The Institute will investigate modern tendencies in dispute resolution mechanisms from different perspectives: from the perspective of public international law, from the one of European and comparative civil procedure law, as well as from a regulatory standpoint (especially with reference to financial markets). Accordingly, the Institute comprises three departments: the Department of International Law and Dispute Resolution, the Department of European and Comparative Procedural Law, and the Department of Regulatory Procedural Law.

A major advantage of the Institute is that it brings together different fields of law, on the national as well as on the international level. Thus, the research profile of the Institute overcomes the separation of public law and private law which is characteristic of Continental law. Also, criminal law aspects (especially in international and European law) are included in the research profile. This approach grounds the Institute in a truly international setting and opens new perspectives for procedural law. At the same time, the Institute does not limit its area of interest to “procedural law as such”. Rather, dispute settlement is always to be seen in the context of the fields of law to which it relates. Moreover, interesting possible interfaces arise with the other legal Max Planck Institutes that also investigate procedural law matters from their particular scientific perspective.

The Institute will soon comprise 65 staff members, a number that will eventually increase up to 150. During its first set-up phase, the Institute succeeded in acquiring a team of about 35 researchers and staff members from different EU Member States and thus from different legal cultures. While the working language of the Institute is English, others languages are welcome. Researchers are mainly employed at the Institute on a temporary basis, be it in order to finish their PhD programs, to prepare a habilitation treatise (or a comparable academic thesis) or to conduct a specific research project.

Together with the Heidelberg University and the University of Luxembourg, as well as the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, an International Max Planck Research School for Successful Dispute Resolution will also be established.