Elected Member

Professor Ralf C. Michaels

Hamburg, Germany
Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law
University of Passau, German State Exam in Law
University of Passau, Dr. iur.
Cambridge University, Girton College of Law, LL.M.

Ralf Michaels is Director of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg. He serves as an Adviser on The Restatement of the Law Fourth, Foreign Relations Law of the United States: Jurisdiction project and the Restatement of the Law Third, Conflict of Laws project.

Professor Michaels’ current research focuses mainly on two issues: the deepening and broadening of conflict of laws into a general discipline of global legal plurality, and the development of decolonial comparative law.

Professor Michaels is the editor or co-editor of two special volumes of the American Journal of Comparative Law: “Beyond the State? Rethinking Private Law,” (2008)(also published as a book) and “Legal Origins” (2009), as well as a book and a journal issue on conflict of laws: “Conflict of Laws in a Globalized World” (2007); and “Transdisciplinary Conflicts, Law and Contemporary Problems” (2008).

Professor Michaels has been a visiting professor at the Universities of Panthéon/Assas (Paris II), Princeton, Pennsylvania, Toronto, and the London School of Economics. He has also held senior research fellowships at Harvard and Princeton, as well as the American Academy in Berlin and the Max Planck Institute for Private Law in Hamburg. Until 2019, he was the Arthur Larson Professor of Law at Duke University.


Areas of Expertise
International Transactions (International Law)
Transnational Litigation (International Law)
Civil Practice & Procedure (Litigation)
Civil Litigation (Litigation)
International Law
Comparative Law
Conflict of Laws
International Commercial Arbitration (International Law)