June 01, 2012
Partnership with the Grand Duchy gives a major boost to the basic research carried out by the Max Planck Society in the field of law. Junior scientists are also set to benefit.
In cooperation with the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg, the Max Planck Society is setting up a new Institute dedicated to basic research in the field of law. The Senate of the Max Planck Society at its most recent meeting approved the establishment of the new Max Planck Institute for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law. “This is an important step which will give a major boost to our research portfolio in the field of law,” said Peter Gruss, President of the Max Planck Society. François Biltgen, Minister for Higher Education and Research in Luxemburg, sees the foundation of this Max Planck Institute as a further milestone in the ongoing development of Luxemburg´s research landscape. It is planned to expand the location of Luxemburg into an international centre of competence for legal sciences.
The new Institute in Luxemburg City will be headed by three Directors. Two prominent legal experts have already been recruited in the persons of Burkhard Hess of the University of Heidelberg and Marco Ventoruzzo, who holds professorships at Bocconi University School of Law in Milan and also at Pennsylvania State University. They intend to start work in Luxemburg before the end of this year. A third Scientific Member of the Board of Directors will be appointed in coordination with the two Founding Directors. Slovenian legal expert Verica Trstenjak, who has been Advocate General at the European Court of Justice since 2006, is an External Scientific Member of the Institute.
The new Max Planck Institute will focus on the basic principles of judicial and administrative procedures, in collaboration with the Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance at the University of Luxemburg. The areas covered will include European procedural law, comparative and international procedural law and procedural aspects of financial markets. “With the European institutions represented in Luxemburg, especially the European Court of Justice, this is an ideal location,” emphasised Peter Gruss.
The Grand Duchy of Luxemburg has given a commitment to provide long-term, sustainable funding for the Institute. For Luxemburg, it is important that alongside the University of Luxemburg, there are further international research institutions working from Luxemburg. "The exceptional quality of the Max Planck Society was a key criterion for us in our decision to support and fund this project on a long-term basis", said François Biltgen. In addition to the three scientific departments, each of which will be headed by a Director, as well as the activities of the External Scientific Member, a Max Planck Research Group will also be set up. “The Grand Duchy is offering scientists the facilities that will enable them to carry out basic research at the highest level,” stressed Peter Gruss. He also sees this commitment in Luxemburg as underpinning the Max Planck Society’s strategy of internationalisation.
To house the scientists, the Grand Duchy intends to renovate and extend a former convent located in the direct vicinity of the Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance at the University of Luxemburg. The conversion and construction works are scheduled to be completed in five years. Until then, the Institute staff will be accommodated in interim premises.
In addition to research cooperation, the collaboration with the University of Luxemburg will also include teaching and support for junior scientists. For example in coordination with the Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance, the Max Planck researchers will also be able to supervise PhD students, assess their doctoral studies and deliver lectures.
Burkhard Hess, 50, has previously held professorships at the Universities of Erlangen-Nuremberg and Tübingen. Since 2003 he has headed the Faculty of Law at the University of Heidelberg, where he is also Director of the Institute of Private International and Economic Law. Marco Ventoruzzo, 38, has been a Full Professor since 2010 at Bocconi University School of Law, one of Italy’s leading universities with a focus on economics and commercial and economic law. He is also a teacher and researcher at Dickinson School of Law at Pennsylvania State University in the US.
The Luxemburg Institute adds a procedural law dimension to the Max Planck Society’s already broad legal competence. Other Max Planck institutes are currently focused on substantive aspects of private, criminal and international law, as well as legal issues involving intellectual property, competition, taxation and social systems. The Max Planck Society also maintains an Institute for European Legal History in Frankfurt, as well as the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods in Bonn.
At present, the Max Planck Society has four Institutes outside of Germany. These include the Bibliotheca Hertziana in Rome, the Institute of Art History in Florence and the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, as well as the US-funded Max Planck Florida Institute on the Jupiter Campus in Palm Beach, Florida.