The current state and future of comparative criminal law: A German perspective

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See all articles by Kai Ambos

Kai Ambos

University of Goettingen (Gottingen)

Date Written: Spring 2020


Comparative criminal law faces new challenges posed by the globalization and internationalization 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 (Part I), its sig-
nificance and function (Part II), its aims and methods as well as its normative foundation (Part III), and the current state of research and teaching in the field (Part IV). 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 (Part V) will depend on how the field responds to these challenges. While this Article is written by a German scholar and thus from a German perspective, this Article strives to present a broader view.

Suggested Citation

Ambos, Kai, The current state and future of comparative criminal law: A German perspective (Spring 2020). UCLA Journal of International Law and Foreign Affairs, Vol. 24, No. 1, p. 9-47, 2020, Available at SSRN:

Kai Ambos (Contact Author)

University of Goettingen (Gottingen) ( email )

Platz der Göttinger Sieben 5
Göttingen, 37073

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