2nd EDITION (July 2016)

Approaches to Comparative Procedural Law: The Pluralism of Methods

Please note: The call for applications has been closed!


Organized in collaboration with the International Association of Procedural Law (IAPL), the second edition of the Summer School will take place at the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg between the 10th and the 13th of July 2016 (both included).

Up to 20 places will be available for applicants having procedural law and/or dispute resolution mechanisms as their main field of academic interest.

Deadline for applications: January 31st, 2016.

Please note: The call for applications has been closed!

Note: A good command of written and oral English is required.


The first IAPL-MPI Summer School was held at the premises of the MPI in Luxembourg in July 2014. The success of the experience, recently crowned by the publication of the collective book Procedural Science at the Crossroads of Different Generations (Nomos 2015), has encouraged the organization of a second edition in 2016. Under the direction of Professor Loïc Cadiet (Université Paris I - Sorbonne) and Professor Burkhard Hess (MPI Luxembourg), the second edition of IAPL-MPI Post-Doctoral Summer School aims like the first one to bring together outstanding young post-doc researchers of any nationality dealing with European and comparative procedural law, as well as with other relevant dispute mechanisms for civil controversies. Researchers at the very ending stage of their PhD project are also invited to apply. The School will give them an opportunity to openly share and discuss their current project of research with other young colleagues, but also with experienced law professors and practitioners. In this regard, Luxembourg is presently for many reasons one of the most interesting venues in Europe, where many opportunities for exchanges between procedural theory and practice are offered.


1. The International Association of Procedural Law

The foundation of the International Association of Procedural Law goes back to the 1950’s. Its purpose is to promote the development of the study of procedural law by encouraging collaboration among lawyers and academics in different countries and the exchange of information on sources, publications, practice and adjudication, as well as participating participate with other juridical experts to promote the study of procedural matters in national and international research institutions. To achieve these goals, the Association engages in various activities. It regularly organizes conferences and congresses everywhere in the world; from 2011, it supports the publication of an international journal (the International Journal of Procedural law, published twice a year compiling contributions in five languages). Next to the awarding of a Cappelletti Prize for the best book written by young scholars in the procedural field, the initiative of a post-doc Summer School to be held every two years in cooperation with the Max Planck Institute for Procedural Law implements the wish of the Association to diversify its activities towards worldwide young proceduralists.

2. The Max Planck Institute for Procedural Law

The Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law started its work in fall 2012 at its temporary location on the Kirchberg plateau. The official inauguration of the Institute took place on 8 May 2013.

The Institute is the first Max Planck Institute on legal matters outside the German borders. The location in Luxembourg is ideal for a Max Planck Institute focusing on procedural law: Luxembourg is indeed the synonym for the constant development and expansion of the legal systems of the EU Member States by means of European law and of the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union. The MPI has already established a productive dialogue with the European courts and related institutions. A close cooperation with the faculty of law of the University of Luxembourg as well as with other research bodies all over the world is on-going or envisaged.

Within the MPI, the Department of European and Comparative Civil Procedural Law directed by Prof. Dr. Burkhard Hess addresses the whole range of judicial and extrajudicial settlement of civil law disputes, as well as the differentiation of dispute resolution (e.g. in family law, in consumer protection, and in collective redress). As a result of its international composition this department sees itself first of all as a department for comparative civil procedure law. In addition, there is a special focus on European civil procedure law. However, the scope of research is much broader (and steadily growing): by way of example, researchers investigate the interfaces between the structure of the judiciary (especially questions related to institutional aspects and to professional law), or the settlement of disputes (such as the competing influence of private and state actors in the area of arbitration and consumer mediation). Finally, the procedural law of the ECJ and of the other European courts in Luxembourg is of particular importance, especially with regard to the differentiation of the procedures against the background of the different functions of these judicial institutions.


Procedural law is no longer a purely domestic topic. The recent tendencies characterizing the field, such as Europeanization and harmonization, mark the evolution towards a new, cross-border dimension of this area of law. In addition, the growing importance of transnational legal relations in all spheres of civil and commercial dealings make it unavoidable to face the new challenges of procedural law across national borders.

The traditional methods of national dogmatics, which have for a long time guided the reflections of scholars operating in the field of civil procedure, are not necessarily able to capture the increased complexity of the present. In light of this, it is particularly important for young researchers to reflect on the methods which should be adopted in order to guarantee that research in the field of procedural law maintains its comprehensive explanatory power.

Looking at the current landscape of research in the field of procedural law, a wide array of different methods can potentially be used: comparative methods, inter-disciplinary approaches and quantitative and qualitative empirical analysis are only some of the lenses through which young scholars can scrutinize the reality of the process.

The 2016 MPI-IAPL Summer School aims at providing its participants with an enhanced awareness as to the methods to be chosen and applied when undertaking a research project in the field of procedural law. To this end, whilst participants will be free to present on any subject having a substantial connection with procedural law, they will be particularly stimulated to reflect on problems of methodology. The School will be a quest for a clearer vision not only of the “what”, but also and most of all of the “how” of legal research.


1. The philosophy of the School

Main actors of the school are the students, who are invited both to present their current topic of research and to actively discuss the presentations of the rest of the participants. The role of the professors is to accompany and encourage them in the endeavor.

The Summer-School is building a reputation of outstanding quality, which is mirrored both in the professors invited and the students admitted to participate. With this aim a pre-selection is made within the MPI among the applications received in due time, based on the applicant’s cv and his/her topic of research (interest, methodological approach, novelty). The final decision lies with the MPI and the IAPL Presidium.

The celebration of the Summer-School is an objective and a success on its own, further reflected in the final collection and publication of the presentations (reworked) in a collective book. In principle all attendants will be asked to contribute to the book; their commitment to comply is a condition to be admitted to the School.

2. Sessions and Panels

The Summer School runs for three days and combines the scientific program with some leisure activities. The academic program takes place in morning and afternoon sessions, divided into sequenced panels grouping together related topics.

3. Presentation and Discussion

Each participant will be requested to explain his/her research orally for a time not exceeding twenty minutes, with the aid of a PPT if wished.

A participant of the school will be appointed as a respondent (discussant) for each paper, thus he/she will be in charge of discussing the main points of the paper for 3 to 5 minutes. In order to facilitate the task of the discussant and for the sake of a consistent debate, papers of maximum 15000 words (including footnotes) must be sent to summer-school@mpi.lu in advance, i.e., three weeks before the school starts at the latest. They will be circulated among all the participants.

An open discussion of 15 to 20 minutes will follow. All the participants are expected to take part actively in it, with interventions of 2-3 minutes each.

Each session of the School will be chaired by one Professor.

4. The Professors at the School

Emeriti professors as well are active ones, coming from Universities all around the world, are invited to attend the Summer School with the purpose of guiding the young researchers, commenting on their projects and advising them on the way forward. In this second edition of the Summer School two lectures will be included on the specific topic of the methods to approach procedural law. Besides, following last edition’s model, all professors will comment on some major works of procedural and comparative law - selected books, authors or even grounding events that they consider worth to be read and discussed.


1. Venue

The Summer-School takes place at the MPI premises, 4 rue Alphonse Weicker, L-2721 Luxembourg.

2. Funding

Participants are eligible for grants covering travel and accommodation expenses while in Luxembourg, in case they do not benefit from any other source of funding.

Students coming to Luxembourg from a non-European country may prolong their stays up to the end of the week and use the MPI library.

3. Travel arrangements, Visa

Travel and accommodation arrangements of beneficiaries of funding are undertaken by the MPI.

Successful applicants shall take care by themselves of eventual administrative requirements such as visa and similar.

4. Contact person:

Martina Winkel, tel. +352 269488 - 923, email summer-school@mpi.lu


As in the previous edition, the 2016 IAPL-MPI Summer School is looking for highly qualified candidates, both with respect to their experience and area of research. A good level of English, both orally and in writing, is also required. All nationalities are welcome to apply.

The School is mainly addressed to post-doc students at the beginning of their academic career; PhD candidates may nonetheless be admitted in case their dissertation is already at an advanced stage, and provided the candidate is able to show a degree of ripeness guaranteeing that his/her attendance to the school will be fruitful both for him/her and the School itself.

The selection process entails a two-stage process, based on the written materials submitted by the applicants. A pre-selection is made within the MPI among the applications correctly completed and received in due time on the basis of the candidate’s cv, his/her topic of research and his/her explanation of it (interest, methodological approach, novelty). The final decision lies with the MPI and the IAPL Presidium.

Applications shall be submitted not later than 31 January 2016 via the online application link below.

An application form therein provided for must be filled up and the following documents upload:

  • A short curriculum vitae indicating home institution; PhD topic, date and place of submission, degree, members of the jury/commission; recent publications; grants and awards; stays abroad
  • A short description of the current project of research, to be discussed at the School (no more than 1000 words)
  • A letter of recommendation from a renowned Law Professor or Professional

The call for applications has been closed