Coronavirus: Protective Measures Update

October 13, 2020

Staff members and guests of the Institute are continuing to work within the limited on-site operation framework. There continues to be limited access to the Institute. Scholarships for 2021 have been suspended.

“Mandatory Family Protection”: The next publication in the series “Comparative Succession Law”

November 20, 2020

Despite the immense impact that succession law has on the lives of many individuals, it is one of the less researched foundational fields of private law. Institute Director Reinhard Zimmermann, together with Kenneth Reid from the Edinburgh Law School and Marius de Waal from the Stellenbosch University, is currently in the process of analysing the subject of succession law from historical and comparative perspectives.

Directors’ and Officers’ Liability and the Burden of Proof

November 13, 2020

Directors are increasingly confronted with high claims for damages as brought on behalf of the company. Under the German Stock Corporation Act, members of the board of directors and supervisory board members are liable up to the entirety of their private assets for acts of simple negligence. Nadja Danninger, former Research Assistant at the Max Planck Institute for Private Law considers in her dissertation the appropriate distribution of the burden of production and the burden of proof as between the company and its board members.


You will find information on current events here shortly.

The Institute

About Us

From the European Single Market to the global interweaving of multi-national businesses or financial firms to our increasingly international everyday lives, the world around us is steadily converging. At the same time, our laws are encountering the limits of their application. The Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law embraces the task of critically studying the social, economic and legal challenges of globalisation.

Library profile and holdings

The Institute library is Europe’s largest library specialising in foreign and international private law and is recognised worldwide for its scope and services. It has a collection of specialist literature from more than 200 countries around the world. The library has a particular focus on acquiring literature from countries that are not easily accessible, such that these can be gathered and made available at one location.

New Releases

MPI for Comparative and International Private Law, Max Planck Society (ed.), Zur Amtseinführung von Ralf Michaels am 5. November 2019 im Max-Planck-Institut für ausländisches und internationales Privatrecht, Max-Planck-Institut für ausländisches und internationales Privatrecht, Hamburg 2020, 36 pp.
Mateusz Grochowski, Katarzyna Południak-Gierz, EU private international law in internet-related disputes: the Polish case law approach, Florence: European University Institute, EUI RSCAS, 2020/69, Centre for Judicial Cooperation, 2020,, 11/03/2020.
Holger Fleischer, Jennifer Trinks, Administrateur Provisoire – Provisional Director – Notgeschäftsführer: Möglichkeiten und Grenzen gerichtlicher Überwindung von Blockadesituationen, in: Stefan Grundmann, Hanno Merkt, Peter O. Mülbert (eds.), Festschrift für Klaus J. Hopt zum 80. Geburtstag am 24. August 2020, De Gruyter, Berlin 2020, 279–299.
Raphael de Barros Fritz, Das neue Legal-Tech-Geschäftsmodell der gebündelten Rechtsdurchsetzung aus der Perspektive des IPR, Praxis des Internationalen Privat- und Verfahrensrechts 2020, 499–505.

MPI for Comparative and International Private Law, Max Planck Society, Die Frühehe im Rechtsvergleich: Praxis, Sachrecht, Kollisionsrecht, Rabels Zeitschrift für ausländisches und internationales Privatrecht 84 (2020), 705–785.
Ralf Michaels, The UNIDROIT Principles as Reference for the Interpretation of US Law, in: Alejandro Garro, José Antonio Moreno Rodríguez (eds.), Use of the UNIDROIT Principles to Interpret and Supplement Domestic Contract Law (Ius Comparatum – Global Studies in Comparative Law, 51), Springer, Cham 2020, 361–394.
Andreas M. Fleckner, Anlegermitverschulden vor dem Bankensenat – Eine quantitative juristische Studie, in: Stefan Grundmann, Hanno Merkt, Peter O. Mülbert (eds.), Festschrift für Klaus J. Hopt zum 80. Geburtstag am 24. August 2020, De Gruyter, Berlin 2020, 253–277.
Holger Fleischer, Die Beweislastumkehr nach § 93 Abs. 2 Satz 2 AktG: Rechtsgeschichte – Rechtsvergleichung – Rechtspolitik, in: Rolf A. Schütze, Thomas R. Klötzel, Martin Gebauer (eds.), Usus atque scientia: Festschrift für Roderich C. Thümmel zum 65. Geburtstag am 23.Oktober 2020, De Gruyter, Berlin 2020, 157–170.

In the Spotlight

Early marriage in the constitutional spotlight

In 2017, the Law to Combat Child Marriage came into force in Germany, preventing minors in Germany from entering into a marriage and rendering without effect marriages concluded by minors abroad. This law is now being subject to constitutional scrutiny. A team of academics led by Nadjma Yassari and Ralf Michaels has authored a comparative assessment for the Federal Constitutional Court (BVerfG) that examines the phenomenon of early marriage in the context of various legal systems and cultures.

Controversy on the Legal Consequences of the COVID-19 Crisis

The coronavirus affects not only the human organism – it also radically impacts economic processes. The COVID-19 crisis, described as a “natural disaster in slow motion”, has affected all areas of economic life and therefore poses major challenges in a number of legal areas. In the realm of contract law, there is an ongoing and intense dispute as to whether commercial tenants are entitled to make reduced payments to their landlords as a result of foregone revenue.

Testamentary freedom versus family solidarity – What is the origin of the compulsory portion?

A deceased can by means of a testamentary will or an inheritance contract determine who is to inherit his or her property and to what extent. Where there is no last will, the rules of intestate succession apply. Yet the freedom of testation is limited. What is today known as the “compulsory portion” is based on a long tradition.

Social Media & Videos

Interview on "Charity with Chinese Characteristics"

Video August 24, 2020

In a joint project, Knut Benjamin Pißler, head of the Centre of Expertise on China and Korea at the Institute, and Katja Levy (TU Berlin) examine for the first time the situation of charitable foundations in China, exploring in particular their role in China’s authoritarian system. The findings of this study have been published in a work titled “Charity with Chinese Characteristics”.

Go to Editor View