Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law

Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law

The Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law (formerly the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law) consists of three research departments: Criminology, Public Law, and Criminal Law. In the Department of Criminology, research is conducted into which individual predispositions and environmental factors cause people to commit a crime. To this end, long-term scientific studies are combined with behavioral experiments in the virtual reality world. The Department of Public Law deals with the law of public security. It investigates how the legal system can respond to dangers in order to prevent criminal offences and other damage. The Department of Criminal Law conducts research into the fundamentals of criminal law, prohibition norm, and criminal penalties in the context of globalization, migration, and the social and cultural fragmentation of societies. The Institute's focus is on basic research, as well as on application research due to its interdisciplinary legal, social science and psychological research approach.

Contact

Günterstalstr. 73
79100 Freiburg
Phone: +49 761 7081-0
Fax: +49 761 7081-294
"A liberal culture within the police force is something worth fighting for"

Following the attacks by rioting youths on police officers in Stuttgart and the police violence against blacks in the USA, Max Planck Director Ralf Poscher explains in an interview the different cultures of the police in Germany and the USA and the possibilities of preventing discrimination.

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Scientific highlights 2019

Scientific highlights 2019

December 20, 2019

Many publications by Max Planck scientists in 2019 were of great social relevance or met with a great media response. We have selected 15 articles to present you with an overview of some noteworthy research of the year.

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A German law abolishes child marriages in general - not always in the interest of those affected

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Fact check: Juvenile crime

Despite being widely perceived as a threat, today’s teenagers are more law-abiding than previous generations. It is therefore worth looking at the facts and figures behind the headlines.

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Research highlights from the Yearbook

Our Yearbook 2016 showcases the research carried out at the Max Planck Institutes. We selected a few reports to illustrate the variety and diversity of topics and projects.

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Max Planck scientists cooperate with partners in around 120 countries all over the world. Here they write about their personal experiences and impressions. Carolin Hillemanns from the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law spent seven months in California with her family. Here she met a bicycle thief, a lot of homeless people, just one Trump supporter and some remarkably friendly, generous neighbors

In no other federal state are as many people admitted to psychiatric units against their will as in Bavaria: the numbers add up to around 60,000 a year, almost two and a half times as many as in Baden-Wuerttemberg. Now the free state is revising the corresponding legislation. As in other federal states, this law will in future be known as the Psychisch-Kranken-Hilfe-Gesetz (Act on Assistance for Persons with Mental Illness). However, our author is critical of the new regulations and does not believe that they provide appropriate support for persons with psychiatric disorders. On the contrary, these patients are classified as a danger to the public.

The competition isn’t sleeping, it’s spying. And especially small and medium-sized businesses are increasingly falling victim to criminal competitors or being targeted by foreign intelligence services. Nevertheless, most cases remain shrouded in mystery. Michael Kilchling and his team at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law in Freiburg are now attempting to shed some light on the phenomenon. Together with colleagues at the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, they are conducting research into the scale of industrial espionage in Germany, how companies are combating it and how the authorities could better support them in their efforts.

Time and again, young people in Europe’s cities are taking to the streets to battle with the police, as happened this summer in Great Britain. Most of these riots have one trigger, but multiple causes. One of the factors can be the way in which the police treat young people. To delve a little deeper, Dietrich Oberwittler and Daniela Hunold at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law in Freiburg are comparing circumstances in Germany and France. Their results are surprising.

W-2 Senior Researcher Position (m/f/d)

Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law, Freiburg July 11, 2020

Senior Researcher(s) (m/f/d)

Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law, Freiburg June 19, 2020

Doctoral Researchers (m/f/d)

Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law, Freiburg June 19, 2020

Doctoral Researchers (m/f/d)

Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law, Freiburg June 05, 2020

Terrorism, cybercrime, and other complex crimes are leading to a paradigm shift in crime control on a global scale: A new architecture of security law is emerging, one in which criminal law is coalescing with other preventive legal regimes. These changes can enable a more effective control of crime. However, they often jeopardize the traditional rule-of-law safeguards of criminal law, unless a new architecture of civil rights and liberties is developed simultaneously.

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Treatment, reentry, and risk of reoffending: Sex offenders in the social therapeutic institutions in the Free State of Saxony

2016 Wößner, Gunda; Albrecht, Hans-Jörg

Jurisprudence Social and Behavioural Sciences

A project at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law evaluates the treatment of sexual offenders in Saxony’s social therapeutic institutions through an analysis of the causes and rates of criminal relapse amongst sexual offenders, including an assessment of criminogenic factors, therapeutic measures, and the climate in the correctional facilities. In addition, the study analyses the life-courses of sex offenders after prison release and the recidivism influencing factors within the reentry process.

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What are the legal boundaries for combating terrorist threats and asymmetrical warfare in international operations for German armed forces? What are the consequences for systems of international security? A study at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law analyzes the prerequisites for and limits on the extraterritorial use of lethal force on the basis of public international law and German constitutional law.

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Based on rich empirical data, the research project POLIS investigated the daily interactions and perceptions of police and adolescents in two German resp. French cities in which half of the youth population is from migrant families. The relationship between police and adolescents is less tense in Germany which can be attributed to a police strategy geared to local communities and employing police officers’ communication skills.

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Economic crime prevention

2013 Sieber, Ulrich; Engelhart, Marc

Jurisprudence

Do compliance programs actually function as a new “second track” for the prevention of corporate crime? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law analyze the recent compliance development and the effectiveness of various criminal policy strategies in Germany. Their study suggests new concepts for prevention that combine a reformed economic criminal law with a system that encompasses state-private co-regulation.

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