The Institute

The Institute is today the leading center of research and teaching of East European law in Germany. It was founded in 1959 by Professor Boris Meissner. His successors as directors of the Institute were professors Dietrich A. Loeber (after 1965) and Wolfgang Seiffert (after 1989). After Professor Seiffert retired in 1994, Professor Mark M. Boguslavskij (Moscow) took over the interim directorship of the Institute. At the beginning of the summer term of 1997 Professor Alexander Trunk became the director of the Institute. Directorship of the Institute is linked with the professorship (chair) of Civil Law and East European Law at the University of Kiel.

Since the founding of the Institute its collaborators have published more than 90 monographs and numerous articles in law journals. Scholars from Eastern European countries regularly visit the Institute for research and teaching purposes. The Institute regularly organizes conferences, e.g.

2017 Conference on EU Civil Procedure Law and Third Countries: Which Perspectives?
2016 Conference on Legal Aspects of Migration from the Viewpoint of East European Countries
2016 Conference on Issues of Migration Law and Policy (co-organizer of Annual Conference of the German-Russian Law Institute, in Saratov).
2015 Conference on Topical Legal Issues of the Relations between the EU and Russia in a Period of Crisis Migration Law and Policy (co-organizer of Annual Conference of the German-Russlan Law Institute, in Wiesbaden).
2014 Conference on Future Perspectives of the Relations between the EU and Ukraine (jointly withi the German Association for East European Studies)
2014 Conference on Legal Aspects of the New Association Agreements between the EU and Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine (project funded by the German Academic Exchange Service)
2013 - 2015 four conferences on different aspects of international trade in and withi countries of the Caucasian and Central Asian region (including Russia), in Baku, Almaty, Kiel and Ekaterinburg (project funded by the Volkwagen Foundation) published at Statut editors (Moscow)
2013 Conference on Legal Aspects of the Economic Relations between the EU and Russia
2013 Conference on the Law of International Trade with the region Caucasus/Central Asia (in Baku)
2013 Workshop on foreign investment law for officials from transition countrie (together with UNCTAD) (in Sarajevo)
2013 German-Russian Conference on prevention of crimes (in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice of Schleswig-Holstein)
2012 Conference on Relations between the EU and the countries of the Southern Caucasus
2012 Conference on Sport Law in Eastern Europe (jointly with the German Association for East European Studies), published at EUL-Verlag
2012 Workshop on foreign investment law for officials from transition countrie (together with UNCTAD) (in Zagreb)
2010 - 2016 so far, seven summer courses on German business law in Russian language (program is continued)
2008 - 2010 four conferences on different aspects of foreign investment law in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Russia (in Baku, Almaty, Moscow and Kiel), published at Norma Publishers, Moscow, and in Germany (eastlaw press and MV)
2009 Conference at the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Institute
2009 Conference on legal and other issues of the Baltic Sea Gas Pipeline (together with Walter-Schuecking-Institute for International Law)
2009 Conference on private law in Eastern Europe (together with Max-Planck-Institute of foreign and private international law, Hamburg)e
2007 Conference on modern tendencies of the law of immovables in Eastern Europe (conference papers published at Eul Verlag)
2004 Conference on insolvency law in Korea, Poland, Russia and Germany (including EU law)
2004 Conference on Russian private international law in the European context  (conference papers published in Kiel Journal of East European Law 1-2/2005
2003 Colloquium on German and Chinese economic lawe
2003 Summer School "Law in the Baltic Sea Area", held as an Introductory Course and a following conference "Alternative Dispute Resolution in the Baltic Sea Area" (conference papers published at Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag)
2002 Summer School "Law in the Baltic Sea Area", held as a Conference  "International Judicial and Administrative Assistance in the Baltic Sea Area" (conference papers published at Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag)
2001 Round Table on German and Russian insolvency lawe
2000 Conference on reforms of the law of civil and economic (arbitrazh) procedure in the Member States of the CIS (published in Russian at Izdatel'stvo "Gorodez", in German at Gieseking Verlag)
1999 Symposium on construction law in Eastern Europe
1998 Conference on the law of chattels in Eastern Europe (published at Berlin Verlag)
1996 Symposium on immovable property and security in immovables in Russia and Belarus,
1993 Symposium on provisional measures in civil procedure and on recognition of foreign judgments and arbitral awards in Eastern Europe
1991 Conference on economic law in the period of transition towards a market-based economy,
1987 Conference on regional identiy under Soviet rule,
1984 Conference on the legal status of communist parties in power,

The activities of the Institute are by tradition mainly centered upon civil and economic law. In the last few years we have enlarged the program of the Institute into procedural law (reforms of the justice system in Eastern Europe etc.). Professor Trunk is a member of the Scientific Council of the Law Journal Osteuropa Recht and several international legal journals dealing with East European law as well as with insolvency law. At present, Professor Trunk is also Co-Chairman of the Russian German Law Institute, a cooperation platform of several German and Russian universities and organization of legal practice. 

As the professorship at the Institute includes German civil and procedural law, a substantial part of the courses taught by the Director of the Institute is dedicated to German law (and comparative law besides Eastern Europe). For example, Professor Trunk regularly teaches classes - in Geman and in English - in comparative law, uniform law approximation of law), civil law, law of civil procedure, civil execution and insolvency, conflict of laws.

The Institute has a strong interest in direct contacts both with institutions or individual scholars in Eastern Europe and with interested parties in Germany and other countries. The Institute keeps close contacts with the Center of German Law at the Institute of State and Law of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow). Professor Boguslavskij (Institute of State and Law, Moscow) is presently continuing research in Kiel. In the last years the Institute has concluded several cooperation agreements partners in Eastern Europe, e.g. with the Institute of State and Law of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, with the State Law Academy at Saratov and with Al'Farabi Kazah State University. We regulary organize joint seminars on comparative East European, German and European law. Moreover we invite students from different East European countries to participate in Kiel seminars. Classes on East European law taught by Professor Trunk regularly offer a forum to guest speakers from Eastern European countries or other academics and practitioners knowledgeable in East European law.

In cooperation with the German Association for East European Studies we started a new series of lectures ("Osteuropa aktuell"), giving background information on topical developments in Eastern Europe (not limited to legal topics). Also, our Institute has been publishing since 1998 the "Kiel Journal of East European Law", a forum both for established and young legal scholars from Germany and abroad, who are interested in East European law. In 2010 we started our own series of publications ("Kieler Schriften fuer Ostrecht", at EUL-Verlag).

From 1999 - 2002 and again from 2008 - 2010 and since 2014 (ongoing) Professor Trunk served as chairman of the Center of East European Studies (ZOS - CEES) of Kiel University. ZOS is a cooperation initiative between several Institutes of Kiel University specialising on Eastern Europe (Department of East European History, Institute of Slavonic Studies etc.). ZOS/CEES offers circles of lectures and supports joint research. In 2000 the Center of East European Studies started a Certificate Program in "East European Studies" offering students of different faculties to gain in-depth knowledge about the region of Eastern Europe. In 2010, ZOS also started a series of publications (conference volumes, dissertations, etc.). In 2006 the Institute received a grant by the Land of Schleswig-Holstein to set-up more intensive cooperation with the Institute of Slavic Studies as well as for some other innovative projects relating to Eastern Europe.

As from the winter term 2001, Kiel University offers, in cooperation with the Universities of Berlin (Humboldt University), Cologne, Hamburg, Passau, Regensburg and Saltzburg a Certificate Program in East European Law, which is open to students, LL.M. and Ph.D. students of these universities.

In 2002, the Institute initiated a cooperation network and program of teaching and research "Law in the Baltic Sea Area" between the Law Faculties of nearly all Baltic Sea countries.

In 2004 the Institute initiated the founding of a Russian-German Law Institute as a platform for comparative teaching and research in Russian and German law (including the European dimension) and bringing together academic and legal practitioners. The Russian-German Law Institute was founded in 2007, co-chairmen being professor Svetlanov Lisitsyn (Director of the Institute of State and Law, Moscow) and professor Trunk. The German-Russian Law Institute received initial funding by Robert Bosch Foundation from 2007 - 2009 and has developed actively in the last few years. The task to create a solid, continuing financial basis for the Russian-German Law Institute is presently our most urgent task at the Institute of East European Law. More detailed information is available on a special website.

In 2008 the Institute of East European Law won a grant from Volkswagen Foundation to set-up a multilateral research project on foreign investment law in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Russia. The project ran from 2008 - 2011 and included several conferences, research paper competitions for young scholars and several publications in English and Russian. In 2012 the Institute received a follow-up grant by the Volkswagen Foundation for a research project on "The Law of International Trade with the Region Caucasus/Central Asia". As an organizational basis for work on this project the "Kiel Center for Eurasian Economic Law" (KEEL) was established in 2012, see http://www.uni-kiel.de/keel.

If you are interested in further contacts with our Institute, please send an email to:

office-eastlaw@law.uni-kiel.de