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Harnack House, Berlin

25–27 October 2021

 What is the future of law?  The 2021 Max Planck Law Annual Conference will consider that challenging question in response to a number of developments and pressures.  It is, after all, a period of dramatic geopolitical realignment that will expose assumptions about and offer new perspectives on the values, structures, and epistemologies that inform our concept of “law.”  It also is a period of unrelenting technological development and innovation.  That is a force that will create new problems for law to resolve while providing law with new tools to perform its age-old function.  Few networks are so well-positioned to take up this challenge.  The Max Planck Law Institutes are conducting foundational research in nearly every conceivable legal sub-discipline and field.  The Institutes also are able to provide the historical and comparative expertise to lend the inquiry macro-level depth and breadth.  Finally, the wide variety of research methods employed at the Institutes ensures that we can assess this expansive inquiry from a productive range of perspectives.

Below is the programme  (subject to change).

24–25 October 2021

Pre-Conference PhD Workshop
Humboldt Room

Sarah Zimmermann (MPI-Frankfurt) –Workshop Coordinator
Anna Quadflieg (MPI-Frankfurt) – Workshop Coordinator

Carolina Banda (MPI-Munich [Innovation & Competition])
Lea Berger (MPI-Heidelberg)
Rafael Dalla Barba (MPI-Freiburg)
Franciska Engeser (MPI-Munich [Social Law])
Kadir Eryilmaz (MPI-Halle)
Matthew Trail (MPI-Bonn)
Antonia von Appen (MPI-Munich [Innovation & Competition])

25 October 2021

Registration & Check-in
13.00 – 14.00
Meitner Hall


Introduction to Max Planck Law Activities
14.00 – 16.00
Plenary — Hahn Lecture Hall

Coffee Break
16.00 – 16.30
Meitner Hall


MPL Projects & Initiative
16.30 – 18.00 Plenary – Hahn Lecture Hall
18.00 – 18.30 Breakout Disussions >

• European Law Group (> Mozart Room)
•  Max Planck Law – Tech – Society (> Lynen Room)
• Minerva LAW Network (> Hahn Lecture hall)
• China, Law and Society (> Lynen Room)
• Annual PhD Workshop (> Humboldt Room)
• Project: Fragmented Nature of Pandemic Decision-making (> Meitner Hall)
• MPL Critical Discussions in Methodology (> Köhler Room)
• MPL International Arbitration Working Group (> Köhler Room)
• MPL Race and Social Justice Initiative (> Mozart Room)

• MPL Projects & Initiatives Incubator (> Planck Lobby)

18.30 – 19.30

Laue Hall & Restaurant

After-Dinner Poster Presentations (MPL 2022 Curriculum)
19.30 – 20.30
Planck Lobby

26 October 2021

Registration & Check-in
8.30 – 9.30
Meitner Hall


MPL Research Showcase – "The Future of Criminal Law"
9.30 – 11.30
Plenary — Hahn Lecture Hall

The MPL Research Showcase features colleagues from across the MPL network as well as researchers from these collaborating programs:  UC Berkeley’s JSP PhD Program and Vanderbilt University’s PhD Program in Law & Economics.

Christian Boulanger (MPI-Frankfurt)
The Future of Capital Punishment: Is There a US-European “Civilizational Divide”?

Ezéchiel Amani Cirimwami (MPI-Luxembourg)
Shaping the Future of Aut Dedere aut Judicare: The Curious Sword Function of Human Rights

Federica Coppola (MPI-Freiburg)
Understanding the Brain to Reimagine Justice: What Can Neuroscience (Actually) Teach Criminal Law?

Gil Rothschild Elyassi (UC Berkeley – Jurisprudence & Social Policy Program / Haifa University Law School)
The Datafication of Law

Erin Meyers (Vanderbilt University – PhD Program in Law & Economics)
US Criminal Justice Reform: Empirical Evidence for Limiting Arrests

Frederike Zufall (MPI-Bonn)
Automated Criminal Law:  A Concept for the Future?

Coffee Break
11.30 – 12.00
Meitner Hall


Presentation of the Max Planck Law Fellows
12.00 – 13.00
Plenary — Hahn Lecture Hall

Prof. Stefan Vogenauer
Director – MPI-Frankfurt (Chair, Max Planck Law Secretariat)


Karen Knop

Professor & Cecil A. Wright Chair (University of Toronto Faculty of Law)

MPL Project Partners:
• Prof. Ralf Michaels (MPI-Hamburg)
• Prof. Anne Peters (MPI-Heidelberg)

Project Title:
The state of/in International Relations – New Foreign Relations Law between Public International Law, External Public Law and Conflict of Laws

Daniel Nagin

Heinz Professor of Public Policy and Statistics (Carnegie Mellon University)

MPL Project Partners:
• Christoph Engel (MPI-Bonn)
• Jean-Louis van Gelder (MPI-Freiburg)

Project Title:
Criminal Law as a Tool for Governing Society

Valérie Rosoux

Research Director - Belgian FNRS, Professor (Université Catholique de Louvain)

MPL Project Partners:
• Prof. Marie-Claire Foblets (MPI-Halle)
• Prof. Hélène Ruiz-Fabri (MPI-Luxembourg)

Project Title:
The Intergenerational Memory of Mass Atrocities: The Missing Piece of Transitional Justice and Alternative Dispute Resolution

Rene Fernando Urueña Hernandez

Professor - Faculty of Law (Universidad de los Andes)

MPL Project Partners:
• Prof. Armin von Bogdandy (MPI-Heidelberg)
• Prof. Thomas Duve (MPI-Frankfurt)

Project Title:
Communities of Practice and the Transnational Production of Human Rights Knowledge in Latin America

Antoine Vauchez

CNRS Research Professor - Université Paris 1-Sorbonne, Fernand Braudel Fellow – EUI (2021)

MPL Project Partners:
• Prof. Armin von Bogdandy (MPI-Heidelberg)
• Prof. Stefan Vogenauer (MPI-Frankfurt)

Project Title:
Independence and Democracy in the EU: A Historical and Socio-legal Approach

13.00 – 14.00
Einstein Lounge and Restaurant


MPI Parallel Sessions
14.00 – 16.00
Breakout Rooms >

MPI-Halle (Foblets)
Future Law: The Contributions of Anthropology
> Mozart Room

Presented by:
Prof. Marie-Claire Foblets (Director MPI-Halle)
Mario Gilberto Aguilera Bravo (Environmental Justice)
Luc Leboeuf (Migration)
Jonathan Bernaerts (Minorities and their Protection)
Alice Margaria (Biotechnologies and Identity Politics)

MPI-Hamburg (Zimmermann)
Will-Making in the Digital Age
> Lynen Room

Presented by:
Philipp Scholz

MPI-Heidelberg (von Bogdandy)
Imagining European Law as the Law of the European Society
> Laue Hall

Presented by:
Prof. Armin von Bogdandy (Director MPI-Heidelberg)
Prof. Antoine Vauchez (MPL Fellow) (Université Paris 1-Sorbonne / CNRS)

Moderated by:
Alexandra Kemmerer

MPI-Luxembourg (Hess)
The Future of Dispute Resolution:  The Role of Comparative Law
> Kohler Room

Presented by:
Prof. Burkhard Hess (Director MPI-Luxembourg)
Enrique Vallines

Coffee Break
16.00 – 16.30
Meitner Hall


Keynote Lecture
16.30 – 18.00
Tomorrow’s Epistemology of Legal Science: The Case of Private Law
Plenary — Hahn Lecture Hall

The lecture aims to develop a historical genealogy of epistemologies in private law scholarship. Auer distinguishes three leading epistemological paradigms since 1800: In the first half of the 19th century, the dominant model of legal scholarship was the historical-philosophical method of the German Historical School. In the late 19th century, this paradigm was replaced by a new model of analytical scientism taken from the contemporary natural sciences. Finally, the late 20th and early 21st centuries saw a renewed belief in substantive values and principles as the basis of legal reasoning in private law. The lecture concludes by offering a prospective outlook on the future of private law scholarship.

Marietta Auer (1972) studied law, philosophy and sociology at the University of Munich and Harvard University. From 2013-2020, she held the chair for private law and philosophy of law at the University of Giessen. From 2016-2019, she served as dean of the law faculty. Since 2020, she is the director of the Department for Multidisciplinary Theory of Law at the Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory in Frankfurt and is professor for private law and foundations of law at the University of Giessen. 

18.00 – 19.00

Laue Hall & Restaurant

After-Dinner Presentation
19.00 – 21.00
Meitner Hall

Mitchell Travis 
Professor and Co-Director of the Centre for Law and Social Justice (University of Leeds)

Justice, Jurisprudence and Science Fiction

27 October 2021

Registration & Check-in
9.00 – 10.00
Meitner Hall


Directors' Roundtable
10.00 – 12.30
Plenary — Hahn Lecture Hall

The Future of Foundational Legal Research

Moderator: Prof. Anna-Bettina Kaiser  (Chair for Public Law and General Jurisprudence, Humboldt University Law Faculty)

Prof. Drexl (MPI-Munich / Innovation)
Prof. Engel (MPI-Bonn)
Prof. Michaels (MPI-Hamburg)
Prof. Peters (MPI-Heidelberg)

12.30 – 13.30

Laue Hall  & Restaurant


Max Planck Law Forward
Introduction to of Max Planck Law's professional development activities.
13.30 – 15.00
Plenary — Hahn Lecture Hall

Tobias Rasse (Max Planck Society – Planck Academy)

SSRN Initiative and Best Practices


15.00 – 15.30
Plenary — Hahn Lecture Hall