23 Jul 2021


Max Planck Law Researcher Awards 2020–21

We want to pay special tribute to the achievements of the researchers across Max Planck Law who, despite a particularly difficult year, have continued to prove their excellence in legal research. Nothing bears witness to this more than the profusion of awards bestowed upon them.

In the past twelve months several young researchers received the Otto Hahn Medal for their outstanding scientific achievements, mostly in connection with their doctorate. Corinna Coupette , Mariana Dias Paes , Jakob Gleim ,  Leonard Hoeft , and Filip Vojta were awarded the Medal in 2020. This year’s winners are Daniel Burke , Ana Harvey   and Alexander Ruckteschler .

What motivates these successful researchers?

I have always been fascinated by the ways in which societal, political, and technological changes have had an impact upon our understanding and application of traditional legal principles across different areas of law. The transformation of the principle of public hearings has been a particular source of inspiration in this context’, explains Ana Harvey, whose PhD thesis is entitled  ’Public Hearings in Investor-State Arbitration: Revisiting the Principle’. (p. 34 Outstanding).

Numerous other awards have been received by current researchers across the network. For example:

  • Hanjo Hamann won the Academics Junior Award Rising Researcher of the year 2020;
  • Caroline Heber won the Wolfgang Gassner Academic Prize 2021 for her postdoctoral thesis ‘Enhanced Cooperation and European Taxation’;
  • Laura Hering was awarded the Otto Schmidt Prize for publications in international law.
  • Carolyn Moser won the European Court of Auditors Award 2020 for her book EU Security and Defence. The Law and Practice of Peacebuilding;
  • Vincent Richard won the Best Thesis Award 2020 from the Council of the Doctoral School in Law at the University of Luxembourg for his PhD entitled ‘Default Judgments in the European Judicial Area’;
  • Heiko Richter was awarded the Humboldt Prize for his dissertation ‘Information as Infrastructure’;
  • Johanna Stark received both Second Prize for Social Market Economy Research of the Roman Herzog Institute and the Otto Schmidt Prize for her article ‘Distributive Justice as a Principle of International Tax Law’ in 2020.

Our esteemed Directors have also received further honours in the past year:

Professor Armin Von Bogdandy was awarded honorary doctorates from Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (2020) and Eötvös Loránd University Budapest (2020). Professor Anne Peters was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Lausanne (2020) and the Federal Cross of Merit (1st class) at the German Embassy in Bern in 2021. Professor Stefan Vogenauer was elected Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy (2021). Professor Reinhard Zimmerman received another honorary doctorate from John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin (2021).

Congratulations to all the above and to the many other Max Planck Law researchers whose recent achievements have not been noted here. That there are too many to mention, including major grant awards, success in national competitions, special distinctions, etc. only serves to underline Max PLanck Law’s commitment to excellence in legal research.

Thanks to Ursula Kirschner who undertook the research and who wrote the initial draft of this news report.

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