I’d like to begin by thanking you for accepting our invitation to talk with us. I know you have a very full work schedule, so we are very honoured.
Professor Albrecht, you have been the director of MPI and Head of the Criminology Research Group since 1997, one of the most esteemed and important research institutes in criminal law and criminology worldwide.
What are the main changes in criminological research during your administration in MPI?
Since you were a member of the Criminology Research Group for several years before becoming director of MPI you can, perhaps, give us a better overview of the challenges that criminology has faced in Germany during the last three decades.
H.-J.A.: Criminology has faced and still is facing various challenges in Germany. Criminology in Germany reveals a strong attachment to the fields of criminal law and criminal policy, visible in the programs developed by the modern (sociological) criminal law school end of the 19th century, in particular in the program of Franz v. Liszt and in the basic text books which today carry “criminology” in their title. The question of „what is criminology?“ - although an old question – still is not answered conclusively in Germany and debates continue on how criminology should be positioned in relation to sociology, psychology, history, criminal law and criminal policy. In the late 1960s and in the 1970s criminology established itself in Germany as a subject of teaching and research mainly at law schools. This was furthered by a move in legal sciences towards an interest in knowing about the impact law and legal institutions have and how the achievement of goals set up with reforming law and institutions could be improved. However, criminology as a teaching subject remained confined to law schools.
There is only one full teaching program in criminology established in the 1980s and located at the University of Hamburg. This teaching program is post-graduate and some years ago moved from the law school to the faculty of social sciences. Undergraduate criminological teaching programs providing for a stand-alone degree in criminology do not exist in Germany. A gradual decline of (academic) criminology started in the 1990s. In law schools criminology is increasingly sidelined and (re) attached to criminal law. This becomes visible in the reform of law studies which resulted in the last decade in a re-arrangement of optional subjects.
Criminology now in most law schools resides under labels such as “criminal law sciences” or “criminal justice studies”. In sociological departments crime and deviance disappeared almost completely as a subject of teaching and research with retiring academics specializing in crime and deviance not being replaced accordingly. With two exceptions, sociological departments today do not cover crime and deviance (or criminal justice and the sociology of criminal law) as separate subjects. The exceptions concern Hamburg University where the Institute for Criminological Research has been established and Heidelberg University where within the institute of sociology a department deals with sociology of crime.
Within the framework of psychology, criminology has never played a significant role. Forensic psychology from the 1990s on deals specifically with prediction of crime (recidivism) and contributes to the development of actuarial instruments of prediction. Moreover, treatment research and evaluation of treatment programs has found some interest among psychologists. But, in general such studies are carried out under the umbrella of forensic sciences or psychology of law.
Then, master programs in criminology are only slowly developing. Besides the Hamburg university based program (Master of International Criminology), the law schools of Bochum (Criminology and Police Sciences) and Greifswald (Master of Laws in Criminology and Criminal Justice) offer post graduate criminological education. The decline of criminology at German universities is due to the fact, that professional fields are not available for criminologists. Police, criminal corrections, probation and forensics run their own educational and training programs with criminology incorporated in formalized training programs for probation officers, correctional staff and police. Criminology as part of professional education of police is taught for example at the University of German Police (Muenster) and at police academies/colleges at the state level. Departments of social work at universities of applied sciences provide for education and training of probation and social workers who are headed towards criminal justice jobs. Correctional staff is trained in correctional schools operating within prison administration. Forensic sciences then have developed as separate systems of teaching and research displaying not many links to criminology. The decline, however, is also due to changes in criminal law sciences which today evidently are less interested in empirical knowledge. Two significant developments should be noted in the fields criminology is covering which result also in major challenges.
First, the last two decades have seen a steep rise of political and scientific interest in security (and security related research). This comes not only with new funding opportunities but with a move towards fundamental questions of social order and with a move towards a changing role of criminal law and criminal justice in the “architecture of security”. International terrorism, failed states, state building, transnational organized crime, crimes against humanity, collective violence, illicit markets, immigration and transitional criminal justice define topics and have resulted in re-arrangements of research and policy fields. German criminology, however, does not seem to be at the center of these developments which are rather attracting other disciplines like for example political sciences, sociology and various other disciplines. Behind the new interest in security we find genuine concern for new risks (attached specifically to globalization, new (information) technologies and migration) as well as an evenly genuine concern for fundamental liberties feared to be twarthed and sidelined in face of having to deal with such extraordinary threats.
A second significant trend can be observed in a move of other scientific disciplines into research fields which had been addressed historically exclusively by criminology. Economic science, for example, has in the last decade contributed to research on punishment deterrence as well as the role of punishment in explaining cooperation. Cognitive sciences have defined fields of research which – like emotion, feelings, bonds and bonding – are of great interest for criminologists. Advances in the neurosciences increasingly result in studies focusing on deviance and control. Neurosciences and in particular neuro-psychology focus on consciousness and those processes which intermediate between various aspects of the environment and the results of decision-making. Criminology should link up with these disciplines in order to carry out and to advance criminological research; however, German criminology evidently does not move into this direction.
E.L.: Measuring the severity of punishment is an issue that you have been dealing with for many years, beginning with your research of the topic for your doctoral dissertation. What do you think are the present challenges in the measurement of severity with regard to the concept of the “Gefährder”, or group offenders considered to be dangerous (e.g. violent football fans, young intensive offenders, violent offenders in the social proximity, released sex offenders)?
H.-J.A.: The concept of the “Gefährder” is part (or a consequence) of the rapid proliferation of security policies. It demonstrates the move away from the past (crime and punishment) and towards the future and prevention (or preemption) of dangers and crime. Its arrival in the 1990s brought with it new forms of surveillance and monitoring strategies which are implemented for individuals assessed to present particular risks of relapse in or committing serious crimes (“Gefährder”). It is in particular soccer hooligans, chronic or persistent young offenders, persons affiliated with terrorist or extremist groups and sexual offenders who are targeted by preventive programs based on intensive surveillance. The core elements of such surveillance strategies consist of classifying such “persons at risk” into risk groups and assigning risk-adjusted control measures, based mainly on police (public order) laws. Electronic surveillance of sexual offenders released from prison has received particular attention in this respect.
The “Gefährder” concept has become part of general security policies which seek to optimize effective protection against dangerous sexual offenders, school shooters, chronic offenders, terrorists and mafia crimes. The concept does not include long term prevention anymore (as expressed in individual prevention based on rehabilitation) but rather emphasizes preemptive approaches through identifying those individuals displaying a high probability of violence and incapacitating them. In particular since 9/11 the integration of criminal law and criminal justice into a general architecture of security has gained momentum. Critics of this process point to the significant and adverse changes which come with a criminal law that does not primarily pursue justice and proportional punishment of criminal offenders within the framework of a fair trial but which seeks to maximize security and contain risks. Placing emphasis on security is associated with the widening of criminal law in general, violation of minimum standards when it comes to the creation of new criminal law (harm principle), politicization and an instrumental use of criminal law (effectiveness) which runs counter the rule of law approach Political discourses in the field of criminal law reform are dominated by “security gaps“ and how to close perceived security gaps through adding new criminal offence statutes, widening police powers in the investigation of threats to security and streamlining the exchange of information and intelligence between police, law enforcement and security/intelligence forces. The persisting emphasis on security gaps is a characteristic of criminal policies which are focused on prevention of extreme violence and therefore are confronted with the phenomenon of „high impact” and “low probability“ incidents. These phenomenon of high impact and low probability, when occurring, result regularly in the questions: (1) could an act of extreme violence have been prevented, (2) how such an act could have been prevented and (3) who was responsible for not preventing the act.
E.L.: How would you assess the effectiveness of German criminal policy on the above subject of dangerous offender groups?
H.-J.A.: Until now, no evaluation research has been carried out which could demonstrate either effectiveness or ineffectiveness of “Gefährder” policies. However, it is difficult to implement strong evaluation designs in the form of controlled experiments (like in most European countries). The approach implemented with “Gefährder” programs is very close to what is discussed now under “Predictive Policing”. In principle, these programs are based on solid criminological knowledge as we know since the Philadelphia Birth Cohort Study that most of (serious) crime is committed by a small number of chronic offenders. But, the problem of course still persists that in case of serious violence prediction focuses on very rare incidents and even if we could predict serious violence precisely instruments that effectively could prevent future crime are limited and in the form of preventive detention, for example, restricted by the condition that an individual has committed a serious criminal offence.
E.L.: What amendments has Germany introduced concerning Sicherungsverwahrung after 2011, i.e. the verdict of unconstitutionality of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany, because of violation of Article 7 of the European Convention on Human Rights? To clarify, what is the difference between the two laws?
H.-J.A.: First, the Federal Constitutional Court did not declare “Sicherungsverwahrung” (a measure of security responding to dangerousness of an offender found guilty of a very serious crime) unconstitutional because of a violation of Art. 7 of the ECHR. The Federal Constitutional Court always has held that measures of security do not amount to criminal punishment and therefore are not subject to restrictions applicable to criminal penalties (such as the prohibition of retroactivity), but are subject to standards applicable in administrative law (proportionality). The European Court of Human Rights had found Germany in violation of Art. 7 ECHR because it argued that despite a different label (measure of security) a particular form of retroactive “Sicherungsverwahrung” introduced in 1998/2002 (nachträgliche Sicherungsverwahrung) was in fact criminal punishment as its enforcement did not differ from enforcement of a prison sentence. The Federal Constitutional Court while not accepting the assessment of the Strasbourg Court (that the security measure was criminal punishment) was far more radical in its conclusions when holding in 2011 that all forms of “Sicherungsverwahrung” (and not only the one declared to be in violation of Art. 7 ECHR by the European Court) were unconstitutional because criminal statutes authorizing security measures (Sicherungsverwahrung) and the practice of preventive detention were disproportional (and therefore in violation of the principle of proportionality). The Federal Constitutional Court argued that laws allowing preventive detention must consider the grave interference with the fundamental right of freedom which comes with “Sicherungsverwahrung” and therefore be designed in a way which
- restricts Sicherungsverwahrung to the most serious offences,
- creates a significant “distance” to the enforcement of prison sentences,
- emphasizes exclusively rapid rehabilitation,
- establishes a system of enforcement (and monitoring), which is guided by the goal to minimize the duration of preventive detention.
Second, the German Parliament had to completely overhaul the laws regulating the “Sicherungsverwahrung” as the consequence of such a decision of the Federal Constitutional Court is simply that the law considered to be unconstitutional will go out of force (and will not be applicable anymore). The law enacted by the Parliament now provides for the following:
- Preventive detention (Sicherungsverwahrung) may only be imposed for serious criminal violence (property offences do not qualify for preventive detention anymore).
- In case of preventive detention of more than 10 years a very high probability of future serious violent crime must be established.
- Nachträgliche Sicherungsverwahrung was abolished.
- Preventive detention must be enforced in institutions separated strictly from regular prisons.
- Institutions where a sentence of preventive detention is executed must provide for treatment and rehabilitative services which guarantee that an offender can be released as soon as possible.
E.L.: We have discussed in the past various Greek governments’ attempts to control prison overcrowding. Can you shed some light on how overcrowding is controlled in Germany? Our readers are especially interested in this issue.
H.-J.A.: There is no explicit criminal policy adopted in Germany which would deal with overcrowding (except of course the general principle that overcrowding in terms of exceeding the design capacity of prisons must be avoided). However, the German prison system currently is not suffering from overcrowding due to several conditions which effectively contain the number of criminal offenders sent to prisons and the number of prisoners staying in prisons.
German criminal policy, since the 1960s, has managed to design and to implement a system of criminal sanctions which gives priority to fines (day fines) and suspended prison sentences. That policy was quite successful and results today in a share of approximately 82% day fines and 14% suspended prison sentences (at all criminal sentences). So, the imposition of a prison sentence which is executed immediately is rather rare (some 4% of the total of criminal penalties imposed).
German sentencing law and sentencing practice (in particular guided by decisions of the Federal Court of Justice, Bundesgerichtshof) tend to contain imprisonment through placing restrictions on the length of prison sentences.
First, prison sentences are subject to a maximum of 15 years (except life sentences which may be imposed only in murder cases.
Second, the legislator has abolished in the 1980s sentencing enhancements for recidivism.
Third, no strict minimum penalty rules apply (as all offence statutes coming with minimum penalties (which go beyond prison terms which cannot be suspended) offer at the same time the possibility to impose sentences below the minimum provided in case of offences of less seriousness (minder schwere Fälle).
Fourth, the Federal Court of Justice has developed a sentencing theory which says that – as a rule – within all offence categories most cases exhibit less than average seriousness. This means that in general most sentences should fall within the lower part of the range of sentences offered by a criminal offence statute. This comes with an obligation of courts to justify in writing a concrete sentence and the Federal Court of Justice has ruled that the closer a prison sentence is to the maximum a penalty range allows the more detailed and precise the grounds explaining the sentence must be presented in writing.
Then, during the last 20 years crime in Germany decreased significantly. This is observed in particular with respect to criminal offences which tend to attract prison sentences (serious property offences, robbery, serious (and in particular lethal) violence). As sentencing practices remained quite stable this resulted in a downward trend of imprisonment and a significant decrease in the number of prisoners. While at the beginning of the new millennium some 80.000 prisoners were counted 31 March, that number fell to approximately 60.000 March 31, 2018.
E.L.: In view of the operational freedom you enjoy as MPI director, what are your main criteria for creating and overseeing scientific projects?
H.-J.A.: First, creating (or starting) research projects was guided by a research program which I designed before I was appointed director of the Freiburg institute. The program was inspired by changes which I saw since the 1990s emerging and impacting on crime and crime control (technology, migration, criminal policy changes emphasizing security etc.). This program furthermore was designed to develop cooperation between criminology and criminal law (under the roof of the institute). Ultimately the program consists of 5 components.
- Developments and trends in systems of criminal sanctions and criminal procedural law (with an emphasis on criminal investigations).
Here, the focus was on changes triggered by policy (eg. security concerns and preventive detention, victim and sanctions/proceedings) and/or technology (electronic monitoring, telecommunication surveillance, predictive policing etc.).
- Dangerous offenders and responses to dangerous offenders.
The focus here was on the impact preventive detention but also rehabilitation/treatment has on prevention of serious crime (with a particular emphasis on recidivism).
- Internal security, organized crime and terrorism – New threats and perception of threats.
Here, a multi-site project on “Security” (BaSiD) was the core of research. In this project objective and subjective components of security have been studied from various perspectives and disciplines.
- Crime, social context and social change.
The focus here was on multi-level studies on youth crime (in metropolitan areas and the question how the macro level (social structure), social contexts (community) as well as micro-levels (of decision making) interact.
- Criminal law and justice in transitional societies.
Questions of criminal law and transitions have been studied in particular in cooperation with Chinese universities and universities in the Caucasus.
Second, a basic condition or research is funding which requires then that funding programs have to be identified.
Third, research projects have to be developed and discussed with those researchers who ultimately will be responsible for data collection and analysis.
E.L.: How does the Criminology Research Group work in the context of the organization of MPI? Is there any form of thematic coordination between the two research groups of criminal law and criminology in MPI?
H.-J.A.: Coordination of research carried out by the departments of criminal law and criminology takes place and is inspired by the founder of the institute, late Professor Hans Heinrich Jescheck. Hans-Heinrich Jescheck said that criminal law and criminology must cooperate under the roof of the Freiburg institute as these disciplines are dependent on each other. He argued that criminal law would be blind without criminology and that criminology would be without clear borders without criminal law. The thematic coordination of the department of criminal law and the department of criminology follows from two research programs which are based on the assumption that social and technological change has resulted in new risks and in particular new forms of crime (transaction crime) and new investigative, surveillance and control methods which result ultimately in new criminal offence statutes and in significant changes in criminal procedural law.
E.L.: How and who evaluates the work of MPI? What are the pros and cons of the evaluation?
H.-J.A.: The Max Planck Society has in place an elaborated system of evaluation. And, in fact, nothing speaks against systematic evaluation. There are only pros. The evaluation system of the Max Planck Society provides for every institute two permanent bodies which shall advise the institute and evaluate research and research results (but also administration and general good governance issues).
The Scientific Council (Fachbeirat) consists of up to 10 members of the international scientific community (of criminal law and criminology) who are appointed by the President of the Max-Planck Society upon proposal of the institute (for a period of 6 years).
The Scientific Council convenes every 3 years. At this occasion the institute has to provide for a research report (Tätigkeitsbericht) which is open and accessible for everybody interested and can be downloaded from the institute’s homepage. The report accounts for 3 years preceding the meeting of the research council and is presented to the Council. The Council discusses the report (also with the research departments) and elaborates a report on the research activities which is sent to the President. Every 6 years the evaluation is broadened. Two external evaluators assess the research activities of the institute from a comparative perspective: the institute is evaluated against the research activities of a group of other Max-Planck Institutes (from the Humanity section).
Besides the Scientific Council (Fachbeirat), a Kuratorium is established for every Max-Planck Institute. In this Kuratorium Ministries of Justice, the judicial system, media and other relevant social actors shall contribute to evaluation through adding assessments coming from various parts of society. Beyond this formalized system of evaluation there exists a more practical (but very effective) system of monitoring which comes through the necessity to attract third party funding. The Freiburg institute has to find funding in order to carry out research and that funding comes from national and supranational funding programs which are competitive and request compliance with high research standards.
E.L.: Since we had the same Doktorvater, I would like to ask you whether Professor Kaiser has influenced your scientific approach. If yes, in what way?
H.-J.A.: Professor Kaiser has influenced my scientific approach in two ways fundamentally. First, he introduced me into interdisciplinary thinking and into looking beyond the own discipline. Second, he showed me very clearly that criminal law is but a small element in a comprehensive system of social control which consists of formal and informal elements.
E.L.: Has Professor Kaiser affected you in the MPI administration because you have worked with him for many years? If yes, in what way?
H.-J.A.: In fact, I worked with Professor Kaiser for more than 10 years and I learned from him also a couple things which are important for administration. First of all, I learnt from him something I admired with him from the beginning: to be patient and to leave other people enough room to develop their own ideas. Then, second, effective administration is dependent on trust and cooperation. Third, administration is to be based on a concept of good governance which integrates the various units of a Max-Planck Institute (administration, IT, library, technical services) as well as the ombudsmen for data security and equal opportunity and the work council (Betriebsrat). And fourth, it is of great importance to establish and strengthen relationships with the General Administration of the Max-Planck Society (located in Munich).
E.L.: Dear Prof. Albrecht, you have been professor of criminal law and criminology at Univ. Constance and Dresden, guest professor at the Law Faculty of Renmin University of China/PR China, and at the Law Faculty of Wuhan Univ./PR China. You are honorary professor of criminology and criminal law at the University of Freiburg, and have permanent faculty membership at the Faculty of Law of Qom High Education Centre, Teheran/Iran. I would like to ask you, after so many years of research and teaching, which of the two do you enjoy more?
H.-J.A.: To be honest: I always enjoyed research more than teaching. Of course, I know that teaching is important and teaching provides for better opportunities to recruit excellent young researchers. However, research (in terms of designing, data collection and analysis) has always fascinated me much more than teaching, which – frankly spoken – means also repeating something year for year.
E.L.: Are there any professional projects / goals that you haven’t accomplished and/or that you would have done differently?
H.-J.A.: In fact, there are a couple of projects which are not yet finished. But, I will continue to finish those. It would be not very satisfying for me (and I would feel unhappy) to leave something unfinished.
I seek to finalize two projects, one dealing with the consequences of legalizing marijuana in Uruguay, the other dealing with the question of the significant crime drop we saw during the last 20 years and trying to find at least some preliminary answers to that. As regards different approaches, indeed, seen from developments today, I would have placed more emphasis on migration, immigration and related issues. However, the department of criminology did cover that, too. But, as I said, I could have placed more emphasis on immigration and its impact on crime and criminal justice, in particular through implementing comparative European research projects.
E.L.: If you could go back, what would you not repeat, and what would you like to do again in your professional life?
H.-J.A.: Now, when looking back I do not see something I would not wish to repeat (except of course large numbers of exams). What I certainly would repeat is to pursue a career in a research organization. Research is rewarding, in particular when doing that in a position and in an environment which gives enough room and freedom to develop research projects and to implement them.
E.L.: In your view, what are the main challenges of Criminology in Europe?
H.-J.A.: The challenges of criminology in Europe are manifold. Criminology – as I outlined earlier – is in most Continental European countries today still a (little) sidekick of criminal law and the study of criminology does not result in professional career opportunities and paths which are opened by education and training in law, social sciences or psychology. Then, criminology in Europe is still dominated by a few Western and Northern European countries. A real European criminology will be possible only if the south and the east of Europe will catch up and contribute in terms of both, theory and empirical research. A strong European criminology will then depend on European funding schemes which go beyond what is currently provided by the European Union as many universities and institutes simply do not have the administrative capacity to make successful applications.
E.L.: What do you think about the role and contribution of European Society of Criminology (ESC) in Europe?
H.-J.A.: The ESC has contributed significantly to the development and advances of criminology in Europe. It was modelled after the American Society of Criminology and it has established an important forum where ongoing research is on display. The ESC widens the perspectives which come with national societies of criminology and it provides for opportunities to discuss not only research and research designs but also general issues of criminal policies as they develop become effective in Europe. The ESC then has the capacity to be an actor (and an advisor) within the frameworks of the European Union and the Council of Europe and with respect to European criminal policies.
E.L.: As far back as you can remember, since you received your PhD degree, how has the relationship between German jurists and German criminologists changed?
H.-J.A.: The relationship between criminal law and criminology (or criminal lawyers and criminologists) has in fact changed during the last decades. The 1970s and still the 1980s saw a strong interest of criminal law (and criminal lawyers) in having criminological expertise in the law schools in order to integrate empirical sciences and knowledge into the educational and training programs of law students. This interest faded, most probably because law schools started to focus on law examinations and to deliver knowledge which enables law students to pass law exams within the shortest time possible. This kind of “production” of lawyers is not in need of knowledge which goes beyond the cores of civil, administrative and criminal law. And, not only criminology suffered from that development but also subjects like history of law, philosophy and sociology of law as well as other topics which have no immediate relevance for law examinations.
E.L.: Are there serious theoretical, managerial or ideological conflicts / differences in German criminology? What is the relationship between the Kriminologische Gesellschaft (KrimG) and the Gesellschaft für interdisziplinäre wissenschaftliche Kriminologie (GiwK)?
H.-J.A.: In fact, there have been (and there still are) a couple of conflicts within German criminology which can be traced back to the 1960s and which are apparent in the existence of two criminological associations. Main stream German Criminology has been criticized because of working in the service of the state and social control. In the 1970s a debate emerged which was focused on the relationship between criminology, criminologists and the state. Criminology was depicted as a science of control which serves to deliver narratives of justification of power. The role of criminology as applied science linked tightly to professional activities and the criminal justice process (police and policing, social work and probation services, prison rehabilitation, forensic professions, expert evidence in criminal trials) was scrutinized as was scrutinized the structure of funding criminological research which gave priority to causes of crime and criminal law based responses and treatment of the criminal offender. In this respect, it is interesting to see that the Anglo-American perspective on criminology rather alleges “criminologists’ ignorance of legal doctrine and procedural norms” and “doctrinal legal scholars´ ignorance of the criminological context of penal law”, in other words a too big a distance between criminology and criminal law.
A divide in German criminology became then visible in separate criminological associations reflecting different orientations, one toward a sociological study of criminal law and criminal justice (including in particular the making of criminal law and a critical view on criminal law based social control) and a mainstream criminology embracing a broad vision of the subject of criminological research (including crime, the criminal, the victim and the operation of criminal justice). And in fact, while much of mainstream criminology deals with increasingly sophisticated approaches to the explanation of crime and the evaluation of crime control policies, and critical criminology contributes analyses of the course of criminal justice policies and outcomes, criminology is less and less involved in imagining comprehensive and desirable criminal policies. Human rights based approaches, partially overlapping with concern for the victims of crime and in particular victims of violence, restorative justice and mediation oriented lines of thinking display various, but limited visions on selected aspects of crime and crime control, a comprehensive criminal policy project is not in sight. However, during last two decades conflicts faded out somewhat and cooperation between the two criminological associations has become stronger.
E.L.: As founder of the Balkan Criminology Network, are you satisfied with its development? What do you think the future holds for this network?
H.-J.A.: I am very satisfied with the development of the Balkan Criminology Network for several reasons. The Balkan network was established in order to provide for a regional criminology which emphasizes the regional particulars relevant also for criminological research, strengthens the capacity to carry out regional comparative criminological research and thus the development of a regional criminological profile adding to advances in European criminology. The Balkan network in fact was quite successful with finalizing projects on the criminological landscape in the Balkans, the correctional (prison) systems in the region and carrying out comparative research (on the basis of a common questionnaire and data collection) on lethal violence in the Balkans. So, the future of criminology in the Balkans looks quite promising and I am confident that the network will continue to generate valuable empirical research.
E.L.: A new department on security law in MPI will soon be established. What are the reasons that Security Law was not integrated with Criminal Law and the Criminology branch?
H.-J.A.: In fact, in the future the Freiburg institute will host three departments: criminal law, criminology and security law. The department “Security Law” was added in order to include new interdisciplinary perspectives through integrating security law in terms of administrative law in general and in particular police law and laws on intelligence services. Security law in this sense cannot be covered by criminal law or criminology because it represents a specific and separate (legal) discipline and it requests a specific expertise.
E.L.: Do you wish to remain involved in the MPI’s projects and in criminology in general after your retirement (Emeritierung) from office, or do you have any other plans? Will you continue teaching at the University of Freiburg and at the China’s Universities? Are you happy with the students and associates you leave behind?
H.-J.A.: I will remain involved in research and I will remain in the institute. The Max-Planck Society is quite generous indeed and provides for the possibility to continue research for their Emeriti. This includes budget and infrastructure in terms of office space and assistants. I will also continue teaching as it would be difficult for the colleagues at the law school to replace me immediately.
I am indeed happy with my PhD students and with the research staff in the department of criminology. It was a pleasure to guide PhD students from all continents and I am satisfied completely when watching their careers developing positively after their return to their home countries (and home universities).
E.L.: Dear Professor, Thank you very much for your time.
H.-J.A.: It’s always a pleasure to be in touch.