Department of Criminal Law

Completed Projects


I. Foundations

Rethinking the Social Environment in American Criminal Law Theory, Doctrine, and Practice

Head of project: Federica Coppola
The relevance of socio-environmental influences on human behavior is (re)gaining momentum in American crim­i­nal law scholarship. Increasing acknowledgment of the traumatizing social conditions that too often affect people who come into contact with the criminal legal system has (re)sparked heated debate over… more

Social Rehabilitation and Criminal Justice

Heads of project: Federica Coppola, Adriano Martufi
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

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

Head of project: Flo­ri­an Slogs­nat
What is the relationship between private and state conflict management? The aim of this project is to examine this relationship in the context of section 34 German Criminal Code (necessity as a justification, rechtfertigender Not­stand). According to this provision, an act is justified if it is committed in order… more

Taking Monetary Punishments Seriously

Head of project: Ivó Co­ca-Vi­la
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, approximately 80% of… more

Mitigation for Failed Attempts

Head of project: Ju­lia O’Rour­ke
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 subject. In… more

II. Regulating Intimate Relations

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

Head of project: Tatjana Hörnle
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”. more

Sexual Assault Laws

Heads of project: T. Hörnle, V. Ber­gel­son, M. Can­cio Me­liá, M. Mad­den Demp­sey, S. Green, J. Her­ring, M. Kagrell, C. Ler­ne­stedt, E. E. Mur­phy, N. Scheideg­ger, St. Schul­ho­fer, M. Thorburn
Traditional criminal laws defined sexual assault as a crime that required violence or threats of violence. Paradigms have shifted: present-day law… more

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

Head of project: Konstanze Jarvers
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. more

Surrogacy – Interdisciplinary Analysis and International Perspective

Head of project: Sophie-Marie Humbert
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. more

III. Criminal Law in Fragmented Societies

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

Head of project: Federica Coppola
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 the most… more

IV. Other Projects

NetzDG and Human Rights

Head of project: Johanna Rinceanu
The past five years have posed new challenges for Europe and the entire world: A rapid spread of digital violence and online “hate speech”, including image-based harassment, fake news, disinformation, propaganda, racism and xenophobia have become a steadily growing social problem fueled by migration crises… more

Secret Evidence in Criminal Proceedings

Head of project: Benjamin Vogel
In addition to politically motivated violence and hostile states, 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. more

Examining Prospective Jurors

Heads of project: Matthew Fox, Steven E. Clayman
The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees criminal defendants the right to have their guilt decided by an impartial jury. The complication to this right is that the information used to assess impartiality must be re­quested from prospective jurors themselves during voir dire. more

Doing Jury Work

Heads of project: Matthew Fox, David R. Gibson
The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees criminal defendants the right to have their guilt decided by an impartial jury. Yet, trials do not occur in a vacuum and prospective jurors bring with them to court various biases that cause them to be partial. more

Go to Editor View