Media Response

Media Response


17 October 2023,
In this article for the legal advice platform, attorney Karl Felix Oppermann works up a hypothetical to show just how useful the Institute’s publication of the “Hamburg Guidelines” for ascertaining and applying foreign law in German proceedings is for anyone practising law in Germany. From the perspective of a German judge assigned to hear a transnational succession case, Oppermann describes how these guidelines help ascertain and correctly apply the pertinent foreign legal norms. more
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
A guest article by director at the Institute Ralf Michaels and Jan Peter Schmidt, head of the Centre for the Application of Foreign Law. Michaels and Schmidt explain how the new “Hamburg Guidelines” for ascertaining and applying foreign law in German proceedings can serve as an orientation for judges, experts, and litigants in cases that span jurisdictional boundaries. The guidelines were drafted by legal scholars at the Institute together with external authorities and in close cooperation with judges, legal counsel, and other practitioners. They were presented to the public on 9 October 2023 at the Hanseatisches Oberlandesgericht (the higher regional court of Hamburg). more
23 June 2023, Il Messaggero
The Italian daily Il Messaggero reports on the award of the prestigious Antonio Feltrinelli Prize, awarded each year by the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, the Italian national academy of sciences. The award honours Italian as well as foreign artists, scholars, and scientists. Emeritus director at the Institute Reinhard Zimmermann won the award for his trailblazing contribution to the Europeanization of legal scholarship. An award ceremony was held at the academy’s palazzo on the Via della Lungara in Rome on 23 June. Another daily, La Stampa, also reported on the event. more
1 June 2023, Die Justizreporter*innen
Die Justizreporter*innen is a legal podcast produced by the public broadcaster Südwestrundfunk. In this episode, Director at the Institute Ralf Michaels and Nadjma Yassari, head of the Institute’s research group on the laws of Muslim countries, explain the Federal Constitutional Court’s judgment in re Germany’s Gesetz zur Bekämpfung von Kinderehen (Act to combat child marriages) and its consequences. Michaels and Yassari shed light on how both the law and the judgment came about and, more generally, on the legal status of early marriages. more
20.04.2023, Correctiv Faktencheck
The investigative non-profit CORREKTIV debunks the assertion that the Federal Constitutional Court overturned the categorical ban on child marriage when it decided a case that challenged the Act to Prevent Child Marriages. Nadjma Yassari, head of the Institute’s research group for the law of Islamic countries, explains why the Federal Constitutional Court found the law unconstitutional and clarifies that the court’s ruling upholds the permissibility of declaring child marriages categorically invalid.
19.04.2023, F.A.Z. Einspruch Podcast
Nadjma Yassari, head of the Institute’s research group for the law of Islamic countries, and Ralf Michaels, director at the Institute, were interviewed for this podcast. In the interview, they explain and discuss the consequences of the Federal Constitutional Court’s decision on the Act to Prevent Child Marriages.
13.04.2023, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Jürgen Basedow, director emeritus at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, died on 6 April 2023. He was director at the Institute from 1997 until 2017. In her profile of the renowned legal scholar and tribute to his life’s work, Corinna Budras, business correspondent for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, addresses Basedow’s influence in competition law in particular. more
29.03.2023, Süddeutsche Zeitung
The Federal Constitutional Court has ruled that the Law to Combat Child Marriage is incompatible in its current form with Germany‘s Basic Law. Under the 2017 law, a marriage was deemed invalid if either of the spouses were under 16 at the time of the marriage’s conclusion. The Court’s ruling made reference to a 2020 study prepared by the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law – at the request of the Constitutional Court judges – which detailed the legislation and approach of other countries in relation to such marriages. more
13.03.2023, stern
In some countries of the Global South, rivers, courts and lakes are entitled to bring an action before court. Institute Director Ralf Michaels explains what this means for the protection of nature – and whether it is a model conceivable in Germany. (paywall article) more
21.01.2023, stern
Article on the recently published book “Emojis im (Privat-)recht” [Emojis in (Private) Law], by Matthias Pendl, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute. (paywall article) (in German) more
14.01.2023, LTO Karriere
“Experience abroad can be gained as a doctoral student as well.” Jakob Olbing, Research Associate at the Institute, describes for LTO his experience as a visiting researcher at Harvard Law School. (in German) more
09.01.2023, Max Planck Law
The death of 22-year-old Iranian woman Masha Gina Amini on 16 September 2022 led to national and international outcry. Nadjma Yassari, Senior Research Fellow and head of the Institute Research Group ‘Changes in God’s Law—An Inner-Islamic Comparison of Family and Succession Laws’ discusses the most important questions regarding the ongoing protests in Iran in an interview with Max Planck Law. What misconceptions do Western-trained jurists have when thinking about the current events in Iran? How strict is the implementation of Islamic law in the country? more
07.01.2023, Deutschlandfunk Kultur
The ambiguity of Emojis poses new challenges for judges around the world: “Emojis can operate on different levels of meaning, and they can also be perceived in different ways.” Matthias Pendl, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute, explains why legal researchers need to develop a greater awareness of the issue. (in German) more


21.12.2022, TalentRocket-Podcast "New Lawyers"
Nadjma Yassari, head of the research group "Changes in God’s Law – An Inner-Islamic Comparison of Family and Succession Laws" at the Institute, talks with Alisha Andert about the political system in Iran and the role of the West, among other topics.
20.12.2022, Max Planck Forschung
Interview with Matthias Pendl, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute.
07.12.2022, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Emojis have become an integral part of digital communication, and many people use them in formulating messages and social media posts. Emojis serve functions similar to non-verbal elements of communication such as body language, intonation and facial expressions. Thus a 👍 in WhatsApp can be interpreted as indicating agreement or consent. Matthias Pendl, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute describes in the FAZ the legal problems that can result. (paywall article) (in German) more
04.12.2022, Deutschlandfunk Kultur
Stream the panel discussion “ENCOUNTER – DOCUMENTA FIFTEEN als politisches und kulturelles Ereignis” (‘Encounter: d15’ as a political and cultural event) from 21 November 2022 at the Hamburg Institute for Social Research (HIS). Institute director Ralf Michaels was one of the panelists. The event was reported on by Deutschlandfunk Kultur on 21 November and Hamburger Abendblatt on 23 November 2022.
26.10.2022, Legal Tribune Online
Nadjma Yassari, head of the research group “Changes in God's Law – An Inner-Islamic Comparison of Family and Succession Laws” at the Institute, surveys the constitutional as well as criminal basis for the dress code of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
19.10.2022, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
German succession law is based on testamentary freedom, thus allowing an individual to decide for himself to whom his assets will pass upon death. However, the right to receive a compulsory portion limits this power and guarantees that the closest family members (spouse or children) are entitled to half of the deceased’s estate. In an article published in the FAZ, the topic is discussed by emeritus Institute director Reinhard Zimmermann and Institute Senior Research Fellow Ben Köhler. (paywall article) (in German) more
26.06.2022, taz
As a consequence of racist Imperial-era laws that prevented his grandparents from marrying, German citizenship was withheld from Gerson Liebl. Institute Director Ralf Michaels and Matthias Goldmann (Universität Wiesbaden) have undertaken an analysis of the Liebl case. In her article, Susanne Memarnia makes clear the ways in which racist paradigms of the colonial era still project their effect today.
10.04.2022, Anwaltsblatt
As commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Justice (BMJ), the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law and the Max Planck Institute Luxemburg for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law have issued joint opinions on the EU Service of Documents Regulation and on the EU Taking of Evidence Regulation. In the article, Peter Bert discusses the submissions of the two Institutes.
15.05.2022, Berliner Zeitung
In this opinion piece, Institute Director Ralf Michaels comments on the banning in Berlin of any pro-Palestinian gatherings commemorating Nakba Day or marking the violent death of Al Jazeera journalist Schirin Abu Akle (paywall article). The Berlin newspaper referred again to the op-ed piece in this news story from 15.05.2022. The commentary first appeared on 14.05.2022 in a blog on constitutional topics under the title „Versammlungsfreiheit gilt auch für Palästinenser“ [Freedom of Assembly Applies to Palestinians as well]. It has been cited, inter alia, in  junge Welt (17.05.2022), +972 Magazine (21.05.2022), Telepolis (heise online, 25.05.2022) and the Süddeutsche Zeitung (27.05.2022).
25.03.2022, Legal Tribune Online
German lawmakers would like to reform international judicial assistance for US courts. What approach should they take? And does such a reform risk giving away German trade secrets? In a guest essay, Institute research associates Jakob Olbing and Philomena Hindermann address these two question in detail.


02.09.2021, BR Podcast
According to estimates of UNICEF, approximately 12 million women under the age of 18 enter into marriage each year. In the interview, Institute Director Ralf Michaels and Nadjma Yassari, Head of the Research Group on Islamic Law, describe the phenomenon of early marriage in the context of different legal systems and legal cultures.
20.05.2021, Völkerrechtsblog
The Vienna talks between participants of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (known commonly as the Iran nuclear deal) raise hope for a lifting of US secondary sanctions against Iran. In his latest piece on Völkerrechtsblog Khashayar Biria, Research Associate and member of the Research Group on the Law of Islamic Countries at the institute, analyzes the structure of financial sanctions and their impact on humanitarian trade with Iran, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
09.04.2021, Tagesspiegel Background (Digitalisierung & KI)
Marcel Grzanna examines in his article the growing use of digital technology in the judicial system in China, where blockchain, big data and artificial intelligence are increasingly supporting the work of judges. Also quoted in the paper is Knut Benjamin Pißler, senior research fellow and head of the Centre of Expertise on China and Korea at the Institute, who refers to the danger of the Chinese state abusing digital possibilities in the legal system (paywall article).


03.12.2020, Süddeutsche Zeitung
Wolfgang Janisch reports extensively in the Süddeutsche Zeitung on the comparative study on early marriage that was prepared at the Institute for the German Federal Constitutional Court. A team of researchers headed by Nadjma Yassari and Ralf Michaels examine early marriage in the context of different legal systems and legal cultures. See also: Early marriage in the constitutional spotlight.
02.09.2020, Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland/dpa
The dpa-report discusses companies’ general terms and conditions in terms of both their legality and the traps they may hold; it cites research results from an SSRN article by Jürgen Basedow, Emeritus Director of the Institute.

Gut gemeint

01.09.2020, Handelsblatt, Votum
In this commentary, Klaus J. Hopt, Emeritus Director of the Institute, considers the proposal to create a single European Business Code that would bring together the heterogeneous EU legal acts. Published in the print edition of the Handelsblatt.
08.06.2020, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Institute Director Ralf Michaels 
examines in this article the ongoing debate regarding Achille Mbembe and the accusations of antisemitism raised in Germany against the Cameroonian historian and post-colonial theoretician. The article appeared first in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and was translated from German by Edith C. Watts for the online magazine Latitude: Rethinking Power Relations for a decolonized and non-racial world. The full article (in English) can be found here.
04.06.2020, Verfassungsblog
In this podcast episode of the Verfassungsblog, journalist Max Steinbeis talks with Institute Director Ralf Michaels about the current situation in the USA, including the topics of racism, police brutality and the role of Donald Trump.
20.05.2020, Symphoniker Hamburg
Artistic director Daniel Kühnel talks with Institute Director Reinhard Zimmermann about his work as well as the historical and comparative dimensions of law.

Was Forscherinnen brauchen, um an die Spitze zu kommen

Hamburger Abendblatt, 24.02.2020
In her article, Theresa Palm writes about the difficulties women face when trying to advance their careers. Dörthe Engelcke, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute, describes her personal way of dealing with such challenges. Printed in the Hamburger Abendblatt, 24.02.2020.
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