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About Us

Max Planck Law comprises ten  Institutes  engaged in advanced legal research. The first of these was established in Berlin in 1924. Today, we cover a broad range of legal studies, from the anthropology of law to tax law, in nine different locations across Germany and Luxembourg.

As members of the Max Planck Society, we are committed to its mission of pushing the frontiers of knowledge by way of fundamental, or ‘basic’, research. Most of our projects are of a highly innovative nature and do not aim at immediate application at a practical level. Our approach is intra- and interdisciplinary, and we have a strong focus on comparative and transnational research questions. Our network of national and international partners includes many of the top law schools and research institutes.

Together, we operate the world’s biggest programme for doctoral studies and postdoctoral training in law. We offer excellent conditions and generously funded positions for early career researchers. Additionally, hundreds of academic visitors from all over the world join us in any given year.

We facilitate cooperation across the ten  participating Institutes, engaging the network in four specifc ways: the establishment of 1) permanent fora, for example Forum Latin America,  and 2) external cooperations, such as the Cambridge Exchange,  as well as the support for grassroots-driven activities in the form of specific  3) projects and 4) initiatives.


Max Planck Law is committed to the promotion of excellence in legal research.

All participating Institutes engage in foundational research at the highest level. Their research projects tend to be highly innovative and both intra- and interdisciplinary in nature. We cooperate with top law schools and research institutes around the world.

Research is conducted across the entire range of legal disciplines. The core disciplines of private, public and criminal law are mostly analysed from a comparative and transnational perspective. The same is true for more discrete and specialized fields, such as the law of procedure, human rights law, the law of citizenship, company law, and tax law. We are interested in law in its cultural, economic, historical, social, economic, and philosophical context, so we have a strong focus on both theoretical and empirical legal studies.

To find out more about how you can pursue research at one of our ten Institutes, either as a guest, a PhD student or a postdoc, see our academic opportunities page.


Ten Institutes of Max Planck Law

MPI for Comparative and International Private Law →
MPI for Comparative Public Law and International Law 
MPI for Innovation and Competition 
MPI for Legal History and Legal Theory 
MPI Luxembourg for International European and Regulatory Procedural Law 
MPI for Research on Collective Goods 
MPI for Social Anthropology 
MPI for Social Law and Social Policy 
MPI for the Study of Crime, Security and Law 

MPI for Tax Law and Public Finance 

Engaging the Network

Max Planck Law Curriculum

Projects & Initiatives