Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law

The Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional law was edited by the Foundation’s editorial team until December 2020 and is now managed independently by the three editors and is published in cooperation with Oxford University Press.

MPECCoL is available online at

Constitutional scholars and practitioners who are interested in contributing to the MPECCoL may direct their inquiries to .


The field of comparative constitutional law has seen increasing academic interest in recent years, not least because of its considerable practical relevance. When confronted with questions concerning the drafting and interpretation of constitutions, government officials and high court judges increasingly look abroad for assistance and inspiration. Some recent constitutions even require constitutional courts to consider foreign case law before coming to a decision.

One reason is that certain key constitutional principles and guarantees have come to be considered as widely accepted in spite of the prevailing differences between legal cultures. Another cause is that states which have experienced internal disturbances and seek to draft a new (or revise an existing) constitution frequently orient themselves by other countries’ constitutions and overall constitutional trends.
However, in spite of the widely acknowledged societal relevance of the emerging field, reference works are few. The situation is complicated by the fact that the field of comparative constitutional law has attracted lawyers, sociologists and political scientists alike with divergent objectives and seemingly incompatible methodological approaches, leading to a considerable fragmentation of research.

What is called for is a comprehensive, inclusive study that allows the reader to study constitutional issues both in-depth and in context (historical, conceptual, regional), allowing for wide-ranging research into related areas and topics. The Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law seeks to fill this gap. In approximately 500-600 peer-reviewed entries, it will cover all areas of constitutional law from a comparative perspective, involving high-level lawyers and social scientists who represent all legal cultures, and giving due regard to the various methodologies of comparative constitutional law and regionally specific developments. Its purpose is to serve as a go-to source for constitutional scholars and practitioners everywhere.


General Editors

Rainer Grote
Frauke Lachenmann
Rüdiger Wolfrum