Welcome to the Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory

Welcome to the Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory

We provide a forum for reflecting on law.
We explore its theory and history in a comparative and global perspective.
We address societal challenges by contributing to a deeper understanding of law.
Multidisciplinary Theory of Law
Department Marietta Auer
Historical Regimes of Normativity
Department Thomas Duve
European and Comparative Legal History
Department Stefan Vogenauer


Exploring the Dynamics of Legal History in India
In her research project, Reeju Ray delves into the complex landscape of legal history in India, a field enriched by the contributions of historians, practitioners, jurists and activists. The project aims to map the key contributors to legal history and assess the scope of the discipline, its challenges and opportunities for collaboration. It seeks to provide a comprehensive overview of the existing culture of legal history in India, identifying its various elements and participants.
mpilhlt part of MS Wissenschaft
This year, the mpilhlt is be part of the floating science exhibition MS Wissenschaft. The ship has been travelling on German rivers every summer for over 20 years and is dedicated to imparting knowledge with practical exhibitions where visitors can try things out and take part in activities. Celebrating the 75th anniversary of the German Basic Law (Grundgesetz), the theme of this year's exhibition is freedom. A contribution by Marietta Auer provides a theoretical basis for the exhibition.
Digital resources for legal history
The typical sources for legal history, such as court records or laws, are often available in large quantities and with a low average degree of originality, thus representing an obvious body of material for applying Digital Humanities methods. This is discussed in Andreas Wagner’s contribution on ‘Legal History’ in Clio Guides, part of the main German Digital Humanities website for historians. His article provides an overview of the developments of the use of Digital Humanities in legal history and indicates the key collections, institutional players and resources.

Protestant missionaries and legal dynamics in the British Empire

Jun 20, 2024 01:00 PM (Local Time Germany) - Jun 21, 2024 02:00 PM

Case and Code in the Chinese Legal Tradition

Jun 24, 2024 - Jun 28, 2024
Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften Bad Homburg; mpilhlt
Cover Rechtsgeschichte – Legal History 31 (2023)
Cover Studien zur Rechtstheorie – Band 001, Norberto Bobbio
Cover Global Perspectives on Legal History – Band 22, Seeking Capture, Resisting Seizure
Cover Studien zur europäischen Rechtsgeschichte - Band 346, Otto Hintze
Cover SSRN Paper 2023-13 - Dote / Dowry (DCH)
Cover Studien zur europäischen Rechtsgeschichte - Band 342, Michael Stolleis – zum Gedenken
Cover Max Planck Studies in Global Legal History of the Iberian Worlds - Band 4, The Production of Knowledge of Normativity in the Age of the Printing Press
Cover Studien zur europäischen Rechtsgeschichte - Band 337, Legal Pluralism and Social Change in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages
Cover Global Perspectives on Legal History – Band 21, Law and Diversity
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