Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Prof. Dr. Giesela Rühl

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Faculty of Law | Prof. Dr. Giesela Rühl | Prof. Dr. Giesela Rühl, LL.M. (Berkeley)

Prof. Dr. Giesela Rühl, LL.M. (Berkeley)

Professor Dr. Giesela Rühl, LL.M. (Berkeley) has held the Chair of Civil Law, Civil Procedure Law, International and European Private and Procedural Law and Comparative Law at Humboldt-University of Berlin since 1 October 2020. Her research is focused on the legal challenges arising from globalisation and European integration pose for law. She analyses how the tension between globally interconnected societies and nationally applicable law can be resolved. Her particular focus is on European private international law and procedural law. Most recently, she has dealt with questions of digitalisation.

Education and Academic Career

Professor Rühl studied law in Bonn and Lausanne (Switzerland) with the support of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes) and the German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) and passed both of her state law examinations before the Higher Regional Courts of Cologne and Hamburg. In 2001, she obtained a Master of Laws at the University of California at Berkeley (USA), funded by the ERP Programme of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation. She received her doctorate from the University of Hamburg in 2003 for her comparative law thesis on the harmonisation of insurance contract law in Europe. In 2010, she habilitated at University of Hamburg. The topic of her habilitation thesis, which was funded by the German research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft), were the economic foundations of private international law.

During her habilitation, Professor Rühl was a Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg, a Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence (Italy), a Max Planck Visiting Fellow at the University of Cambridge (England) and a Joseph Story Research Fellow at Harvard Law School in Cambridge (USA). Until 2020, she held the Chair of Civil Law, Civil Procedure Law, International Private and Procedural Law, European Private Law and Comparative Law at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena. In recent years, she has regularly visited the USA (Duke University, University of Illinois), Australia (University of Sydney), Japan (Kyushu University) and the United Kingdom (University of Oxford, London School of Economics and Political Science) for research and teaching purposes.

Publication and Lecture Activities

Professor Rühl is the author and (co-)editor of numerous essays and books on European and International Private and Procedural Law. A complete overview of her publications can be found here. A list of the lectures she has given is available here.

Besides engaging in publications and lectures, Professor Rühl also regularly acts as an external expert. Most recently, she has also written two studies for the European Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs.


Professor Rühl was awarded the Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society for her doctorate in 2003. In 2013, she was the first jurist to receive the Carus Medal of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina for her habilitation thesis, and in 2014 she received the Carus Prize of the City of Schweinfurt. The Encyclopedia of Private International Law, which she co-edited, was honoured with a "Certificate of Merit" by the American Society of International Law in 2018.

Functions, Memberships and Honorary Offices

Professor Rühl is a founding member and Secretary General of the European Association of Private International Law (EAPIL). She is also a (co-)editor of Conflict of, a platform for information exchange and discussion, an associate member of the International Academy of Comparative Law, a member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, and a member of numerous national and international academic associations.

From 2017 to 2020, Professor Rühl was the director of the Center for European Studies (CEuS) at Friedrich Schiller University and from 2010 to 2015, she was a member of the Young Academy at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. From 2009 to 2013, she was also a member of the network “Private Macht und privatrechtliche Gestaltungsfreiheit” of the German Research Foundation.