Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Albin Eser, M.C.J.
Director emeritus, professor emeritus of criminal law, criminal procedure, and comparative criminal law at the law faculty of the University of Freiburg
Tel.: +49 (761) 7081-217
Fax: +49 (761) 7081-422
While Professor Eser’s primary interests were initially in theft, fraud, other economic crimes, and the law of sanctions, he became more and more interested in criminal offenses to life and to the person, especially those involving issues on the cusp of law and medicine. This interest is reflected in a three-volume project on abortion in international comparison (Schwangerschaftsabbruch im internationalen Vergleich, 1988/1998/2000) as well as in publications on suicide and euthanasia, sterilization of and research on humans, and medical treatment and informed consent. More recently, Professor Eser has turned his attention to fundamental issues of criminal law, with a project that compares the structures of criminal law (Strafrechtlicher Strukturvergleich), and transnational criminal law (with studies of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and pieces evaluating his experiences as a judge at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague). He has been one of the authors of Schönke/Schröder, a leading commentary to the German Criminal Code, since 1974.
Professor Eser was born in Leidersbach/Bavaria on January 26, 1935. After graduating from secondary school (Abitur) in Miltenberg/Main, he studied law at the Universities of Würzburg and Tübingen and the Free University of Berlin from 1954 to 1958. He sat the first state bar examination in Würzburg, where he also earned his doctorate (Dr. iur. utr.) in 1962. He holds a Master of Comparative Jurisprudence (M.C.J.) from New York University, where he spent a year at the Institute of Comparative Law. After having worked as a research assistant in the field of civil law at the University of Würzburg before sitting his second state bar examination in 1964, he transferred to the University of Tübingen, where he earned his qualification as a university lecturer for the subjects criminal law, criminal procedure, and comparative criminal law in 1969 with a Habilitation on penal sanctions involving the deprivation of money or property (Die strafrechtlichen Sanktionen gegen das Eigentum). Following temporary faculty positions at the Universities of Hamburg, Mainz, and Mannheim, he was appointed a full professor at the University of Bielefeld in June of 1970, where he held the positions of dean and vice-president. Professor Eser returned to the University of Tübingen in 1974 before accepting a position at the University of Freiburg in 1982 where, in addition to his professorship, he was appointed director at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law. In addition to his academic positions, he was a higher state court judge from 1971 to 1988, first in Hamm/Westphalia, then in Stuttgart. In 1986/87, he was dean of the law faculty of the University of Freiburg; from 1989 to 1992, he was vice-president of the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft); and from 1994 to 1997, he was chairperson of the Humanities Section of the Max Planck Society. In 1981, he was a visiting professor at the University of California in Los Angeles, in 1986 and 2003 at Columbia University Law School in New York, and in 2002 at the University of Texas at Galveston. He has been awarded honorary doctorates from Jagiellonian University in Krakow (Poland) in 1991, Universidad Peruana Los Andes in Huancayo (Peru) in 1997, and Waseda University in Tokyo (Japan) in 2001. Since 1993, he has been an honorary member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest. In 2001, Professor Eser was awarded the University Medal of the University of Freiburg; in 2004, he was decorated with the Federal Cross of Merit (Officer’s Cross). After retiring from his academic positions in 2003, Professor Eser served on the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague as an ad litem judge. From April to July 2008, he taught at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto/Japan as a visiting professor and, in the fall semester 2009, at Saint Louis University in Missouri (USA).
Memberships and Editorships:
Until recently, Professor Eser was a member of the board of directors of the Center for Ethics and Law in Medicine (ZERM) at the University of Freiburg, of the board of trustees of the Ernst Schering Foundation in Berlin, of the Society of Medical Law (Gesellschaft für Medizinrecht), and of the German section of the International Commission of Jurists, and he was chairman of the Ethics Committee of the German Psychological Society. He continues to be an honorary member of the International Association of Penal Law (AIDP) and the Japanese Association of Criminal Law and is a member of the council of the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law, the Association of German Jurists (Deutscher Juristentag) (where he served on the executive committee from 1989 to 1992), the Görres Society for the Promotion of Science (Görres-Gesellschaft zur Pflege der Wissenschaft) (where he served as chair of the section Law and Political Science from 1980 to 1986), the German-American Lawyers’ Association (DAJV), and the working group of physicians and lawyers (Arbeitskreis Ärzte und Juristen) within the framework of the Association of the Scientific Medical Societies in Germany (AWMF). Professor Eser was the editor of the series Beiträge und Materialien aus dem Max-Planck-Institut für ausländisches und internationales Strafrecht in Freiburg (Contributions and Material from the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law). He is a co-editor of the series Rechtsvergleichende Untersuchungen zur gesamten Strafrechtswissenschaft and Ethik und Recht in der Medizin, and he is editor-in-chief of the foreign review of the Zeitschrift für die gesamte Strafrechtswissenschaft. In addition, he is a member of the advisory board of the Revista de Derecho Penal y Criminología, the advisory board of the periodical Ethik in der Medizin, the editorial board of the European Journal of Health Law, the advisory board of the Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law, the advisory board of the Revista de Derecho y Genoma Humano (Law and the Human Genome Review), and of the scientific advisory board of the Jahrbuch für Wissenschaft und Ethik.
- Eser, Albin: Iji (kei) hô no Pāsupekutibu. [Perspektiven des Medizin(straf)rechts / translated by: Kai/Fukuyama]. In: Katsunori Kai (ed(s).): Post-Genome Society and Medical Law. Tokyo, Shinzansha, 2010, p. 31 - 59.
- Eser, Albin: Gendai Baiotejunorojī n Chōsenka niokeru Ijihō no Pāsupekutibu. [Perspectives of Medical Law. Under the Challenges of Modern Biotechnology / translated by: Kai/Shintani/Mieno]. In: Katsunori Kai (ed(s).): Post-Genome Society and Medical Law. Tokyo, Shinzansha, 2010, p. 63 - 83.
- Eser, Albin: Herausforderungen des Medizinrechts im Zeitalter der modernen Biotechnologie. In: Manuel da Costa Andrade et al. (ed(s).): Estudios em Homenagem ao Jorge de Figueiredo Dias, Studia Iuridica 100, Vol. III. Coimbra, Coimbra Editora, 2010, p. 317 - 343.
- Eser, Albin / Rettenmaier, Felix: Criminality of organizations: lessons from domestic law – a comparative perspective. In: Noellkaemper, André / van der Wilt, Harmen (ed(s).): System Criminality in International Law. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2009, p. 222 - 237.
- Eser, Albin: Hacia un derecho penal mundial. Granada, Editorial Comares, 145 p., 2009.
- Eser, Albin: Human Rights Guarantees for Criminal Law and Procedure in the EU-Charter of Fundamental Rights. In: Ritsumeikan Law Review, 2009, Issue⁄Volume 26, p. 163 - 190.
- Eser, Albin: The "Adversarial" Procedure: A Model Superior to Other Trial Systems in International Criminal Justice? In: Krüssmann, Th. (ed(s).): ICTY: Towards a Fair Trial. Wien, Neuer Wissenschaftlicher Verlag, 2008, p. 207 - 227.
- Eser, Albin: Article 31: Grounds for excluding criminal responsibility. In: Triffterer, O. (ed(s).): Commentary on the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Observers’ Notes Article by Article. 2nd Edition. München et al., C.H. Beck, 2008, p. 863 - 893.
- Eser, Albin: Where the World Seeks Redress. In: MaxPlanckResearch 2008, issue 4, p. 14 - 18.
- Eser, Albin: As Visiting Professor from Germany at Ritsumeikan Faculty of Law. In: Ritsumeikan University Law Newsletter, 2008, Issue⁄Volume 53, p. 15 - 16.
- Eser, Albin: The Nature and Rationale of Punishment. In: Cardozo Law Review, 2007, Issue⁄Volume 28, p. 2427 - 2436.
- Eser, Albin: Uluslararasi Cezea Mahkemesinin Kurulmasi: Roma Statüsünün Ortaya Çsikişi Ve Temel Özellikleri [Auf dem Weg zu einem internationalen Strafgerichtshof: Entstehung und Grundzüge des Rom-Statuts], p. 3 - 69; Uluslararasi Ceza Adalet Sisteminde Iddia Makaminin Oynadigi Temel Rol [Die Rolle des Anklägers in der internationalen Strafgerichtsbarkeit], p. 281 - 295. In: Yenisey, F. (ed(s).): Uluslararası Ceza Divanı. Istanbul, Arıkan publisher, 2007.