Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law

Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law

At the Institute scholars pursue research relating to basic issues and current developments in the areas of public international law, European Union law, and the constitutional and administrative law of individual states, together with numerous visiting scholars from all over the world. Its research examines legal issues from the perspective of legal doctrine and theory, systematizes and compares, and contributes to the development of law and to addressing current problems. The Institute performs advisory functions for domestic, European and international public institutions. The Institute`s library is within its fields of expertise the largest in Europe and one of the most comprehensive in the world.


Im Neuenheimer Feld 535
69120 Heidelberg
Phone: +49 6221 482-1
Fax: +49 6221 482-288

PhD opportunities

This institute has no International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS).

There is always the possibility to do a PhD. Please contact the directors or research group leaders at the Institute.

Research highlights from our yearbook
The yearbook of the Max Planck Society illustrates the research carried out at our institutes. We selected a few reports from our 2017 yearbook to illustrate the variety and diversity of topics and projects. more
The trend for isolationism in international law
International agreements are being increasingly called into question – not only in the USA more
Research report 2015 -  MPI for Comparative Public Law and International Law more
Leading thinker in public law
Armin von Bogdandy receives Leibniz Prize from the German Research Foundation DFG more
It’s easy to overlook the marginalized. Social exclusion can have very different causes and consequences – also in the context of migration. Six Max Planck Institutes have now joined forces for a cross-institute project focusing on the topic. The project examines, among other things, the question of why immigrants often lose their good health. It explores what prompts Somalis to move from Europe to Kenya, and what consequences the deal between the EU and Turkey might have for the rights of asylum seekers in Greece. Their common aim is to uncover exclusion and develop fair rules to regulate migration.
Brussels determines the direction in many policy fields, but in European foreign, security and defense policy, it’s the member states that set the tone - not the EU. When it comes to international peace talks or emergency meetings, such as the one held recently over the crisis in Ukraine, it’s the national foreign ministers and not the EU foreign policy chief taking the lead. However, given the challenges for peace and security in Europe, our author holds that this is an outdated model: it’s time for the member states to act in concert.
Civil wars, famine, corrupt governments: Africa just doesn’t seem to be able to find peace.
Nevertheless, some positive prospects are opening up.
No job offers available

The protection of EU values in its current rule of law crisis

2018 Bogdandy, Armin von; Schmidt, Matthias
The EU is currently in a deep, existential crisis, the “rule of law crisis”. This crisis encompasses the intentional undermining of the rule of law in certain Member States and the incapacity to maintain it in others. The EU cannot turn a blind eye to this development. Under Article 2 TEU, the “rule of law” is one of the fundamental values of the Union, upon which its entire legal system is founded. Research at the institute therefore analyses the development doctrinally, such as with the concept of “systemic deficiency”, and is working on solutions. more

Global animal law

2017 Peters, A.; Stucki, S.
“Global animal law” is a new field of law and legal research. Legal animal studies react to the involving human−animal relationship, analyses and criticizes animal-regarding law with classical juridical and interdisciplinary methods and seeks to stimulate new developments. Animal law is inevitably global, because the global nature of the problem requires global solutions. The research agenda aspires to build conceptual foundations and to map and promote a global animal law. more

Ius Constitutionale Commune en América Latina (ICCAL)

2016 Bogdandy, Armin von; Morales Antoniazzi, Mariela; Ebert, Franz

Ius Constitutionale Commune en América Latina stands for a regional approach in transformative constitutionalism. This project at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law aims at the change of political and social realities through the strengthening of human rights, democracy and rule of law. The main focus is on common problems, such as the exclusion of broad sections of the population and the frequently weak legal normativity. This research project reconstructs the main elements of this approach and addresses its specific Latin American character.


The Crimea crisis and the reterritorialization of international conflicts

2015 Peters, Anne; Marxsen, Christian
The incorporation of Crimea into the Russian Federation calls for international legal research on three levels. First, the events need to be assessed in legal terms. Second, the cleavage in academia along the geopolitical camps invites reflection about the structure of scholarly argumentation in international law. Finally, the significance of the crisis for the evolution of the international legal order as a whole has to be analysed. The Crimea crisis might mark the end of strengthening and differentiation of the international legal order since the 1990s. more

How to select Europe’s judges

2014 von Bogdandy, Armin; Krenn, Christoph
The European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union are powerful actors of European governance. Their decisions affect the individual, democratic life and its institutions. This begs the question of these courts’ democratic legitimacy and prompts us to consider the selection of their judges in light of democratic principles. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law reconstruct the selection procedures to these courts as a democratic endeavor and, from comparison, draws suggestions how to proceed with them. more
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