Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. mult.

Katharina Boele-Woelki

Claussen Simon Foundation Professor of Comparative Law

Chair & Dean of Bucerius Law School

Jungiusstr. 6, 20355 Hamburg, Germany

Tel.: +49 40 3 07 06 - 167 (Sekretariat)
Fax: +49 40 3 07 06 – 105
E-Mail: katharina.boele-woelki(at)

See Chair

Research focus

  • Private international law
  • Comparative law
  • Family law


  • Principles of European Family Law Regarding Property, Maintenance and Succession Rights of de facto Unions, Euroepan Family Law Series No. 46, Intersentia (2019), in cooperation with Ferrand/González Beilfuss/Jänterä-Jareborg/Lowe/Martiny/Todorova
  • Combined comparative research in the field of family relations: Some reflections from the legal perspective, Special Issue Journal of Family Research/Zeitschrift für Familienforschung 2015 Volume 10, 238-256
  • Unifying and Harmonizing Substantive Law and the Role of Conflict of Laws, Pocketbooks of The Hague Academy of International Law, Brill (2010) and Receuil des Cours Volume 340, 273-461
  • What Family Law für Europe?, Rabels Zeitschrift für internationales und ausländisches Privatrecht 2018, 1-30

Download List of Publications (pdf)


Katharina Boele-Woelki studied law at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen and the Freie Universität Berlin from 1975 to 1979. She received her doctorate from the Free University of Berlin in 1982.

From 1995 to 2015, she was Professor of Private International Law, Comparative Law, and Family Law at the University of Utrecht. In 2001 she founded the Commission for European Family Law (CEFL) and in 2007 the Utrecht Centre for European Family Law Research (UCERF). She has been President of the International Academy of Comparative Law since 2014 and President of the Bucerius Law School since 2015. Boele-Woelki is co-editor of various Dutch, South African and European journals and has been one of the editors of the European Family Law Series since 2003.

She is a member of the Curatorium of the Hague Academy for International Law, the International Advisory Board of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Academy of Sciences in Hamburg. She received honorary doctorates from the University of Uppsala, the University of Lausanne, the University of Antwerp and the University of Pretoria as well as the Anneliese Maier Research Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.