Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Ulrich Sieber is a director emeritus at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law in Freiburg/Germany and an honorary professor and faculty member at the law faculties of the University of Freiburg and the University of Munich.
He is a visiting professor at the law departments of Peking University, Renmin University, Beijing Normal University, and Wuhan University (all People’s Republic of China) as well as an honorary professor at the Universidad Tecnológica de los Andes (Cusco/Peru). He is the recipient of hononary doctorates from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens/Greece, the National University of San Marcos (Lima/Peru), the University of Pécs/Hungary, and from South-West University Neofit Rilski Blagoewgrad/Bulgaria.
The research program of Prof. Sieber at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law in Freiburg is closely attuned to current changes in crime, criminal law, and criminal policy in today’s global information and risk society. New challenges to criminal law and security law emerge with these changes. Contributors to the urgency of these challenges include the growing transnationality of crime, the increasing threat level, and the high degree of complexity. These factors are especially apparent in the areas of terrorism, organized crime, economic crime, and cybercrime – all focuses of the research program.
These developments have pushed traditional criminal law to its territorial and functional limits as regards the protection of society and the guarantees of individual freedoms. New questions arise, for example, as to the conceptual design of a transnationally effective criminal law, the role of criminal law in the context of the emerging preventive orientation towards security interests, and alternative systems of social control.
Against this background, the research program of the Department of Criminal Law at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law pursues three related, progressive research goals: (1) the analysis of empirical changes in delinquency and security risks in a society shaped by globalization, technological advances, and economic development; (2) the analysis and critical evaluation of the corresponding normative changes in present-day security law; and (3) the development of viable responses to the issues spawned by these changes.
The primary research methods used to achieve these aims include legal doctrine, international criminal law science, and comparative criminal law as well as methods of empirical social research and the inclusion of fundamental questions of legal theory, international law, European law, and human rights. In this way, a frame of reference for criminal justice in multi-level systems can be determined.
Prof. Sieber launched his academic career at the University of Freiburg, where he was a researcher and academic staff member from 1973 to 1987. In 1977, he was awarded a doctorate for his dissertation on computer crime and criminal law (Computerkriminalität und Strafrecht) and completed the bar exam. In addition to his academic work, he also worked as an attorney specializing in computer law from 1978 to 1987.
He earned a post-doctoral lecturing qualification under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Klaus Tiedemann at the University of Freiburg in 1987 with a Habilitation on the relationship between substantive criminal law and criminal procedure. In the same year, he accepted a position as professor of criminal law, criminal procedure, and information law at the University of Bayreuth. In 1991, Prof. Sieber became professor of criminal law, criminal procedure, information law, and legal informatics at the University of Würzburg, where he was dean of the law faculty from 1997 to 1998. He declined an offer of professorship for legal informatics from the University of Münster in 1994. Also in 1994, he was a visiting professor at the University of Tokyo. In April 2000, he accepted an appointment to succeed Prof. Dr. Claus Roxin at the University of Munich.
In October 2003, Prof. Sieber was appointed director at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law in Freiburg, succeeding Prof. Dr. Hans-Heinrich Jescheck and Prof. Dr. Albin Eser (https://www.mpicc.de/). Since 2004, he has also been an honorary professor and law faculty member at the University of Munich and the University of Freiburg, with the authorization to confer doctoral and post-doctoral degrees. He is the initiator and spokesperson of the International Max Planck Research School for Comparative Criminal Law, a cooperative venture of the Max Planck Institute in Freiburg and the law faculty of the University of Freiburg (see: http://www.imprs-cc.de/de/).