Max Planck Encyclopedia of European Private Law now online

November 02, 2021

An online edition of the two volume Max Planck Encyclopedia of European Private Law, first published in 2012 by Oxford University Press, is available free of charge as of 1 November 2021. The printed work contains approximately 500 structured keyword articles that can be accessed at

Edited by Institute Directors Jürgen Basedow, Klaus J. Hopt and Reinhard Zimmermann, the Max Planck Encyclopedia of European Private Law numbers among the largest common projects ever undertaken by the Max Planck Institute of Comparative and International Private Law. It represents the shared effort of more than 120 authors who worked on the project over multiple years. As an internationally oriented legal encyclopedia, it offers scholars, practitioners and policy makers an overview of the field of European private law on the groundwork of comparative and historical analysis. Though the online edition does not update the content of the print edition, the work can, because of its fundamental character, still serve as a reference and starting point for all those interested in European private law.

Digitally linked to the Handwörterbuch des Europäischen Privatrechts

The English-language version of the Encyclopedia was preceded by the equally comprehensive Handwörterbuch des Europäischen Privatrechts, which was published in 2009 and which has been freely available since 2017 at In the course of creating the online version of the Max Planck Encyclopedia of European Private Law, the online edition of the Handwörterbuch was also redesigned. Each entry of the Handwörterbuch is now digitally linked to its English counterpart, providing additional guidance to users confronting terminology and translation issues in the context of European private law.

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