Max Planck Society

Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law

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Online version Handwörterbuch des Europäischen Privatrechts
2018
2018-09-06 – Eckart Bueren awarded post-doctoral degree by Bucerius Law School

On 17 July 2018, Eckart Bueren, senior research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, was qualified as a professor (habilitiert) by Bucerius Law School. He received his professorial teaching qualification (venia legend) in the fields of civil law, commercial and company law, capital markets law, antitrust law and the law on unfair competition, comparative law and economic analysis of law.


In his post-doctoral thesis on short-termism in corporate and capital markets law (“Short termism im Aktien- und Kapitalmarktrecht”), Eckart Bueren explores the powerful yet highly controversial concern that stock corporations with an orientation towards the capital market might be subject to short-term pressures that undermine their role as a reservoir of long-term investment capital, to the detriment of society and the economy. The legal, economic and policy debate about this so-called short-termism is essentially as old as the modern public company itself. However, the changeable legal and economic debate about short-termism has not been systematically studied, neither in Germany nor abroad. Eckart Bueren’s post-doctoral thesis closes this research gap. For the first time, it examines the controversy about short-termism and thereby about how to safeguard the purpose of the public company, one of the great debates in company law, in a comprehensive way combining the history of law and ideas, comparative law and law and economics. At the same time, it recounts the history of the reception of an internationally efficacious topos in company and capital markets law. Such a deep understanding is key to deal with the problem of short-termism properly, because it significantly contributes to assess the often rather zeitgeisty range of opinions adequately and to capitalise on the economic and comparative pool of experience.

PD Dr. Eckart Bueren studied law in Münster and Bonn, and economics in Hagen. For his dissertation, he was honoured with the FORIS prize by the Faculty of Law and Economics of the University of Bonn (2012) and with the Jacques Lassier Prize of the International League of Competition Law (2013). In 2018, he received the Antitrust Writing Award for the Best Academic Private Enforcement Article by George Washington University and the Anglo-French Concurrence Review. Eckart Bueren has been at the Institute since 2011, and is, inter alia, in charge of the institute’s department for Swiss law.

2018-07-27 – Matthias Pendl wins Austrian Bankers’ Association Prize

Matthias Pendl, former research associate at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, was awarded the 2018 Austrian Bankers’ Association Prize for his doctoral dissertation.


In his dissertation Matthias Pendl considers time limitations for damage claims brought by a corporation against negligent board members or auditors. In the area of directors’ and auditors’ liability, corporate law has not only special liability standards but also special rules of limitation. The latter are, however, characterized by a technical uncertainty: the statutes in question specify a five-year period but are silent as to when the period begins. The dissertation aims to correctly clarify the ambiguity as regards this five-year limitation period. Subsequently, the question arises as to whether and to what extent exceptions should be granted to the objective commencement of this period in cases of particularly objectionable or cunning perpetrators. In conclusion, the dissertation formulates a number of legal policy recommendations.

The annual Austrian Bankers’ Association Prize is intended to recognize outstanding academic work done by young researchers on bank-related topics, particularly in the field of business law, capital market law, banking law, tax law and economics.

Matthias Pendl studied law at the University of Graz. From June 2014 until February 2017 he was a research associate under Prof. Holger Fleischer at the Max Planck Institute, where he authored the major part of his doctoral thesis. Titled “Die Verjährung von Schadenersatzansprüchen einer Kapitalgesellschaft gegen Organwalter und Abschlussprüfer” [The prescription of damage claims brought against board members and auditors], the dissertation was successfully submitted in November 2018 at the University of Graz. In October 2018 he will return to the Institute as a research fellow.

2018-07-25 – Library issues Annual Report for 2017

Last year, the Institute’s library acquired more than 6,000 new volumes, bringing its total holdings to 546,825 items. The recently issued Library Annual Report offers an overview of new acquisitions and the restructured intranet site, while also summarising the most important topics, projects and developments from 2017.


The Institute library is Europe’s largest specialised law library, with literature on comparative and international private law from some 200 countries, and it is growing steadily. New acquisitions have particularly focused on electronic media, which remain on the rise. By the end of 2017, almost 6,400 e-books and more than 4,800 online periodicals were accessible via the online catalogue OPAC. The periodicals content service for Institute staff (ZID) has also been expanded to include international periodicals.

The year 2017 additionally saw a restructuring of the library’s intranet presence. The introduction of new categories such as FAQs, instructions and organisation has made it possible to gain a quick, user-friendly overview of all of the library’s services and resources.

Orders for a copy of the 2017 Library Annual Report can be emailed to halsen@mpipriv.de.

A PDF version of the report is available here:

2018-07-11 – Patrick C. Leyens wins teaching award again

Patrick C. Leyens has once again been honoured with an Award for Teaching Excellence. He received the same award in 2016 (press release from 23 February 2016).

Leyens is an affiliate at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law. He received the award for his teaching at the School of Law of Erasmus University Rotterdam, where he has been an honorary professor since 2014. His “Corporate Law & Economics” lecture is a compulsory part of the curriculum of the European Master in Law & Economics (EMLE) programme that Erasmus University Rotterdam conducts together with the University of Hamburg and other universities.
 

Since 2016 he has taught civil law, commercial and corporate law, and banking and capital markets law as a visiting professor at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

2018-06-28 – Important information for applicants for a TÜBITAK scholarship

If you are an applicant for a Technological Research Council of Turkey (Tübitak), you need a letter of acceptance from one of our directors to submit with you scholarship application.


Please read more information on the pages of our Welcome Center.

2018-06-18 – Otto Hahn Medal awarded to Denise Wiedemann

Dr. Denise Wiedemann has been honoured with the Otto Hahn Medal at this year’s general meeting of the Max Planck Society. The award was bestowed for her doctoral dissertation exploring the enforcement of judgments under the recast Brussels I regime.

In her doctoral dissertation “Die Vollstreckbarkeit – Entwicklung, Wirkungserstreckung und Qualifikation im System Brüssel Ia” (Enforcement – Development, Extension of Effects and Characterisation in the recast Brussels I Regime), Denise Wiedemann examines the cross-border enforcement of judgments in the European Union. With the enactment of the recast Brussels I Regulation, in force since 2015, judgments can be enforced in any Member State without the necessity of an intermediary exequatur procedure. Thus, a creditor who has obtained a judgment in France can, for example, directly seek enforcement in Germany in the event the debtor holds assets there.  

Otto-hanh-Medaille Wiedemann
© Peter Vogel / MPG

 

In this context of direct cross-border enforcement, one observes the intersection of the law of state issuing the judgment, the law of the state of enforcement and the law of the European Union. Departing from the historical lines of development, Denise Wiedemann studies which of these three legal regimes finds application under German, French, English, Dutch and Spanish enforcement law.

The Otto Hahn Medal is awarded annually by the Max Planck Society to young researchers in recognition of their exceptional academic work. Denise Wiedemann’s doctoral dissertation has previously earned the Feldbausch Prize 2017.

Dr. Denise Wiedemann studied administrative justice in Meißen before studying law in both Leipzig and Lisbon. During her period as a doctoral candidate she was a scholarship recipient of the German National Academic Foundation. She was additionally Chercheur invité at the Centre de recherche de droit international der Université Panthéon Assas (Paris II). Denise Wiedemann is a lecturer at the University of Leipzig and the University of Applied Sciences in Meißen. She has been a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law since 2015.

2018-06-15 – Samuel Fulli-Lemaire receives doctoral prize from the Comité français de droit international privé

Renewed honours for Samuel Fulli-Lemaire: On 1 June 2018 the Comité français de droit international privé awarded its 2017 doctoral prize to Samuel Fulli-Lemaire, research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law. The dissertation was previously singled out for recognition by the Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris II).


In his dissertation titled “Le droit international privé de la famille à l’épreuve de l’impératif de reconnaissance des situations” (Rethinking the Recognition of Family Relationships in Private International Law), Samuel Fulli-Lemaire considers the development of private international law in respect of foreign-established family relationships when their recognition is sought in France. Private international family law currently faces a number of new challenges, such as those presented by same-sex marriage or surrogate motherhood. In addition to analysing the conceptual framework and methods of private international law, Fulli-Lemaire explores and evaluates the current academic discourse in the field. His study leads him to the conclusion that, in certain respects, the traditional approaches of private international law should be amended in order to better protect the interests of the individuals who make up international families.
 

A detailed description of the doctoral project (in German) can be found in the Institute’s 2017 Activity Report.
 

Dr. Samuel Fulli-Lemaire studied law at the Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris II). He has been a research fellow at the Institute since 2015.

2018-05-17 – Field research on Christian family law in Jordan

For the “Changes in God’s Law” research group, Dr. Dörthe Engelckestudies Christian family law and canon law in the Middle East. On-site field research is essential to her work because written sources are very scarce and ecclesiastical courts do not publish their judgments. Thus, Dörthe Engelcke went to Amman to study Christian family law in Jordan. Her research there included interviewing priests who also act as judges. In this interview, she recounts her experiences.


What did you research in Jordan?


I study Christian family law and ecclesiastical courts. In Jordan, Christian family law is applied by ecclesiastical courts that are largely independent of the state. I focus on the Greek Orthodox ecclesiastical court because the Greek Orthodox Christians are the largest and oldest Christian community in Jordan. Research to date has focused very heavily on Islamic family law in the Middle East, often neglecting Christian law. This is particularly surprising given that Christians apply their own family law in almost every country in the region, including in Lebanon, Israel, and Syria, as well as Jordan. So research to date only partially reflects the actual legal landscape of the region. Even at the international level, there is always a focus on Islamic law. The implementation of international conventions such as the United Nations Women’s Rights Convention exerts pressure to reform Islamic family law. The main focus in this debate is on discrimination against women. Christian law often goes unnoticed even though it, like Islamic law, is gendered. In other words, men and women are accorded different rights and obligations.

This unequal treatment of different bodies of religious law also has the effect that local actors often perceive the international system as biased and partisan. Thus, my motivation is to present law in the region in a more holistic way, but also to put Christian and Islamic law in relation to one another. What differences and what commonalities do they have, and why? Islamic family law was reformed extensively in the 2000s in Jordan, but Christian law was not. This raises questions about prospects of reform of Christian law. Why is it seemingly more difficult to reform Christian law than Islamic law?


How did you prepare for your time in Jordan?


Of course, you have to ask yourself many methodological questions beforehand: what data do I need in order to be able to answer my research questions? Why am I focusing on this court in particular? To what extent does investigating the Greek Orthodox court enable me to draw broader conclusions about the legal practices of Christian courts in general? What assumptions and prejudices of my own do I bring to the project, which could indirectly influence my research findings? Because Christian family law is such a sensitive topic, it is especially important to think about how to prevent skewed results

Why is legal field research important and how should we picture you on-site research?

Wegweiser
A sign in front of the Greek Orthodox church pointing
the way to the Greek Orthodox ecclesiastical court in Amman

 

Field research is essential to my work. This is primarily related to the difficult situation in terms of sources. For example, the judgments issued by ecclesiastical courts are not published and there is no secondary literature to explain how the Greek Orthodox ecclesiastical court works. This is why I’ve spent quite a bit of time at the Greek Orthodox ecclesiastical court in Amman. The way you should picture my field site is that next to the Greek Orthodox church there’s a court building where the priests of the community also act as judges. These priests have theological, but no legal training, which of course has a very significant impact on how they adjudicate cases. I had to present my project to the judges and convince them to speak to me. Fortunately, I was ultimately able to interview all of the three current judges. The interviews help me to learn more about the judges’ biographies and to better understand how judges shape jurisprudence and how they understand their own role. All of the judges at the ecclesiastical court are also priests, which means that pastoral and judicial duties overlap.

 


















There is a large discrepancy between legal texts and jurisprudence because the legal texts give the judge considerable leeway and also because the Byzantine family law which the judges are officially applying was last amended more than 150 years ago. Naturally, this law only reflects present-day social reality to a very limited extent. Thus, looking at legal texts alone only tells us half of the story.


Of course, I also spoke with other people who work at the court in order to better understand the procedures at the court. It was also especially helpful to interview lawyers who work at the Christian courts. These interviews are important in order to better understand how a court case proceeds and what challenges lawyers and litigants face. Lawyers normally work in both the Christian courts and the regular state courts, so they are especially good at bringing attention to differences that would otherwise be easy to overlook. I got numerous judgments and documents from the lawyers, as well as draft laws. I also conducted interviews with members of the Jordanian parliament and members of women’s groups who are lobbying for the reform of Christian family law and of the legal system in general. These groups often write position papers listing their demands. At the archives of the Jordanian parliament, I received a copy of a 2014 parliamentary debate about a law that for the first time since 1938 establishes new regulations for the work of Christian courts in Jordan. When collecting data, it’s important to be careful to speak with all of the concerned parties and to take opposing positions into account. You need to always endeavour to draw on a variety of types of data – interviews, observations, and also all of the important written sources – so that your findings aren’t biased.
 

Judges often portray the church and the ecclesiastical courts as a single entity. For this reason, it is also important to get a better feel for religious practice and for the community as such. That is why, for example, I took part in the celebration of Orthodox Easter at the Greek Orthodox church in Abdali in April, and also talked with local Christians about other topics besides law. Interviews with Christians who have already gone through divorce proceedings have helped me to better understand how the parties experienced the court process and what difficulties they encountered. In all of this the most important thing is to listen attentively and to start from the assumption that you yourself know very little about the subject and don’t know everything better. Even if you don’t necessarily share the experiences or views of the actors, you always have to take them seriously.

 

 

 Orthodoxes Ostern Jordanien
The celebration of Orthodox Easter at the
Greek Orthodox church in Abdali, Amman

What were the greatest challenges?

Christian law is a very thorny issue because it touches on many sensitive areas: interfaith relations, women’s rights, colonial history, and of course also the relationship to the West. Because of all this, at the beginning you naturally encounter a certain scepticism and reserve. Many of my interview partners – especially the judges and lawyers – also had never been interviewed by researchers before. I needed to first build up a relationship of trust and drink a cup of tea or two with them, but of course you also have to be persistent and you can’t let yourself be brushed off. I generally operate like a very nasty flu: once I am there, it’s not so easy to get rid of me. Researching minority law also brings challenges of its own. Christians are often initially somewhat more hesitant than Muslims to talk about their experiences in court. The main reason for this is that of course it’s more difficult to ensure anonymity than with Muslims. Many Christians fear that their cases could be recognisable to others. One Christian woman who spoke to me about her divorce felt slighted because her priest had blurted out over coffee that a married couple in the parish were having marital problems. The priest divulged that when the couple fought, the woman often hid her husband’s prosthetic leg so that he couldn’t run after her. Of course, everyone who heard the story knew immediately who in the parish he was talking about.

2018-04-20 – Eckart Bueren receives Antitrust Writing Award 2018

Dr. Eckart Bueren, senior research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, has been conferred a 2018 Antitrust Writing Award in the category of Private Enforcement. His article, honoured as one of the year’s Best Academic Articles, was jointly authored with Dr. Florian Smuda, staff member at the German Federal Cartel Office (Bundeskartellamt).


The two scholars were honoured for their article “Suppliers to a sellers’ cartel and the boundaries of the right to damages in U.S. versus EU competition law”. In their award-winning paper, Eckart Bueren and Florian Smuda examine whether a downstream sellers’ cartel is subject to damage claims from their injured suppliers, a category of plaintiff that up to now has been treated as a step-child among cartel victims. The authors first identify three economic effects for determining whether suppliers suffer losses due to a cartel engaged in by their customers. Then, under both a law-and-economics and a comparative lens, they examine whether suppliers are entitled to claim net losses as damages under U.S. and EU law.

Among other conclusions, the authors find that while the majority view in the U.S. holds that such victims lack standing to sue, the emerging position in the EU approves of cartel supplier damage claims. In this regard the authors make clear the interplay between EU and Member State law, with a closer look in particular at Germany and England, two of the most popular venues for follow-on damages actions and two of the jurisdictions that have abandoned traditional limitations imposed on compensatory claims of cartel victims in order to comply with EU law.

The Antitrust Writing Awards are organized annually by the Competition Law Center of the George Washington University and by the Concurrence Review. The awards are conferred in ten categories, with awards being given out in each category for both longer academic articles as well as for shorter, practice-oriented articles. Potential prize winners are identified, in a first step, by means of an online reader poll as well as by a Business and Academic Steering Committee; the final selections are then made by the Writing Awards board. In this manner, the winning articles have been chosen from more than 600 nominated articles in three selection rounds. As in previous years, this year’s winners include leading US legal scholars and economists whose emphasis is in the fields of competition law and economic analysis of law.

The winners of Antitrust Writing Awards 2018 

 

2018-04-18 – Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris II) awards doctoral prize to Samuel Fulli-Lemaire

Samuel Fulli-Lemaire, research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, has been awarded a doctoral prize by the Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris II) for his dissertation on the influence of social developments on private international law.


Until only a few decades ago, the term family was clearly understood. In today’s world, however, the notion of family has been redefined by patchwork relationships, same-sex parents, international marriages and surrogate motherhood. But what happens when one of these forms of family is, for instance, established in a foreign country and then denied recognition in France? In his doctoral dissertation “Le droit international privé de la famille à l’épreuve de l’impératif de reconnaissance des situations” (Rethinking the Recognition of Family Relationships in Private International Law), Samuel Fulli-Lemaire examines the possibilities and limits of private international law. In addition to an analysis of the terminological framework of PIL and the methodology applied, the dissertation also explores the current academic discourse in the field.

Dr. Samuel Fulli-Lemaire studied law at the Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris II). He has been a research fellow at the Institute since 2015.

2018-04-17 – Denise Wiedemann honoured for her doctoral dissertation

The Law Faculty of the University of Leipzig and the Dr. Feldbausch Foundation Landau/Pfalz have honoured Dr. Denise Wiedemann, research assistant at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, with their 2017 award recognising outstanding doctoral dissertations.


In her doctoral dissertation “Die Vollstreckbarkeit – Entwicklung, Wirkungserstreckung und Qualifikation im System Brüssel Ia” (Enforcement –Development, Extension of Effects and Characterisation in the recast Brussels I Regime) Denise Wiedemann examines the cross-border enforcement of judgments in the European Union. Her analysis explains that the recast Brussels I Regulation, in force since 2015, was a milestone achievement. Until that time, judgments had to be subjected to an intermediary procedure known as the exequatur procedure – and also referred to as an enforceability declaration procedure – before they could be enforced in another Member State. The Brussels I Regulation (recast) made the exequatur procedure superfluous and allowed for direct cross-border enforcement. Thus, as an example, a creditor who had obtained a judgment in France was permitted to take his request for enforcement directly to the relevant enforcement officer in Germany to have the judgment enforced.

In the context of direct cross-border enforcement, one observes the intersection of the law of state issuing the judgment, the law of the state of enforcement and the law of the European Union. Departing from the historical lines of development, Denise Wiedemann studies which of these three legal regimes finds application under German, French, English, Dutch and Spanish enforcement law.

Dr. Denise Wiedemann studied administrative justice in Meißen before studying law in both Leipzig and Lisbon. During her period as a doctoral candidate she was a scholarship recipient of the German National Academic Foundation. She was additionally Chercheur invité at the Centre de recherche de droit international der Université Panthéon Assas (Paris II). Denise Wiedemann is a lecturer at the University of Leipzig and the University of Applied Sciences in Meißen. She has been a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law since 2015.

2018-04-10 – Encyclopedia of Private International Law honoured by the American Society of International Law

The American Society of International Law has awarded the Encyclopedia of Private International Law, edited by Jürgen Basedow, Emeritus Director of the Max Planck Institute for Private Law, Giesela Rühl (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena), Franco Ferrari (New York University School of Law) and Pedro de Miguel Asensio (Universidad Complutense Madrid), with the Certificate of Merit for High Technical Craftsmanship and Utility to Practicing Lawyers and Scholars.


The four volume Encyclopedia of Private International Law contains 247 keyword entries, 80 country reports and English translations of the examined countries’ national PIL codes and rules. The work thus combines thematic and country-specific reports along with legal source materials in a manner and form never previously done. With the Encyclopedia, the editors aim to establish an academic foundation for research and discourse in the field of private international law. In so doing, a further goal was to devote attention to countries that had thus far been the subject of only sporadic academic inquiry. Additionally, the work is targeted at legal practitioners in the subject countries, providing them with structured and ready access to relevant materials.

With the award, bestowed yearly on an outstanding publication considering international law, the American Society of International Law has confirmed the high practical value of the Encyclopedia. As stated by the book awards committee: “Given the continuing expansion of the global economy through increased global trade, we believe the value and timeliness of this work to academics, international lawyers and others is difficult to over-state.”

The formal conferral of the award took place on 5 April 2018 in Washington D.C.

Further information on the Encyclopedia of Private International Law

 

EPIL_Rand

 

Jürgen Basedow, Giesela Rühl, Franco Ferrari, Pedro Alberto de Miguel Asensio (Hg.), Encyclopedia of Private International Law, Elgar, Cheltenham 2017, 4033 S.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4337/9781782547235

 

 

 

 





2018-03-29 – Mareike Walter receives research prize

Dr. Mareike Walter, former research assistant at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, has been awarded the research prize of the Esche Schümann Commichau Foundation for her doctoral dissertation.


In her honoured doctoral work, „Die Preisbindung der zweiten Hand“ (Resale Price Maintenance), Dr. Mareike Walter comprehensively re-evaluates the topic of price fixing by means of a comparative study considering the associated economic and competition law discourse in the USA, Europe, Germany and Switzerland. Specifically, resale price maintenance refers to the situation where a manufacturer prescribes to the distributor a fixed resale price for the supplied goods or services. This practice inhibits competition in downstream markets and has thus long been viewed critically. Mareike Walter examines how the issue has developed in the wake of a striking realignment in U.S. Supreme Court case law on price fixing. In her work, Mareike Walter argues for an effective and uniform legislative response, particularly in light of the digital era and the adoption of similar strategies in connection with Internet commerce.

Dr. Mareike Walter studied law in Hamburg and Madrid. From 2012–2016 she was a research assistant at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, working under Professor Reinhard Ellger. During this period she published scholarship on vertical agreements in relation to the Internet and completed work on her doctoral dissertation. In 2014 she completed a research stay in Washington D.C. with the International Scholar in Residence programme of the American Bar Association (Section of Antitrust Law). Dr. Mareike Walter is presently completing an internship at the Berlin Appellate Court; among the earlier stations of her legal traineeship, she was engaged at the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs.

2018-02-23 – Johannes Liebrecht awarded post-doctoral degree by Bucerius Law School

On 31 January 2018, Johannes Liebrecht, research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, was qualified as a professor (habilitiert) by Bucerius Law School in the areas of civil law, German legal history and European legal history.


In his Habilitationsschrift (post-doctoral dissertation), Johannes Liebrecht has focused his efforts in the historiography of legal history, a discipline which presently claims only a marginal position at legal faculties, as the issue is often assigned merely a preliminary role. Connected not only to the functional change experienced by the field in 1900, when Germany embraced a large-scale codification of civil law, the BGB, current standing of legal historiography is attributable also to the subjects that it has considered and the methodology embraced, points of departure which themselves also began to evolve in the last century. It is these topics that are explored and presented in Liebrecht’s work “Die junge Rechtsgeschichte. Methodenwandel in der rechtshistorischen Germanistik in der Zwischenkriegszeit” (“The young legal history. Methodological changes within Germanist legal historiography during the interwar period”).

Dr. habil. Johannes Liebrecht studied law and philosophy at the University of Freiburg. In 2014, the doctoral dissertation he authored was honoured with the Hermann Conring Prize. Since 2007 he has been engaged at the Institute, serving as a research fellow since 2013.

2018-02-22 – Jürgen Basedow on Radio New Zealand discussing "Brexit's legal minefield"

On 18 February 2018, Jürgen Basedow, Emeritus Director of the Institute, spoke with Radio New Zealand about ”Brexit's legal minefield“.


The interview is available under the following link:

Brexit's legal minefield: Jürgen Basedow

2018-02-09 – Reinhard Zimmermann honoured by the University of Cologne

On 16 January 2018 the University of Cologne awarded its Honorary Medal (Universitätsmedaille) to Reinhard Zimmermann, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, for his outstanding contribution as chairman of the University of Cologne’s academic advisory council.


The certificate of award, presented to Reinhard Zimmermann by the dean of the University of Cologne in a ceremony attended by the city’s mayor, recognizes his many years of service as chairman of the university’s first academic advisory council. The university acknowledged the efforts of Zimmermann in having established the council as a provider of valuable recommendations for the university and observed that his expertise helped “significantly to shape the academic profile of the University of Cologne”. In his congratulatory remarks, Heinz-Peter Mansel, Vice-Rector for International Affairs, emphasized Zimmermann’s long-term ties to the University of Cologne. Mansel observed that Zimmermann’s ability concisely to summarize complex and lengthy discussions and to formulate workable recommendations allowed him to help to advance the university’s agenda. Within the framework of the Excellence Initiative, his critical questions greatly contributed to furthering the university’s profile and promoting its success. At the same time, commented Mansel, Zimmerman never lost sight of the university as a whole.

In awarding the Universitätsmedaille, the University of Cologne has stressed that it seeks to honour not only the special efforts of Reinhard Zimmermann in connection with the development of the University of Cologne but also Zimmermann’s exceptional scholarly achievements in the area of comparative law, especially as regards the interaction of common law and continental European civil law.

2018-02-05 – Eugenia Kurzynsky-Singer awarded post-doctoral qualification by the University of Hamburg

On 24 January 2018, the Law Faculty of the University of Hamburg awarded Eugenia Kurzynsky-Singer her post-doctoral qualification in the fields of civil law, comparative law and private international law. Kurzynsky-Singer heads the regional unit on “Russia and other CIS Nations” at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law.


In her post-doctoral dissertation (Habilitationschrift) titled “Transformation der russischen Eigentumsordnung – Eine vergleichende Analyse aus der Sicht des deutschen Rechts” (The Transformation of of Russian Property Law – A Comparative Analysis from the Perspective of German Law), Eugenia Kurzynsky-Singer examines the parallels and contrasts between liberal and collectivist elements in the modern Russian conception of property. In her dissertation she studies the transformation of the notion of property in Russian and German law from a theoretical perspective. The starting point of her inquiry is the assumption that every legal system encompasses a legal-culture component that is shaped by social value judgments and, in particular, the prevailing social model.

Since March 2007, Dr. habil. Eugenia Kurzynsky-Singer has led the regional unit “Russia and other CIS Nations” at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, where she has studied the law of countries that were previously a part of the USSR. A particular focus of her work has been on the civil law of Russia. The aim of her efforts has been to examine the transformation process through a scholarly lens and to engage in a legal dialogue with nations in the post-soviet realm.

2017
2017-11-27 – Walter Doralt recipient of the Kardinal-Innitzer-Prize

On 11 November 2017, Privatdozent Dr. Walter Doralt, former Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, was awarded the Kardinal-Innitzer-Förderungspreis for exceptional academic performance.

 

Named after Archbishop Theodor Cardinal Innitzer (1875-1955), the Kardinal-Innitzer-Förderungspreis is one of the most prestigious awards of its kind in Austria. Awarded since 1962 by the Archdiocese of Vienna, the academic prize is funded by the Ministry of Science, several states, banks, insurance companies and the Chamber of Commerce.

 

Walter Doralt received the prize for his academic accomplishments, particularly his post-doctoral thesis (Habilitationsschrift) on long-term contracts, to be published in 2018 by Mohr Siebeck in the series Jus Privatum.

 

Walter Doralt studied law at the University of Vienna and the Università Cattolica in Milan. In 2005 he received his PhD from the University of Vienna. From 2009 to 2017 he was a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute and from 2013-2017 also lecturer at Bucerius Law School. Walter Doralt currently is acting professor at the University of Münster.

2017-11-15 – Lena-Maria Möller elected to the Association for Arabic and Islamic Law’s board of trustees

Dr. Lena-Maria Möller, research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, has been chosen to serve as a member of the board of trustees for the Association for Arabic and Islamic Law.

The Association for Arabic and Islamic Law (Gesellschaft für Arabisches und Islamisches Recht – GAIR) aims to contribute to a mutual understanding of legal systems and legal practice as between European and Islamic countries, specifically Arabic-Islamic countries. Established in 1997, the Association now numbers more than 150 members, including primarily legal researchers, legal practitioners, Islamic scholars and university students.

 

Dr. Lena-Maria Möller completed her academic coursework in Islamic studies and law at the University of Hamburg and Columbia University (New York City). She is currently a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law and works with the research group titled "Changes in God’s Law – An Inner-Islamic Comparison of Family and Succession Law".

2017-10-06 – Sofie Cools awarded another academic prize for her dissertation

Dr. Sofie Cools, Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law was awarded the Pierre Coppens Prize for her dissertation on the distribution of power between the shareholders’ meeting and the board in stock corporations.

 

In her dissertation, Sofie Cools developed a theory of optimal distribution of power between the shareholders’ meeting and the company’s board, based on an interdisciplinary and economic analysis of the law. Built on insights gleaned from comparative law and empirical legal research, she applies this theory to a range of corporate decisions. Sofie Cools then used the findings from this research to formulate recommendations to improve Belgian corporate law, which were quickly taken up by the Belgian Centre for Corporate Law in its proposal for a new corporate law code.

 

The prix Pierre Coppens is awarded every three years to a researcher from a European university for a book on corporate law in its broadest sense. It is organized by TRV-RPS, the leading Belgian law review on corporate law. In 2016, Sofie Cools already received the Fernand Collin Prize for Law for her dissertation.

 

Sofie Cools, De bevoegdheidsverdeling tussen algemene vergadering en raad van bestuur in de NV [The Division of Power between the Shareholders’ Meeting and the Board in Stock Corporations] Roularta, 2015, XXXII +736 p. [published in Dutch]]

2017-09-11 – Jan D. Lüttringhaus awarded post-doctoral degree by the University of Hamburg

Priv.-Doz. Dr. Jan D. Lüttringhaus, research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law was awarded his post-doctoral degree on 17 July 2017 by the University of Hamburg . He received his professorial lecture credential in the areas of civil law, private international law, international civil procedure, comparative law, civil procedure and business law, the latter particularly as regards insurance law.


His post-doctoral dissertation (Habilitationsschrift) exploring contractual freedom and its materialisation in the European Single Market will be published shortly by Mohr Siebeck (“Vertragsfreiheit und ihre Materialisierung im Europäischen Binnenmarkt – Die Verbürgung und Materialisierung unionaler Vertragsfreiheit im Zusammenspiel von EU-Privatrecht, BGB und ZPO”).

Priv.- Doz. Dr. Jan D. Lüttringhaus studied law at the Universities of Passau, Aix-en-Provence (Maîtrise en droit) and Bonn as well as at Columbia Law School (LL.M.). He has been a research fellow at the Institute since 2011, having received in that same year the Max Planck Society’s Otto Hahn Medal for his doctoral dissertation submitted at the University of Cologne. He has served as a lecturer at the University of Hamburg since 2011 and has since 2013 been a fellow with the Max Planck International Research Network on Aging (MaxNetAging).

2017-09-08 – Nadjma Yassari named associate member by the International Academy of Comparative Law

Priv.-Doz. Dr. Nadjma Yassari LL.M. (London), head of the research group “Changes in God’s Law: An Inner-Islamic Comparison of Family and Succession Law” at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, has been selected as an associate member of the International Academy of Comparative Law (Académie internationale de droit comparé). The Academy currently numbers approximately 700 members worldwide.


The International Academy of Comparative Law was established in 1924 with the mission of contributing to the further advancement of law. Its goal is to bring together legal scholars from around the world and foster academic exchange on methods and developments in comparative law. At the next congress of the Academy, being held in July 2018 in Fukuoka, Japan, Nadjma Yassari will speak together with Marie-Claire Foblets on the topic “Multicultural Challenges in Family Law”.

Priv.-Doz. Dr. Nadjma Yassari LL.M. (London) has led the research group “Changes in God’s Law: An Inner-Islamic Comparison of Family and Succession Law” since April 2009. Before that she was the research fellow responsible for the law of Islamic countries at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law. Nadjma Yassari studied law in Vienna, Innsbruck and Paris and earned a Master of International Business Law at the University of London‘s School of Oriental and African Studies.

2017-08-17 - Dorothée Perrouin-Verbe awarded Konrad Zweigert Scholarship

Dorothée Porrouin-Verbe is a recipient of the Konrad Zweigert Scholarship awarded by the Alumni Association (Verein der Freunde) of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law. The scholarship enables her completion of an intensive two-month research stay at the Institute. Named after former Institute director Konrad Zweigert (1963-1979), the scholarship of the Alumni Association supports the efforts of promising junior researchers hailing from outside Germany.

 

In the following interview, Dorothée Porrouin-Verbe discusses her research and her stay at the Institute.

 

Ms. Perrouin-Verbe, what are you currently researching?

 

At the moment I am writing my doctoral dissertation. The project allows me to explore the border between contract law and liability for tortious conduct, i.e. between contractual obligations and obligations that arise from tortious acts. In French law there is a problem of differentiating between responsabilité contractuellle and responsabilité délictuelle. I am examining not only the differences but also the similarities and commonalities between damages based on contractual breach and damages for tortious conduct. Additionally, I am looking at all those situations in which a conflict can develop, even in cases where the borders between two claims are ostensibly fixed. Thus, for instance, a third party can incur liability for a contractual breach despite not having been party to the contract. In order to maximize the effectiveness of the project, I am researching the issue comparatively, looking in particular at the distinct ways in which German and French law address the problem.

 

Why have you chosen to complete a research stay at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law?

 

The first reason for my coming is that comparative law is a focus of my research and the Institute is one of the world's leading centres for comparative inquiry in the field of private law. In addition, the library at the Max Planck Institute offers comprehensive literature not only on comparative law but also on French law and, of course, on German law. Some of these texts were not accessible to me in France, yet they are extremely useful for my research. The second reason is my love of Germany. As a child and then as a teenager, I came to know the German language and travelled to Germany many times. My family has a number of connections with Germany as in 1964 my grandfather, who was mayor in the town of my birth, built a strong partnership with the city of Glinde, in the vicinity of Hamburg. Later, when I was a law student, I took part in the Erasmus program and lived for several years in Münster learning about German law. Thus it makes me very happy to once again live and work in Germany for these two months, and to experience the city of Hamburg.

 

What makes the Institute library so special in your view?

 

The library at the Institute is characterized by the openness of the researchers and by the reputation of the private law research that is conducted within its walls. When I work here, I am surrounded by doctoral students and researchers from many different countries. This gives me the chance to enter valuable discussions and learn about different legal systems.

 

How would you describe the atmosphere at the Institute? Are there opportunities to exchange ideas with other guest researchers and the academic staff?

 

Everyone is very friendly and many friendships have developed with other guests. I feel comfortable here because the library is a very pleasant place to work. I can spend the entire day in focused research and in the evening enjoy the city with other guests. Is there a spot at the Institute that you are particularly fond of? Someplace where you can, for example, delve deeply into a book or your thoughts? My workspace in the library is ideal for reading and thinking.

2017-08-14 – Library’s 2016 annual report available

The 2016 annual report of the library of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law has been prepared using a new design format.


Reviewing personnel and structural changes as well as achievements in the areas of acquisition, subject indexing and usage, the 2016 annual report summarizes important topics, projects, developments and facts from the preceding year in a user-friendly format.

The Institute’s library is Europe’s largest library specializing in the areas of foreign, comparative and international private law. Currently encompassing legal literature from more than 200 countries, it is nevertheless in a continual state of growth. In 2016 alone, 6,775 new volumes were acquired – corresponding to a budget of over one million Euros – this brings the grand total of holdings to 540,719. In particular, electronic media has seen a steady increase over recent years. The library now holds licenses for more than 5,400 e-books and subscribes to more than 4,500 online journals. It is, moreover, not only the Institute’s academic staff that benefits from the library’s unparalleled collection. Namely, 2016 saw a total of 937 guests from 68 countries utilize the library.

Additionally, in 2016 the library staff was able to complete the “Retrospective Catalogue Enrichment” project: For the past eight years, tables of contents dating back to 2000 have been incrementally and retroactively scanned. With this effort, the online catalogue OPAC now holds more than 58,000 scanned tables of contents. As this information is available worldwide, the service allows Institute guests to more effectively prepare for their research visits.

Orders for a copy of the library’s 2016 annual report can be sent to halsen@mpipriv.de.

A PDF version of the report is available at the following link:

2017-07-26 – Benjamin Pißler appointed professor at the University of Göttingen

Prof. Dr. Knut Benjamin Pißler M.A., head of the China Unit at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, has recently been appointed as adjunct professor (außerplanmäßiger Professor) at the law faculty of the University of Göttingen.


Knut Benjamin Pißler has taught at the University of Göttingen since 2007. In 2013 he was awarded his post-doctoral degree (Habilitation) by the University of Göttingen and received his teaching qualification in the area of Chinese law. In addition, he has since 2011 been a lecturer at the University of Cologne.

Professor Pißler’s current research sees him examining the advancement of Chinese law through the so-called guiding cases being issued by the Supreme People’s Court. In a project funded by the Max Planck Foundation, he is working alongside a renowned Chinese legal scholar from the Tsinghua University in Beijing in order to classify and identify the legal developments that are resulting from the guiding cases.

Prof. Dr. Knut Benjamin Pißler, M.A. (sinology) studied law and sinology in Würzburg and Hamburg and has been employed at the Institute since 2001. He has led the China Unit since 2002. His research focal points lie in comparative law, Chinese and Korean civil law (particularly banking law, capital markets law, contract law, real estate law, tenancy law and residential property law), and also the law of non-profit organizations.

2017-07-13 – Walter Doralt awarded post-doctoral degree by Bucerius Law School

Privatdozent Dr. Walter Doralt, former senior research fellow for French law at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, received his post-doctoral degree from Bucerius Law School on 3 July 2017. His teaching qualification covers the areas of civil law, commercial and company law, comparative law, private international law, and law and economics.


Walter Doralt’s post-doctoral thesis (Habilitationsschrift) on long-term contracts begins with an analysis of continuing obligations under German law. The study then explores the economic foundations of contract law and long-term contracts. A third section constitutes the central part, examining five key areas of importance for long-term contracts. These are particular duties of loyalty in a long-term contract, the admissibility and limits of very long and indefinite contractual relationships, questions of change of circumstances (including contractual mechanisms for dealing with risk management and renegotiation in the event of unexpected changes), termination for cause and, finally, contractual penalties. French and English law and international model rules are drawn on in a comparative perspective, supplementing the search for suitable solutions.

 

Walter Doralt studied law at the University of Vienna and the Università Cattolica in Milan. In 2005 he received his PhD from the University of Vienna, and from 2009 to 2017 he worked at the Institute as a senior research fellow, including responsibility for French law. Since 2013 he has been a lecturer at Bucerius Law School, and during the 2017 summer semester he will serve as acting professor for Professor Dr. Matthias Casper at the Institute for Business and Capital Market Law at the University of Münster.

2017-06-26 – Oliver Unger awarded Otto Hahn Medal

For his dissertation ‘Actio funeraria: underlying principle and paradigmatic case of the forbidden intervention in another’s affairs’, Dr. Oliver Unger, former research associate at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, was awarded the Otto Hahn Medal at this year’s general assembly of the Max Planck Society.


In his doctoral dissertation supervised by Institute Director Reinhard Zimmermann, Oliver Unger considers at length the Roman cause of action for funeral expenses (actio funeraria).

How does a society deal with its dead - and what is the role of the law? This question is at the heart of Oliver Unger’s dissertation. It is of particular relevance in cases of dying persons who are isolated, impoverished or neglected: Does the law allocate such individuals’ right of burial exclusively to government agencies, or does it rely on the solidarity of private individuals, such as relatives or friends of the dead? The changing relationship between state responsibility and private initiative was already defined in Roman law, and it continues to have an effect in our times. Examining this connection from the perspective of legal history is a central focus of the dissertation. In so doing, the study simultaneously considers a broad disciplinary spectrum.

The Otto Hahn Medal is awarded annually by the Max Planck Society to junior researchers in recognition of their outstanding academic contributions.

Oliver Unger studied law at the University of Freiburg, the University of Oxford and Harvard University. Following the completion of his legal clerkship (Referendariat) at the Higher Regional Court of Hamburg, he worked as research assistant at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law.

Publication of the dissertation by Mohr Siebeck is forthcoming.

2017-05-23 – St. Petersburg International Legal Forum appoints Jürgen Basedow to the Prize for Private Law selection committee

As announced at the recently held St. Petersburg International Legal Forum VII., Prof. Dr. Jürgen Basedow, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, has been named to serve alongside 17 other internationally renowned scholars on the selection committee for the newly inaugurated Prize for Private Law.


The Prize for Private Law, which includes a 10 million ruble financial component (roughly 150,000 Euros), will be awarded in recognition of outstanding research in the fields of civil law and private international law. The prize is to be bestowed for the first time in 2018 at the next St. Petersburg International Legal Forum.

The St. Petersburg International Legal Forum was established several years ago as an internationally oriented Russian jurists’ congress. The most recent Forum, held at St. Petersburg’s Hermitage, saw nearly 3,000 participants from around the world in attendance. The Forum was organized by a foundation and sponsored by the Russian government, the latter being represented by Prime Minister Medwedew, Minister of Justice Konovalov and Deputy Minister of Justice Galperin.

2017-05-15 – International Academy of Comparative Law honours Hein Kötz

The International Academy of Comparative Law has honoured Prof. Hein D. Kötz, Emeritus Director at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, as a “Great Comparative Law Scholar”. Similarly recognized at the 15 May 2017 event in Paris were Mary Ann Glendon, Xavier Blanc-Jouvan, Jean-Louis Baudoin and Rodolfo Sacco.


The ceremony commenced with five congratulatory addresses, each dedicated to a specific honouree. This gave way to a roundtable discussion under the theme “The Past, the Present and the Future of Comparative Law”. The congratulatory remarks and the panel discussion are to be reproduced in their own forthcoming Academy publication.

Since its founding in 1923, the International Academy of Comparative Law has fostered an exchange of ideas on the methods and development of comparative law. Towards this end, the Academy’s congresses cover a wide range of topics across all areas of legal scholarship. The selected topics aim to reflect contemporary developments and contribute to a further advancement of the law. The goal of the Academy is to motivate scholars from around the world to undertake comparative research. Presently, the Academy boasts a global membership of roughly 700 individuals

2017-05-08 – Patrick C. Leyens awarded Deutsche Aktieninsitut’s University Prize

On 8 May, the Deutsche Aktieninstitut announced the recipient of its annual University Prize. Priv.- Doz. Dr. iur. habil. Patrick C. Leyens, LL.M., formerly a research fellow and currently an affiliate of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, was honoured with first place (Legal Studies) for his post-doctoral thesis: “Informationsintermediäre des Kapitalmarkts: Private Marktzugangs­kontrolle durch Abschlussprüfung, Bonitätsrating und Finanzanalyse” (Information Intermediaries of the Capital Market: Private Gatekeeping through Statutory Audits, Credit Ratings and Financial Analysis). This is the fourth award he has received for his post-doctoral thesis, following research prizes from the Esche Schümann Commichau Foundation, the Stiftung Kapitalmarktrecht für den Finanzstandort Deutschland, and the Finanzplatz Hamburg e.V (first place, “Finanzkompass 2015”).

 

The post-doctoral thesis (Habilitationsschrift), which was supervised by Prof. Dr. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Klaus J. Hopt, lays the foundation for answering pressing policy questions regarding the regulation of private information intermediaries in financial markets. Leyens addresses the regulation of auditors, rating agencies and financial analysts through contract law, civil liabilities, and financial market law. Based on this, he establishes the basic structures of a law regarding information intermediation in capital markets, which could also provide important insights for the integration of new information intermediaries such as proxy advisers and remuneration consultants. The monograph will be published in 2017 in the Mohr Siebeck series Jus Privatum. Following his time as a research associate and then research fellow at the Max Plank Institute, Leyens was appointed junior professor of private law and economic analysis of the law at the University of Hamburg. Since 2014 he has been engaged as an honorary professor at the Erasmus School of Law in Rotterdam. He has also been employed as an interim professor, first at the University of Munster in 2015 and then at Humboldt University of Berlin since 2016. As of 2017 he is also a research member of the European Corporate Governance Institute, Brussels. Leyens has established himself on the national and international academic stage through his numerous publications, lectures and courses on civil law, corporate and commercial law and capital market law.

2017-05-04 – Rainer Kulms appointed Adjunct Professor

In April the China University of Political Science and Law appointed Priv.-Doz. Dr. Rainer Kulms, LL.M. (Michigan), senior research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, to the position of adjunct professor.

 

Rainer Kulms has been closely connected to the China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL) since 2009. He is a member of the “Flying Faculty” of the China-EU School of Law in Peking and regularly teaches students in the international masters programme, which grants a degree from the CUPL and the University of Hamburg. As adjunct professor he is assigned to the CUPL’s School of Law and Economics, where he will give lectures and participate in research projects.

 

The China University of Political Science and Law was founded in 1952 and is among the most renowned law universities in China. With its over 500 law professors, the Peking-based university is home to the largest law faculty worldwide and contributes on many levels to the further development of the Chinese legal system. The China-EU School of Law (CESL) at the China University of Political Science and Law is a joint project of the Chinese government and the European Union.

 

Priv.-Doz. Rainer Kulms, LL.M. (Michigan), has been the editor-in-chief of the European Business Organization Law Review since 2003 and has taught at the University of Hamburg (European Master in Law and Economics). In the 2008 Lent term he was a visiting fellow at the University of Cambridge, and in the following years he was a guest instructor at the universities of Belgrade, Timsoara, and Tirana, as well as at Chinese universities.

2017-03-16 – Renewed honours for Konrad Duden: Gerhard Kegel Prize awarded by the German Society of International Law

Konrad Duden, research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, was awarded the German Society of International Law’s Gerhard Kegel Prize on 15 March 2017. The award, recognizing outstanding doctoral dissertations, stands as the third honour bestowed on the dissertation authored by Konrad Duden.

 

In his dissertation „Leihmutterschaft im Internationalen Privat- und Verfahrensrecht – Abstammung und ordre public im Spiegel des Verfassungs-, Völker- und Europarechts“ [Surrogate Motherhood in Private International Law and the Law of International Civil Procedure. Filiation and Public Policy in the Light of Constitutional, International and European Law] Dr. Konrad Duden studies the consequences of international surrogate motherhood on a child’s filiation. Because of the domestic prohibition against surrogate motherhood, an increasing number of Germans are traveling abroad to fulfill their desire for children. But lineage from the intended parents is not always recognized by the German courts in such cases. In his comparative study, Duden looks at six legal systems that permit surrogacy and asks in which instances the intended parents of the child would also be the legal parents of the child under German law. He considers the results of his inquiry in relation to fundamental rights and human rights with a particular focus on the rights of the child.

 

The Gerhard Kegel Prize is awarded every two years by the German Society of International Law (Deutschen Gesellschaft für Internationales Recht (DGIR)) in recognition of outstanding dissertations authored in the field of private international law.

 

Dr. Konrad Duden studied law in Heidelberg, Bilbao and Cambridge and was a scholarship recipient of the German National Academic Foundation, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, and the German Academic Exchange Service. He has been employed at the Max Planck Institute for Private Law since 2012.

 

Konrad Duden, Leihmutterschaft im Internationalen Privat- und Verfahrensrecht – Abstammung und ordre public im Spiegel des Verfassungs-, Völker- und Europarechts (Studien zum ausländischen und internationalen Privatrecht, 333), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2015, XXIV + 392 pages, published in German.

 

2017-03-02 – Martin Illmer awarded post-doctoral degree by Bucerius Law School

Priv.-Doz. Dr. Martin Illmer, former research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, was awarded his post-doctoral degree (Habilitation) from Bucerius Law School on 24 February 2017. He has been qualified to lecture in the fields of civil law, civil procedure, private international law, international civil procedure, European private law and comparative law.

 

Martin Illmer’s post-doctoral dissertation (“Strukturen eines Dienstleistungsvertragsrechts”) examines the taxonomy, structure and substantive rulings associated with the German law of service contracts against the background of the field’s historical development, beginning with Roman law rules and moving forward through the private law jurisprudence that has evolved since the Middle Ages. What changes have been witnessed in the law of service contracts? What decisions have been consciously or unconsciously made? How broadly has the sphere of service contract law been opened over the course of the centuries, or how narrowly has it been drawn shut? On the basis of this analysis, the law of service contracts is set forth – newly structured and substantively re-conceptualised – as a uniform type of contract situated alongside sales and lease contracts. Through this effort, a coherent regulatory model is advanced for a core area of the law of obligations that has up to now been neglected.

 

Priv.-Doz. Dr. Martin Illmer studied law at the Universities of Mainz, Cambridge and Oxford. In 2007 he was conferred his doctoral degree by the University of Mainz. As Institute fellow, he acted as the assisting editor for the Handwörterbuch des Europäischen Privatrechts. Subsequently he headed an independent research group on service contract law.

2017-02-17 – Patrick C. Leyens appointed research member of the European Corporate Governance Institute

The European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) has selected Patrick C. Leyens, affiliate at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, as one of its newest research members.


ECGI was founded in 2002. It was established to improve the understanding of corporate governance based on high-quality and independent scientific research. Corporate governance aims to balance corporate, economic, and social goals with community and individual interests. The ECGI brings together a critical mass of expertise from different disciplines, such as economics, law, finance, and management, in order to identify and develop solutions on the basis of varying perspectives.

Patrick C. Leyens has already contributed to the ECGI with his paper on “Board Models in Europe” (link), published in 2004 together with Klaus J. Hopt, Emeritus Director at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law. The paper currently holds the highest all-time ranking in the ECGI law series.

Prof. Dr. Patrick C. Leyens is Honorary Professor of Law and Economics at the Erasmus School of Law in Rotterdam and presently Acting Professor at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. His areas of specialization include German and European commercial law and business law, company law, capital markets law, comparative law, law and economics and corporate governance.

2017-02-13 – Jürgen Basedow on the methodology of comparative law

In an English-language interview for the project Latest Thinking, Jürgen Basedow considers the question: “Should Different Types of Methodology in Comparative Legal Research Be Combined into One Method?”.

 

In his interview, Jürgen Basedow explains why different methods of comparative study can be appropriate depending on the particular research aim and the nature of the problem being examined. For instance, whereas social scientists may be interested in law-impacting factors such as religion and society, a court is typically concerned only with identifying the specific foreign law that it is obliged to apply. Further, one must keep in mind the wide array of research which can potentially be undertaken, as this will dictate the style and method of research and legal comparison. Finally, Jürgen Basedow suggests that – just as in other fields of inquiry – comparative research and its findings are guided by the expectations, needs and aims of the “clients” who benefit from and commission research.

Watch Video

The interview with Jürgen Basedow is based on the article “Comparative Law and its Clients”, published in the American Journal of Comparative Law (https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2391171).

The organizers of the project Latest Thinking have the aim of fostering the development of new ideas, approaches and solutions in the world of research. In freely accessible videos, scholars discuss their work and explain their approaches for solving significant problems. In addition to his interview on comparative law methodology, accompanying videos include Jürgen Basedow discussing discoveries important for globalization and sharing a personal reading recommendation.

“Should Different Types of Methodology in Comparative Legal Research Be Combined in the One Method?” by Latest Thinking & Jürgen Basedow, 2016 is licensed under a Creative Commons license: CC-BY 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Jürgen Basedow, Comparative Law and its Clients, The American Journal of Comparative Law 62, 4 (2014), 821 - 857.

2016
2016-12-22 – Marlen Thaten awarded Esche Schümann Commichau Foundation Encouragement Award

Dr. Marlen Thaten, LL.M. (Harvard), former Research Associate at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, has been awarded the Esche Schümann Commichau Foundation Encouragement Award for her thesis.


In her thesis “Die Ausstrahlung des Aufsichts- auf das Aktienrecht am Beispiel der Corporate Governance von Banken und Versicherungen”, Marlen Thaten examined the challenges posed by the massive increase in corporate governance requirements in financial institutions since the financial crisis. Since the crisis, European legislatures have been increasingly mapping out compliance management, risk, management, remuneration and supervisory structures. In line with this, many areas have postulated a ‘spill-over’ of supervisory law into stock corporation law. But can the conditions that apply to the Deutsche Bank also be binding for Siemens, Volkswagen, or the German Telekom? Her work examined this question by analysing the differences between corporate governance in stock corporation and supervisory law, exploring potential consistencies and making the elusive concept of the ‘spill-over’ effect more tangible. Specific questioning was then used to process these findings for practical application.

 

Marlen Thaten studied law at the Bucerius Law School in Hamburg, and completed her first State Exam in 2011. She then spent three years working for Prof. Dr. Holger Fleischer at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Law. In this time, she published numerous pieces on a range of corporate and capital market law topics, while also completing her award-winning thesis. After completing her legal clerkship, which included positions with the European Commission, the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy and the Higher Regional Court of Hamburg, she undertook an LL.M. at Harvard Law School in the USA. She has been working at Hengeler Mueller in Berlin since the end of 2016.

2016-12-21 – Matteo Fornasier completed his Habilitation at Hamburg University

Matteo Fornasier, Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for comparative and international private law has completed his Habilitation in civil law, labour law international private and procedural law and comparative law with the Faculty of Law at Hamburg University on 14 December 2016.


In his post-doctoral thesis entitled “Kollektivvereinbarungen im grenzüberschreitenden Unternehmen – Studien für ein europäisches Kollektivvertragsrecht”, Matteo Fornasier examined the extent to which multinational companies are able to form cross-border collective agreements that uniformly regulate the working conditions of employees in different countries. As shown by the example of several European groups of companies, there is a growing need to such agreements in practice. With an eye on the future development of the law, the thesis discusses potential models for the creation of a European regulatory framework for cross-border collective agreements at the company level.

 

Private Lecturer Dr. Matteo Fornasier studied law at Munich University, the London School of Economics and Political Science and at Yale Law School. He received his PhD from Munich University in 2011. He has been working as a research fellow at the Institute since 2009.

2016-12-14 – Sofie Cools awarded Fernand Collin Prize

Dr. Sofie Cools, Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law was awarded the Belgian Fernand Collin Prize for Law on 12 December 2016 for her dissertation on the division of responsibilities between the General Shareholders’ Meeting and the administrative bodies in stock corporations.

 

In her dissertation, Sofie Cools developed a theoretical optimal division of responsibilities between the general shareholders’ meeting and the company’s administrative bodies, based on an interdisciplinary and economic analysis of the law. Built on insights gleaned from comparative law and empirical legal research, she applies this theory to a range of decisions that could make or break a company. Sofie Cools then used the findings from this research to formulate recommendations to improve Belgian corporate law, which were quickly taken up by the Belgian Centre for Corporate Law.

 

The Fernand Collin Prize for Law, De prijs Fernand Collin voor Recht, is one of the most renowned prizes for legal research in Belgium. It is awarded every two years to a researcher from a Belgian university for research into any field of law published in the Dutch language.

 

Sofie Cools, De bevoegdheidsverdeling tussen algemene vergadering en raad van bestuur in de NV [The Division of Responsibilities between the General Shareholders’ Meeting and the Administrative Bodies in a Stock Corporation] Roularta, 2015, XXXII +736 p. [published in Dutch]

2016-11-25 – Reinhard Zimmermann holds first Adam-von-Trott-Lecture in Göttingen

The lecture by Reinhard Zimmermann, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law marked the beginning of the collaborative project “Democracy – Resistance – Internationalism” between the University of Göttingen and the Foundation Adam von Trott. Adam von Trott zu Solz studied law at the University of Göttingen and was one of the central resistance fighters in the 20 July 1944 plot against National Socialist rule.

 

In the first Adam-von-Trott-Lecture, Reinhard Zimmermann recalled the “deep sympathy for England and the English” held by Adam von Trott, whose academic career included two years as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford University. This was the starting point for Zimmermann’s lecture titled “Germany and England: Different Legal Cultures?”. Using a specific legal problem as his point of departure, he outlined a series of characteristic features of English law that contrast with those of the German system, but also six important linkages between the two.

 

Reinhard Zimmermann also referred to the current political situation, quoting Adam von Trott’s words “Our mutual enemy is indolence”: today, also, we must fight against indifference and apathy.

 

The Adam-von-Trott-Lecture was established to commemorate the resistance fighter von Trott, who was involved in the planning of the attempted assassination of Adolf Hitler on 20 July 1944, an involvement that saw him sentenced to death and executed. According to Thomas Oppermann, Chairman of the SPD Parliamentary Caucus in the Federal Parliament and co-initiator of this collaboration, von Trott was a forward looking global citizen, who worked towards the introduction of a European customs and currency union and supported the creation of a European court.

2016-11-07 – Private donation and external funding ensure the continued efforts of Max Planck Research Group

For more than 16 years, Priv.-Doz. Dr. Nadjma Yassari has been conducting research on the laws of Islamic countries at the Max Planck Institute for Private Law. Now, owing to the generous support of the Max Planck Foundation and Mrs. Traudl Engelhorn-Vechiatto, the scholars of the Research Group “Changes in God’s Law: An Inner-Islamic Comparison of Family and Succession Law” can continue forward with their foundational research efforts.

“The Research Group benefits from many years of experience, and it is precisely now, against the backdrop of the refugee crisis, that its work is of utmost importance. The funding which has recently been pledged will allow us to move forward with the necessary scope and intensity”, explained Nadjma Yassari.

The Research Group led by Nadjma Yassari since 2009 is currently the world’s only research entity studying contemporary family and inheritance laws of Muslim jurisdictions from an interdisciplinary and comparative perspective. At present, the Group is focusing its research on the rights of children. After a first phase which has examined the best interests of the child principle and considered how the principle has evolved in selected Muslim jurisdictions and been applied in custody matters, the current phase will address the law of parentage, particularly adoption. Research efforts will investigate the origin of rules prohibiting adoption in many Islamic countries and, at the same time, highlight ways in which this prohibition has been implemented or, alternatively, circumvented.

Alongside the commitment to interdisciplinarity and an inner-Islamic comparison, the work of the Research Group places special emphasis on procedural law. To date, most research work has paid little attention to the importance of procedural law, yet particularly in the Islamic world it plays a key role given that in many regulations the substantive law, e.g. succession law and marriage law, is “veiled” behind procedural rules. Thus, the doctoral work of Dominik Krell will explore this phenomenon as encountered in the procedural laws and judicial organisation of Saudi Arabia, where the government has since 2000 been attempting to reform a legal system that has been dominated by religious scholars.

By having regard for these three pillars (interdisciplinarity, an inner-Islamic comparison and the incorporation of procedural aspects), a fuller and less distorted picture of family law may be obtained which reflects the true dynamics of legal developments in Islamic countries.

Additionally, the Research Group is conducting a project on Syrian family law which is being funded by the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection.

Based on their past work, their far-sighted consideration of potential legal developments, their on-site field research and the contacts fostered by this research, the scholars of the Research Group have regularly been able to contribute their expertise to German courts and agencies.

2016-10-07 – Reinhard Zimmermann on the education of Meinhof, Mahler und Ensslin

Before becoming members of the RAF, Ulrike Meinhof, Gudrun Ensslin and Horst Mahler all held scholarships from the German Academic Scholarship Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes). Now, for the first time, their files have been opened for an academic publication. For Reinhard Zimmermann, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law and President of the Foundation, this scholarly examination is important for many reasons.

 

In the foreword of the book that has just been released, Reinhard Zimmermann states that “Meinhof, Mahler and Ensslin are not just part of the history of the Foundation, but also historical figures in their own right. There is thus a justified public interest in understanding their intellectual formation. The publication is also important for assessing the responsibility of the Foundation.” He goes on to say that by reading through the files, readers can make their own decision as to whether the Scholarship Foundation was wrong in selecting these scholarship recipients.

 

Ulrike Meinhof and Horst Mahler were both nominated for a scholarship by their respective schools in 1954. Mahler received funding until 1959, Meinhof until 1960. Gudrun Ensslin’s scholarship grant was approved in 1964 and ended in June 1968.

 

The project to collate and release these documents was initiated and conducted by the modern historian and political scientist Alexander Gallus, who has held the Chair for Political Theory and the History of Ideas at the Technical University of Chemnitz since 2013.

 

“Meinhof, Mahler, Ensslin. Die Akten der Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes” has been published as part of the “V&R Academic” series by Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht publishers.

 

The publisher, Professor Gallus and Professor Reinhard Zimmermann provide more background information to the documents released in this edition in a comprehensive interview published on 1 September in the weekly paper DIE ZEIT.

2016-09-16 – Brooke Adele Marshall awarded the Diploma of the Hague Academy of International Law

Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law research fellow Brooke Adele Marshall has been honoured as the sole recipient of the Diploma of the Hague Academy of International Law, awarded in connection with the 2016 Summer Courses on Private International Law.

 

A total of 280 junior researchers from around the world were accepted this year to participate in the Summer Courses on Private International Law. As part of the Hague Academy’s three-week programme, a high-level diploma is awarded to a maximum of two students who demonstrate an advanced knowledge of the field and who pass an oral and written examination. During this year’s programme, 32 of the participants prepared for the Diploma examination in an English or French directed studies group, with Brooke Marshall attending the French group led by Professor Sabine Corneloup of the Université Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas. Following the examinations, the jury – chaired by Professor Yves Daudet, Secretary-General of the Hague Academy of International Law – awarded the Diploma of the Academy to Brooke Marshall as this year’s sole recipient.

 

The Summer Courses of the Hague Academy of International Law are held over three weeks and comprise a General Course and a series of Special Courses. This year’s General Course, titled Private International Law: Aspirations and Realities, was delivered by Professor Symeon Symeonides from the USA.

 

Since its inception in 1932, several thousand students hailing from more than 100 countries have participated in the Summer Courses. The Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law now includes two Diploma recipients in its ranks, with research fellow Samuel Fulli-Lemaire having been conferred the honour in 2012.

2016-09-14 – The Journal of Japanese Law celebrates its 20th anniversary

The J.Japan.L. is the world’s only western language publication which documents and analyses the myriad lines of development in Japanese law in a timely, methodical and regular fashion.

 

Prof. Dr. Harald Baum, head of the Japan Unit at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, founded the magazine in 1996. Since 2004 the J.Japan.L. has been published by the Hamburg-based Max Planck Institute in cooperation with the German-Japanese Association of Jurists.

 

The 20th anniversary of the "Zeitschrift für Japanisches Recht / Journal of Japanese Law" presents an opportunity for two symposia. On 23 and 24 September at Chuo University in Tokyo, the Japanese anniversary symposium entitled "Information Duties, Disclosure Duties, and Transparency Obligations under Japanese and German Private Law" will take place. The anniversary will then also be celebrated in Hamburg at the Max Planck Institute during a two-day symposium on 4 and 5 November entitled "Self-regulation in Private Law in Japan and Germany".

2016-08-10 – Claudia Holland is the new Library Director

In June, Claudia Holland took up the role of Library Director at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law. She sees one of the most interesting challenges of her new role as adapting the library to the increasing significance of electronic resources and managing the change processes involved.

 

As a specialist in law and psychology at the University of Leipzig, Claudia Holland was the contact person for 20 professors from the law faculty and nine from the psychology faculty. In taking on the library at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, she is shouldering the responsibility for one of the most significant collections of civil law literature in the world, and one of the most authoritative, with over 500 000 volumes on private and commercial law from approximately 200 countries. According to Holland, the further development of this unique international collection will be one of her biggest tasks into the future. The whole collection is already able to be searched from anywhere in the world, and approximately 40 000 tables of contents can be read using the OPAC system.

 

Claudia Holland studied jurisprudence, French law and Spanish for translators in Göttingen and Saarbrücken. After her first State Exam, she completed her specialist training as an Academic Librarian at the University of Saabrücken. This training included placements at the Law Library at University of Freiburg (i. Brsg.), the Constitutional Law Library (Karlsruhe) and the University Library of Leipzig. She was the head of the Commission for Legal Matters for the Association of German Librarians from 2003 to 2016. She has also works as a lecturer in human resources law in the (distance education) Master’s Degree in Library and Information Sciences for the Humboldt University in Berlin.

2016-07-01 – Nadjma Yassari awarded post-doctoral degree from the University of Hamburg

Dr. Nadjma Yassari, LL.M. (London), Leader of the "Changes in God’s Law” research group at the Max Planck Institute for comparative and international private law was granted a professorial position at the Hamburg University on the 1 July 2016. She is thus authorised to teach the subjects of comparative law, international private law and Islamic law.

 

In her postdoctoral thesis, “Die Brautgabe in Familienvermögensrecht” (The Dower in Family Estate Law), Nadjma Yassari uses traditional Islamic law, the current applicable law in selected Islamic countries and German law to open up and explore the legal institution of the dower (mahr). Mahr is a key element of traditional Islamic marriage law which grants the wife a pecuniary claim against her husband. Although this institution is not recognised under German law, German judges are often required to rule on dower claims when these are brought before German courts.

 

Associate Professor Dr. Nadjma Yassari has been the research fellow responsible for the law of Islamic countries at the Max Planck Institute for comparative and international private law since February 2009, and has been leader of the research group “Changes in God’s Law – An Inner Islamic Comparison of Family and Succession Laws” since April 2009. Initially funded by the Max Planck Society, since 2016 the group has been funded by the Max Planck Foundation and Mrs. Traudl Engelhorn-Vechiatto. The Federal Ministry for Justice and Consumer Protection also supports a project started by the group that researches the current legal situation in Syria and Iraq. Nadjma Yassari studied law in Vienna, Innsbruck and Paris, and obtained her Master of International Business Law from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.


Nadjma Yassari, Die Brautgabe im Familienvermögensrecht – Innerislamischer Rechtsvergleich und Integration in das deutsche Recht (Beiträge zum ausländischen und internationalen Privatrecht, 104), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2014, XXXIV + 580 S.

2016-06-17 – Konrad Duden awarded Otto Hahn Medal

Konrad Duden has been awarded the Max Planck Society’s Otto Hahn Medal for his dissertation “Surrogate Motherhood in Private International Law and the Law of International Civil Procedure”.

 

In his study of the law surrounding surrogate motherhood, Konrad Duden, research assistant at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, looks at six different legal systems and asks who the parents of the child would be from the viewpoint of German law. His analysis leads him to the conclusion that the children frequently remain unable to claim lineage from the intended parents. Yet particularly the rights of the child demand that integration into the legal family of the intended parents be generally allowable. Duden’s comparative study considers the legal situation in six jurisdictions that permit surrogacy, namely Great Britain, California, India, Greece, Israel and Ukraine.

 

The Otto Hahn Medal is conferred each year by the Max Planck Society on young researchers in recognition of their outstanding scientific achievement. The honour stands as the second award bestowed on Konrad Duden’s doctoral dissertation, his having already received the Serick-Prize in 2015.

 

Konrad Duden studied law in Heidelberg, Bilbao and Cambridge and was a scholarship recipient of both the German National Academic Foundation and the German Academic Exchange Service. He has since 2012 been employed at the Max Planck Institute for Private Law as a research assistant.

 

Konrad Duden, Leihmutterschaft im Internationalen Privat- und Verfahrensrecht – Abstammung und ordre public im Spiegel des Verfassungs-, Völker- und Europarechts [Surrogate Motherhood in Private International Law and the Law of International Civil Procedure. Filiation and Public Policy in the Light of Constitutional, International and European Law.] (Studien zum ausländischen und internationalen Privatrecht, 333), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2015, XXIV + 392 pages [published in German].

2016-05-25 – Christoph Kumpan appointed professor at the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg

As of 1 March 2016, Prof. Dr. Christoph Kumpan, LL.M. (Univ. of Chicago), former research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, has served as Professor of Civil Law, Business Law, Private International Law and Comparative Law at the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg as well as Director of the University’s Institute for Business and Economic Law.

 

The present focus of Christoph Kumpan’s research lies in stock and capital market law, corporate governance, interest protection and comparative law. Currently he is working on publication projects considering the new law on insider trading, listing requirements for bond issuance and the new European rules on market- and off-market trading. Additionally, he is examining the private international law aspects of security trading and is preparing a comprehensive English-language commentary focused on the most important EU finance law directives and regulations. As a member of the Federal Ministry of Finance’s working group on financial legislation, he is counseling the Ministry on the regulation of financial markets. Prior to be named a professor in Halle, he had served as guest professor at the Humboldt University of Berlin where he taught in the areas of civil law, banking and capital market law, commercial law and company law.

 

Prof. Dr. Christoph Kumpan, LL.M. (Univ. of Chicago) studied law in Berlin, Heidelberg and Chicago. Following completion of the two German state law examinations, he also qualified as a lawyer in the state of New York. From 2004 to 2012, Christoph Kumpan conducted research as a fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law. The doctoral dissertation that he authored during this time examined off-market securities trading systems and garnered the Hochschulpreis of the Deutches Aktieninstitut as well as the Max Planck Society’s Otto Hahn Medal. In 2014, his post-doctoral dissertation, also written at the Max Planck Institute and financially sponsored by the German Research Foundation, was published in Mohr Siebeck’s Jus Privatum series under the title “Conflicts of Interest in German Private Law“.

2016-02-23 – Best Teacher Award for Patrick C. Leyens

Patrick C. Leyens, affiliate at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, has been honoured with the Best Teacher Award for his lecture on “Corporate Law & Economics” in the European Master in Law and Economics (EMLE).

EMLE is one of the leading Masters programmes in the field of Law and Economics. During the one year course of study, students attend at least two of the nine European and international universities participating in the programme. The lecture “Corporate Law & Economics” is one of the compulsory subjects in the second trimester and is taught by different lecturers simultaneously at the Universities of Bologna, Hamburg and Ghent.

 

Leyens has been involved with EMLE in Hamburg since his days as a Junior Professor spanning 2007-2013. His contribution to the first trimester compulsory programme, “Corporate Law & Economics”, was met with great demand from the outset. The teaching content has been set as the model for the other lectures on the same subject being given at the other participating universities.

 

Leyens has been holding the award winning “Corporate Law & Economics” lecture for many years, at the University of Hamburg, and also in 2012 as a guest lecturer at the Bilgi University in Istanbul. He is currently offering the lecture at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, which appointed him as an honorary professor in 2014.

2016-02-08 – Obituary: Prof. Dr. Eike von Hippel

We mourn the passing of

 

Prof. Dr. jur. Eike von Hippel

 

who died on 28 January 2016. 

 

Eike von Hippel was engaged as a research fellow at the Institute from 1965 to 1993. During this timeframe he was awarded his post-doctoral degree from the University of Hamburg (habilitiert) und subsequently appointed as honorary professor. During the entire time of his employment at the Institute, Eike von Hippel led the unit responsible for the United States of America. 

 

With the death of Eike von Hippel we are losing a scholar of great renown whose reputation extends far beyond the borders of Germany. His belief in the moral and ethical dimensions of the law and his efforts toward a “just” law impressed all those around him. He will always remain in our grateful memories.

 

Our heartfelt condolences are extended to his family.

 

The Directors and Staff of the 
Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg
2016-02-02 – Jürgen Basedow awarded honorary doctorate by the Université Panthéon Assas (Paris II)

On 29 January 2016, Jürgen Basedow, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, was conferred an honorary doctorate by the Université Panthéon Assas (Paris II).

 

The laudatory remarks delivered by Louis Vogel, former president of the university, highlighted the international dimension of Jürgen Basedow’s academic work and acknowledged his embodying a true European spirit. Basedow’s ensuing acceptance speech recounted his longstanding connection to the Université Panthéon Assas (Paris II). In 1977/1978 he was engaged as an assistant at the Paris-based Institut de droit comparé and stood in for Konrad Zweigert, then Director of the Max Planck Institute, at a seminar on German law. In the years that followed, the bond grew even stronger as the result of several joint research projects and a visiting professorship undertaken by Basedow in 2001. The close relation between the institutions that grew from this interaction manifested itself not only in robust academic exchange between German and French legal scholars, but also in a trusting partnership that fueled cooperative publications and facilitated the joint consultation of European and international organisations. The honorary doctorate now presented to Jürgen Basedow is an expression of this special relationship between the Université Panthéon Assas (Paris II) and the Max Planck Institute for Private Law.

2016-01-29 – Nelly Nyia Engon – Recipient of the Konrad Zweigert Scholarship

Nelly Nyia Engon is a PhD Candidate from the University of Grenoble Alpes (France). Her country of origin is Cameroon. Previously (2012) a visiting fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg she is now the recipient of the Konrad Zweigert Scholarship awarded by the Friends of the Hamburg Max Planck Institute for Private Law, the Institute’s alumni association. Engon Nelly is highly honoured to have been awarded the Konrad Zweigert Scholarship and to have been invited to the Max Planck Institute of Hamburg.  

 

The PhD project of Nelly Nyia Engon sees her engaged in a comparative examination regarding the topic of conformity of goods and the remedies available to buyers for non-performance, i.e. delivery of non-conforming goods. The project entails a comparative study of a number of uniforms instruments operative at the international and regional levels and representing the modern global law of contract. As such, it benefits greatly from the comprehensive holdings of the Institute library. These laws include chiefly the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG), the European consumer law instruments aiming to harmonize Member State law, and finally the Organisation on the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA), an interstate organization aiming to establish harmonized business law in the sub-Saharan African region, particularly 16 African states located in West and Central Africa. With her research she looks forward to making an insightful contribution to comparative academic literature in the field of private international business law.

2016-01-25 – Syrian refugees bring family law expertise to Institute

Syrian jurists support research project on family law in Syria and Iraq.

 

Ahmad Jarken, Bilal Hajjo and Hussam Al Asmi number among the roughly 1.1 million refugees that have applied for asylum in Germany in the past year. Like many others, they have fled from Syria and are now looking to establish a new life in Germany. Prior to fleeing they were engaged as law students or practicing lawyers, professional backgrounds that are generally of minimal value in Germany as the three jurists have proficiency in Syrian rather than German law. 

 

Yet for the recently initiated research group on family law in Syria and Iraq, this assessment is far from true as exactly such knowledge of Syrian law is needed. Accordingly, since January 2016, Ahmad Jarken, Bilal Hajjo and Hussam Al Asmi have been bringing their expertise to bear in support of the Max Planck Research Group “Changes in God’s Law”.

 

The research project led by Dr. Nadjma Yassari has developed in response to the current stream of refugees which are presenting very specific questions regarding the currently applicable law in crisis areas such as Syria and Iraq. Particularly, while family relationships that need to be proven and checked as part of an asylum application may have come into existence under the national law of the country at issue, they may also have been established in a region under the autonomous control of some other group or entity. How does one treat documents that were produced in an autonomous region? The dismemberment of Syria and Iraq also carries the consequence that state structures have been replaced by non-governmental and often religiously-based equivalents. How should polygamy be dealt with? What is a temporary marriage? Can children be adopted in the Middle East? These and other related queries are of considerable importance in determining family status or kinship as relating to an application for asylum.

 

With their research project, the scholars at the Max Planck Institute for Private Law are attempting to find answers to these questions. Yet the obstacles are significant as field research in a war zone is impossible, contact to practising lawyers and judges is hardly existent, and official documents and judgments are typically difficult to access. In order to nevertheless follow legal developments in Iraq, the Research Group works closely with law professors of Iraqi descent. Often located in the USA as these individuals can, in turn, broker contact with Iraqi jurists. And for research into the patchwork presently represented by Syria, Ahmad Jarken, Bilal Hajjo and Hussam Al Asmi are now able to share their knowledge and discuss legal developments with Institute researchers.

 

Over the medium term, the research findings in respect of Syria and Iraq will be published on a planned webpage. It is envisioned that individual legal fields of relevance such as private international law, family law, succession law and procedural law will be systematically treated and made accessible for a wide audience. Ideally, this will also prove of assistance to courts and agencies facing legal questions as well as to affected Syrian and Iraqi parties.

2015
2015-12-11 – Birke Häcker accepts faculty appointment at the University of Oxford

As of September 2016 Birke Häcker will sit as Linklaters Professor of Comparative Law at the University of Oxford.

 

Dr. Birke Häcker will assume the Chair for Comparative Law that has been vacated by Professor Stefan Vogenauer, who in October 2015 accepted a position as Director at the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History in Frankfurt am Main. Birke is a post-doctoral candidate (Habilitandin) under Professor Reinhard Zimmermann, who already served as an examiner for her Oxford PhD thesis.  Dr. Häcker works as a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance (Department of Business and Tax Law) in the field of general civil and business law as well as comparative law in Munich. Her current research project considers the role of bequests as a testamentary instrument.

 

Birke Häcker has for a number of years been a fellow at the All Souls College, Oxford. She is, additionally, a member of the Chancery Bar Association of England and Wales, a fellow at the European Law Institute and a lecturer at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.

2015-12-02 – Patrick C. Leyens receives renewed honours for his post-doctoral dissertation

The academic prize of the Esche Schümann Commichau Foundation is the third in a series of honours bestowed on Patrick C. Leyens for his post-doctoral dissertation

 

On 27 November 2015, the Hamburg Esche Schümann Commichau Foundation awarded its annual academic prize for the 35th time. Priv.-Doz. Dr. iur. habil. Patrick C. Leyens, LL.M., formerly a research fellow and presently an affiliate of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, was honoured for his work exploring the role of information intermediaries in capital markets (“Informationsintermediäre des Kapitalmarkts: Private Marktzugangskontrolle durch Abschlussprüfung, Bonitätsrating und Finanzanalyse”). His study previously garnered the research prize of the Stiftung Kapitalmarktrecht für den Finanzstandort Deutschland as well as the„Finanzkompass 2015“ Innovation-Prize awarded by Finanzplatz Hamburg e.V.

 

Written under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Klaus J. Hopt, the dissertation (Habilitationsschrift) authored by Leyens examines the effects of information services in respect of capital markets. The study lays the foundation for answering pressing policy questions regarding the regulation of private information intermediaries in financial markets. The monograph will be published shortly in the Mohr Siebeck series Jus Privatum.

 

Following his period as a research associate and then research fellow at the Max Planck Institute, Leyens was appointed as Junior Professor of private law and economic analysis of the law at the University of Hamburg in 2007. Since 2014 he is engaged as Honorary Professor at the Erasmus School of Law in Rotterdam. In the winter semester 2015/16 he will serve as Acting Professor at the University of Münster, filling the chair for economic law and business law. Specialising in the areas of civil law, commercial law, company law and capital markets law, Leyens has established himself on the national and international stage through his numerous publications, lectures and teaching assignments.

2015-11-24 – Gregor Christandl awarded post-doctoral degree from the University of Innsbruck

Prof. Dr. Gregor Christandl, LL.M. (Yale), former research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, was conferred his post-doctoral degree on 13 November 2015 from the University of Innsbruck. His dissertation (Habilitationsschrift) was supervised by Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Reinhard Zimmermann, director at the Max Planck Institute for Private Law.

 

Christandl’s monograph ("Selbstbestimmtes Testieren in einer alternden Gesellschaft – Eine Unter­suchung zum Schutz des Erblassers vor Fremdbestimmung") adopts a historic and comparative perspective in order to analyse how various succession law regimes (and especially Germany’s) address the needs of a growing number of testators and to examine what instruments are available to ensure that a testator’s self-determination is protected from unlawful pressure or influence. How can and should the law of succession respond to the challenges posed by a body of testators steadily increasing in age? This is the question considered by Gregor Christandl’s post-doctoral work. In light of the aging demographics seen in our society, it is a topic not only of immediate relevance, but one which will grow in importance in the coming years. The book is schedule to appear in the Max Planck Institute for Private Law’s publication series “Beiträge zum ausländischen und internationalen Privatrecht” (BtrIPR).
 

Prof. Dr. Gregor Christandl, LL.M. (Yale), studied law at the University of Innsbruck and Yale Law School, New Haven (LL.M.). His doctoral dissertation earned the Innsbruck’s School of Law’s 2006 Franz-Gschnitzer Prize. From 2010 to 2012, Christandl was a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law. In December 2012 he returned to the Institute for Italian Law at the University of Innsbruck and was appointed as assistant professor in August 2013. His areas of specialisation include: comparative succession law and comparative law of obligations; European private law; comparative private law; and private international law. In 2014 was awarded the Otto-Seibert Prize of the University of Innsbruck, an honour recognising research benefitting socially disadvantaged populations. 

2015-11-18 – Benjamin Pißler attends the network event “Shanghai diaLAWgue”

Hamburg’s Mayor Olaf Scholz delivering remarks

The Hamburg Senate and the network Rechtsstandort Hamburg e.V. bring German and Chinese legal experts together in Shanghai for an informative exchange.

 

Over 60 participants traveled to Shanghai to gain and exchange information at a two-day event titled Rechtliche Brücken für die chinesisch-europäische Zusammenarbeit (“Legal Bridges for Chinese-European Cooperation”). Included in their number was Priv.-Doz. Dr. Knut Benjamin Pißler, head of the China Unit at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law. The meeting was initiated by the Hamburg Senate and Rechtsstandort Hamburg. In addition to the presidents of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce and the Hamburg Chamber of Notaries, also Hamburg Mayor Olaf Scholz was in attendance at the network meeting. Among other topics of discussion, the gathering focused on developing cooperative opportunities with Chinese partners.

 

The gathering in Shanghai was an installment of the “Hamburg diaLAWgue”, an event series organized by the network Rechtsstandort Hamburg e.V that aims to strengthen – nationally and internationally – the economic role played by Hamburg.

 

On 2 December 2015, in cooperation with the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, the AKH Beijing and the OAV, the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law will be helping to sponsor a workshop exploring direct investment in China (“Direktinvestitionen in China – Chancen und rechtliche Aspekte eines Geschäftsaufbau”), thus allowing topics considered at the Shanghai diaLAWgue to again be the focal point of discussion.

 

Co-organised by Knut Benjamin Pißler, the workshop will feature financial advisors and entrepreneurs discussing the prospects and legal aspects associated with launching a business in the People’s Republic of China. In addition to considering basic questions surrounding the development of individual investment projects, such as desirable strategies and determining a location, the workshop will also look at specific legal problems associated with joint ventures, e.g. mechanisms for dispute resolution. A further topic to be addressed, one presently of note in light of President Xi Jinping‘s anticorruption campaign, will be the effects on business practice which can be expected as a result of intended reforms to Chinese penal law.

2015-11-11 – Finanzplatz Hamburg awards Patrick C. Leyens with the “Finanzkompass 2015” Innovation-Prize (1st Place)

PD Dr. Patrick C. Leyens, former research fellow of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, received the Innovation-Prize for his post-doctoral dissertation on the role of information intermediaries in capital markets (“Informationsintermediäre des Kapitalmarkts: Private Marktzugangskontrolle durch Abschlussprüfung, Bonitätsrating und Fi-nanzanalyse”). It is the second honour bestowed on the monograph, written under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Klaus J. Hopt, Emeritus Director at the Max Planck Institute for Private Law.

 

The prize, carrying a 10,000 Euro purse for first place, was awarded during a special ceremony held at the Chamber of Commerce’s InnovationsCampus. Economic Affairs Senator Frank Horch and Chamber of Commerce Vice-President Dr. Harald Vogelsang welcomed the approximately 100 guests. In his commendation speech, jury chairman Prof. Christoph H. Seibt, partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP and honorary professor at Bucerius Law School, stressed the organic linking of law and economics accomplished by Leyens, something never previously seen in the field of inquiry at issue.

 

PD Dr. Patrick C. Leyens is an affiliate of the Max Planck Institute for Private Law and Honorary Professor of Law and Economics at the Erasmus School of Law in Rotterdam. He was employed at the Max Planck Institute until 2007, initially as research associate and later as research fellow. As Junior Professor of private law and economic analysis of the law at the University of Hamburg – a position held until 2013 – Leyens helped establish the European Doctorate of Law and Economics programme (EDLE). In the winter semester 2015/16 he will serve as Acting Professor at the University of Münster in the chair for economic law and business law. Leyens’ areas of specialization include commercial law, company law and capital markets law.

2015-10-01 – The European Group for Private International Law elects Jürgen Basedow as president

Jürgen Basedow to assume the presidency of the European Group for Private International Law for a term of three years

 

The approximately 30 members of the European Group for Private International Law (Groupe européen de droit international privé) study the legal relation between private international law and European law. On 20 September Jürgen Basedow, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law and longtime member of the organisation, assumed the presidency of the group of experts, succeeding Marc Fallon, Université catholique de Lovain.

 

Legal scholars from 18 European Union countries have assembled themselves in the Group and established a think tank that aims to further our understanding of the relation between private international law and European law. Each meeting of the Group is attended by a representative of the EU Commission and a representative of the Hague Conference on Private International Law. The results of the annual sessions and the statements of the Group are regularly published in legal journals. The European Group for Private International Law was founded in 1991.

2015-09-28 – Patrick C. Leyens recipient of research prize

On 22 September 2015, Prof. Dr. Patrick C. Leyens, LL.M. (London), affiliate at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, was awarded the research prize of the “Stiftung Kapitalmarktrecht für den Finanzstandort Deutschland” [Capital Market Law Foundation for the Financial Centre of Germany]. The 10,000 Euro prize recognizes outstanding efforts in the fields of capital markets law and financial regulation which serve to strengthen Germany’s position as a financial centre.


Leyens has received the prize for, inter alia, his monograph on the role of in-formation intermediaries in capital markets (“Informationsintermediäre des Kapitalmarkts: Private Marktzugangskontrolle durch Abschlussprüfung, Bonitätsrating und Finanzanalyse”). The book was written under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Klaus J. Hopt, and was the basis of the post-doctoral lecture qualification (Habilitation) conferred on Leyens by the University of Hamburg in the spring of 2015. Employing a comparative, economic and interdisciplinary framework, his study lays the groundwork for a comprehensive theory charting the role of information intermediaries in capital markets. The book will be published as a volume of the series Jus Privatum by Mohr Siebeck, Tubingen.

Prof. Dr. Patrick C. Leyens is Honorary Professor of Law and Economics at the Erasmus School of Law in Rotterdam. He was employed at the Max Planck Institute until 2007, initially as research associate and later as research fellow. As Junior Professor of private law and economic analysis of the law at the University of Hamburg, Leyens – until 2013 – led Hamburg’s participation in the European Doctorate of Law and Economics programme along with partner universities in Bologna and Rotterdam (EDLE“). In the winter semester 2015/16 he will serve as Acting Professor at the University of Münster in the chair for economic law and business law. Leyens’ areas of specialization include commercial law, company law and capital markets law.

2015-09-21 – Holger Fleischer presented with honorary doctorate from the Paris Descartes University

On 17 September 2015, Holger Fleischer, Managing Director at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Paris Descartes University.

 

At the presentation ceremony, Professor Fleischer recalled the rich tradition of intellectual exchange between France and Germany in the area of company law. His comments included reference to the French Code de commerce, which from 1807 to 1811 was the governing law also in Hamburg – the German translation of Heinrich Gottfried Wilhelm Daniels noted that in cases of doubt, recourse should be made to the French version of the statute.

 

The Paris Descartes University carries the name of the French philosopher and natural scientist René Descartes. The University has a total of 10 academic departments and approximately 38,000 students.

2015-07-06 – Professor Henry E. Smith of Harvard Law School hosted by Institute for the month of July

Henry E. Smith spent several weeks at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in order to gain a more comprehensive picture of German private law scholarship.


After many years in a deep sleep, private law research is currently witnessing a notable renaissance in the United States. One of the main protagonists in a movement dubbed “New Private Law” is Henry E. Smith, Professor at Harvard Law School and expert in property law, intellectual property law and the connection between law and new institutional economics. Together with a faculty colleague, Smith has initiated at Harvard the “Project on the Foundations of Private Law”, an effort dedicated to investigating private law from an inter-disciplinary perspective. In contrast to many of his American colleagues, Henry E. Smith also conducts comparative research and is interested in the German tradition of legal scholarship. Through his research stay in Hamburg he hopes to become familiar with the breadth of research conducted at the Max Planck Institute for Private Law. For fellows at the Institute, the visit offered both insight into US perspectives on private law and an opportunity to establish ties with an American private law professor. A high point of the visit was a guest lecture to be delivered by Professor Smith on 13 July in which he addressed New Private Law developments in the USA.

2015-06-23 – Journal of Chinese Law goes online

First established in 1994, the "Zeitschrift für Chinesisches Recht / German Journal of Chinese Law" is now available online at www.ZChinR.de.


Eleven years ago ZChinR underwent its first transformation, evolving from the earlier “Newsletter der Deutsch-Chinesischen Juristenvereinigung e.V.” into the “Zeitschrift für Chinesisches Recht”, revising in the process not only its outer appearance but also its structural content. With the first issue of 2015, a new milestone has been reached as ZChinR proudly moves forward into the digital age: beginning with this issue editorial work on ZChinR will be undertaken via the Open Journal System (OJS).

 

The change will not only greatly facilitate the Journal’s editorial organisation but will also carry significant advantages for users. Thus, any interested party can (at www.ZChinR.de) review the table of contents of the Journal’s past four issues. Members of the DCJV will, additionally, be able to access full text versions of the four preceding issues when logged in under their user name. Articles from older issues can be accessed in full text format by all users. Moreover, through the search function the entire catalogue of the Journal of Chinese Law can be sifted through under a variety of parameters.

 

The editorial supervision of ZChinR will remain in the hands of the Sino-German Institute for Legal Studies in Nanjing, with support being provided by the advisory board constituted by Prof. Björn Ahl and Priv.-Doz. Dr. Knut Benjamin Pißler, head of the China Unit at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law. Technical implementation of the OJS will, however, now be assumed by the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law.
 

2015-06-18 – Lena-Maria Möller receives Otto Hahn Medal

In recognition of her dissertation examining the codification of personal status law in Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, Dr. Lena-Maria Möller was presented with the Otto Hahn Medal at this year’s annual meeting of the Max Planck Society.

 

The dissertation of Dr. Lena-Maria Möller, research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, considers the question of how a modern corpus of family law can emerge in Islamic law. Based on an interdisciplinary and comparative analysis of the recently enacted family codes of Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, she explores the degree to which the reformed rules governing marriage, divorce and custody meet the countries' changing regulatory needs created by the rapid socioeconomic transformation that the Arab Gulf region has undergone in the past decades. In addition to having account of legal practice in the area of family law, the work analyses the historical and political context surrounding recent codifications of law in the Arab world and comprehensively examines their evolution.

 

The Otto Hahn Medal is awarded each year by the Max Planck Society in recognition of outstanding academic work performed by junior scholars. For Lena-Maria Möller, it is the second honour garnered by her dissertation as she was recently awarded the doctoral prize by the University of Hamburg’s Faculty of Law.

 

Die Golfstaaten auf dem Weg zu einem modernen Recht für die Familie? Zur Kodifikation des Personalstatuts in Bahrain, Katar und den Vereinigten Arabischen Emiraten [The Gulf States: Towards a Modern Law for the Family? The Codification of Personal Status Law in Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.] (Studien zum ausländischen und internationalen Privatrecht, 325), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2015, XXII + 259 pages. (Published in German)

2015-06-15 – Journal of Japanese Law available online

The “Zeitschrift für Japanisches Recht / Journal of Japanese Law”, published by the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law since 1996, has been accessible online from 15 June 2015.

 

With this digital platform, the Journal will gain greater international visibility. Drawing on information assembled over the last twenty years, the website (www.zjapanr.de) makes a unique wealth of information – on all aspects of Japanese law – available to the wider public in western languages. Abstracts of articles from the last four issues can be downloaded, and all articles from earlier issues are available, in full, and at no cost. By using the search tool on the Archives page, it is possible to search through the whole collection of articles.

 
2015-06-11 – Hein Kötz receives honorary doctorate from Tulane University

Hein Kötz, Emeritus Director at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, has been awarded an honorary doctorate from Tulane University.

The esteemed Tulane University is located in New Orleans, Louisiana (USA). The southern university is a member of the highly respected Association of American Universities, an organisation bringing together top research institutions found in the United States and Canada.
 

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Hein D. Kötz, M.C.L., F.B.A, is Emeritus Director at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law and was the founding President of Bucerius Law School. Professor Kötz’s fully revised edition of “Europäisches Vertragsrecht” has recently been published by Mohr Siebeck.

2015-06-08 – Felix Steffek awarded post-doctoral degree from the University of Hamburg

Dr Felix Steffek, LLM (Cambridge), Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, was conferred his post-doctoral degree and title (Habilitation, Privatdozent) by the University of Hamburg on 22 April 2015. He has received the qualification to lecture (Venia Legendi) in the areas of civil law, German and European commercial and company law, civil procedure, private international law, comparative law, law and economics, and legal philosophy. His post-doctoral thesis carries the title “Private Autonomy, the Corporation and Insolvency – Justice, Economics and the Law” (Privatautonomie, Verband, Insolvenz – Rechtsethik, Rechtsökonomik, Rechtsstrukturen).


Felix Steffek studied law and economics in Heidelberg, Ferrara, Cambridge and Hagen. Among other honours, his doctoral dissertation was awarded the Otto Hahn Medal and the Hachenburg Prize. In addition to his work at the Institute he is an Affiliated Lecturer at the University of Cambridge and Max Planck Fellow as well as Research Associate at the University of Oxford, St Catherine’s College. From 2009 to 2014 Felix Steffek served as a Lecturer and Examiner at the University of Hamburg.

2015-06-04 – Patrick C. Leyens receives post-doctoral degree from the University of Hamburg

Prof. Dr. Patrick C. Leyens, LL.M. (London), affiliate at the Max Planck Institute for Private Law, was conferred his post-doctoral degree (Habilitation) from the University of Hamburg’s Faculty of Law on 3 June 2015. His lecture qualification was awarded in the areas of civil law, German and European commercial and business law, corporate law, capital market law, comparative law and the economic analysis of law. His post-doctoral dissertation on the role of information intermediaries in capital markets (“Informationsintermediäre des Kapitalmarkts: Private Marktzugangskontrolle durch Abschlussprüfung, Bonitätsrating und Finanzanalyse”) is to be published in the Mohr Siebeck series Jus Privatum. Earlier, in November 2014, Leyens was appointed to the Chair of Empirical Legal Studies at the School of Law of the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Until 2013 Leyens was junior professor in the areas of private law and economic analysis of the law at the Institute for Law and Economics at the University of Hamburg. There, from 2009 to 2012, he led Hamburg’s participation in the European Doctorate of Law and Economics programme.

 

Prof. Dr. Patrick C. Leyens studied law at the University of Cologne and at the Queen Mary University of London (LL.M.). His dissertation from 2006 was honoured with the Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society, the Academic Award of the Deutsches Aktieninstitut (1st place) and the Kurt Hartwig Siemers Academic Prize. Leyens is a co-founder and participant instructor with the German Research Foundation’s Doctorate School on the Economics of the Internationalisation of the Law. He has served as visiting lecturer at the Universities of Verona and Mumbai and in 2010 was a research fellow at the University of Cambridge.

2015-05-21 – Konrad Duden awarded Serick-Prize

Dr. Konrad Duden has been awarded this year’s Serick-Prize for his dissertation examining surrogacy in private international law and international civil procedure.


The Rolf and Lucia Serick Foundation bestows the honour yearly on exceptional doctoral dissertations authored in the field of law that have been submitted at the University of Heidelberg. The dissertation of Konrad Duden, research associate at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, examines the legal issue of parentage in respect of children birthed by surrogate mothers. The work, awarded the mark of “summa cum laude“, examines instances of surrogacy manifesting an international dimension and asks who, from the viewpoint of German law, is or must be designated the parents of the child. In conducting his inquiry, Duden considers as well the law in Great Britain, California, India, Greece, Israel and the Ukraine, all of which allow surrogate motherhood.

Konrad Duden has studied law in Heidelberg, Bilbao and Cambridge and was a scholarship recipient of both the German National Academic Foundation and the German Academic Exchange Service. He has since 2012 been employed at the Max Planck Institute for Private Law. His dissertation “Leihmutterschaft im Internationalen Privat- und Verfahrensrecht – Abstammung und ordre public im Spiegel des Verfassungs-, Völker- und Europarechts” is scheduled for publication with Mohr Siebeck.
 

 

2015-05-11 – Lena-Maria Möller honoured for her dissertation

Dr. Lena-Maria Möller receives doctoral prize from the Faculty of Law at the University of Hamburg for her dissertation on the codification of family law in the Arab Gulf States.

 

The prize, funded by the University of Hamburg’s sponsoring society for the study of law, is awarded to the year’s best doctoral dissertations by a jury made up of the managing directors. Lena-Maria Möller, senior research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, has received the third-place prize for her dissertation concluded in July 2014, “Die Golfstaaten auf dem Weg zu einem modernen Recht für die Familie? Zur Kodifikation des Personalstatuts in Bahrain, Katar und den Vereinigten Arabischen Emiraten” [The Gulf States: Toward a Modern Law for the Family? The Codification of Personal Status Law in Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates]. Based on an interdisciplinary and comparative analysis, the work explores the degree to which the reformed rules governing marriage, divorce and custody reflect the rapid socio-economic change in the Arab Gulf region and meet the countries’ changing regulatory needs.

 

Die Golfstaaten auf dem Weg zu einem modernen Recht für die Familie? Zur Kodifikation des Personalstatuts in Bahrain, Katar und den Vereinigten Arabischen Emiraten (Studien zum ausländischen und internationalen Privatrecht, 325), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2015, XXII + 259 pages.

2015-04-15 – Nadjma Yassari appointed to Evaluation Commission for the Käte Hamburger Centre

Nadjma Yassari, research group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, has been appointed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research to the Evaluation Commission of the Käte Hamburger Centre “Law as Culture”.

 

 

Working together with other members of the Commission, Nadjma Yassari has the task of evaluating the academic work of the Käte Hamburger Centre “Law as Culture” and making a recommendation on further funding by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. As part of the Ministry’s funding measure titled „Freedom for the Humanities“, a total of 10 Käte Hamburger Centres were selected between 2007 and 2001 by an internationally constituted expert panel and designated for financial support from the Ministry.

 

The research being conducted at the Käte Hamburger Centre “Law as Culture”, located at the University of Bonn, intends to contribute to an understanding of law at a time of rapidly progressing globalisation.

2015-04-01 – Sebastian E.A. Martens appointed as professor at the University of Passau

As of 1 April 2015, Prof. Dr. Sebastian E.A. Martens has been appointed as professor at the Law Faculty of the University of Passau where he will assume the Chair of Civil Law, Roman Law, European Private Law and European Legal History

 

The research of Sebastian Martens, former fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, places a special focus on the continually increasing Europeanisation of private law, primarily in the framework of the European Union. Additionally, his work looks at the similarities and differences in legal practice and procedure within Europe’s various legal systems, asking in particular what function the respective societies attribute to the “law” and just how the term is understood.

 

Prof. Dr. Sebastian E.A. Martens studied law at the University of Constance. After completing his second state law examination in 2008, he was engaged as a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law up until his appointment at the University of Passau. In 2009 he was a visiting researcher at the University of Cambridge. He was awarded his professorial qualification in 2012 by the University of Regensburg in connection with his post-doctoral dissertation analysing the methodology of European Union law (“Methodenlehre des Unionsrechts”). In addition to serving as interim professor at the Universities of Osnabrück, Kiel and Münster, Sebastian Martens also served as acting professor for the Chair of Civil Law and Roman Law at the University of Passau, a position he now holds formally since 1 April.

2015-03-17 – New members join the Scientific Advisory Board

A total of six new members have begun serving on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law.

 

Hannah Buxbaum is professor at Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law in Bloomington and teaches conflict of laws, contract law and international civil procedure. A current research project of Professor Buxbaum looks at jurisdictional questions in cross-border securities and competition law litigation. Hannah Buxbaum completed her university studies at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, resulting in B.A. and J.D. degrees. Buxbaum has served as guest professor at the Universities of Cologne, Kiel and Nürnberg-Erlangen. Before becoming a member of the law faculty at the University of Indiana in Bloomington in 1997, she worked as a lawyer in New York and Frankfurt in the field of securities transactions.
 
Susan Emmenegger, professor at the Institute for Banking Law at the University of Bern has joined the Advisory Board of the MPI for Private Law as of 2015. In addition to studying law and receiving her doctorate at the University of Freiburg, she was conferred a Master of Laws from Cornell University in 1993 and successfully sat for the New York State bar exam. One of the primary emphases of Emmenegger’s research is a study of worldwide trends in banking regulation and the resulting consequences for individual financial centres. Further, she has examined the effects of domestic and foreign regulations on the private law relationship of banks and their customers. Prof. Dr. iur. Susan Emmenegger, LL. M. replaces Prof. Dr. Peter O. Mülbert from the University of Mainz on the Advisory Board.
 
Dirk Heirbaut, professor of legal history and Roman law at the University of Ghent, was called to the scientific advisory board in 2013. Prof. Dr. Heirbaut heads the Institute for Legal History at the University of Ghent and was last year honoured with the city of Magdeburg’s “Eike von Repgow Prize. One of the subjects of his research is “Flemish Law in the Middle Ages”. He has been a guest professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, the VU University Amsterdam and the University of Uppsala in Sweden. Heirbaut is a member of the Belgian Royal Academy of Science. He studied history and law at the University of Ghent.
 
Another new board member assuming advisory duties this year is Corjo Jansen, professor at the Radboud University Nijmegen, where he has been professor of legal history and private law since 1998. He completed his university studies at the University of Utrecht and there also wrote his doctoral thesis on Roman and natural law. Since 2007 he has been chairman of the Business & Law Research Institute (Radboud University). His research considers legal history in the 19th century, private law in historic and comparative perspective, labour law and judicial history. Prof. mr. Corjo Jansen assumes the seat previously held by Prof. Dr. Gerhard F. Lubbe from the Stellenbosch University.
 
Advisory Board member Walter Pintens is professor emeritus at the University of Leuven in Belgium, where until 2012 he taught family law, succession law and comparative law. He is an honorary professor of the Europa-Institut of Saarland University. He has been guest professor at the University of Freiburg, the Humboldt University of Berlin, and the University of South Africa in Pretoria. Walter Pintens is editor of the “International Encyclopaedia for Family and Succession Law”, board of trustee member of the “Zeitschrift für Europäisches Privatrecht” and co-editor and chair of the international advisory board of the “Zeitschrift für das gesamte Familienrecht”. Prof. Pintens is a titular member of the International Academy of Comparative Law in Paris.
 
Gerald Spindler, professor at the University of Göttingen fills the spot formerly held by Prof. Dr. Martin Henssler from the University of Cologne. Gerald Spindler, Dipl.-Ökonom, holds the Chair for Civil Law, Commercial and Business Law, Comparative Law, Multimedia- and Telecommunication Law at the University of Göttingen. He studied law and economics in Frankfurt, Hagen, Geneva and Lausanne. His research encompasses diverse focal points, considering on the one hand legal issues associated with e-commerce, the Internet, telecommunications law, copyright law and intellectual property law, and, on the other hand, problems of company and capital market law.
 
The Scientific Advisory Board is composed of a total of 13 internationally recognised scholars from in- and outside Germany whose academic experience canvasses the Institute’s research spectrum. The Board members regularly evaluate the academic work of the Institute and on this basis advise the Institute leadership as to the planning and achievement of research projects.
 
The Advisory Board will meet for the first time in its newly constituted form in the summer of 2015. Members are normally appointed to a term of six years. All of the members of the Scientific Advisory Board can be found at: 

http://www.mpipriv.de/en/pub/about_us/scientific_advisory_board.cfm

2015-03-12 – Gerhard Wagner appointed as external scientific member

The Max Planck Society has, with Professor Dr. Gerhard Wagner, secured a renowned legal scholar who will help guide the academic work of the Institute. As external scientific member, Gerhard Wagener will, together with Directors Jürgen Basedow, Holger Fleischer and Reinhard Zimmermann, develop new research projects and give fresh impetus to ongoing efforts.


“We look forward to working with Gerhard Wagner and to the lively academic exchange the collaboration will bring,” commented Jürgen Basedow, Managing Director at the MPI for Private Law.

Gerhard Wagner holds the Chair for Civil Law, Business Law and Economics at the Law Faculty of the Humboldt University of Berlin. His research focal points – German and European private law, particularly contract and tort law; German and international procedural law; comparative procedural law; arbitration law; conflict and negotiation management; and German and international insolvency law – align well with the emphases of the Institute.

Before moving to Humboldt University, he was Professor at the University of Bonn. He is a member of the managing board of the Association of Professors in Private Law (Zivilrechtslehrervereinigung), a member of Executive Committee of the Association of German Jurists, and the chair of the German Institution of Arbitration. Additionally, Wagner is a member of the European Law Institute and corresponding member of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences and Humanities. In 2003 Gerhard Wagner was Visiting Fellow at the University College London, and in 2010/2011 he served as Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School.

As external scientific member of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, Gerhard Wagner will counsel the Institute’s managing body. Thus, along with the three Directors, he will shape the academic work and course at the Institute. “The first director at the Institute, Ernst Rabel, was explicit in his belief that it was often only with distance that one could view the totality afresh. With Gerhard Wagner acting as serving external scientific member, it is our hope to take in such a joint view of the Institute’s research and from this to develop new ideas for and approaches to multidisciplinary projects”, assessed Jürgen Basedow.

2015-03-01 – Patrick C. Leyens called to the Erasmus University Rotterdam

Dr. Patrick C. Leyens, LL.M. (London), affiliate at the MPI for Comparative and International Private Law, was named professor at the Erasmus University Rotterdam’s School of Law where he took over the Chair of Empirical Legal Studies in November 2014

 

Patrick C. Leyens studied law at the University of Cologne and at the Queen Mary University of London (LL.M.). His dissertation from 2006 was honoured with the Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society, the Academic Award of the Deutsches Aktieninstitut (1st place) and the Kurt Hartwig Siemers Academic Prize. Patrick Leyens served until 2013 as junior professor (private law and economic analysis of the law) at the Institute of Law and Economics at the University of Hamburg. There, from 2009 to 2012, he led Hamburg’s participation in the European Doctorate of Law and Economics programme.

 

Leyens was a co-founder and participant instructor with the German Research Foundation’s Doctorate School on the Economics of the Internationalisation of the Law. He was a visiting lecturer at the Universities of Verona and Mumbai and was a research fellow at the University of Cambridge in 2010. He is currently in the final stages of his post-doctoral studies, for which he received a scholarship from the German Research Foundation. His post-doctoral thesis considers information intermediaries in the capital market (“Informationsintermediäre des Kapitalmarkts – Private Marktzugangskontrolle durch Abschlussprüfer, Ratingagenturen und Finanzanalysten”).

2015-02-26 – Board of Trustees newly constituted

Since the start of the year five new members have been serving on the Board of Trustees at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law

 

The Board of Trustees consists of a total of 14 representatives drawn from the arenas of society, politics, culture and media. The members of the Board of Trustees engage in an ongoing dialogue with the Institute leadership regarding research projects and Institute developments. A chief aim is to strengthen the Institute’s contact with the public. The following individuals have been secured as new members of the Board of Trustees:

 

Clarissa Ahlers-Herzog from Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR)

After training as an editor with NDR (North German Broadcasting), the Bremen-born journalist studied law in Hamburg and Paris. Since 2004 she has been the lead business editor for “Hamburg Journal”, seen on NDR television. Clarissa Ahlers-Herzog is a member of the Club Hamburger Wirtschaftsjournalisten and a deliberating jury member for the Helmut Schmidt Prize for Journalism.

 

Dr. Barbara Bludau, Attorney at P + P (Pöllath + Partners)

The former general secretary of the Max Planck Society studied law in Göttingen, Munich, Cologne and Bonn, receiving her doctorate from the University of Bonn in 1974. The research manager served from 1987 to 1995 as advisor to the Hamburg Ministries of Justice, Science and the Interior.

 

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Lado Chanturia, Georgian Ambassador to Germany

The former minister of justice and president of the Georgian Supreme Court is a professor of private law at the Tbilisi State University in Georgia. At the University of Bremen, Lado Chanturia led the research project “Civil and Business Law in the Nations of the Caucasus and Central Asia”. He counseled the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) as a senior advisor on questions regarding national legal reform in the region of the Caucasus and Central Asia.

 

Jakob Kleefass from the Law Firm of Esche Schümann and Commichau

The co-initiator of the Hamburg Institute of Family Owned Businesses studied law at the University of Hamburg. Jakob Kleefass is an attorney and tax advisor; he focuses on themes associated with company law, inheritance law and tax law, particularly questions regarding asset succession and company structuring.

 

Aygül Özkan, Lawyer and Managing Director with the Deutsche Bank Group

The former Lower Saxony Minister of Social Affairs, Women’s Affairs, Family, Health and Integration and member of the state parliament studied law in Hamburg. Aygül Özkan sat on the federal executive committee of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and was a member of the Hamburg Integration Council from 2004 to 2010. She is a founding member of the Hamburg Stiftung für Migranten (Foundation for Immigrants) and is active on its board. Since 2001 Aygül Özkan has served as an advisory board member of the “Lebendige Stadt” Foundation.

2015-02-11 – Stefan Vogenauer new Director at the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History

As of 1 October 2015, Professor Stefan Vogenauer, currently Director of the Institute of European and Comparative Law at the University of Oxford, will begin serving as Director at the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History in Frankfurt where he will lead the Institute along with Prof. Dr. Thomas Duve.

 

The division of the MPI for European Legal History led by Vogenauer will focus on the legal history of the European Union and will conduct a historical-comparative analysis of “Legal Transfers in the Common Law World”.

 

Before being called to the University of Oxford in 2003 and taking up a fellowship at its Brasenose College, the former recipient of the Otto Hahn Medal was a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg.

2015-01-27 – Rabel Journal Article authored by Qisheng He honoured by the China Law Society

“The EU Conflict of Laws Communitarization and the Modernization of Chinese Private International Law” by Qisheng He earns second-place honours

 

The Rabel Journal article authored by Prof. Dr. Qisheng analyses the 2010 “Law of the People's Republic of China on the Application of Law to Civil Relationships Involving Foreign Interests”. The study considers aspects of the Law which are of particular importance for both its implementation and further development. Qisheng He discusses European private international law codifications and compares the approaches taken by the European legislature with those of the People’s Republic of China in regards to private international law.

 

The China Law Society has honoured the article with a second-place award. Of the ten texts awarded runner-up status, the article of Prof. He is the only one to have been authored in English. A total of 350 academic texts were considered by the China Law Society in selecting the award winners. The China Law Society was established in 1949 as a national association of scholars, jurists and legal practitioners.

 

Prof. Dr. Qisheng He is Professor of International Law at the Wuhan University in China. At the 2013 “International Private Law in Europe and China” symposium held at the MPI for Private Law, he delivered a lecture titled “Contract Reforms in China’s Private International Law”. In 2014 Qisheng He returned to the Max Planck Institute Comparative and International Private Law for a three-month research stay.

 

Link to the article

2014
2014-08-26 – Lena-Maria Möller awarded CIRS research grant

Dr. Lena-Maria Möller has been awarded a research grant from the Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS) at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar.

 

In her current postdoctoral project, Lena-Maria Möller, Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, is exploring the development and potential future trajectory of child law in the Arab Gulf. Her project is funded by the Center for International and Regional Studies at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar as part of the research initiative ‘The Gulf Family’. The one-year research project will examine the legal and public discourse that drives reforms in child law, and it will consider the introduction of the concept of the best interests of the child into statutory law and its application by the judiciary. The aim is to contextualize these results within the overall social, political, and economic transformations that Gulf societies have undergone in the past decades. The project is also part of a monograph-length study of vaguely defined legal concepts in Islamic law. The notion of the best interests of the child will serve as the key thematic thread for an exploration of how contemporary Muslim jurisdictions engage with and frame vague and still undefined legal concepts. The comparative study will cover clusters of Muslim countries having significantly different socioeconomic backgrounds, with the Arab Gulf being one cluster in this regard.

 

Established in 2005, the Center for International and Regional Studies at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar is a research institute devoted to the academic study of regional and international issues through dialogue and exchange of ideas, research and scholarship, and engagement with national and international scholars, opinion-makers, practitioners, and activists. CIRS regularly identifies emerging socio-economic and political trends in the region, and develops research initiatives in areas which will benefit from further focused scholarship.

2014-11-18 – Anatol Dutta honoured with Successio and Rainer Walz Award

Anatol Dutta, former research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, has been dually honoured with the Successio and Rainer Walz Awards for his post-doctoral dissertation “Warum Erbrecht?” (Why Succession Law?).


The Successio Award is conferred by the Swiss association Successio. The association promotes scholarship and legal practice in the area of succession law and supports academic publications and research projects.
 

The second prize bestowed on Anatol Dutta comes from the Institute for Foundation Law and the Law of Non-Profit Organizations at Hamburg’s Bucerius Law School. The W. Rainer Walz Award is named after the former head of the Institute and is conferred on scholars whose academic thesis represents a significant academic contribution.
 

In his post-doctoral dissertation (Habilitationsschrift), Anatol Dutta examines the rationale and aim and configuration of succession law. The particular focus falls on mechanisms that function outside the scope of succession law. Private foundations in Germany, Austria and Lichtenstein and dynamic trusts as found in the United States as well as in numerous offshore jurisdictions allow owners to create rules of their own device – a private law of succession – which govern the intergenerational transfer of wealth.
 

Anatol Dutta, now professor at the University of Regensburg, studied law in Munich and Oxford. In 2006 he received the Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society for his doctoral dissertation. His post-doctoral degree was awarded in December 2012 by the University of Hamburg, where he had lectured since 2007.


Anatol Dutta, Warum Erbrecht? – Das Vermögensrecht des Generationenwechsels in funktionaler Betrachtung (Why Succession Law? The Intergenerational Transfer of Wealth and Its Law in Functional Perspective), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2014, 682 pages. ISBN 978-3-16-152728-9 (Published in German).

 

2014-10-13 – Anton Geier and Chloé Lignier receive Dr. Otto Schmidt Prize

Dr. Anton Geier and Chloé Lignier, research assistants at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, have been awarded the Dr. Otto Schmidt Prize for their jointly authored article “Die Verstärkte Zusammenarbeit in der Europäischen Union” (Enhanced Cooperation in the European Union). The honoured article examines the chances and risks of increased cooperation and formulates criteria for evaluating the extent to which a given political field is suited for such cooperative efforts. Increased cooperation becomes practical where legislative agreement cannot be achieved between all the Member States. In such instances cooperation allows those governments amenable to agreement to fashion and profit from common rules.


The Dr. Otto Schmidt Prize recognizes academic contributions promoting the Europeanisation and internationalisation of the law and is awarded by a foundation associated with the publishing house for both long-term engagement in the publication of legal scholarship as well as for publications on current topics. The annual award topic is selected by a jury appointed by the foundation. This year‘s topic focused on the desirability of increased European cooperation (“Verstärkte Zusammenarbeit als Königsweg oder europäische Sackgasse”). The article authored by Geier and Lignier was awarded 1st place in the competition. The prize was conferred on 10 October 2014 at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

2014-09-10 – Johannes Liebrecht awarded Hermann-Conring-Prize

Dr. Johannes Liebrecht has been awarded the Hermann-Conring-Prize at the 40th German Congress of Legal Historians in Tübingen for his doctoral dissertation on Heinrich Brunner.


In his recently published study Johannes Liebrecht, research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, reconstructs the historical methodology, the historical impact and the academic reception of Heinrich Brunner. Heinrich Brunner taught from 1872 in Berlin and stands as the most important scholar in the ranks of the so-called Germanist Historical School of the late 19th century. In examining the life and work of Brunner, Liebrecht concurrently details the teachings and contours of this particular academic epoch. The award-winning dissertation was authored between 2009 and 2013 at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg.     

The Hermann-Conring Prize is awarded every two years by the Castor & Pollux Foundation. It honours the best academic work in the field of legal history, legal philosophy and legal theory that has been prepared in Germany, Austria or Switzerland. The award is named after the universal scholar Hermann Conring (1606-1681), a figure recognised as one of the founders in the field of German legal history.

Johannes Liebrecht, Brunners Wissenschaft. Heinrich Brunner (1840-1915) im Spiegel seiner Rechtsgeschichte, Frankfurt a.M.: Vittorio Klostermann 2014, ISBN 978-3-465-04220-4

2014-08-16 – Christian Heinze appointed as Professor at the Leibniz University of Hannover

Dr. Christian Heinze, former research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, was named professor at the University of Hannover on 16 August 2014. The university posting will see him hold the Chair for Civil Law and Intellectual Property Law (especially Patent and Trademark Law) which is sponsored by the German Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (GRUR).

 

Christian Heinze studied law in Münster, Lausanne, Cambridge (LL.M.), Hamburg (Dr. iur.) and Harvard (visiting researcher). The doctoral dissertation he completed at the University of Hamburg was awarded the 2008 Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society. From 2008 through 2012 he lectured at the University of Hamburg in the fields of copyright law and civil law, and he also served as guest lecturer at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Posnań and at Kyushu University. After completing his post-doctoral thesis (Habilitationsschrift) he initially held a position as a notary public candidate.

 

His post-doctoral thesis considering damages in the private law of the European Union (“Schadensersatz im Unionsprivatrecht – Ein Beitrag zur Durchsetzung des Europäischen Privatrechts durch nationale Gerichte”) will be published shortly by Mohr Siebeck. Focal points of Christian Heinze’s research include European and international private law, intellectual property law, civil procedure and property law.

2014-08-06 – Reinhard Zimmermann awarded honorary professorship at the University of Edinburgh School of Law

Professor Reinhard Zimmermann, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, has been named honorary professor of the School of Law at the University of Edinburgh as of 1 September 2014. 

 

Since first serving as a visiting professor in 1990, Zimmermann has maintained close links with his academic colleagues at the law school. Thus, e.g., he has - together with Kenneth Reid - established an international research group dedicated to the historical and comparative analysis of the law of succession. The cooperation can be seen also in the supervision of junior scholars; since 2000, doctoral candidates at the Edinburgh School of Law have regularly spent a year as a member of Reinhard Zimmermann’s working group at the Hamburg MPI and in so doing have created a lively tradition of academic exchange. “It is a great pleasure to be linked to the University of Edinburgh also in this way, and I see in the appointment a further acknowledgement of the role played by our Institute in promoting the internationalisation of private law scholarship and in furthering the career of junior researchers”, Zimmermann said with regard to his appointment. Scots private law is a so-called mixed legal system that has received both continental Roman law and English common law and thereby represents, for Zimmermann and his working group, a “comparative law laboratory” of great interest.

 

The title of honorary professor is conferred on scholars of particular distinction who have a close relationship with the University of Edinburgh.

2014-08-14 – Konrad Zweigert Fellowship awarded to Payam Ahmadi Rouzbahani

Payam Ahmadi Rouzbahani has been awarded the Konrad Zweigert Fellowship of the Institute’s alumni network “Verein der Freunde des Max-Planck-Instituts für ausländisches und internationales Privatrecht” and will thus be able to undertake three months of intensive academic research at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law. During his stay he will complete additional research for his dissertation “The Origin of the Rules of Strict Liability in Civil Context: A Comparative Study of Roman and Islamic Legal Systems”. The work enquires into the origins of strict liability in Roman and Islamic law and examines whether the influence of these legal regimes can be seen in modern legislations establishing strict liability.


In Paris, where Rouzbahani is currently enrolled as a doctoral candidate at the Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris 2), he needs to travel between a wide variety of libraries in order to gather the literature necessary for his comparative study, a highly time-consuming endeavour. “This is what pleases me so much about now being able to secure all the necessary literature at a single location and access articles that are otherwise quite difficult to obtain. This will put me in a position to concentrate on the academic work itself,” commented Rouzbahani. He aims to use the library extensively during his time as Konrad Zweigert Fellow and hopes that a published article can be an additional product of the stay.

With the Konrad Zweigert Fellowship the “Friends of the Institute” supports research stays by especially proven junior researchers from outside Germany. The “Friends of the Institute” association has existed since 1986 and seeks to provide current and former Institute staff members as well as domestic and foreign guests, scholarship recipients, and Institute friends and supporters a forum for personal and academic exchange.  The fellowship is named after former Institute director Konrad Zweigert who led the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law from 1963 – 1979.

2014-07-29 – Max Planck FORSCHUNG reports on Institute Research Group

In the latest issue of Max Planck FORSCHUNG, the research magazine presents the research work of Nadjma Yassari and her research group Changes in God’s Law: An Inner-Islamic Comparison of Family and Succession Law in an article titled “God’s law on its way into the modern age"

 

More (in German)

2014-07-28 – Institute hosts Alexander von Humboldt fellow

Professor Sheila Neder Cerezetti conducts research at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law

 

It is not the first research stay Professor Sheila Neder Cerezetti has undertaken at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, and, if she has any say in the matter, it will not be her last visit. “The library is such a special place. You can find virtually anything from anywhere. But for the library, I would have to travel to numerous individual countries to look for the literature I need.“

During her current research stay the fellowship recipient of the Alexander on Humboldt Foundation is exploring the topic of socially responsible investment and aims to formulate a corresponding regulation for Brazil. As part of her current academic project, titled “The normative framework of socially responsible investment in Brazil: a tool for fostering sustainable development”, Sheila Neder Cerezetti is performing research in respect of investment that is not only profitable but also ecological and socially responsible. In so doing the Brazilian scholar seeks to formulate basic principles that should facilitate a comprehensive legal framework for a public and private regulation of socially responsible investment in Brazil. In order to examine the various approaches taken by other nations, Sheila Neder Cerezetti is availing herself of the comprehensive body of academic literature found in the library at the Max Planck Institute for Private Law.

Sheila Neder Cerezetti has been teaching and conducting research at the University of São Paulo since 2013 where she holds a post as professor of commercial law. Yet her connection to the Institute began much earlier, at the time when she was authoring her dissertation. As part of the efforts on her doctoral work, “Die Unternehmenssanierung durch einen Insolvenzplan und das Unter­nehmenserhaltungsprinzip”, she spent four months in 2009 at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law as recipient of an Institute research scholarship. After the completion of her dissertation, she returned to the Institute in 2011 under another research scholarship, this time as a post-doctoral candidate. The special value of a forum offering an international perspective and uncomplicated academic exchange was already apparent to her during these first visits. “The directors and scholars at the Institute are always ready to help and have an open ear for discussing research topics. Being simultaneously able to engage in collegial exchange with scholars from all corners of the world makes a research stay at the Institute an unparalleled experience”, observed Neder Cerezetti.

2014-06-23 – Reimar Lüst Fellowship for Samuel Fulli-Lemaire

On 5 June 2014 in Munich, Samuel Fulli-Lemaire was awarded the 2014 Reimar Lüst Fellowship of the Max Planck Society. The junior scholar will use the award to continue his legal research in the field of marriage and parentage in the 21st century at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law. One of his research focal points is to consider the legal, historical and sociological development of same-sex marriages and partnerships from an international comparative perspective.

 

Presently, Samuel Fulli-Lemaire is an adjunct lecturer on international business law at the University Panthèon-Assas (Paris II). His doctoral dissertation, titled “Private International Family Law put to the Test by the Recognition Requirement”, is scheduled to be concluded in the coming months. In September 2014, he will travel to Hamburg where he will spend a year at the Max Planck Institute for Private Law as Reimar Lüst Fellow.

 

The Reimar Lüst Fellowship has been awarded to junior scholars by the Max Planck Society since 1983. It was first initiated on the occasion of the 60th birthday of Professor Reimar Lüst, former president of the Max Planck Society.

2014-06-12 – Elke Heinrich honoured anew for her dissertation

Dr. Elke Heinrich, senior research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg, has received the Wolf Theiss Award for her dissertation “Bonitätsprüfung im Verbraucherkreditrecht – Kreditwürdigkeit, Warnpflicht und Sanktionen bei Pflichtverletzung im österreichischen und deutschen Recht“ (Credit Screening in Consumer Law – Credit Ratings, Duties to Warn and Sanctions for Breaches of Duty in Austrian and German Law).


The Wolf Theiss Award is conferred for outstanding academic work in the legal field and was presented to the junior researcher on 12 June in Vienna. It is thus the fourth award that Dr. Elke Heinrich has received for her dissertation. In December 2013 the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science bestowed upon her the Award of Excellence for having authored the year’s best dissertation, and in November 2013 she received the annual prize of the Steiermark Chamber of Labour in Austria. Additionally, her dissertation was honoured by the Law Faculty of the University of Graz as one of the best academic works of 2013.

2014-06-04 – Felix Wendenburg awarded Otto Hahn Medal

Dr. Felix Wendenburg has been awarded the Otto Hahn Medal at the 2014 annual meeting of the Max Planck Society for his dissertation “The Protection of the Weaker Party in Mediation”.

Felix Wendenburg completed research for his doctoral degree from 2008 to 2011 at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg. In his dissertation he considers the unequal bargaining power that may exist between the parties to a mediation. In light of the criticism that a weaker party may be taken advantage of by a stronger party in certain mediation constellations, Felix Wendenburg tries to answer the fundamental question of how to deal with this risk.

 

The Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society recognises the outstanding accomplishments of junior scholars.

 

Felix Wendenburg, Der Schutz der schwächeren Partei in der Mediation [The Protection of the Weaker Party in Mediation] Mohr Siebeck 2013, 413 pages, ISBN 978-3-16-152345-8 (Published in German)

2014-05-27 – New Institute film online

The new Institute film – fully edited, composed and mixed – is now available for online viewing.

 

Providing insight into the research performed at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, the short film also describes life at the Institute and offers a glimpse behind the curtains of the Institute’s remarkable library. In a total of 14 minutes, viewers can discover the key moments in the history of the Institute, learn of the current research focal points and find out why foreign and international private law is so crucial for everyday life in a globalised world. The film finds frequent use at internal and external conferences, allowing Institute scholars to introduce others to the Institute and its work. It is, additionally, screened for groups of visitors touring the Institute.

2014-05-22 – Holger Fleischer appointed as Member of the Expert Group on Company Law (EU)

Prof. Dr. Holger Fleischer, Dipl.-Kfm., LL.M. (Michigan), Director at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, has been named by the European Commission to the newly constituted Expert Group on Company Law (EU).

 

 

This expert group will support the Commission in its efforts to design the legal framework for cross-border transactions as well as for other corporate group matters. It will, additionally, provide counsel to the Commission as to further questions on European company law.

 

The Group’s work will commence in June 2014. Members are appointed to a three-year term.

2014-03-31 – Anatol Dutta accepts call to the University of Regensburg

Anatol Dutta, former research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, was appointed as professor at the University of Regensburg on 31 March 2014. His research focal points are private international law and comparative law with an emphasis in family law and succession law.


Prof. Dr. Anatol Dutta
, M. Jur. (Oxon), studied law in Munich and Oxford. In 2006 his doctoral dissertation was awarded the Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society. In December 2012 he was conferred his post-doctoral degree (Habilitation) by the University of Hamburg, where he had been a lecturer since 2007.  In the Lent Term 2009 he was visiting fellow at the University of Cambridge, and he has additionally held guest lectureships at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (since 2005), the Vienna University of Economics and Business (2007), the Kyushu University of Fukuoka (2012) and the University of Auckland (EUCN Visiting Fellowship 2013).

 

The post-doctoral dissertation he authored during his time as a research fellow at the MPI for Private Law addresses fundamental questions of succession law. Titled “Warum Erbrecht?” (Why Succession Law?), it is forthcoming in the Institute series “Beiträge zum ausländischen und internationalen Privatrecht” which is published by Mohr Siebeck.

2014-03-12 – Hannes Rösler appointed as Professor at the University of Siegen

Hannes Rösler, former research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law was appointed as tenured professor at the University of Siegen on 11 March 2014. Rösler will accordingly serve as professor in civil law, private international law and comparative law at the university’s School of Economic Disciplines.

 

Prof. Dr. Hannes Rösler, LL.M. (Harvard) studied law in Marburg, at the London School of Economics and at the Harvard Law School. In 2003 he received his doctoral degree from the University of Marburg. His post-doctoral degree (Habilitation) was conferred in 2012 by the Faculty of Law at the University of Hamburg, where he had been engaged since 2005 as a lecturer. In the winter semester 2012/13 he served as acting professor at the University of Freiburg followed by similar postings in the summer semester 2013 at the University of Bonn and in the winter semester 2013/14 at the European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder). Among other honours, his post-doctoral dissertation was awarded the 2012/2013 Kurt Hartwig Siemers Prize of the Hamburgische Wissenschaftlichen Stiftung.

2014-03-12 – Nadjma Yassari named member of the evaluation committee for the Orient-Institut Beirut

Nadjma Yassari, Head of the Max Planck Research Group on Family and Succession Law in Islamic Countries, was on 22 November 2013 elected by the board of trustees of the Max Weber Foundation to serve on the evaluation committee for the Orient-Institut in Beirut. 


The Orient-Institut in Beirut is a part of the Max Weber Foundation, one of Germany’s largest foundations. All of the institutes falling under the umbrella of the Foundation are located outside Germany’s borders and are independent research entities. The focus of the Orient-Institut in Beirut is foundational research. Areas of research include Middle Eastern Studies, Islamic Studies and the scholarship of the Christian Orient. A special emphasis is placed on cooperation with on-site scholars.

Nadjma Yassari
completed her legal studies in Vienna, Innsbruck and London and has since 2000 been engaged at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law. Since 2009 she has led the research group “Changes in God’s Law: An Inner-Islamic Comparison of Islamic Family and Succession Law”.

2014-01-23 – Christian Heinze awarded post-doctoral degree by the University of Hamburg

Christian Heinze, former research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, was awarded his post-doctoral degree by the Law Faculty of the University of Hamburg on 15 January 2014. Commensurately, he was conferred his teaching qualification in the fields of civil law, civil procedural law, international private law and procedure, commercial and business law, intellectual property law, European private law, and comparative law.

 

His post-doctoral dissertation (Habilitationsschrift) is titled “Schadensersatz im Unionsprivatrecht – Ein Beitrag zur Durchsetzung des Europäischen Privatrechts durch nationale Gerichte” (Damage Claims in Union Law – A Study on the Implementation of European Private Law by National Courts).

 

Priv.-Doz. Dr. Christian Heinze studied law in Münster, Lausanne, Cambridge (LL.M.), Hamburg (Dr. iur.) and Harvard (Visiting Researcher). In 2008, the doctoral dissertation he submitted at the University of Hamburg was awarded the Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society. From 2008 to 2012 he served as a lecturer at the University of Hamburg.

2013
2013-12-16 – Elke Heinrich honoured for her dissertation

Dr. Elke Heinrich, research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, has received dual honours for her dissertation “Bonitätsprüfung im Verbraucherkreditrecht – Kreditwürdigkeit, Warnpflicht und Sanktionen bei Pflichtverletzung im österreichischen und deutschen Recht” (Credit Screening in Consumer Law – Credit Ratings, Duties to Warn and Sanctions for Breaches of Duty in Austrian and German Law).

 

On 11 November 2013 the junior scholar received the annual prize of the Steiermark Chamber of Labour in Austria (Arbeiterkammer Steiermark). Subsequently, on 12 December 2013 she was conferred the Award of Excellence by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research. With this prize, awarded since 2008, the Federal Ministry honours the authors of the academic year’s best dissertations. The candidates are nominated by the deans of Austrian universities.

2013-12-05 – Matteo Fornasier and Hannes Rösler honoured by the Esche Schümann Commichau Foundation

On 29 November 2013, Hamburg‘s Esche Schümann Commichau Foundation announced this year’s recipients of the academic prizes it has awarded annually since 1997 to the authors of outstanding academic theses as well as doctoral and post-doctoral dissertations. Of the four winners, two are researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Comparative and International Private Law.


Dr. Matteo Fornasier, LL.M. (Yale), research fellow at the Institute, was honoured for his dissertation on free markets and mandatory contract law ("Freier Markt und zwingendes Vertragsrecht"), for which he received his doctoral degree from the Law Faculty of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München in the winter semester 2011/2012. In his work, Fornasier draws upon economic findings to explore the functions filled by mandatory contract law within a market economy.

Priv.-Doz. Dr. Hannes Rösler, LL.M. (Harvard), former research fellow at the Institute, was honoured for his post-doctoral dissertation considering the European judiciary in the field of private law ("Europäische Gerichtsbarkeit auf dem Gebiet des Zivilrechts"). His monograph analyses the judicial system of the European Union from the standpoint of private law sociology, political science and economics. Rösler was awarded his post-doctoral lecture qualification in February 2012 from the University of Hamburg. The laudatory address was delivered by Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Karsten Schmidt.

The Esche Schümann Commichau Foundation was established in 1997 to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the Esche Schümann Commichau law firm. Its mission is to support the training and education of counsel-providing professionals working in areas of law, economy and tax.

2013-11-26 – Jens Kleinschmidt appointed professor at the University of Trier

Jens Kleinschmidt, former research fellow at the Hamburg Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, was appointed professor at the University of Trier on 25 November 2013. His professorship covers the areas of civil law, particularly private international law and international procedural law, and also comparative law.

 

Prof. Dr. Jens Kleinschmidt, LL.M. (Univ. California, Berkeley) studied law in Cologne, Geneva, Freiburg and at the University of California at Berkeley. In 2003 he received his doctoral degree from the University of Regensburg. Conferral of his post-doctoral degree (Habilitation) followed in 2012 at Bucerius Law School in Hamburg, where he had been a lecturer since 2005. Subsequently, he held two interim professorships, in the winter semester 2012/13 at the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg and in the summer semester 2013 at the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg.

2013-11-13 – Law policy debate and battle for the Golden Nutshell at the Night of Knowledge

Approximately 400 visitors came to the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg on 2 November 2013 for the 5th Night of Knowledge. The programme included conventional lectures, tours of Europe’s largest legal library and a Science Slam dedicated exclusively to legal themes.

 

The evening was opened by Jürgen Basedow, Managing Director of the Institute, who offered a brief description of the Institute and the research it performs under the umbrella of the Max Planck Society.

 

Daniel Zimmer, Professor at the University of Bonn and President of the German Monopolies Commission, then took the podium, presenting to the audience his thesis on “Weniger Politik! Plädoyer für eine freiheitsorientierte Konzeption von Staat und Recht”. His book of the same name was awarded the Deutscher Wirtschaftsbuchpreis at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair. At the Night of Knowledge he was met with an engaged audience which, at the close of his talk, contributed to further debate with both concurring and countervailing comments.

 

At a later hour, in a hall bursting at the seams, five of the Institute’s junior researchers entered the battle ring for the world’s first Law Slam, where they attempted to win the favour of the audience and hoist the trophy dubbed the “Golden Nutshell”. Included among the topics taking centre stage were temptation, betrayal, contractual breach, container ships on the auction block and a comparative law journey into the ego. The entry of each of the slam participants was met with thunderous applause. In the end, Christian Steger, Research Associate at the Institute, was crowned winner for his talk “Einlasskontrollen am Club der Schiedsprüche”.

2013-11-18 – Simon Schwarz awarded post-doctoral degree by the University of Hamburg

On 30 October 2013, Simon Schwarz, former research associate at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, was conferred his post-doctoral degree by the Law Faculty of the University of Hamburg.

 

In accompaniment of the degree he was awarded a research qualification in the fields of civil law, commercial and economic law, private international law and comparative law. Publication of his post-doctoral dissertation (Habilitationsschrift), titled “Globaler Effektenhandel – Eine rechtstatsächliche und rechtsvergleichende Studie zu Risiken, Dogmatik und Einzelfragen des Trading, Clearing und Settlement nationaler und internationaler Wertpapiertransaktionen” (“Securities Transactions – A Substantive and Comparative Study on the Risks, Doctrine and Individual Questions associated with the Trading, Clearing and Settlement of National and International Securities Transactions”) is forthcoming with the Mohr Siebeck publishing house.

 

Dr. habil. Simon Schwarz studied law in Hamburg, Geneva and Cambridge (Master of Laws). From 2003 to 2008 he was active as an academic staff member of the Institute working under the direction of Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Jürgen Basedow. He completed his legal traineeship in Hamburg and London. Since 2009 he has been employed as a lawyer with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP in Hamburg and is regularly to be found at the Institute as a guest scholar.

2013-10-08 – Eckart Bueren awarded Jacques Lassier Prize of the International League of Competition Law

Dr. Eckart Bueren, Dipl. Volksw., Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, was on 21 September 2013 awarded the Jacques Lassier Prize of the International League of Competition Law (LIDC). He received the prize for his dissertation "Verständigung – Settlements in Kartellbußverfahren" (Settlements in Cartel Cases). The award was bestowed in Vienna at a ceremony held during the LIDC’s annual congress.

 

The LIDC is an association seated in Lausanne which focuses on the study of competition and antitrust law, particularly as regards their relation to intellectual property law. As the umbrella organisation for the affiliated national associations, it is represented by national organisations in all major industrial nations. The members are drawn from consulting entities, universities, businesses and the competition authorities of Member States as well as the European Union. The tasks of the LIDC include drafting comprehensive comparative studies which can serve as the basis for proposing solutions to current problems and supporting both research and further development in areas falling under its scope of focus. The Jacques Lassier Preis, named after the French attorney and past president of the League, is awarded every two years for academic work in the field of competition law (cartel law, unfair competition and related fields) which is written in one of the languages of the LIDC member nations.

2013-11-12 – Benjamin Pißler elected as Chairman of the European China Law Studies Association

On 20 September 2013, Knut Benjamin Pißler, Senior Research Fellow at the Hamburg Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, was elected as chairman of the European China Law Studies Association (ECLS) by the Association’s board of directors.

 

Founded in 2007 in Hamburg, ECLS presently claims approximately 200 members, the majority from Europe but with a membership extending also into China, the USA and other non-European countries. It has as its goal the creation of an institutionalised network among – primarily European – legal scholars who are involved in the study of Chinese law. The academic conferences of the Association facilitate an ongoing inter-disciplinary discussion of Chinese legal topics both in- and outside Europe.

 

Priv.-Doz. Dr. Knut Benjamin Pißler, M.A. (Sinology) studied law and sinology in Würzburg and Hamburg and has been engaged at the Institute since 2001, acting as the head of the Institute’s China Unit since 2002. He is a founding member of ECLS and served as its treasurer until his election as chairman. Pißler has lectured since 2007 at the University of Göttingen and since 2011 at the University of Cologne.

2013-09-23 – Giesela Rühl awarded Carus Medal by the Leopoldina

Giesela Rühl, former research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, was awarded the Carus Medal by the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina on 20 September 2013 in recognition of her outstanding research contributions.


The Carus Medal
has been awarded since 1896 to young scientists for significant academic research or discoveries. Among others, the recipients of the Medal include biochemist and subsequent Nobel Prize winner Jacques Monod (1965) and biologist and subsequent Nobel Prize winner Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard (1989). With Giesela Rühl, the Carus Medal has for the first time been bestowed on a female legal scholar.

Prof. Dr. Giesela Rühl
, LL.M (Berkeley), studied law at the Universities of Bonn and Lausanne as well as at the University of California. Her doctoral degree was conferred in 2003 at the University of Hamburg; the underlying dissertation was a comparative study of the harmonisation of contract law in Europe and was subsequently awarded the Max Planck Society’s Otto Hahn Medal. After research stays at Harvard Law School, the University of Cambridge and the European University Institute in Florence, she received her post-doctoral degree in 2010 from the University of Hamburg. The dissertation (Habilitationsschrift), supported by a grant of the German Research Foundation, explored the economic basis of private international law. Since 2010 Giesela Rühl has held a professorial chair for civil law, procedural law, international and European private law and comparative law at the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena.
 

2013-10-08 – Holger Knudsen named honorary member of the International Association of Law Libraries

Prof. Dr. Holger Knudsen, Director of the Library of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg, was on 18 September 2013 named an honorary member of the International Association of Law Libraries (IALL). Over the past 35 years Professor Knudsen has been active in a variety of functions for the organisation, including serving as a member of the board of directors, vice-president and as president from 2001 to 2004.


Founded as a non-profit organisation in 1959, IALL is dedicated to supporting law libraries at the international level. The organisation’s 400-plus members – comprising librarians, libraries and institutions representing 50 countries and all of the world’s continents – aims to facilitate the acquisition, access and use of legal information whose source lies outside the respective member’s own legal system.

2013-09-05 – Jürgen Basedow receives honorary doctorate from Kyushu University

Jürgen Basedow, Managing Director at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, was awarded an honorary doctorate on 5 September 2013 from Kyushu University. On the occasion of the event he held a special lecture titled “Comparative Law in the Age of Globalization”.


Kyushu University in Fukuoka numbers among Japan’s most respected universities. Alongside the learning institutions in Tokyo, Kyoto and Tohoku, it was established in 1911 as one of the so-called Imperial Universities. For a considerable time, the university has set a priority in internationalising both its programme of study as well as its teaching staff. The English-language LL.M. programme first initiated roughly 20 years ago by the Law Faculty of the University was, for instance, the first of its kind in East Asia.

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Jürgen Basedow, LL.M. (Harvard) is a co-founder of “The Max Planck Lectures on the Globalization of Private Law”, which, together with the “International Program in Law”, originated in February 2013 under the sponsorship of the Law Faculty of Kyushu University. 

2013-08-07 – Benjamin Pißler conferred post-doctoral degree by the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

Knut Benjamin Pißler, Senior Research Fellow and Head of the China Unit at the Hamburg Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, was awarded his post-doctoral degree (Habilitation) on 17 June 2013 by the Law Faculty of the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen and was granted a professorial lecture qualification in the area of Chinese law.

 

The post-doctoral dissertation of Pißler comprised an anthology of articles addressing questions of Chinese private international law, family law, company law, contract law, condominium law, civil procedural law and the law of non-profit organisations. He documented the impressive development of the People’s Republic of China in recent years, demonstrated the comparative similarities and differences with other legal systems and considered which political, social and corporate relationships underlie the corresponding legal acts. In particular, he examines more closely the purportedly static acceptance of western legal regimes with the aim of discerning the unique historic, religious, philosophical and political features of modern Chinese law, this to be done without undue abstraction and without reliance on an oversimplified label of “Chinese characteristics”.

 

Priv.-Doz. Dr. Knut Benjamin Pißler, M.A. (Sinologie) studied law and sinology in Würzburg and Hamburg and has been employed at the Institute since 2001. Since 2003 he has led the Institute’s China Unit. He has additionally served as a lecturer since 2007 at the University of Göttingen and since 2011 at the University of Cologne.

2013-07-31 – ECJ Vice-President Koen Lenaerts on the Dialogue between the European Court of Justice and the EU Legislature

On 22 July 2013, Prof. Dr. Koen Lenaerts, Vice-President of the European Court of Justice and Professor of European Law at the Catholic-University Leuven, delivered an address titled “The Development of the Brussels I Regulation as a Dialogue between the European Court of Justice and the EU Legislature” at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law. The talk was given at the summer installment of the Institute’s Academic Council.

 

The focus of his academic address was the role of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) as the motivating force behind the new 2012 version of the Council Regulation on Jurisdiction and the Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters (Brussels I Regulation of 22 December 2000). Professor Lenaerts took the view that in various ways the jurisprudence of the ECJ served to shape the reform of the Regulation. As support, he cited a series of trailblazing ECJ decisions whose arguments found echo in the lawmaking efforts of the EU legislature. According to the ECJ Vice-President, this occurred partly through the explicit adoption of case holdings in legislation, partly through a silent acceptance of rulings achieved by legislative inaction as regards the relevant provisions, and also through the creation of new solutions by the legislature.

 

Event Report

2013-07-22 – German-Greek Colloquium: European Economic Law faced with new challenges

Led by Klaus J. Hopt, former Director at the Hamburg Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, and Dimitris Tzouganatos, University of Athens, a German-Greek colloquium titled “European Economic Law faced with new challenges” was held on 12-13 July 2013 at the facilities of the European Public Law Organization (EPLO) in Athen-Sounion.

 

The German and Greek scholars in attendance considered numerous topics of current importance drawn from the fields of European banking and finance law, European company and capital market law, European private law, European and international procedural law, the regulation through private law and competition law. Alongside Prof. Dr. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Klaus J. Hopt , the Institute was also represented at the conference by  Priv.-Doz. Dr. Christoph Kumpan who spoke on conflicts of interest in company law.

2013-07-11 – Jan D. Lüttringhaus becomes Fellow of the Max Planck International Research Network on Aging

Jan D. Lüttringhaus, Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, has been accepted as a fellow with the Max Planck International Research Network on Aging.

 

The Max Planck International Research Network on Aging (MaxNetAging) is dedicated to interdisciplinary research on the causes, patterns, processes and consequences of aging. Under the auspices of the Max Planck Society provides outstanding researchers drawn from different fields with a platform for an international collaborate effort.

 

Dr. Jan D. Lüttringhaus has been engaged at the Hamburg Max Planck Institute for Private Law since 2006. His scholarship has, among other accolades, seen him rewarded with the Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society. He has been a lecturer at the University of Hamburg since 2011.

2013-07-04 – Reimar Lüst Lecture 2013: A plea for the principle of dissenting opinions in European jurisprudence

Lord Mance, Reinhard Zimmermann
Dorothee Stapelfeldt, Ralf Kleindiek, Hein Kötz, Klaus J. Hopt, Nhu-Dung Hopt-
Nguyen und Reimar Lüst

This year’s Reimar Lüst Lecture, held on the 1st of July at the Hamburg Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, witnessed a comparative consideration of Anglo-Saxon common law and the legal tradition of continental Europe. In his address titled “In a manner of speaking: how far do common, civil and European law compare?”, Lord Justice Mance, Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, cast a spotlight on the differing principles of judicial decision making.

 

Based on a series of exemplary cases drawn from British jurisprudence, Lord Mance commented on the background and circumstances underlying the decision of a judge to author the dissenting or concurring opinions – typical of Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence – which stand alongside the majority or minority opinion principally issued by the judicial panel. In so doing, he stressed the advantages of a "polyphonic" judicial body, such a judicial panel being able to present a nuanced assessment of legal issues and questions and offer greater clarity and transparency in respect of the resulting opinions. In closing, he advocated revising the procedure of the European Court of Justice so as to permit the issuance of dissenting opinions.

 

Upon the conclusion of his talk, the practitioners and academics in the audience seized upon the opportunity to engage in further colloquy. Opinions articulated for or against the institution of dissenting opinions considered matters such as the differences in the training and education of judges within the various European legal systems, the challenges posed by a large caseload, particularly as relates to European courts, and the dynamic of a judicial decision making process which necessarily assembles judges from different countries of origin onto a supranational court.

 

Jonathan Mance, Baron Mance, PC, has sat on the British Supreme Court since 2009. He has for many years cultivated a close relationship with Germany and has been intensively involved in developing both European law as well as channels of communication among jurists in Europe. The Reimar Lüst Lecture was initiated by the Max Planck Society in 1998 on the occasion of the 75th birthday of its former president, Professor Dr. Reimar Lüst. Reimar Lüst obtained his post-doctoral degree in 1960 from the University of Munich in the field of physics and was from 1963 to 1972 Director of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics. After subsequently serving as President of the Max Planck Society from 1972 to 1984, his later activities included positions as Director General of the European Space Agency and President of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, of which he remains Honorary President.

 

Event Report

2013-06-13 – Max Planck Society receives Prince of Asturias Award

The Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science has been bestowed with the 2013 Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation, as made public on 12 June 2013 in Oviedo by the Jury responsible for conferring said Award. It recognises the German research organisation's intensive efforts in strengthening international cooperation.

 

In its statement the jury applauded "the European vocation of the Society, its interdisciplinary approach and the close cooperation among research centres and universities around the world". Alongside the Max Planck Society's scientific excellence, the Foundation's jury also praised the organisation's international advancement of young researchers through its more than 40 Partner Groups worldwide, which support highly-qualified young researchers in setting up their own scientific research groups in their home countries.


The Prince of Asturias Foundation has presented the Prince of Asturias Awards once a year since 1981 in Oviedo, the capital of the Principality of Asturias, in presence of the Spanish heir to the throne, Felipe, Prince of Asturias (and since 2004 his wife, Doña Letizia). The aim of the Foundation is to contribute to encouraging and promoting scientific, cultural and humanistic values that form part of mankind's universal heritage. Awards are presented in the eight categories Arts, Literature and Humanities, Social Sciences, Communication, Concord, International Cooperation, Technical and Scientific Research, Sport and International Cooperation). The Max Planck Society follows in the footsteps of renowned institutions such as the International Red Cross and the Red Crescent Movement (winners of 2012); the World Health Organisation (winners of 2009); or the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (winners of 2006).

2013-06-13 – International Private Law in China and Europe

Held at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg on 7-8 June 2013 under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Jürgen Basedow, LL.M. (Harvard), the above-titled conference stood as  the first ever gathering of legal scholars from Mainland China, Taiwan and Europe. The symposium was initiated by the head of the Institute’s China Unit, Priv.-Doz. Dr. Benjamin Pißler. The topics covered ranged broadly across the field of private international law, including questions on judicial competence, the determination of the applicable law and the problem of recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments.


The initial symposium speakers presented on the latest legislative developments in the legal systems under consideration as well as problems associated with general private international law provisions. This was followed by segments on a number of special areas, such as international property law, contractual and non-contractual obligations, international family and succession law, international company law and international arbitration. As to each of the eight different areas of inquiry, representatives of the three respectively considered legal regimes took to the podium, with a lively and open round of discussion concluding each segment. Approximately 100 international participants working in the fields of both scholarship and legislative consulting seized the opportunity to take part in this unique Sino-European exchange on private international law.

Academic exchange in respect of both the Chinese legal systems has grown and intensified over recent years, particularly in light of the contacts and activities of the China Unit and the numerous research stays of Chinese scholars at the Max Planck Institute for Private Law. Both the discussion rounds as well as the informal conversations of participants taking place over the course of the two-day symposium raised the interest on all sides for further exchange. The forthcoming conference volume which will reflect the conclusions and findings of the symposium will benefit scholars and practitioners in future years as a reference work documenting the east-west discussion on private international law.

The symposium was sponsored by the Hamburg Scientific Foundation (Hamburgische Wissenschaftliche Stiftung), the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.

2013-06-06 – Christoph Kumpan awarded post-doctoral degree by the University of Hamburg

Christoph Kumpan, former research fellow at the Hamburg Max Planck Institute for Private Law, was awarded his post-doctoral degree on 17 April 2013 by the Faculty of Law of the University of Hamburg. The teaching qualification he was conferred covers the fields of civil law, German and European commercial, company and capital market law, civil procedural law and comparative law.
 

His post-doctoral dissertation (Habilitationsschrift) is titled “Conflicts of Interest in German Law: An Examination of Civil Law as well as Commercial, Company, Capital Market, Labour and Insolvency Law”. The work analyses the private law rules governing conflicts of interest particularly in respect of individuals who are charged with safeguarding the interests of others in legal transactions. Included in this category are bankers, financial advisors, brokers, commercial agents, attorneys, accountants and insolvency administrators as well as agents and trustees in general.

Priv.-Doz. Dr. Christoph Kumpan, LL.M. (Univ. of Chicago) studied law in Berlin, Heidelberg and Chicago. In addition to the two German state law examinations, he also is a member of the New York state bar. He began his tenure at the Institute in 2000, first as a research assistant and later as a research fellow. His dissertation completed at the University of Hamburg was honoured with the Hochschulpreis of the Deutsche Aktieninstitut (1st rank) and the Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society.

2013-04-24 – Christa Jessel-Holst coordinates preparation of parallel agreement to the Lugano Convention

Dr. Dr. h.c. Christa Jessel-Holst, former research fellow responsible for Southeast Europe at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg, has as a member of an international expert panel been a major contributor in the preparation of a Regional Convention on Jurisdiction and the Mutual Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters for the countries of the Western Balkans.

 

The project dates back to a Slovenian initiative of 2011 and was significantly supported by the German Agency for International Cooperation (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, GIZ). On 12 April 2013 in Belgrade, as part of a Regional Conference of the Ministers of Interior and Ministers of Justice, representatives from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia signed a declaration of intent for the future signature and ratification of the newly drafted agreement. The instrument aims to strengthen regional cooperation among the participating countries and further their gradual movement toward the European Union.

 

The draft of the Convention, which is substantially oriented on the Lugano Convention on Jurisdiction and the Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters – applicable for EFTA member states – as well as the Council Regulation on Jurisdiction and the Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters of the EU, was formulated by a team of experts working in association with the Ministries of the targeted countries. As author of the Explanatory Report, a document presenting the relevant rules and some aspects of their application in the region, Jessel-Holst played a central role in the completion of the project.

2013-04-11 – Klaus J. Hopt awarded Dr. Günther Buch Prize

Klaus J. Hopt and Jochim Thietz-Bartram

On Wednesday, 10 April 2013, Prof. Dr. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Klaus J. Hopt, former Director of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, was awarded the Dr. Günther Buch Prize of the Johanna und Fritz Buch Gedächtnis-Stiftung. The award was presented at a ceremony held at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law.

 

With its selection of Klaus J. Hopt, the foundation honours a global researcher for his work as legal scholar, educator, author and steadfast representative of the political and academic community, particularly in his capacity as a long-time Director of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law.

 

As a pioneer of German and international capital market law, Hopt’s numerous academic publications and professional activities significantly shaped legislative efforts and the law as applied in practice. He has been honoured on multiple occasions for his efforts as a consultant as well as for his dedication in supporting junior scholars. Alongside full professorships in Tubingen, Florence, Bern and Munich, he has acted as guest professor in Europe, the USA and Japan. Additionally, he served as judge of the Higher Regional Court of Stuttgart, counselled the European Commission in the area of company law as a member of the High Level Group of Company Law Experts, was a member of the supervisory board of the Deutsche Börse Group and is presently, among other activities, a board member of the European Corporate Governance Institute in Brussels.

 

The commemorative address was delivered by Eddy Wymeersch, Professor at the University of Ghent, former Chairman of the Committee of European Securities Regulators and the European Corporate Governance Institute. He praised the honouree as an outstanding representative of German academia who reshaped the landscape of legal training in Germany through a novel approach incorporating interdisciplinary and comparative methods. The award was conferred by foundation board members Dr. Jochim Thietz-Bartram, attorney, Dr. Axel Pfeifer, civil law notary, and Prof. Dr. Helge Beck.

 

Dr. Günther Buch was the post-war trustee in Hamburg for the assets of the British Tobacco Company and was a patron of the visual arts as well as the opera. In 1965, he founded in memory of his parents the Johanna und Fritz Buch Gedächtnis-Stiftung. The Dr. Günther Buch Prize, awarded yearly since 1972 and carrying a 20,000 Euro honorarium, is conferred in recognition of exceptional academic service – rotating yearly between the fields of medicine and the humanities. In addition to Klaus J. Hopt, also honoured was Frank Ulrich Montgomery, President of both the German and Hamburg Medical Associations.

2013-04-09 – Ursula Bödecker elected as Committee Member of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions

Ursula Bödecker, Associate Director of the library at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg, was on 7 March 2013 elected as a standing committee member of the law libraries section of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). For the next four years she will serve as one of ten committee members.

 

Divided into 48 sections, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions has its seat in The Hague and was founded in 1927 with the aim of supporting at a global level the development of high-quality libraries and information services. The library of the Hamburg Institute has for many years claimed membership to the organisation, which has nearly 1,700 members spread across more than 150 countries.

2013-04-03 – Jürgen Basedow named to EU Expert Group on European Insurance Contract Law

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Jürgen Basedow, LL.M. (Harvard), Director at the Hamburg Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, has been appointed by the European Commission to a newly created Expert Group which is to study the extent to which differences between insurance contract laws of the Member States create barriers to cross-border trade. The Group will begin its work on 17 April 2013.

 

As an expert on international and European private law and economic law, Jürgen Basedow has already served on numerous advisory bodies, including the Deregulation Commission convened by the German government, the Scientific Advisory Council of the Bund der Versicherten (Association of the Insured), the Insurance Contract Law Commission of the German Federal Ministry of Justice and the Insurance Council of the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin). Additionally, he is a member of the German Monopolies Commission, having previously acted as its chairman from 2004 to 2008. Professor Basedow played a significant role in the completion of two preliminary studies which may serve as a basis for the forthcoming efforts of the new Expert Group: a comparative law research project undertaken by the Institute (Basedow/Fock, eds., Europäisches Versicherungsvertragsrecht, vol. 1-3, Tübingen 2002-2003) and the advisory recommendations of the Restatement of European Insurance Contract Law Project Group: (Basedow/Birds/Clarke/Cousy/Heiss, eds., Principles of European Insurance Contract Law – PEICL, Munich 2009).

2013-03-28 – Klaus Ulrich Schmolke appointed Professor at the Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

 

Klaus Ulrich Schmolke, former Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and Private International Law in Hamburg, has been appointed Professor at the Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg. Since 1 April 2013 he has held the Chair for Civil Law, Commercial Law and Business Law.

 

Professor Dr. Klaus Ulrich Schmolke, LL.M. (NYU) studied law and history in Trier, Lausanne, Mainz and New York. Before working for the Institute, from 2006 to 2009 he was a research assistant at the Institute for Commercial and Business Law at the Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität in Bonn.  At Max Planck he was responsible for the country research unit for Switzerland. After completing his postdoctoral degree at Bucerius Law School in Hamburg, he had deputised a chair at Philipps-Universität in Marburg. He turned down the opportunity to take over a Chair of Civil Law in Marburg.

 

2013-03-20 – Development of Private Law in South-Eastern Europe in the Light of European integration

As part of a joint project with the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg, the Law Faculty of the University of Istanbul held a conference on Harmonization of European Private Law – Private Law of South Eastern Europe in the Light of European Integration from 28 February to 1 March 2013.  The programme included lectures and podium discussions on issues of legal harmonisation in the EU, Turkey, the States of the former Yugoslavia and Albania.

 

The private law of the single market is extremely important for the countries of South-Eastern Europe that seek to accede to membership of the European Union. In Istanbul, scholars from across South-Eastern Europe, Turkey and Germany examined the issue of how far accession candidates and potential candidates have already adjusted their laws to conform with European laws, which reforms are in progress, and which reform issues are currently under discussion.

After opening speeches by Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. Jürgen Basedow, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, and Professor Dr. Adem Sözüer, Dean of the Law Faculty at the University of Istanbul, the conference proceeded in parallel in two conference rooms with numerous lectures and discussion forums covering issues of general contract law, international sales and consumer law, and commercial, competition and international private law. The Hamburg Institute was also represented at the conference by Dr. Dr. h.c. Christa Jessel-Holst, former Senior Research Fellow with responsibility for South-Eastern Europe, and Dr. Duygu Damar, Senior Research Fellow with responsibility for Turkey. The conference was co-initiated and organised by Professor Bašak Baysal from the Law Faculty of the University of Istanbul. The organising committee also included Professor Emrehan Inal and Dr. Doruk Gönen, both members of the same faculty.
2013-03-04 – Research project in conjunction with the Arbitration and Mediation Center of the Brazil-Canada Chamber of Commerce

The Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law has set up a research project with the Arbitration and Mediation Center of the Brazil-Canada Chamber of Commerce (Centro de Arbitragem e Mediação da Câmara de Comércio Brasil-Canadá CAM–CCBC). As part of this programme, doctoral and post-doctoral candidates from Brazil spend one to three months at the Hamburg Institute working in the area of international arbitration. The young scholars are given a desk in the Institute’s library and are mentored by the Institute’s Latin America Unit. The CAM-CCB funds the exchange by awarding scholarships. The scholarship programme is supported by Professor Maristela Basso of the University of São Paulo and Professor Fabrício Polido of the Federal University of Minas Gerais.

 

As the oldest and leading arbitration institution in Brazil, the CAM-CCB – which is headquartered in São Paulo – specialises in international arbitration. Arbitration law in Latin America, and in Brazil in particular, has already been the subject of research at the Max Planck Institute for Private Law. Since the introduction of a modern arbitration law, the ratification of the Inter-American Convention on International Commercial Arbitration (Panama Convention) in 1996 and the ratification of the New York Arbitration Convention in 2002, Brazil has been showing strong support for the implementation of arbitration proceedings. In light of its relatively slight experience with this form of voluntary dispute settlement, a comparative analysis of the subject matter is desirable. The scholars are therefore encouraged to publish the results of their research in professional legal journals.
2013-02-21 – Training seminar of the Hamburg Association of Civil Registrars

On 13 February 2013 the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg invited members of the Hamburg Association of Civil Registrars (Landesverband der Hamburgischen Standesbeamten) to presentations on selected areas of international private law.

 

After a welcoming speech given by Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Jürgen Basedow, a Director at the Institute, four scholars from the Institute presented papers on current themes related to civil registry offices and answered questions from the participants. Dr. Anatol Dutta, Lena-Maria Möller, Dr. Nataša Hadžimanović and Gunnar Franck addressed varied topics including mutual recognition of authentic instruments in Europe, the Hague Convention on child protection, family law in the Gulf States, the prohibition on bigamy in Macedonia and Danish transsexual laws and their recognition in Germany. Afterwards the guests were able to take a tour of the Institute’s library to view one of the world’s largest collections of civil law literature.

2013-02-14 – Hannes Rösler receives the Kurt Hartwig Siemers Award

01.07.14


Dr. Hannes Rösler and Dr. Ekkehard Nümann

Priv.-Doz. Dr. iur. Hannes Rösler, LL.M (Harvard), Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg, was awarded the Kurt Hartwig Siemers Award by the Hamburg Scientific Foundation (Hamburgische Wissenschaftliche Stiftung) on 11 February 2013.

 

Dr. Rösler received the €20,000 award for work including his post-doctoral thesis (Habilitation) on Europäische Gerichtsbarkeit auf dem Gebiet des Zivilrechts, which was published in 2012. The award was presented to Dr. Rösler during a ceremony at the Chamber of Commerce in Hamburg. The ceremonials included comments from Dr. Thomas M. Schünemann, Vice President of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Dorothee Stapelfeldt, Deputy Mayor and Senator for the Department of Science and Research in Hamburg, and Professor Dr. Dieter Lenzen, President of the University of Hamburg. The laudatio was delivered by Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Jürgen Basedow, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law.

 

The award winner has been with the Institute since 2004. He studied law at the Philipps University of Marburg and the London School of Economics and Political Science. After the second state examination in law and his doctorate in 2003, he completed an LL.M. at Harvard Law School. Since 2006 he has lectured at the Faculty of Law at the University of Hamburg. He was a guest lecturer at New York University and a Visiting Fellow at the University of Cambridge. As well as various visiting lectureships, including in Ankara, Frankfurt am Main, Istanbul, Verona, London and Peking, he also lectures regularly both in Germany and other countries.

2013-01-30 – Harmonius School of Law as Forum for Southeast Europe

From 3 to 5 December 2012 the academic network Harmonius, that was founded in Belgrade in 2007, hosted its annual School of Law in Zlatibor in Serbia and for the first time invited not only Serbian researchers but also young researchers from Croatia and Montenegro and guests from Germany and Poland. The conference, which was hosted in conjunction with the German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation (IRZ) Foundation on the topic ‘South East Europe – EU ante portas’, provided a forum for academic discussion and the opportunity to make new contacts and deepen existing relationships.

 

Dr. Nataša Hadžimanović, Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg, is co-founder and Vice-President of Harmonius. She is also the co-publisher of the Harmonius Journal of Legal and Social Studies in South East Europe, the first issue of which was presented at Zlatibor. The other publishers are Dr. Nenad Tešić, President of Harmonius, and Dr. Milena Đorđević, Lecturer at the University of Belgrade. An electronic version of the Journal will be accessible on the Harmonius website.

A further highlight of the conference was the award of prizes to young researchers from across the region by an international jury. Its members include academics that have a long-standing connection with the Institute in Hamburg, including Professor Tatjana Josipović from Zagreb, Professor Meliha Povlakić from Sarajevo, Dr. Vuk Radović, LLM (Pittsburg) from Belgrade and Dr. Stefan Pürner, Head of Section for the region at the IRZ.

Harmonius seeks to bring together young researchers from South Eastern Europe; it also aims to take account of the common legal roots of the successor countries to the former Yugoslavia. For each of the fairly small successor states, it is really important to have the widest possible network of talented researchers in order to solve existing legal problems and master new challenges.

The conference was set up and funded by the IRZ, acting on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Justice, with funds derived from the Stability Fund of the German Federal Foreign Office