The Current State and Future of Comparative Criminal Law – A German Perspective

Posted: 8 Mar 2020

See all articles by Kai Ambos

Kai Ambos

University of Goettingen (Gottingen)

Date Written: February 12, 2020


Comparative criminal law faces new challenges posed by the globalisation and internationalisation of law on the one hand, and novel threats such as terrorism and cybercrime on the other. Thus, the question arises: is it actually possible for comparative criminal law to make a meaningful contribution to improving citizens’ security? Some fundamental issues need to be clarified before this question can be answered: the concept and history of comparative criminal law (Section A), its significance and function (Section B), its aims and methods as well as its normative foundation (Section C), and the current state of research and teaching in the field (Section D). All of these points merit further attention in their own right, and to this end multiple references on each topic are provided in the footnotes. The outlook for and future practical significance of comparative criminal law (Section E) will depend on how the field responds to these challenges. While the paper is written by a German scholar and thus from a German perspective, this paper strives to present a broader view.

Keywords: German, Criminal Law, Comparative Law, Comparative Criminal Law

Suggested Citation

Ambos, Kai, The Current State and Future of Comparative Criminal Law – A German Perspective (February 12, 2020). UCLA Journal of International Law and Foreign Affairs, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN:

Kai Ambos (Contact Author)

University of Goettingen (Gottingen) ( email )

Platz der Göttinger Sieben 5
Göttingen, 37073

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