Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Katharina Boele-Woelki
Claussen Simon Foundation Professor of Comparative Law
- Dean of Bucerius Law School
Private international law, comparative law and family law
Katharina Boele-Woelki studied law from 1975-1979 at the University of Göttingen and the Freie Universität Berlin and completed doctoral work at the FU Berlin in 1982. She has taught and conducted research in the Netherlands since 1982 and served as a member of the Faculty of Law at Utrecht University since 1990, since 1995 as a Professor for Private International Law, Comparative Law and Family Law. In addition, Boele-Woelki directs numerous research programs, supervises dissertation work and chaired her faculty’s Department of Private Law three times from 1995-2012, each time for a term of two years. She holds the Claussen Simon Foundation Professor of Comparative Law.
She is a titular member of the International Academy of Comparative Law and was elected to her current role as President in 2014; until 2014, she was additionally President of the Dutch Association of Family Law and a member of the board of the Dutch Association of Comparative Law. She is a member of the German Society of International Law (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationales Recht) as well as the Academic Association for Family Law (Wissenschaftliche Vereinigung für Familienrecht). In 2007, she established the Utrecht Centre for European Research into Family Law (UCERF). She has been the chair of the Commission on European Family Law, which was established upon her initiative, since 2001. In 2013, she was elected to the International Advisory Board of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
Boele-Woelki serves as an editor to several Dutch, South African and European journals and book series including the European Family Law Series since 2003. She has organized prestigious international conferences, delivered numerous guest lectures at various universities around the world, was a visiting professor at Columbia University, New York, USA, and has served as a reporter, speaker, expert and panel member at many international conferences.
Honorary doctorates and awards
- Honorary doctorate of the University of Uppsala, Schweden (2011)
- Anneliese Maier Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for outstanding work in the area of international and European Family Law (2012)
- Honorary doctorate of the University of Lausanne, Schweiz (2015)
- Honorary doctorate of the University of Antwerp, Belgium (2016)
- Honorary professor of the University Stellenbosch, South Africa (2017)