About the Institute
The Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law, an internationally recognized centre of excellence of the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science, is dedicated to comparative normative and empirical research. The Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law developed out of the Seminar for Foreign and International Criminal Law at the Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg, established by Adolf Schönke. In 1954, Hans-Heinrich Jescheck succeeded Adolf Schönke and as an Institute it was made a public foundation of the Federal Republic of Germany, the State of Baden-Württemberg, and the Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg. In 1966, the Institute was incorporated into the Max Planck Society. Since then, the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law and the Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg work closely together both in the field of teaching and research. Today, the depth and breadth of expertise and infrastructure in comparative criminal justice research and criminology concentrated in Freiburg is matched by few locations around the world.
Together the research departments of criminal law and criminology address normative and empirical questions of national, European and international criminal law as well as issues such as the examination of crime, crime control and persons involved in crime, including crime victims. Foreign criminal justice systems and practices are studied and compared. The goal is to evaluate existing penal responses to specific social problems, to identify functional legal and extra-legal alternatives and to contribute to the further development of criminal law. In this context, inter-disciplinary inquiries into how the law is implemented, into its actual impact and consequences as well as into the development of crime provide an important basis for the assessment of the effectiveness of criminal law.
Both departments of the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law have established a joint research agenda focusing on three main research fields: Control of crime in a globalized economy and society, control of new risks that emerge in a globalized world, and the challenges of new information technologies. With this research agenda, the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law contributes to basic research on the structures of criminal law and its role and function in a socially and economically interlinked world. This world is subject to rapid social change and so are national policies of crime control. They are confronted with new problems arising from drastic increases in cross-border criminal activities (e.g. in international data networks) and from violent conflicts beyond the nation state. These challenges of the 21st century for politics, justice and society were made evident by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and it is in particular in response to those challenges that the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law is addressing the topic “Retaliation, Mediation and Punishment” within REMEP.
Research at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law is carried out in a context of important and profitable individual relations. The mix of criminal lawyers, sociologists, psychologists, educationists and political scientists all working together generates an excellent environment within which to address challenges to criminal justice systems posed by the complexity of a globalized world. This interdisciplinary environment is facilitated by a unique international structure whereby the major regions of the world are divided for the purpose of study into country sections. Within this structure, the expertise of many decades of comparative research on criminal justice systems has accumulated. In addition, research at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law profits from the more than 100 foreign researchers from all over the world who come to the Institute annually. This outstanding international scientific environment is backed by the library, which specializes in the areas of comparative criminal law and criminology and which is one of the largest of its kind in the world, with more than 400,000 volumes and a modern infrastructure.
IMPRS REMEP Doctoral Students