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


The Spectre of AI-Generated Historical Documents
We are witnessing how AI can generate incredibly accurate, natural sounding, and grammatically correct text. It also can create convincing images that mimick the texture, damage, and the colours of old photographic paper. But how long until it starts creating entirely realistic historical documents, complete with authentic-looking text? What will the implications be for research? It is time to prepare for this new era writes Rômulo da Silva Ehalt on our blog legalhistoryinsights.com
Unveiling the Shadows of Empire
How did colonial powers shape labor laws in Australia and India from 1850 to 1950? Prakhar Ganguly's research project explores the intertwining legal landscapes of factories and unions in these distant colonies. He investigates the unique paths of legal transplantation, the clash of cultures, and the lasting impacts of colonial rule on labor regulation. From the gold rush to the gavels of justice, he seeks to uncover the shared histories and divergent destinies of two nations under the British Empire.
Legacies of Empire and the Study of Law
In our upcoming Max Planck Lecture in Legal History and Legal Theory Philipp Dann (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) will examine the reasons for the historically uneven attention paid to empire in different fields of law and geographical regions. He will explore different approaches to the study of colonial legacies and discuss their potential and challenges. His lecture will also reflect on the aims of studying the legacies of empire in law and propose a framework for understanding these legacies as part of a broader, interdisciplinary and transnational endeavour in our increasingly polarised and politicised times.

Building Legal Knowledge: Reflections on the History of Law in Angola

May 21, 2024 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Local Time Germany)
mpilhlt, Room: Z02

Writing the history of empires

May 27, 2024 02:00 PM - 06:00 PM (Local Time Germany)

John Mair and the justification of the conquest of the Americas

May 28, 2024 01:00 PM - 02:00 PM (Local Time Germany)
mpilhlt, Turmcarree, Room: A 601
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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