Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Burkhard Hess

Born 1961 in Worms, Germany. Current position: Executive Director of the Max

Planck Institute Luxembourg for International, European and Regulatory Procedural

Law. Professor ordinarius of the Faculty of Law, University of Heidelberg, Germany,

and Director of the Institute for Private International Law from 2003-2012; Dean of the

Faculty of Law, University of Heidelberg, from 2006-2008. He acted as a judge in

secondary appointment at the Court of Appeal Karlsruhe (2009-2012). He was guest

professor at the University of Georgetown (Washington D.C.) in September 2009 and

a guest professor (professeur invité) at the University of Paris I (Sorbonne) 2006–

2009. From 1996–2003 he was a professor ordinarius at the Faculty of Law,

University of Tuebingen, Germany, where he was elected dean (2000–2002). In

2002, he was invited as a guest professor (for comparative procedural law) by the

Faculty of Law, Renmin University of Beijing, China. He was appointed as a

professor for civil and procedural law at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg,

Germany, 1995-1996.

Prof. Hess studied law at the Universities of Würzburg, Germany, Lausanne,

Switzerland and Munich, Germany, from 1981-1986. He passed the 1st State

Examination in 1987 and the 2nd State Examination in 1991 (both with distinction). He

received a Dr. jur. at the University of Munich in 1990; where he was assistant

professor of Prof. Bruno Simma (1987-1988) and of Prof. Peter Schlosser (1988–

1995). In 1996, he received the venia legendi in civil law, civil procedure, private

international law, European law and public international law.

Prof. Hess wrote several books and articles on private international and comparative

law, civil procedure and European law. His scientific activities relate to the

harmonisation of European procedural law, comparative law; international litigation,

mediation and the enforcement of judgments. Prof. Hess regularly serves as a legal

adviser and as court expert for foreign law, private and public international law and

international litigation. He acted as a representative and as an expert in the

European Court of Justice and in the European Court of Human Rights.

In January 2003, Prof. Hess acted as head of a governmental delegation for the

reform of Chinese enforcement law in Bejing, China; he was invited by the Dutch

government in September 2003 as an expert of the Council of Europe on the

“efficiency of justice”; and in 2005 by the Slovenian and Croatian governments. In

2003, the European Commission entrusted Prof. Hess with the elaboration of a

comparative study on “Making more efficient the enforcement of judgments in

Europe” (Study No. JAI/A3/2002/02). This study is available at:


In 2005, Prof. Hess was entrusted by the EU-Commission (together with Prof. T.

Pfeiffer and Prof. P. Schlosser) with the evaluation of the application of the

Regulation 44/01 (Brussels I) in the 25 Member States of the European Union (Study

No CLS04/2005/03). This study (also called the Heidelberg Report on the Regulation

Brussels I) is available at:

In 2010 he was a member of the Expert Group of the European Commission on the

interfaces between arbitration and the Regulation Brussels I; in January 2011 he was

appointed as a member of the Expert Group of the European Commission on the

cross-border attachment of bank accounts; in April 2012 he was appointed as an

member of the expert group of the EU-Commission on the reform of the European

Insolvency Regulation.

He is currently President of the German Association of International Procedural Law;

Member of the Presidium of the International Association of Procedural Law, Member

of the Board of International Law Association (German branch) and Member of the

ILA-Committee on International Litigation. He is also member of the German

Associations of Procedural Law, Civil Law and of International Law; and a member of

the Advisory Board on Private International Law at the German Federal Ministry of

Justice (Deutscher Rat für Internationales Privatrecht).

In December 2010, the Royal Flemish Academy of the Sciences and the Art

(Brussels) elected Professor Hess as an external member of its class on social

sciences and humanities.

In November 2011, the Max Planck Society called Professor Hess on the directorship

of the Department of European Procedural Law at the Max Planck Institute for

International and European and Regulatory Procedural Law in Luxembourg. He

accepted this call in September 2012.

© Verlag Ernst und Werner Gieseking GmbH, 2024