Personal Risk Prevention in Police Law

This project deals with action-oriented measures of personal prevention in police law, which are linked to predic­tions that a particular person will behave unlaw­fully in the future. Such measures can be found in almost all areas of the special administrative law, ranging from reliability under commercial law, to the character fitness of a holder of a driving licence, to defence measures against terrorism.
The primary aim of the project is to develop personal prevention and its corresponding measures as a coherent field of law with its own structural characteristics and problems. The enquiry will therefore focus on the subject matter’s doctrinal structure, the generation of knowledge in the application of personal prevention measures, and their constitutional justification. Principally engaging the Department’s ‘Fundamentals’ research axis, these foci will be achieved both by a thorough doctrinal analysis of administrative court practice, and by carefully integrating several interdisciplinary sources. Thus, the project deals, among other things, with the significance of ‘prediction’ as probability judgement, and the significance of ‘free will’ for the predictability of human behaviour.
It is not, however, among the project’s aims to propagate a new type of security measure. Rather, the aim is to comprehensively examine an already long-standing legal practice. Importantly, the problems associated with this practice are currently not recognised by either the judiciary, or by legal academics. Therefore, this project fills an important scholarly gap by identifying and analysing an already existing practice and reconciling it with constitu­tional requirements. At the same time, this project undertakes a partial reassessment of police law. Its current constitution is no longer to be determined predominantly from the perspective of information gathering. Rather, it will be based principally on those measures aiming at the interruption of causal processes leading to the damage. It is these measures which in turn must guide the collection and distribution of information.


Research outcome: habilitation thesis at the University of Freiburg (2013–2022)
Project language: German
Project status: completed

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