The research areas of the chair include constitutional law, international law, European law, higher educational law and foreign trade law. These will be described in more detail below.

  • Constitutional Law

    The research regarding constitutional law coves two main areas: the fundamental rights of the German constitution and state organization.

    The focus on fundamental rights contains their development and shaping in particular by the case-law of the Federal Constitutional Court. In addition to the systematic overall presentation of fundamental rights also in regard to their European perspective (see European law), the analysis of the numerous decisions of the Federal Constitutional Court on internal security has recently been the focus of interest. There on focus lies on the question to which extent the state has to ensure the equal treatment of private individuals by other private individuals when concluding contracts under the framework of Art. 3 para. 1 German Constitution.

    On the other hand, the state organization is the second research focus in the field of constitutional law. The scientific work focuses in particular on the Federal Government, the German Constitution for the Defence of the Republic of Germany (Wehrverfassung), and the fortified democracy laid down in the German Constitution with its manifestations in party law, among other things.


    Professor Epping is co-editor of the Beck-Online-Commentary to the German Constitution, which was first published as a bound work in 2009 and is periodically updated online; he is also editor of the commentary to the German Constitution by Maunz and Dürig and by v. Mangoldt, Klein and Starck.

  • International Public Law

    The research focus in the broad field of international law is on the subjects of public international law. The project on Post-Conflict Rebuilding of States, originally funded by the German Foundation for Peace Research (Deutsche Stiftung Friedensforschung), is related to this orientation. The aim of this research project is to present, investigate and evaluate solutions with the help of public international law for restoring statehood. On the basis of both current and past examples, it will be shown how the dissolution of statehood can be reacted to, in particular how the restoration of state structures and a civil society can be achieved as far as possible while preserving the territorial unity of a state.


    Professor Epping is one of the editors of the public international law textbook (Völkerrecht) by Knut Ipsen, which was published in its 7th edition in 2018. The chair is also part of the Institute for International Law at the Law Faculty of Leibniz University Hanover.

  • European Law

    The importance of European law is steadily increasing. European law is shaped by case law to an extent that few other areas of law are. The subject matter European law is not only opened up by a glance at the Treaties, but always the case law of the Union jurisdiction and the European Court of Human Rights must be taken into account. On the one hand, Professor Epping and his co-workers are focusing on institutional issues in the area of the European Union, which are arising in particular from the non-stopping integration process. The academic accompaniment of constitutional processes at the level of the European Union is therefore a research focus of the Professor Epping’s chair. On the other hand, the effectiveness of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) not only in Germany but also in other member states and its exemplary effect in the international field constitutes the second central research topic from the broad field of European law. Professor Epping’s chair is also part of the Jean Monnet European Centre of Excellence Hanover, a cross-faculty centre for European Studies at Leibniz University Hanover, in order to bundle teaching and research on European integration, social development in Europe, European law and the European Union together with scientists from the Faculties of Philosophy, Economics and Law.


    The chair holder also writes on the commentary for the Law of the European Union edited by Vedder and Heintschel von Heinegg.

  • Higher Educational Law

    The chair holder has been following the development of higher educational law for years from various perspectives. The main focus is on the structure and organisation of universities (including university medicine), the university staff and questions of study, teaching, examinations and academic degrees. In addition, the chair holder is the managing editor of the commentary on the Higher Education Act North Rhine-Westphalia, co-editor of the journal Wissenschaftsrecht (science law) and editor of the commentary to the Higher Education Acts of the Federal State of Germany and the federal states by Hailbronner and Geis. Professor Epping works as an expert for the German Association of Higher Education for Modell Lawsuit (Deutscher Hochschulverband für Musterprozesse) and is associated with higher education law by his own academic publications.