Prof. Dr. Nina Dethloff

University of Bonn

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Curriculum Vitae

Nina Dethloff holds the Chair for Private Law, Private International Law, Comparative Law and European Private Law and is Director of the Institute for German, European and International Family Law at the University of Bonn. She studied law in Hamburg, Geneva and Freiburg. She received an LL.M. at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. on a Fulbright scholarship. In 1986 and 1987, she worked as consultant to the Federal Trade Commission, Washington, D.C. and was admitted to the New York bar in 1987. In 1991, Nina Dethloff received her doctorate degree at the University of Freiburg, where she subsequently completed her habilitation with a work on the "Europeanization of Competition Law" ("Europäisierung des Wettbewerbsrechts"). Since 2001, Nina Dethloff researches and teaches at the University of Bonn, having turned down invitations from the University of Hamburg and the University of Lausanne. From 2006 to 2008, she was ad hoc judge at the European Court of Human Rights.
Nina Dethloff is member of the Ständige Deputation (standing deputation) of the Association of German Jurists, the board of the International Society of Family Law, as well member of the American Law Institute, the Commission on European Family Law and the Academia Europaea. She has published extensively on comparative and international family law.

From October 2012 until September 2013, Nina Dethloff was Fellow at the Käte Hamburger Center for Advanced Study in the Humanities “Law as Culture”, researching on the topic “The European Marriage – optional law for international couples”.


Research Project

The European Marriage - optional law for international couples

The goal of my research project is to develop an optional model of a European marriage. Family law is shaped by cultural, social and political circumstances like no other field of law. Differences in national legislation are therefore greater than in other areas in which harmonization has already progressed futher. An optional model of a European marriage is intended to offer international and bicultural couples a uniform framework beyond national laws they can choose to apply to their marriage. This way, they can rest assured that their marriage is subject to the same regulations within the entire jurisdiction and can also be dissolved according to the same conditions and with the same legal effects. Furthermore, the legal institute of the European marriage is to be arranged in such a way that the consensual resolution of conflicts in transnational partnerships is encouraged. Considering the fundamental differences in cultures of debate and argument, possibilities for alternative mechanisms of resolving conflict - as offered by mediation or the opening of arbitration proceedings - need to be explored in disputes over family matters, particularly in transborder conflicts.

Selected Publications

  • Familienrecht, Munich, 31. Edition 2015.
  • Unterhalt, Zugewinn- und Versorgungsausgleich - Sind unsere familienrechtlichen Ausgleichssysteme noch zeitgemäß? Gutachten A für den 67. Deutschen Juristentag, Munich 2008.
  • Europäisierung des Wettbewerbsrechts. Einfluss des europäischen Rechts auf das Sach- und Kollisionsrecht des unlauteren Wettbewerbs, Tübingen 2001.
  • Die einverständliche Scheidung. Eine rechtsvergleichende und rechtshistorische Untersuchung zu Umfang und Grenzen der Privatautonomie im Scheidungsrecht, Munich 1994.
  • Contracting in Family Law - A European Perspective, in: Boele/Woelki/Miles/Scherpe (Hrsg.), The future of family property in Europe, Intersentia, Cambridge 2011, 65 - 94.
  • Familien- und Erbrecht zwischen nationaler Rechtskultur, Vergemeinschaftung und Internationalität - Perspektiven für die Forschung, Zeitschrift für Europäisches Privatrecht 2007, 992 - 1005.
  • Europäische Vereinheitlichung des Familienrechts, Archiv für civilistische Praxis 204 (2004), 544 - 568.