Comparative Law, Foreign Private Law and Global Legal Pluralism

Comparative Law, Foreign Private Law and Global Legal Pluralism

Comparative law and foreign private law are the core topics of academic work undertaken at the Institute. The methodological approaches of international comparative law date back to the time of the Institute’s founding, and they remain a fundamental building block of Institute research. Institute scholars aim to determine the differences and similarities among the world’s legal systems. The resulting findings become the basis for proposals fostering a further development of the law. Many research projects also focus on interpreting the historical foundations of modern civil law.


Rights of Nature
During the last two decades, the connections between nature, human beings, and law have become a relevant object of study around the globe. The constitutionalization of rights of nature in Bolivia and Ecuador, along with the recognition of the rights of rivers in New Zealand and Canada and of a lake in India are exemplary cases that have attracted the attention of legal scholars both in the Global North and South. more
Decolonial Comparative Law
Decolonial comparative law identifies how the matrix of modernity/coloniality structures the prevailing understanding of law and offers decolonial alternatives – with coloniality meaning not merely colonialism, but rather the totalizing and universalizing mode of thought that underlies modernity. more
Testamentary freedom versus family solidarity – What is the origin of the compulsory portion?
A deceased can by means of a testamentary will or an inheritance contract determine who is to inherit his or her property and to what extent. Where there is no last will, the rules of intestate succession apply. Yet the freedom of testation is limited. What is today known as the “compulsory portion” is based on a long tradition. more
Early marriage in the constitutional spotlight
In 2017, the Law to Combat Child Marriage came into force in Germany, preventing minors in Germany from entering into a marriage and rendering without effect marriages concluded by minors abroad. This law is now being subject to constitutional scrutiny. A team of academics led by Nadjma Yassari and Ralf Michaels has authored a comparative assessment for the Federal Constitutional Court (BVerfG) that examines the phenomenon of early marriage in the context of various legal systems and cultures. more
A comparative study of partnership law
Private Law Gazette 1/2021 – Until recently, an examination of the field of partnership law would have led one to conclude that there were hardly any indications of an international orientation. "There was a genuine research gap," says Institute Director Holger Fleischer, who, with his working group on business and economic law, undertook a multi-year project to render a comprehensive panorama of comparative partnership law. more
“The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Law” published in a second edition
Private Law Gazette 2/2019 - The roots of comparative law reach back to antiquity. In the era of globalisation and amidst the harmonisation of private law in Europe, it is more relevant than ever. The “Oxford Handbook of Comparative Law”, published in 2006, provided a ground-breaking critical overview of the worldwide state of development of comparative law. Now the Handbook has been updated and expanded into a second edition published at the beginning of 2019. more

Header image:
 © / Nick Fewings

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