Dr. Stefanie Rüther
Stefanie Rüther
Research Coordinator
Phone: +49 (69) 789 78 - 190
Fax: +49 (69) 789 78 - 169


Summer Academy

Max Planck Summer Academy for Legal History

The Max Planck Summer Academy for Legal History introduces doctoral students to methodologies, research approaches and practical scientific tools beyond those that prevail in their own countries. It is intended to develop graduate students' abilities to transfer legal terminologies and theories across linguistic and cultural contexts, thus providing a basis to build and consolidate international research networks.

The Summer Academy addresses a selected group of highly motivated early-stage researchers, usually PhD candidates, working on a research project with an interest in the basic research of historical formation and transformations of law and other normative orders.

The presentations and workshops held by members of the MPIeR research staff as well as guest researchers are meant to offer insights into the methodological concepts, research perspectives and scientific practices of the various areas of legal history. Moreover, the roughly 20 invited participants have not only the opportunity to present their own projects within the context of the overarching research topic, but also further develop their research over the course of the 14 day event.


Researchers and fellows of the Institute alongside invited guest speakers give introductions to the manifold facets, sources, theoretical foundations, research perspectives and methodologies of the different subfields of Legal History.

  • Antiquity and Roman Law
  • Ius Commune and Canon Law
  • History of Private Law
  • History of Common Law
  • History of Criminal Law
  • Constitutional History
  • Contemporary Legal History
  • History of International Law
  • History of European Union Law
  • Legal history in a global perspective

As a summer academy should not consist of academic activities only, a variety of extra-curricular activities, such as visits to nearby historical sites and several get-togethers in the evenings are offered.

Special theme 2017: Conflict Regulation

Conflict is not just a constant challenge for the law, but also a key means of access to its history. Each society develops its own set of means of conflict regulation. The diversity ranges from different forms of dispute resolution and mediation to traditional juridical procedures at local and global level. The way conflicts are regulated reveals the normative options chosen by the parties involved in the conflict. Thus, conflicts and their regulation can provide an insight into local contingencies, traditions, as well as the pragmatic contexts and leading authorities of the law, the living law. Research projects to be presented at the Summer Academy should concentrate on historical mechanisms of conflict regulation and offer a critical reflection about the methods used for analyzing the conflicts and the way they are dealt with.


The next Summer Academy for Legal History 2017 will take place from July 25 until August 4, 2017.

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