Introduction to the Institute
On June 24, 1991, the Institute for European Legal Studies was officially established at the University of Augsburg; it had been founded by Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. em. Basedow. Since January 1, 1996, Prof. Dr. Thomas M.J. Möllers together with Prof. Dr. Volker Behr have headed the Institute, which was soon renamed the Center for European Legal Studies (CELOS). Further members are Prof. Dr. Martina Benecke, Prof. Dr. Christoph Becker, Dr. Carmen Freyler and Prof. Dr. Michael Kort. The Institute currently includes three other research units on Anglo-American ( AREA), Chinese ( RICE) and Turkish Law ( Forschungsstelle für türkisches Recht).
Almost 30 researchers as well as three research units at the University of Augsburg work in different compositions with CELOS and its members. The main research areas related to European law include.
- Legal methods and legal history as foundations,
- Consumer law, law of digitalization, data protection law,
- labor law, discrimination law,
- Business law: capital markets law, corporate law, insolvency law and antitrust law.
The members research and teach on the thematic areas, partly in various cooperations, and present their research results through lectures in Germany and abroad.
CELOS is concerned with the integration of member states in a changing Europe. It aims to accompany the legal harmonization of civil and commercial law in the EU. The different legal traditions lead to sometimes massive changes in European civil and commercial law, which sometimes lead to dynamic developments, sometimes to breaks with national law. However, it only makes sense to deal with the development of European law if one also focuses on other economic blocs such as the USA or China. Consequently, the activities of CELOS also extend to comparative law issues concerning non-European countries such as Turkey, the USA, South Africa and the People's Republic of China.
CELOS contributes its expertise to the studies at the Faculty of Law. For the first time in 1991, Prof. Dr. Basedow organized an annual six-week event entitled "Referendarstage für Europäisches Wirtschaftsrecht" (Trainee Days for European Business Law) in order to prepare legal trainees specifically for the 2nd State Law Examination. Together with Prof. Dr. em. Behr, Prof. Dr. Möllers then continued this, in order to expand it from 2001 to an exclusively English-language Summer School in European Economic Law with up to 60 foreign students ( Augsburg Summer Program). In return, the Law Faculty offers numerous study places in the USA and the People's Republic of China. This allows 20 students to study for a semester at a U.S. or Chinese university without having to pay national tuition fees. The exchange has already raised about 800,000 euros in third-party funding and saved students about seven million euros in tuition fees. Because German students are also allowed to participate in the courses alongside foreign students, this leads to a unique comparative law teaching experience between continental work with law books and Anglo-American case thinking. In this form, the oldest law summer school in Germany has a unique characteristic.