Initiative History of Labour Law

Cooperation

The Hugo Sinzheimer Institute (HSI) and the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History (MPIeR) have come together to pursue a shared initiative promoting the history of labour law. Both their respective research focus and spatial proximity in Frankfurt predestined the two institutions to engage in such an endeavour.

Labour law is composed of multiple normative layers, themselves a product of history and politics at various levels (federal, national and supranational law, collective bargaining, works agreements). As such it constitutes an almost ideal object for studying regulation beyond a monistic conception of the state. By focusing on the jurisprudential issue of ‘private legislation and advanced governance’, the joint initiative makes an important contribution to the research on multinormativity.

The MPIeR is quite pleased to have such a strong collaborative partner. This initiative facilitates the important process of knowledge transfer between foundational research on the history of law, on the one hand, and applicable law, on the other. As a research institution, the HSI sees itself firmly situated within the tradition of its patron Hugo Sinzheimer. As a labour law scholar, he established ‘the normative function of collective labour agreements’. His ideas substantially contributed to anchoring the concept of free collective bargaining in German constitutional law. In the spirit of this work, the HSI supports research on labour and social law that is multidisciplinary from the outset, integrating elements from sociology, political science, and international and comparative law.

Since 2015, the initiative has organised an annual conference. Additionally, a permanent working group was established that brings together people working in the area of fundamental research with practitioners of labour law and industrial relations. The working group is involved with the journal 'Arbeit und Recht' by supporting its history of labour law section.

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