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Durham Law School

Staff profile

Judge Wolfgang Schomburg

Honorary Professor in Durham Law School

Contact Judge Wolfgang Schomburg (email at


Professor Schomburg is the Chair of the Centre for Criminal Law and Criminal Justice (2008 - )

He was appointed an honorary professor of law at Durham Law School on 1 March 2009.

He read law at the “Freie Universität Berlin” and the London School of Economics. He started his professional career as a Public Prosecutor in Berlin (West), was seconded to the Federal Prosecutor and to the German Parliament as a Research Assistant in Criminal Law and, followed by a second stage with the Federal Prosecutor. He then was appointed to the criminal bench at the Berlin Regional Court (West) and later became a Senior Public Prosecutor in Berlin (West). He then changed into government service as Undersecretary of State at the Senate Justice Department, Berlin.

He has also served as counsel in private practice in Berlin assisting clients (victims and suspects) in international criminal matters (e. g. in France, the Netherlands, Mauritius, the United States of America and the United Kingdom).

From 1995 – 2000 he was a Judge at the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof, Karlsruhe) in the Criminal Division and also served as the Court’s Investigating Judge.

From 2001 – 2008 he served as a Judge at the (UN) International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), first as Presiding Judge of Trial Chamber II until 2003, and then as a Judge of the Common Appeals Chamber of ICTY and of the (UN) International Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha, Tanzania.

Since 2009 he has returned to private practice as counsel, mediator and advisor in international criminal law.

In November 2008 he was decorated with the Great Cross of Merit of the Federal Reublic of Germany (Großes Verdienstkreuz der Bundesrepublik Deutschland) by the President of Germany.

Since 1991 he has been an examiner for the Berlin Law Examinations Board (chairman since 1995); a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Law at the Freie Universität Berlin and since 1993 a lecturer at the German Judges Academy, the German Police Academy and the European Law Academy. He was an expert participating in seminars for vocational training in international criminal law on behalf of the Council of Europe, the European Union (assisted in establishing Eurojust) and of ABA-CEELI in particular on missions in the Baltic States, Georgia, Moldova, Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, Croatia, Russia and Ukraine as well as a guest lecturer in Institutes of the UN such as UNAFEI (Tokyo) and I.S.I.S.C. (Italy).

He is a member of the Association Internationale de Droit Pénal (AIDP) and was a rapporteur at conferences held in Freiburg, Helsinki, Rio de Janeiro, Utrecht, Berlin and Beijing. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the AIDP, the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law, Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany and the European Law Academy (ERA) Trier, Germany.


Professor Schomburg has authored more than 100 publications, primarily in criminal matters; most prominently since 1983 he has been an editor and co-author of the German standard commentary on International Cooperation in Criminal Matters (currently in its 4th edition, 2006, 2500 pages) and of the "Leitfaden für die Praxis: Internationale Rechtshilfe in Strafsachen" (2003, 202 pages).


International Criminal Law

European Criminal Law

International Cooperation in Criminal Matters

Research Groups

Centre for Criminal Law & Justice