Professor Michael Bohlander, A. jur., Dr. jur., Richter am Landgericht a.D., FRSA
(email at email@example.com)
From 1991 until joining the Law School in 2004, Professor Bohlander had been a trial and appellate judge in criminal and civil matters in the courts of the East German Free State of Thuringia, in the transitional stage after German unification in 1990. From October 1989 to April 1990, he served a pupillage with Geoffrey Mercer QC at what is now Walnut House Chambers in Exeter, mainly in criminal cases. In 1996, he was a judicial visitor at the Juzgado de Primera Instancia e Instrucción in Gandía, Spain. From 1999 until 2001 he served as the Senior Legal Officer of a Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the Hague. Drawing on that and his first-hand experience of the judicial transition process in Germany, he helped train the judges of the Iraqi High Tribunal which tried Saddam Hussein, and has been active in judicial training in several transitional countries since 2001, at the request of the International Bar Association, the OSCE, the United Nations and for the German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation, of which he is also a member.
His publications have been widely cited by courts of several domestic and international jurisdictions. His critical work on the recruitment to the international criminal judiciary was cited extensively in the 2011 background paper to the International Bar Association's Resolution of 31 October 2011 on judicial appointments to international courts and tribunals.
He has spoken at numerous conferences, seminars and training events at home and abroad, including in Canada, Croatia, Egypt, Germany, Iraq/Kurdistan, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, Tanzania (at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha) and Tunisia.
A major research interest of Professor Bohlander lies in informing the international debate regarding comparative criminal justice systems and general principles of law, with a particular emphasis on German law.The German Federal Ministry of Justice lists his English translations of the German Criminal Code and of the Act on International Cooperation in Criminal Matters on its official website. The translation of the German Criminal Code was translated into Farsi and published in Iran in 2010, making it the first time that the German Criminal Code became available in that language. This was followed by the translation of his monograph "Principles of German Criminal Law" which was published in Iran in 2011. His third book on German law, "Principles of German Criminal Procedure", is currently also being translated into Farsi.
Professor Bohlander's second major research focus relates to developing a genuine conversation between secular and Islamic law and legal theory, beyond a mere exchange of views and towards a deeper mutual understanding as a precondition to overcoming traditional stereotypes on both sides. Together with his Iranian colleague, Dr Mohammad Hedayati-Kakhki, he founded the research group Islam, Law and Modernity in 2011. In April 2012 he taught as the first non-Muslim visiting professor at the Faculty of Shari'ah and Law of Al Azhar University in Cairo. He has been invited to teach on the LLB programme of Qatar University's College of Law in November 2013, where he will also consult with local Islamic experts in the context of his research project on maqasid al-shari'ah i.e. the Higher Principles of Islamic law. An area of particular interest are the repercussions of Islamic law principles in the context of modern international criminal law and more specifically the crime of persecution, such as, for example, the criminalisation of blasphemy.
Professor Bohlander is the founding editor-in chief of the International Criminal Law Review, the general editor of Studies in International and Comparative Criminal Law with Hart Publishing and a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Criminal Law and the University of Western Australia Law Review.
In 2010, Professor Bohlander was appointed to the Visiting Chair in Criminal Law at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen in the Netherlands for a period of four years. In 2013, he was appointed to the newly established Advisory Council for programmes taught in English (Raad van Advies Engelstalige Opleidingen) at the Faculty of Law of the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, for an initial term of five years; he is the only non-Dutch member of the Council, which comprises six members, among them representatives of the Dutch Supreme Court and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Professor Bohlander has acted as an expert witness on German criminal law in criminal appellate proceedings in the Netherlands and for the UK General Medical Council.
International and Comparative Criminal Law (3rd year and LLM)
Professor Bohlander is happy to consider requests for postgraduate research supervision in his areas of research interest set out below. He recommends that students wishing to be supervised by him as their primary supervisor contact him informally before submitting a research proposal.
He currently supervises the following students as their primary supervisor:
- Mr. Dhari Alfadhalah (PhD)
- Ms Viviane Arnolds (PhD)
- Mr. Mohammed al-Ghannam (PhD)
- Mr. Yigit Kaynar (PhD)
- Ms Sohyun Shin (PhD)
- German criminal law and procedure
- International criminal justice - Theory, practice, political and socio-legal implications
- Comparative criminal law and procedure
- Transitional justice and rule of law
- Islamic criminal justice, its reform and relation to secular legal systems
- The Judiciary and legal profession - Comparative, international and socio-legal aspects
- 2012: £ 21,996 from the Volkswagen Foundation for the translation of Thomas Vormbaum, Einführung in die moderne Strafrechtsgeschichte
- 2011: £ 37,000 from Mr Tawfiq al-Refaie to teach Islamic Law on the LLM plus related Islamic law library holdings
- 2010: € 20,000 from Groningen Centre for Law and Govenance, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, for research on substantive criminal law
- 1997: DEM 14,000 (€ 7,000) by Volkswagen Foundation to conduct research on contempt of court at Northwestern Law School, Chicago
- Bohlander, Michael & Schomburg, Wolfgang (2013). Act on International Cooperation in Criminal Matters - Gesetz über die Internationale Rechtshilfe in Strafsachen. C.H. Beck.
- Bohlander, Michael (2013). A Modern History of German Criminal Law. Springer.
- Bohlander, Michael & Birkett, Daley (2013). Codification of Criminal Law. International Library of Essays in Criminal Law. Ashgate.
- Reed, Alan & Bohlander, Michael (2013). Participation in Crime - Domestic and Comparative Perspectives. Substantive Issues in Criminal Law. Ashgate.
Edited works: contributions
- Bohlander, Michael & Akçam, Taner (2013). Echoes of the Genocide – Reflections on Turkey’s Treatment of Armenian Property Rights. In Festschrift in Honour of Giuliana Capaldo. Oriolo, Anna & Vigorito, Anna OUP.
- Bohlander, Michael (2013). Volver a Radbruch - La necesidad de retomar de raíz el diálogo entre common law y Derecho continental, en atención al ejemplo de la justicia penal internacional. In Diálogo Jurisprudencial entre Tribunales Constitucionales y Cortes Internacionales. Herrera García, Alfonso & Ferrer Mac-Gregor, Eduardo Tirant lo Blanch.