Max Planck Society

Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law

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What's going on at the MPI?

Alongside the opportunity to complete work and research in our library, a variety of regularly occuring as well as specially scheduled events allow guests to augment their stay at the Institute and engage in both academic and social exchange with staff researchers and other Institute guests.


Regularly Occurring Events:

(For more current information be sure to review the announcements appearing on the monitors found in the lobby and in Café Max)


The Konzil (Academic Council)

Approximately every six weeks a „Konzil“ is held at which two staff members present their current research in a 30 minute lecture which is followed by comments, questions and discussion. Institute guests are welcome!

Frequency: ca. every 6 weeks, Mondays 17:00-19:00
Location: Gerhard-Kegel-Saal, 5th Floor, (Relocation possible)


Aktuelle Stunde

The „Aktuelle Stunde“ is organised once each week by Professor Zimmermann and is open to Institute staff and interested guests. Drawing from the fields of private law, legal history and comparative law, a speaker delivers a talk on a topic of current interest with discussion following thereafter.

Frequency: every Thursday, 11:45-13:00
Location: Conference Room 1, 1st Floor (Relocation possible)


Afternoon Talks on Islamic Law

Within the framework of the lecture series "Afternoon Talks on Islamic Law", the Research Group “Changes in God's Law - An Inner Islamic Comparison of Family and Succession Laws" regularly invites outstanding researchers working on family law in Islamic countries or other related topics to present and discuss their findings.


South East Europe (and Beyond): Let's Talk About Law!

The discussion series “South East Europe and Beyond: Let's Talk about Law!” provides an opportunity to examine and discuss interesting comparative law issues beyond the confines of one’s own research. Presentations and discussions are regularly held in English. You will find an overview of speakers and topics here.


Hamburg Lecture Series on Chinese Law

In the “Hamburg Lecture Series on Chinese Law” a series of guest lectures from notable legal scholars and legal practitioners engaged in research stays at the Hamburg Institute provides insight into additional legal fields under development in the People’s Republic of China and which are thus attracting great international interest. You find previous speakers and topics here.



Regular meetings of a discussion group concerning legal, political and social developments in the post-Soviet legal system, the CIS Round, take place in the Institute. The prominent aim is to develop the informal, free exchange of ideas. The participants of the Round, which include German as well as East European lawyers, report on their first-hand experiences gained in different CIS countries and exchange ideas and assessments, which are influenced by the participants’ different cultural background.


Coffee & Law

Twice a month, guests and staff meet over coffee and cookies at our Café Max. Participants are invited to introduce themselves and their research and thus get to know each other in an informal setting.


Stammtisch (After Work Meeting)

On the first Wednesday of the month at 21:00 (rescheduling possible) the Institute "Stammtisch" for guests and staff takes place. The meeting spot changes from month to month and is announced in advance. The Stammtisch allows staff and guests to become acquainted outside of the Institute in a relaxed and social environment.



All interested staff and guests are invited each Wednesday to join in for a game of football on the Moorweide across from the Institute. Meeting place is in the Institute lobby. The exact time will then vary with the sunset and will be announced on the information screens in the foyer and the Café Max and via our email list for guests. Contact person: Lech Kopczynski (



A popular Institute meeting spot is also our Café Max which is located on the ground floor. Coffee and candy automats are on hand.


Specially Scheduled Events

Over the course of the year a variety of lectures and conferences are held at the Institute, many of which are open to Institute guests.

Overview of upcoming Institute events