Objectives and Target Groups
Objectives & Qualification Profile

Participants in the course will become acquainted with the fundamental principle and structures inherent to law as well as it's social, ethical, political and economic contexts. They will also familiarise themselves with the pluralistic network of legal systems on state, supranational and international levels, above all in integrated Europe. Courses in legal theory, the social and political philosophy of law, legal history, legal sociology and the internationalisation of law will form the main pillars of the Masters programme.

The programme analyses and engages with the ongoing globalisation and the connected structural transformation of normativity in law. Its focus is on:

  • Safeguarding European traditions as basis of constitutionalism for a global perspective.
  • Developing legal scholarship and jurisprudence as a science.
  • Developing jurisprudence also as applied legal theory so as to enable the participants in the programme to solve system conflicts that appear nowadays in a regular manner because national law is getting supra- and international and because of the growing weight of transnational law making by non-state actors.

This is reflected by the unique character of the programme and its excellent institutional setting on the new Westend Campus of the Goethe University:

  • The programme is, in its exclusive concentration on legal theory, unique in the field of advanced legal studies in Europe, enabled by the university cluster of the European Academy of Legal Theory.
  • It rests on synergies between three institutions located on the same campus: a large law faculty, the Max-Planck-Institute for European Legal History and the Cluster of Excellence „The Formation of Normative Orders“ that integrates the Frankfurt social sciences (anthropology, sociology and philosophy) focusing on normativity.
  • The programme also connects the reputation of the Goethe University with that of other renowned European universities.

The law will be analysed by an international and renowned academic faculty in the context of culture, society, ethics, politics, economy, environment, technology and globalisation. In addition to legal foundation courses, corresponding theoretical and technical competences will be mediated in three modules namely, legal theory and jurisprudence; comparative law and internationalisation of legal systems; and legal history and sociology of law. Completion of the Masters thesis may take place during the summer months at the students’ own home university or at one of the as part as a research visit to one of the international centres of excellence.

Target Groups

The course is aimed at graduates who are qualified in corresponding academic disciplines, and who wish to prepare for doctoral studies or a post doctoral qualification in law or related subjects. The course is also directed at those persons from the public and private sectors and/or international organisations with an interest in the fundamentals of law and its practical relevance in their field of activity. Finally, it is also generally available for those legal practitioners, who wish to further familiarise themselves in this specialised area of research.

Graduates of the programme will acquire the skills of critical thinking and interdisciplinary reflection of essential legal questions and paradigms, skills which are becoming increasingly necessary to those engaged in practical legal work as well as those involved in practical legal research. Graduates of this programme will therefore be attractive to a wide range of employers including: engaged in research at Universities or non-university associated research institutions, in public administration, in legal departments of international companies, international organisations, in NGOs as well as in the traditional legal professions.

Copyright by European Association for the Teaching of Legal Theory