Since its founding in 1665, the main objectives of the Faculty of Law at Kiel University have been to educate the next generation of lawyers in the fields of justice, administration and business in Schleswig-Holstein, as well as to study the law in all its profoundness. As the only law faculty in Schleswig-Holstein, it has a special responsibility in this regard. With just under 2,400 students, the law degree is the most extensive programme at Kiel University. There are 21 full-time professors who carry out research and teaching.
In terms of academics, the profile of the Kiel Faculty is mainly determined by the three existing research foci at the faculty, "Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Law", "International Dimensions of Law" and "Law and Economics". A fourth new priority area, "Sustainability and Digitisation in Law", is currently being developed and is compatible with all existing priority areas. The academic profile of the faculty continues to be shaped by nine institutes and centres and is also reflected in the twelve focus areas of study.
The Faculty of Law is one of the four founding faculties of Kiel University. It was founded in 1665 when Duke Christian Albrecht of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorf established Kiel University after the end of the Thirty Years' War.
After a varied development of the university in the 18th and 19th centuries, the early years of the 20th century and especially the period of the Weimar Republic brought the greatest reputation to the Faculty of Law in particular: Gustav Radbruch and Walter Jellinek taught in Kiel, as well as the scholars of international law, Theodor Niemeyer and Walther Schücking.
Learn more about the History of the Faculty
In 1914, the Walther Schücking Institute of International Law, named after the latter, was founded as the first German university institution of its kind.
The Faculty under National Socialism
The role of the faculty during the National Socialist era was inglorious. Due to a relevant appointment policy, the faculty temporarily became the intellectual centre of the National Socialist distortion of law (the so-called Kiel School).
After the end of the war, the faculty resumed its work. In the years that followed, institutes were established in and around the faculty as places of academic activity for professors in various subject areas, depending on the subject focus and needs. The Institute for Law, Politics and Society of the Socialist States, a forerunner of today's Institute of East European Law, was founded in 1959 during the Cold War. The Lorenz von Stein Institute for Administrative Sciences was established at Kiel University in 1980 on the initiative of the state government at the time. In 1983, the Institute of Business and Tax Law was established in the faculty by merging two professorships in civil law. The year 1993, the founding year of the EU, saw the addition of the Institute for European and International Private and Procedural Law.
In the more recent past
More recently, in 2013, the Hermann Kantorowicz Institute for Fundamental Legal Research, the Institute for Criminology, which is a subject-related extension of the former Institute for Sanctions Law and Criminology, and the Institute for Public Economic Law were established by merging the corresponding professorships. Finally, the Centre for Health Law was founded in 2020 and the Centre for Digitisation and Law in Research and Teaching in 2021, each as an interdisciplinary institution.
The Faculty, with its facilities and the law libraries (except for the Walther Schücking Institute for International Law), is located in the newly built Juridicum at Leibnizstraße 2. The new five-story building was completed in 2020 and, since then, has functioned as the new entrance gate to Leibnizstraße.