Archive of Events

Archive of Events

Inequality: A Key Social Determinant

Guest Lecture (in English)
Societies with bigger income differences between rich and poor suffer from higher rates of a wide range of health and social problems, including poorer life expectancy, worse mental health, more violence, drug abuse, and lower levels of trust. The effects of inequality also reduce the prospects of moving towards envi­ron­mental sustainability, and our general willingness to pull to­gether and provide mutual support. Prof. Dr. em. Wilkinson will also elaborate on social and psychological processes behind these patterns. [more]

Beyond the Public and Private Distinction in Criminal Law Thought (external event)

Lecture within the session “Political Turn(s) in Criminal Law Theory”

Living safely in the city of the future

24th Berlin Colloquium
Russia's invasion of Ukraine beckons the international community to adjust international law further, to deter future wars of aggression. One way to do that is to finally do an obvious thing that should have been done after World War II: make peace an actionable fundamental human right. This lecture will discuss both how to do that and the benefits of doing so. [more]

Immersive virtual reality: Criminology’s key enabling technology? (external event)

Conférence publique de l'Ecole des Sciences Criminelles
This workshop aims to discuss the potential relevance of averse socio-environmental factors under theories and doctrines of criminal responsibility. For the purposes of the workshop, averse socio-environmental conditions include past and ongoing averse socio-environmental conditions, such as extreme socio-economic deprivation, chronic exposure to violence, physical and psycho­log­­ical abuse, and social isolation. [more]

About the Nature and Value of Conceptual Legal Scholarship

Freiburger Vorträge zu Staatswissenschaft und Rechtsphilosophie
The lecture pursues two goals. First, Christian Bumke aims to compare how German legal doctrine and a pluralistic approach, known as the “New Private Law Theory” in the USA, can be used to think about and work with the law. Bumke will argue that, while there are considerable differences between the two, they can be understood as two variants of the same general approach towards legal scholarship, which he calls “conceptual legal scholarship”. His second goal consists in developing a reflection on methodol­ogy. For this purpose, he examines the differences within con­cep­tual legal scholarship. He wishes to show that very different academic activities are pursued both within legal doctrine and New Private Law scholarship. Bumke will make a distinction between two different types of conceptual legal scholarship. On the one hand, there are approaches that aim to explain a certain legal phenomenon; on the other hand, one finds approaches that aim to understand the law’s normative content. He will argue that differentiating between the two perspectives is important because they respond to different expectations and have to conform to different standards. [more]

Rights in Criminal Law – Exploring the Role of Individual Entitlements in Criminal Law

Interdisciplinary Conference
In this international three-day conference, the Institute of Philos­o­phy Graz together with the Max Planck Institute Freiburg invites renowned experts in the philosophy of law and criminal law theory to debate the meaning and scope of the concept of individual rights in criminal law. [more]

Citizenship and Criminal Law (external event)

The lecture will examine how questions of cultural difference be­tween Member States’ legal traditions are being constructed, ad­dressed, and resolved in the development of the European Area of Freedom, Security, and Justice. It will explore some of the paths that may be followed by the EU in seeking to cope with national diversity in the field of criminal justice, and provides some in­sights into various forms of legal and cultural resistance offered by Member States to the European harmonization process. The lecture is held against the background that the expanding ambi­tions of the European Union on criminal matters have been met with increasing hostility to deeper European integration. This sheds light on the growing potential for conflict between ever expanding EU law on the one hand and national legal traditions on the other, while EU primary law emphasizes the need to accommodate national diversity within the European framework. [more]
Interpretive practices of courts and other adjudicative bodies indicate that the law of any community comprises not only (i) an explicit part that consists of enactments, judicial decisions, and settled legal practices, but also (ii) an implicit part which judges rely on in adjudicating novel issues not addressed by any part of the explicit law. Legal positivists have in general been resistant to recognizing implicit law, while natural law theorists have conceived implicit law in moralized terms. Both views appear to be discredited when checked against considered interpretative judgments. This lecture broaches a new way of conceiving implicit law by exploiting two analogies: (i) an analogy between implicit law and implied fictional truths – i.e. what are true in a work of fiction but are not explicitly specified as such by the author or artist; and (ii) an analogy between the interpretive principles that we rely on to generate implied fictional truths (what are often called “principles of generation” in philosophical aesthetics), and the principles that we rely on to construct counterfactual scenarios for a variety of purposes – e.g. in explaining and predicting each other’s thoughts and behavior, in our backward-looking moral emotions such as regret and relief. The two aforementioned analogical arguments suggest that the principles we rely on to generate implicit law are deep-seated and fundamental features of our psychological makeup. The overall implication that this paper teases out is that the implicit law of any legal system is neither a set of moral principles as natural law theorists argue, nor a set of principles that we agree on or manufacture as legal positivists conceive laws in general. Instead of being a product of human making, the implicit law of any legal system is likely a product of human makeup. [more]

Sanktionen im Sozialrecht – Existenzminimum und Menschenwürde im Spannungsverhältnis zu Mitwirkungspflichten und fiskalischen Interessen

Guest Lecture

The Past, Present and Future of the International Criminal Court (external event)

Online Panel Discussion and Book Launch

Norwegian Criminal Insanity Law (external event)

Digital Conference
A Conversation on Emancipatory Criminalization and Carceral Feminism [more]

Why Outcomes Matter (And How They Do)

Guest Lecture
The problem of outcome responsibility, in criminal law, is the problem of providing a normative foundation for criminal-law practices that make outcomes relevant to criminal liability and sentencing – sometimes (as in the law of attempts) with relevant differences between intended and negligently-risked outcomes. My talk develops a conception of agency that can provide theoreti­cal underpinning for these practices. As a first step, I defend the widely accepted view that producing an outcome (either as an in­tended or as a negligently-unlucky one) makes a difference: so long as the outcome can be imputed to the agent, it qualifies what the agent is responsible for. The object of assessment (“what D has done”) changes from “X activity” (minus the outcome) to “X activity with outcome”. Potentially much more contentious is the second step in my argument: the claim that how the outcome matters for our responsibility is affected by the question whether the outcome is the product of our intentions or whether it is the product of risks we have negli­gently created. This analysis explains many contentious features of the criminal law. However, it puts pressure on the justification for outcome-dependent crimes of negligence as such. For how can, on the assumption that we have a much less tight connection to negligently-risked outcomes than to intended ones, the criminal law’s prac­tice of making the occurrence of the outcome the linchpin for most offences of criminal negligence, be defended? [more]

Protection for whom from what? The development of minimum age of sexual consent legislation in Singapore (external event)

University of Oxford Criminal Law Discussion Group

Lab Experiments – An Overlooked Tool in the Box of Criminology

Guest Lecture
Good fences make good neighbours. The “naturalistic fallacy” is a particularly solid fence. It not only claims that the normative disci­plines need not worry about facts. It would actually be a category error if they care. Although at its core the law is a normative disci­pline, it has not always been that hostile towards facts. But it used to have a rather loose attitude towards empirics. Often, any factual statement “that matters” has been accepted as a legitimate ele­ment of legal reasoning. A social scientist would likely disagree. A factual claim is not the same as empirical evidence, most im­portantly since correlation is not causation. Criminology defines itself as the social science concerned with crime and punishment. This invites a division of labour: to the extent that a normative conclusion in the area of criminal law rests on an empirical claim, it is for criminology to deliver the evidence. Yet what counts as evidence? To a relevant degree, this is not only a question of epistemology. It also is a matter of disciplinary culture. Historically, criminology defines itself as applied sociology. This historical root is a productive one. But it has led the discipline to largely ignore an im­portant source of evidence: experiments under the controlled conditions of the lab. Interestingly, in empirical legal studies, this method is much more established than in criminology, despite the fact that empirical legal studies are much more recent. The talk will explain why lab experiments could be helpful for criminology, and accordingly for the empirical grounding of criminal law, and will illustrate the power with experiments on crime and punishment. [more]

“Sexual Assault and Rape – What Can We Learn From and For Law Reform?”

Workshop supported by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation

Taking Criminal Responsibility (external event)

Oxford Seminars in Jurisprudence

Loss of Control – (un) acceptable emotions? (external event)

University of Oxford Criminal Law Discussion Group

Culpability, Consciousness, and Carrying on Regardless (external event)

University of Oxford Criminal Law Discussion Group
In a lead­ing rul­ing on the stand­ard of proof, the Fed­er­al Court of Justice stated in 1970 that judges must be con­vinced to a “de­gree of cer­tainty” that need not quite be “bey­ond all reas­on­able doubt” but should go bey­ond a mere “prob­ab­il­ity bor­der­ing on cer­tain­ty.” The former is not re­quired by the law of evid­ence; the lat­ter is not suf­fi­cient (Rul­ing of the Fed­er­al Court of Justice in Civil Cases [BGHZ] 53, 245 ff.). From an epi­stem­o­lo­gic­al point of view, cla­ri­fic­a­tion is needed as to wheth­er a doxast­ic ap­proach fits in­to this nar­row con­struct. The BGH rul­ing refers to “con­vic­tion”, the “truth of an as­ser­tion”, and the re­quired “de­gree of cer­tainty”, but it does not ad­dress the con­cept of know­ledge, in which these ele­ments con­verge and are re­lated to each oth­er. In epi­stem­o­logy, it is dis­puted wheth­er or not hu­man fal­lib­il­ity, which is ir­re­voc­able, can be re­con­ciled with the as­sump­tion that hu­mans are cap­able of ac­quir­ing know­ledge. The lec­ture out­lines the ten­ets of a fal­lib­il­ist­ic concept of know­ledge and com­pares the chal­lenge of de­term­in­ing a suf­fi­cient level for the stand­ard of evid­ence to the epi­stem­o­lo­gic­al chal­lenge of re­con­cil­ing “to err is hu­man” with the claim to know­ledge. [more]
The event is organized by the Research Network on Law and the Cognitive Sciences (LACS). In this seminar, Prof. Gregg Caruso (SUNY Corning) presents his monograph, “Rejecting Retributivism: Free Will, Punishment, and Criminal Justice” (CUP, 2021). The event takes place September 16th, 2021 at 5pm CEST (11am EDT). [more]

Language and the Law in the Age of Migration

5th ILLA General Conference [more]

Soapbox Science Munich (external event)

Soapbox Science is an annual public science communication event that brings cutting-edge science to the public, in an accessible, fun, free and un-intimidating way. [more]
Immigration enforcement is increasingly dependent on local criminal justice authorities, and yet basic questions on the criminal case processing of non-U.S. citizens in state and local jurisdictions remain unanswered. Leveraging uniquely rich case information on all felony arrests in California and Texas between 2006 and 2018, this article provides a detailed examination of the legal treatment of non-U.S. citizens from booking through sentencing. In both states, we find that non-U.S. citizens arrested for the same crime and with the same prior record are significantly more likely to be convicted and incarcerated than U.S. citizens. These unexplained citizenship gaps often exceed the observed disparities between white and minority defendants, but the results were not identical in both states. In line with the more rigid views towards migrant criminality in Texas, the case processing of foreign nationals is notably more severe there than in California at nearly every key decision point. These findings suggest that even in local criminal justice settings, citizenship is a unique and consequential axis of contemporary legal inequality. [more]
The two-hour on­li­ne event will con­sist of a wel­co­me mes­sa­ge by Pro­fes­sor Ro­bert Spa­no (Pre­si­dent of the Eu­ro­pean Court of Hu­man Rights), in­tro­duc­to­ry re­marks by Pro­fes­sors An­drew As­hworth (Uni­ver­si­ty of Ox­ford), R A Duff (Uni­ver­si­ty of Stir­ling) and Lu­cia Zed­ner (Uni­ver­si­ty of Ox­ford), a brief pre­sen­ta­ti­on of the vo­lu­me’s con­tent by its edi­tors, a pa­nel dis­cus­si­on with the con­tri­bu­ting au­t­hors and a Q&A ses­si­on with the au­dience. The pa­nel dis­cus­si­on will be led by three aca­de­mic com­men­ta­tors, Pro­fes­sors Tat­ja­na Hörn­le (MPI-CSL, Frei­burg), Dou­glas Hu­sak (Rut­gers Uni­ver­si­ty) and Val­sa­mis Mit­si­legas (Queen Ma­ry Uni­ver­si­ty of Lon­don), who will com­ment on co­re aspects of the book and its chap­ters and pro­vi­de au­t­hors right of re­p­ly. Points of dis­cus­si­on will be ba­sed on the vo­lu­me’s in­di­vi­du­al con­tri­bu­ti­ons as such and al­so eva­lua­ted in the light of the spe­ci­al to­pic ‘Pro­por­tio­na­li­ty and Cri­mi­nal law in a State of Emer­gen­cy’. The aim is to high­light the re­le­van­ce of the book’s cen­tral to­pic to cur­rent emer­gen­cy is­su­es causing go­ver­n­ments and in­ter­na­tio­nal or­ga­ni­sa­ti­ons to ad­opt high­ly in­tru­si­ve re­stric­ti­ve mea­su­res and new (oc­ca­sio­nal­ly ex­tre­me) se­cu­ri­ty and sur­veil­lan­ce re­gi­mes. [more]
Grea­ter so­cioe­co­no­mic in­e­qua­li­ty is as­so­cia­ted with hig­her cri­me ra­tes. If this as­so­cia­ti­on is cau­sal, it is un­cle­ar how the po­pu­la­tion-le­vel va­ria­ble, in­e­qua­li­ty, af­fects de­ci­si­ons to of­fend in in­di­vi­du­als’ heads. I will pre­sent a re­cent theo­re­ti­cal mo­del in which in­di­vi­du­als strive to re­main their re­sources abo­ve a thres­hold of de­spe­ra­ti­on that is set by their so­ci­al con­text. Grea­ter in­e­qua­li­ty means mo­re in­di­vi­du­als who are at or be­low this thres­hold. It be­co­mes ra­tio­nal for them to of­fend as a ris­ky stra­t­egy to leap cle­ar of it. This pro­du­ces a link bet­ween po­pu­la­ti­on-le­vel in­e­qua­li­ty and in­di­vi­du­al de­ci­si­on-ma­king. Mo­reo­ver, we show that in­cre­a­sing pu­nis­h­ment se­ve­ri­ty un­der the­se as­s­ump­ti­ons should not ge­ne­ral­ly ex­pec­ted to re­du­ce of­fen­ding. I pre­sent a fra­me­work for stu­dy­ing the as­s­ump­ti­ons and pre­dic­ti­ons of the mo­del in a mul­ti-player in­cen­ti­vi­zed eco­no­mic ga­me. Pre­li­mi­na­ry da­ta are con­sis­tent with the pre­dic­ti­ons of the mo­del. Ho­we­ver, they are al­so con­sis­tent with simp­ler but still re­le­vant hy­po­the­ses that do not use the as­s­ump­ti­on of a de­spe­ra­ti­on thres­hold, such as that loss com­pa­red to so­me men­tal re­fe­rence point leads to frus­tra­ti­on and an­ger. We are current­ly at­t­emp­ting to test bet­ween the­se al­ter­na­ti­ves. We ho­pe that the ex­pe­ri­men­tal fra­me­work, re­gard­less of which way the re­sults fall out, is use­ful for un­der­stan­ding an­ti­so­ci­al mo­ti­va­ti­ons. [more]

Responsibility and Control (external event)

– Roots of Responsibility ERC Project – [more]
This talk approaches core issues in contemporary legal philosophy from a sociologically informed standpoint. It begins by positioning sociological approaches in relation to legal philosophy, and then discusses, in turn, sociological jurisprudence (including holism and historicism), law as an artifact, and the social construction of law. Critical comments are welcome on this draft essay. [more]
Dishonesty is often a result of collaborative efforts. We present the first meta-study on collaborative dishonesty, reviewing 51,640 decisions, made by 3,264 individuals. Results reveal that: people lie more (i) in collaborative than in individual settings, (ii) when their partners lie, and (iii) in later stages of the interaction. [more]
Ma­ny coun­tries are in a pro­cess of re­pla­cing out­da­ted sex of­fen­se re­gu­la­ti­ons with laws that ac­cu­ra­te­ly cor­re­spond to mo­dern ideas about gen­der equa­li­ty, se­xu­al self-de­ter­mi­na­ti­on, and con­sen­su­al sex. One ex­am­ple is Swe­den, whe­re a law that de­fi­nes ra­pe ba­sed on a cri­te­ri­on of non­vo­lun­ta­ry par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on en­te­red in­to for­ce in 2018. This lec­ture pres­ents an ana­ly­sis of how ra­pe is un­der­stood in the new le­gal dis­cour­se in Swe­den, and I show that ra­pe is pre­sen­ted as a mat­ter of choi­ce and com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on in se­xu­al si­tua­ti­ons. I argue that the new ra­pe law sends a cle­ar mes­sa­ge about what sex should be — na­me­ly, vo­lun­ta­ry — but does not ac­cu­ra­te­ly de­s­cri­be the cri­me and the be­ha­vi­or that de­ser­ves cri­mi­nal cen­su­re. I con­clu­de that a les­son from Swe­den is that fu­ture ra­pe law re­forms may be­ne­fit from em­pi­ri­cal know­led­ge of how peo­ple com­mu­ni­ca­te in se­xu­al si­tua­ti­ons. [more]

Roundtable – Overcoming the Jurisdictional Challenge of the Internet? (external event)

Roundtable presentations & discussion [more]

Triage – Prioritising Intensive Care Resources under Pandemic Conditions (external event)

Lectures and Panel Discussion
The de­ba­te over dif­fe­rences in U.S. and Eu­ro­pean speech rights is a per­en­ni­al is­sue. But, the emer­gence of pri­va­te so­ci­al me­dia platforms – and their do­mi­nance – has gi­ven the is­sue a new dimension and a new sen­se of ur­gen­cy. What is the ro­le and responsibility of the state and pri­va­te com­pa­nies in terms of monitoring and pre­ven­ting ha­te speech? Whe­re is the di­vi­ding line between free speech and cen­sor­ship? [more]

Zugang zu Recht (external event)


Racism and Police Violence in the United States and Germany

Panel Discussion
Online discussion via Zoom with Dr. Nicole Hirschfelder, University of Tübingen, and Esther Earbin, J.D., Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law, Freiburg. [more]
International spring course – 12th edition "Criminal Law, Religion and Security" [more]
Lecture Series Frei­bur­ger Vor­trä­ge zur Staats­wis­sen­schaft und Rechts­phi­lo­so­phie | Co­ope­ra­ti­on: Uni­ver­si­ty of Frei­burg & Max Planck In­sti­tute for Foreign and International Criminal Law. [more]
According to the standard view of rights, rights are not absolute. Sometimes, to save some, it is permissible to do things that would normally violate rights but that, under the circumstances, merely infringe them. The function of rights, on this standard view, is at most to raise a kind of moral barrier to their neglect. Moreover, even if an agent has sufficient moral reason to get over that barrier, she will presumably have wronged the right-holder. The only way, according to the standard theory, to do what would normally wrong a right holder, without actually wronging the person, is if she has waived or forfeited her right. I will argue that much of this standard picture is wrong. I argue for a different model—the mechanics of claims—according to which rights are the output of a balance of claims, an output which describes what is ultimately permissible. Rights infringement is, on this view, a misleading, morally distorting idea. Rather, we need to focus on how different kinds of claims interact, and what makes claims stronger or weaker. Forfeiture is only part of that picture, a part that is over-emphasized in the standard view. As for the state, I will argue that through its law-making and regulatory power, it has an important role in fixing certain kinds of substantive rights. It sets, within limits, what count as legitimate expectations. Nonetheless, the state’s power is substantially limited by substantive rights. Although the state has certain unique powers, it remains an agent confronting other agents in a space of rights. It is within this framework that I argue we should think carefully about when defensive force may permissibly be used. [more]

Effectiveness and Proportionality – Modern Challenges in Security Law and Criminal Justice

Spea­kers and dis­cus­si­on mo­de­ra­tors: Prof. em. Ant­ony Duff (keyno­te), Prof. Hans-Jörg Al­brecht, Prof. Ili­as Ana­gno­sto­pou­los, Prof. Lo­re­na Bach­mai­er, Dr. Em­ma­nouil Bil­lis, Prof. em. Mi­cha­el Bo­the, Prof. Johan Boucht, Prof. em. Ne­stor Coura­kis, Prof. Mar­kus Dubber (tbc), Prof. Tho­mas El­holm, Ema­nue­la-Chia­ra Gil­lard, LL.M., Prof. Tat­ja­na Hörn­le, Prof. John Jack­son, Dr. Kon­stan­ze Jar­vers (tbc), Dr. Nan­dor Knust, Prof. Claes Ler­nes­tedt, Prof. Rus­sell Mil­ler, Prof. Val­sa­mis Mit­si­legas (tbc), Prof. Chri­stos My­lo­no­pou­los, Dr. Va­gia Po­ly­zoi­dou, Prof. Ralf Po­scher, Prof. Ju­li­an Roberts, Prof. Jon Pet­ter Rui, Prof. Ul­rich Sie­ber, EC­tHR-Jud­ge Robert Spa­no, Prof. Ri­chard Vog­ler, Prof. em. Tho­mas Wei­gend, and Prof. Lu­cia Zed­ner. [more]
The workshop will provide a forum for bilateral dialogue between German and Chinese legal scholars, dealing with some most interesting topics in the field of cybercrime. [more]
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