Chair of Civil Law, Commercial & Business Law, Law of Non-Profit Organizations
The main research focus of this professorial chair is, on the one hand, on the law of non-profit organisations, on the other on banking and capital markets law. The term “law of non-profit organisations” is comparatively new in Germany and, just as the term “non-profit organisation”, does not have a clear profile as yet. Essentially, the term “non-profit organisation” covers all organisations under private law whose aim is not making and distributing profits and are usually assigned to the so-called tertiary sector of industry. Thus, all (non-commercial) foundations and associations belong to the non-profit sector. The chair, therefore, is concerned with both foundation and association law, whereby special attention is devoted to large associations and federations for which there are very few and, if at all, fragmentary provisions in the Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch (German Civil Code).
In banking and capital markets legislation, particular focus is laid on the law of international payment transactions, another on securities account law, i.e. the law concerning the safe custody and administration of securities and the processing of securities transactions. In Germany, the legal framework for the so-called mediatised security holdings is still rooted in the concept of classic property legislation although, when transferring and pledging capital market assets, securities are no longer handed over physically, but simply booked onto securities accounts (“book-entry clearing and settlement of securities transactions”). Over the past few years, the German securities law has been under strong pressure to reform. This has been attributed to various European and international initiatives to harmonise securities legislation (for instance the Geneva Securities Convention from 2009), which share a common objective, primarily to reduce legal risks arising from cross-border securities transactions to an acceptable level and, in this way, to contribute to the stability of the financial system. With the subject of securities legislation, the professorial chair covers a field of law which, in spite of its eminent importance for the financial markets’ functional effectiveness, is still considered to be a niche subject in terms of civil law.