1. Home
  2.  » Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law

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

Professor Dr Ralf Poscher
Professor Dr Jean-Louis Van Gelder
Professor Dr Tatjana Hörnle

The Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law  in Freiburg adopts an interdisciplinary approach that combines criminal law, criminology and — since May 2019 — public law in the interests of advancing criminal law theory and its application as a form of social control. The Department of Criminal Law therefore studies the theory of criminal law and bases its analyses primarily on a normative and comparative approach. The Department of Criminology uses both empirical, as well as theoretical methods to shed light on the causes and forms of criminality and the options for social control. The Department of Public Law concentrates on the preventive aspects of public law. Issues common to all three departments include risk, hazard and prevention, globalization, internationalization and networking, and the information society and information technology.

Research Areas

Criminal Law

Areas include international criminal law; European criminal law; national criminal law; other legal systems; terrorism, organized crime, corruption; White-collar crime; Internet crime; and other forms of complex crime.


Focusing on criminal procedure and sanctions in transition; dangerous offenders; homeland security, organised crime, terrorism; crime, social context, and social change; development of criminal policy and the rule of law in transitional societies.

Public Law

The ge­ne­ral doc­tri­nal struc­tu­res and theo­re­ti­cal ques­ti­ons that un­der­lie pu­blic law are lo­ca­ted on the fun­da­men­tal axis of the ma­trix. The se­cond axis re­flects the ma­jor trends in the field: in­ter­na­tio­na­li­za­ti­on, di­gi­ta­li­za­ti­on, and frag­men­ta­ti­on. The third axis re­pres­ents the nor­ma­ti­ve chal­len­ges to pu­blic law: fun­da­men­tal rights, ru­le of law, and de­mo­cra­cy. 

Joining the Institute

The Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law welcomes external scholars to apply for scholarships to conduct research in criminal law, criminology, public law, legal theory, and legal philosophy on a temporary basis. In addition, there is the possibility of individual doctoral research.

For further information and application please visit the Institute’s website: https://csl.mpg.de/en/



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

Günterstalstraße 73
79100 Freiburg i. Br.

Tel.: +49 761 7081-0
Fax: +49 761 7081-294


For information on temporary scholarships:


To enquire about applying as a doctoral student or postdoctoral fellow:

Dr. Carolin F. Hillemanns
Research Coordinator

Tel.: +49 (0)761 7081-320