Department of Criminal Law – Projects

Department of Criminal Law

Projects

 


I. Foundations

“Guilt” and its Significance for (German) Criminal Law

Guilt is the focal point of (German) criminal law: it is a prerequisite of pun­ish­ment, is guaranteed by the constitu­tional principle of guilt, and is the epitome of the general systemic decision to adopt a culpability-based criminal law. In the theory of crime, the category of guilt (or… more

Situationism and Criminal Responsibility

Mentally healthy adults unlawfully engaging in conduct that satisfies the def­i­ni­tional elements of a criminal of­fence are, with rare exceptions – e.g., in situa­tions of “excusing necessity” (§ 35 German Criminal Code) or duress (§ 2.09 Model Penal Code) – widely regarded as prototypical… more

Naturalism in the Legal Sciences

Interdisciplinary cooperation is becoming more and more important for the legal sciences; nevertheless, legal methodology and doctrine have remained largely resistant to the influence of the empirical sciences. This is due, first, to the defensive attitude most German legal scholars take towards the… more

II. Transnational Criminal Law Theory

Taking Monetary Punishments Seriously

Although theoretical work on the concept of punishment still focuses almost exclusively on custodial sentences (i.e., imprisonment), statistics show that the principal penalty employed by European criminal justice systems – at least in quantitative terms – is the fine. In Germany, for example… more

Mitigation for Failed Attempts

Joel Feinberg once noted, “Every bona fide philosopher of law tries his hand at least once at the ancient problem of punishing failed attempts“ (37 Arizona Law Review 117 [1995]). While this is certainly true of Anglo-Americans, contemporary German jurists have remained surprisingly silent on the… more

III. The Role of Criminal Law in Fragmented Societies

Criminal Law in Fragmented Societies

Sociologists and cultural sociologists describe increasingly plural, multicultural, and fragmented societies. Migra­tion is one of the factors that contribute to these phenomena. The goal of the project is to describe and evaluate the influence of the aforementioned societal developments on… more

Conflict Regulation in Germany’s Plural Society

Study of So-Called Paralleljustiz in Criminal Law in North Rhine-Westphalia more

IV. Contemporary Challenges

Triage in Pandemics: A Survey

Which kind of criteria do citizens accept if the Corona crisis forces doctors to apply triage? Prof. Elisa Hoven, Univer­sity of Leipzig, with support by the Max Planck Institute, has organized a survey. You can find the results below. more

Triage in Pandemics: Legal and Ethical Perspectives

During the Covid-19 pandemic, numerous countries have experienced a scarcity of life-saving resources, including equipment (i.e., ventilators) and free space in intensive care units. Such situations raise difficult ethical and legal questions. Which criteria should be applied to select the patients… more

Right-Wing Extremism and Criminal Law – So-Called National Socialist Underground

Right-wing extremism is an acute threat to democratic civil society and must be taken seriously. The need for both preventive and repressive socio-political responses that comply with the rule of law is urgent. Criminal law, too, has an important role to play in this context. Using the trial of the… more

The Real Pain of Punishment: Eradicating Social Exclusion from Criminal Justice

The quest for alternative approaches to criminal conduct is one of the most pressing justice issues in the vast majority of crim­i­nal legal systems. There is increasing recognition that the number of people incarcerated reflects a societal failure to respond effectively to the challenges faced by… more

Social Rehabilitation and Criminal Justice

The rehabilitative ideal of criminal justice is again at a critical crossroads. Over the course of the 20th century, various normative models of rehabilitation were theorized and implemented. From among these, recent trends in legal scholar­ship and jurisprudence have increasingly embraced “social”… more

After the Istanbul Convention: Measures against Domestic and Gender-Based Violence in a Comparative Legal Perspective

The phenomenon of domestic and gender-based violence against women is widespread and affects all social classes and all countries. In 2014, for example, 33% of women in the EU between the ages of 18 and 74 had been victims of physical or sexual assault at some point in their lives. In addition to… more

The “Codice Rosso”: New Measures against Gender-Based and Domestic Violence in Italy

Almost one in three Italian women between the ages of 16 and 70 (6,788,000) have been victims of physical or sexual violence at some point in their lives. Approximately half of these violent experiences were caused by a (former) partner. The discussion surrounding the issue of violence against… more

NetzDG and Human Rights

The project “NetzDG and Human Rights” addresses the regulatory framework and the detrimental effects on hu­man rights and fundamental freedoms of the Act to Improve Enforcement of the Law in Social Networks (Net­work En­force­ment Act, NetzDG), which entered into force on October 1, 2017, and its… more

Secret Evidence in Criminal Proceedings

In addition to politically motivated violence from various quarters, legal orders in Europe today are increasingly confronted with profit-driven organised crime that is integrated into globally-operating criminal networks and at the same time entrenched in European societies. In view of the… more

Public-Private Partnerships in the Fight against the Financing of Terrorism

Confronted with transnational terrorism and other forms of organised crime that elude the territorial borders of nation states, law enforcement authorities in many countries are increasingly turning to the private sector to tackle illicit financial flows. While banks and other financial institutions… more

Surrogacy – Interdisciplinary Analysis and International Perspective

Surrogacy is an internationally controversial method of medically-assisted re­production. Legislation in Germany pro­scribes medical assistance in impreg­nating a surrogate and forbids acting as an agent between intended par­ents and surrogates. As a result, the practice of surrogacy is de facto… more

Necessity and the State’s Monopoly on the Use of Force

Reason for and Scope of the Primacy of State Procedures in the Context of Section 34 German Criminal Code more

V. Sexual Autonomy and Sexual Offenses

§§ 174-182 German Criminal Code (Offenses Against Sexual Self-Determination)

In the decade since 2010, the section on sexual offenses in the German Criminal Code has undergone multiple changes. These developments are traced for the most comprehensive commentary to the German Criminal Code, the “Leipziger Kommentar StGB”. The Commentary collects and analyzes policy… more

Sexual Assault Law: Law Reform in a Comparative Perspective

Traditional criminal laws defined sexual assault as a crime that required violence or threats of violence. Paradigms have shifted: present-day law reforms in various countries focus on lack of consent. There are, however, different approaches regarding how to transform this notion into offense… more

From Coercion to Consent: Rape Law Reform in Switzerland

Due to the reconceptualization of rape and other sexual offenses as violations of the victim’s sexual autonomy and in view of the obligations arising from international and regional human rights law, more and more European legal systems are revising their understanding of sexual offenses to reflect… more

Should Section 177 German Criminal Code (StGB) be Extended to Criminalize Negligent Sexual Assault?

Should a person be criminally liable for sexual acts that involve circumstances of mistaken consent? This disser­ta­tion discusses whether negligent sexual assault should be criminalized under S. 177 StGB (a position advocated by Hörnle and Jerouschek twenty years ago), and if so, how this could be… more

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