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Institute for private international and comparative law

The Institute was created in 1950 under the auspices of Gerhard Kegel and originally developed from the work carried out within the corresponding department of the Institute for Labour and Business Law. Following his retirement in 1978, the Institute was chaired by Alexander Lüderitz until his retirement in 1998. Since 1999, the Institute has been headed by Heinz-Peter Mansel.

The Institute's aim is to foster and advance the areas of private international law, international procedural law and comparative law as well as foreign and European private law in research and education, and the practical applications within legal practice. In view of this, the Institute offers courses within the key areas of study at the University of Cologne, in particular within the areas of private international and comparative law. The Alexander Lüderitz Foundation encourages and supports Cologne students to spend time abroad, particularly those with a study interest in private international and comparative law.

Research programmes at the Institute encompass the full breadth of private international and comparative law. Comparative analysis focuses on Anglo-American law, and the law of the Benelux states, France and Italy. In addition, the study of Turkish law and legal systems with Islamic influence is fostered by Honorary Professor Hilmar Krüger.

The Institute library is open to interested experts and members of the legal profession. The focus of the collection corresponds with the Institutes’ research fields listed above. It offers an extensive selection of German and foreign legal journals and standard texts.

The Institute is responsible for supervising a large number of dissertations on international and comparative law. It is also a respected research centre for visiting academics and doctorate students from abroad. Many scholarship holders, particularly from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, continue to maintain close ties with the Institute, following their research endeavours.

The law journal “Praxis des internationalen Privat- und Verfahrensrechts” (IPRax) is published by the head of the Institute. The Institute encourages the close contact and interaction with legal practice. This is achieved through the provision of expert opinions on foreign law, in particular for courts and notaries in North Rhine Westphalia. In addition, the Institute conducts joint lectures and seminars with members of the legal profession. Legal opinions from the Institute, together with opinions from other German universities, are made available to the legal profession by the annual publication of a selection of these in the “IPG – Gutachten zum internationalen und ausländischen Privatrecht” (IPG – Expert Opinions on International and Foreign Private Law).

The Institute played a significant role in the founding of an academic exchange for lecturers between the Law Faculty and the University of California in Berkley, USA (School of Law) and is responsible for the coordination of the programme. The Institute is also responsible for supervising the Master degree in business law offered in conjunction with the Bilgi University in Istanbul.

The work of the Institute receives financial support from the Bayer Foundation for German and International Labour and Business law, the North Rhine Westphalia Ministry of Justice as well as its sponsoring association (Society for Foreign Law).