Max Planck Society

Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law

Media Information
Online version Handwörterbuch des Europäischen Privatrechts

Prof. Dr. Ralf Michaels, LL.M. (Cambridge)


Phone: +49 40 419 00 - 451


Assistance: Britta Arp

Phone: +49 40 419 00 - 450


Main Fields of Research:

Private International Law, Comparative Law, Private Law Theory, Law and Globalization

Academic Career:

Studied law in Passau and Cambridge. 1992-1997 Scholar of the German National Academic Foundation. 1994 First State Examination in law. 1994-1995 and 1996-1997 Senior Research Assistant, Chair for Private Law, Private International Law and Comparative Law (Prof. Klaus Schurig) at the University of Passau. 1994 Master of Laws (LL.M.) at Cambridge University (King’s College). 1995-1997 Research Fellow at Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law (Prof. Kropholler). 1999-2000 Joseph Story Fellow at Harvard Law School. 2000 Doctoral dissertation completed at the University of Passau and Second State Examination in law. 2001-2002 Senior Research Fellow at Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law. 2002-2007 Associate Professor, 2007-2012 Professor of Law and 2012-2019 Arthur Larson Professor of Law at Duke University School of Law. 2005 Lloyd Cutler Fellow at American Academy in Berlin. 2009-2010 Katherine and Martin Crane Fellow at Princeton University, Program in Law and Public Affairs. Since 2018 Chair in Global Law (fractal) at Queen Mary University of London.

Since 1.1.2019 part-time Director at the Institute, from July 2019 in a full position

Visiting Professor at Duke University School of Law (Spring 2002), Université Paris II, Panthéon-Assas (Spring 2009), Princeton University (Spring 2010), University of Pennsylvania (Fall 2010), University of Toronto (January 2011), London School of Economics and Political Science (November 2011), Tel Aviv University, Buchmann Faculty of Law (June 2017).

Memberships: Académie internationale de droit comparé (elected associate member); American Branch of the International Law Association; American Law Institute; American Society of Comparative Law; American Society of International Law; American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy; Gesellschaft für Rechtsvergleichung [German Society of Comparative Law]; Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationales Recht [German Society for International Law]; Wissenschaftliche Vereinigung für Internationales Verfahrensrecht [Academic Association for International Procedural Law]; Selden Society; Societé de Législation Comparée [French Society of Comparative Law]; Zivilrechtslehrervereinigung

Recent Lectures:


Reasonableness in the New Foreign Relations Restatement

Conference The Restatement and Beyond: The Past, Present and Future of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States

  • Location: University of Virginia, Charlottesville


The New Hague Hudgments Convention

AALS Conference

  • Location: New Orleans


Law as Technique

(mit Annelise Riles)
Conference Law and Anthropology

  • Location: Berlin