson Solicitors, Edinburgh and is a fully qualified German lawyer. She teaches Comparative Law, European Public Law and European Union Law. She is also a fully qualified legal translator and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists.

Martina is a Fellow of The Higher Education Academy, a UK organisation that enhances learning and teaching in higher education, in recognition of her experience and success in university teaching and learning support.

Strategic Student Placement Partnership with EU

In 2009 Martina first established a link with the DG Translation at the European Commission for training placements. In 2012, for instance, this link offered two of the Law School’s Law with Languages students a four-week training placement in Brussels every year. Last year's successful students were Raili Taaraste and Anthony Tetley, final year students. They both have a very good command of the French legal language after having spent a year in Grenoble, one of the Law School’s partner institutions. They were thrilled to gain insight into the complex legal and linguistic work in the EU. For 2014/15, one finalist has taken up this opportunity and Martina has secured £500 funding for this student from the Law School. The next public lecture on Legal Translation and Careers in the EU will take place in April 2015.

The European Commission is very supportive of this highly relevant initiative at the University of Hull and provided funding so Martina could attend the EMT (European Master’s in Translation) conference in September 2013. The EMT network is a partnership project between the European Commission and higher-education institutions offering master’s level translation programmes.

Martina also attended the invitation-only Qualetra (Quality in Legal Translation) Launch Conference in London on 4th April 2013. The conference was organised by EULITA (European Legal Interpreters and Translators Association) which is committed to promoting the quality of justice, ensuring access to justice across languages and cultures. 120 stakeholders in the public and private sector in field legal translation attended the conference.

Selected Publications


  • Künnecke M, Tradition and Change in Administrative law. An Anglo-German Comparison (Springer Verlag 2006)

Chapters in edited collections

  • Birkinshaw P and Künnecke M, ‘Die europäische Frage im Kontext der britischen Rechtstradition’ in von Bogdandy A, Cruz Villalón P and Huber PM (eds), Handbuch Ius Publicum Europaeum Band II Offene Staatlichkeit- Wissenschaft vom Verfassungsrecht (CF Muller 2008)
  • Künnecke M, ‘Divergence and the Francovich remedy in German and English courts’ in Prechal S and van Roermund B (eds), The Coherence of EU Law: The Search for Unity in Diverging Concepts (Oxford University Press 2008)

Articles in refereed journals

  • Künnecke M, ‘English as Common Legal Language: Its Expansion and the Effects on Civil Law and Common Law Lawyers’ (2016) 24 European Review of Private Law 733
  • Künnecke M, ‘Translation in the EU: Language and law in the EU’s judicial labyrinth’ (2013) 20 Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law 243

Conference Papers and Lectures

  • Künnecke M, ‘English as legal lingua franca’ (Utrecht Network/University of Hull Professional English Summer School, Hull, UK, July 1 2015 )
  • Künnecke M, ‘Language and Law in Globalised Legal Practice ’ (SLSA Annual Conference, Warwick University, April 1st 2015)
  • Künnecke M, ‘Comparative Law in the legal curriculum and the legal profession’ (European Law Students' Association (ELSA) Annual General Meeting, Hull, 8th November 2014)
  • Künnecke M, ‘Constitutional Adjudication in Britain and Germany’ (Utrecht-University of Hull Network Professional English Summer School, Utrecht, 8th July 2014)
  • Künnecke M, ‘Legal Translation in the Court of Justice of the EU’ (Law, Literature and Translation Conference, Dublin, 9-10 June 2012 )


Law and Language; Comparative Law; EU Law

Martina is currently involved in research into law and legal language in the European member states and EU institutions. She is currently undertaking an empirical research project in the field of legal services and language competence. This research focuses on the collection of data regarding foreign language needs in a selection of major Law Firms in the UK. It is directly angled towards assessing the extent of foreign language needs in the legal profession and the consequent issues this causes both for UK aspirants to a legal career and the knock on impact in legal business relationships with an increasingly transnational and multi-jurisdictional character.



  • Comparative Law (Convenor)
  • European Union Law
  • European Public Law
  • Public Law and Administration
  • Public Law and the Constitution (Convenor)
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