Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law

Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law

There is an old saying that being right and being proven to be right at court are two different things. In the end, the value of subjective rights depends on their enforceability – which is subject to their prior determination in legal proceedings by courts and tribunals. Experts from the Luxembourg Institute take a look at different legal proceedings, as well as other contemporary forms of settling disputes (such as class actions or mediation). The law of civil procedure, as developed in both Europe and the rest of the world, forms one point of focus, another relates to how disputes are settled under international law by international courts. At the same time, the researchers also concentrate on topics relating to public and private regulations, particularly those concerning financial markets and listed companies. The main research areas in this context include IPOs, corporate takeovers, corporate governance, financial services and investment funds. This focus on related research areas within one institute – while looking at both European and international aspects – promotes the generation of interdisciplinary knowledge and the mutual exchange of ideas. As the first Max Planck Institute outside Germany to focus on legal sciences, this new institute will closely cooperate with the Faculty of Law and Economics of the University of Luxembourg.


4, rue Alphonse Weicker
L-2721 Luxemburg
Phone: +352 269-488-0
Fax: +352 269488-902

PhD opportunities

This institute has an International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS):

IMPRS on Successful Dispute Resolution in International Law

In addition, there is the possibility of individual doctoral research. Please contact the directors or research group leaders at the Institute.

Back to the past

The worst case scenario has now materialized. The United Kingdom is to leave the European Union. While the Brexit campaigners clearly failed to give sufficient consideration to the legal and economic consequences of this step, the European Union is also inadequately prepared for this scenario.

“A byword for European justice”

Interview with Burkhard Hess, Founding Director at the new Max Planck Institute in Luxembourg

Fifth Institute abroad inaugurated

The Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law is being formally inaugurated with an opening ceremony and a symposium on 8 May.


Luxembourg is the first European country to pass a law guaranteeing companies entitlement to raw materials obtained in outer space – as long as the companies are based in the country. The Grand Duchy is also using loans and research investments as incentives. The rationale behind this is Luxembourg’s desire to become the leading international center for mining in outer space, in the hope that the companies involved will then pay tax on their profits there. However, this farsighted policy is more than a little dubious with respect to international law, as our author explains.

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In 2018, the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg completed a research project that examined the procedural and substantive incompatibilities between EU law and investor-State arbitration relating to disputes concerning investment treaties.


In 2017 the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg completed a study on the impact of national procedural laws on mutual trust and on consumer protection. The study embodies the most comprehensive, empirically-driven comparative investigation of civil procedure in Europe to date. It identifies areas where targeted measures would increase mutual trust as well as consumer protection, and expounds concrete proposals – some of which have already been taken up by the European Commission – to overcome the current obstacles to effective judicial cooperation and consumer protection.


In 2015, the Department of International Law and Dispute Resolution, under the supervision of Hélène Ruiz Fabri, began compiling the web-based Max Planck Encyclopedia of International Procedural Law (MPEiPro), in collaboration with Oxford University Press. The Encyclopedia not only aims at encapsulating the state of the art of legal and interdisciplinary research on international procedure, it also has the ambition of promoting cutting-edge research on what generally remains an underexplored realm of international practice.


The protection of privacy in a globalized world

2015 Hess, Burkhard; Feinäugle, Clemens


Privacy is improved, but also endangered today by new technologies which make it easier to learn everything about the online activities of others but also to commit infringements. Cross-border data exchanges and data protection raise practical questions on the applicable law and the competent court in cross-border disputes. The Max Planck Institute Luxembourg leads a project on the protection of privacy in private international and procedural law. Researchers try to elaborate a resolution on the protection of privacy which shall support lawmakers in finding a consensus to regulate this field.

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