Faculty of Law


Our 19 chairs, three teaching professorships and five research institutes stand for top-rate, broad-based research. We have established innovative and interdisciplinary profile areas in our specialisations 'Business and Work', 'Finance and Taxes', 'Europe and International Dimensions of Law', 'IT, Media, Communication and Digitalisation', 'Principles of Law' and 'Proceedings and Procedure'.

Legal research, in its structure and in accordance with the principle of academic freedom, is largely characterised by the individual research effort of each individual scholar. This is true of all conventional research activities in the humanities. Essentially, individual projects account for the majority of scholarly legal research output.

Increasingly, however, individual research interests are being explored within interdisciplinary and increasingly international (consortium) projects. In recent years, the Faculty of Law has acquired significant external funds for such interdisciplinary and cross-border (consortium) projects from organisations such as the German Research Foundation (DFG), the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the European Union (EU).

Doctoral and postdoctoral (habilitation) study

By gaining the title of Doctor iuris (Dr. iur.), doctoral candidates demonstrate that they are able to carry out independent academic work in the area of law. The doctorate can be the foundation for a career in academia, but it can equally be a mark of distinction that holds advantages for those willing to go into legal practice. Those who gain the postdoctoral 'habilitation' qualification can fully embrace legal research and teaching, as the habilitation demonstrates their ability to represent their subject at the professorial level and thus qualifies them for professorial posts once they have applied for the right to lecture (venia legendi, literally 'permission to read').

Research projects

Below is a selection of current projects to give you a glimpse of some of the ongoing research at the Faculty of Law.

EU projects

‘Reconsidering Constitutional Formation’ EU project – Europe’s constitution needs communication

Within the ‘ReConFort – Reconsidering Constitutional Formation’ research project, a team of legal scholars headed by Passau’s legal historian Professor Ulrike Müßig spent four years researching historical constitutional debates in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Poland and Spain.


TTIP-ITN: Interdisciplinary network analyses impacts of TTIP

The EU currently is negotiating a controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement with the USA, the main features of which will be the abolition of tariffs, the reduction of non-tariff barriers to trade between the EU and the USA and the introduction of a dispute settlement mechanism.


LAWtrain – legal expertise from Passau for lawyers across Europe

Which court is responsible for cross-border disputes? A team from the University of Passau is working with lawyers from six EU countries to develop training materials on European procedural law. One of the areas tackled: international procedural law in family matters.


DFG projects

DFG Research Training Group on Privacy

The Research Training Group will reconstruct the concept of privacy with the overall aim of developing a comprehensive theory of privacy and describing its parameters and interaction with other concepts.


Research Training Group: Privacy and Digitalisation

How do Social Media, Big Data and digital tracking change the definition of privacy? The Research Training Group 1681 "Privacy" of the University of Passau - funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) - wil finance early career researchers working on fields related to privacy and digitalisation.


BMBF projects

Genome editing in plant biotechnology - a science based legal analysis of regulatory problems

Researchers from the University of Passau reconsider from scratch the EU’s regulatory framework for genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in view of the latest biological insights into genome editing techniques, for example CRISPR/Cas9.


HumArGam: Legal aspects of the generation, genetic modification and use of pluripotent stem cell-derived human gametes

The generation of iPSC-derived gametes, their genetic alteration, and their use for research, therapeutic or reproductive purposes raise intriguing and fundamental legal questions. Researchers from the University of Passau examine these in an interdisciplinary team.


mirKUL: how hypervideos can improve workflows

Academics at the University of Passau are evaluating a multimedia system that uses mobile and interactive multimedia applications to support working and learning processes in small and medium-sized enterprises.


PACE – Passau Centre for eHumanities

The Passau Centre for eHumanities (PACE) investigates new computer-based approaches to determine the needs of the humanities and cultural studies fields for research and teaching. The Centre The Passau Centre for eHumanities (German) is an important component of the eHumanities field at the University of Passau.


REALiGN-HD: 'Human Genome Surgery'

The revolutionary CRISPR-Cas9 technique equals genome surgery: serious diseases could be simply cut out of the genome. Scholars from the University of Passau examine the legal aspects in an interdisciplinary team.


Totipotency I: Has "totipotency" become obsolete as a criterion for establishing the normative status of an embryo?

 What constitutes an "embryo" from a legal point of view? Hitherto, the answer has been "totipotency". This is outdated, say legal scholars from the University of Passau. In the new legal definition of the term "embryo" proposed in the project, development capacity of a cell or a cluster of cells still plays a decisive role.


Totipotency II: The chatoyant term "embryo"

The project touches fundamental questions of life: Which criteria determine whether an embryonic entity deserves protection by the law? Legal scholars from the University of Passau have examined various embryo definitions de lege lata and de lege ferenda in the light of new techniques of modern developmental biology.


Other projects

Distribution of responsibilities in the railway sector concerning the certification/authorisation and supervision of rolling stock

Professor Urs Kramer was asked to provide a legal opinion on whether a distribution of responsibilities concerning safety management of rolling stock had taken place among private-sector railway operators and the public railway authorities.


East-Bavarian Centre of Internet Competence

The East-Bavarian Centre of Internet Competence aims to consolidate East-Bavarian universities' research competence on the subject of the Internet and make this extensive body of research available to businesses in the region as a catalyst for innovation.