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Welcome to the website of the Department of Civil and Company Law

The Department of Civil and Company Law has been under a tenure track assistant professor since 2011 and is led by Prof. Dr. Janine Wendt.

The courses we offer and the research conducted in this department focus mainly on civil law, commercial law, company law, capital market and banking law as well as on certain aspects of technology law. Civil law is defined as the legislation that applies to legal dealings between private individuals. Within this field the research agenda of the department pays particular attention to business-related civil law. There are also courses and research in commercial law looking at the legislation that modifies and supplements the general provisions contained in civil law with respect to commercial legal dealings.

In company law the main emphasis is on the law governing limited companies and stock corporations, with particular emphasis on the legislation regulating the relations a stock corporation or limited company and its executive bodies has with the shareholders on the one hand and creditors and any other stakeholders on the other. The department’s research in this area is devoted mainly to the issue of how conflicts of interest between these groups can be resolved and compliance ensured.

The department’s interest in banking and capital market law lies primarily in the characteristic interrelationship between the legal bases set out in civil and regulatory law and the effect that the regulation under public law of banks and other financial services providers has on their organisational structures and financial systems.

In technology law, the department is working together with SFB 805, the Collaborative Research Centre, to conduct research into the legal requirements which need to be imposed on innovative load-bearing systems, particularly those that can alter themselves independently. Moreover the department will investigate whether independently changing systems and resilient products fit, in their development and manufacture, into the legal framework that has applied until now, or whether gaps in liability arise that require a solution to be devised. Furthermore the question of whether the applicable guidelines for product safety should be extended to include security against sabotage will be explored. The department is working on these issues in close collaboration with departments from Mechanical Engineering.

The classical legal arguments are supplemented by aspects of comparative law in all areas of work.The department’s courses aim to convey the necessary knowledge of the fields already mentioned (including legal methods), whilst taking into consideration recent judgements and developments in the law. Students’ learning is supported by a wide range of e-learning options and by our use of active-learning strategies as in our pilot projects in problem-based learning using group discussion. To develop students’ knowledge beyond the basic subjects covered, we offer interdisciplinary extension courses and seminars on the latest issues in the areas of law covered. These provide the opportunity for independent academic work.

Visiting lecturers include both practitioners and visiting professors with whom we have international links. This both extends the range of subjects covered by the department and provides us with an opportunity to develop joint research projects.