Institut für Landwirtschaftsrecht

Institut für Landwirtschaftsrecht

Welcome to the Homepage of the Institute for Agricultural Law!

The institute was founded in 1961 and is now one of the leading research centers of agricultural law in Germany and Europe.

Research focuses on the European, national and comparative agricultural law, in particular the agricultural lease law, real estate transactions, competition law and antitrust, state aid law, copyright law, renewable energy law, food law, nature conservation law, animal welfare and the right of rural areas.

The Institute's library contains about 25,000 books.

Event information: „The speciality of agrarian justice“

The international conference "The speciality of agrarian justice" will take place on 14 December. Prof Martínez will give a lecture as part of this exclusively digital event.

You can find the event flyer here.

Lectures by Prof. Dr. Martínez at the 3rd International Congress on Land Use and Human Rights

Prof. Martínez gave lectures at the University of Seville (Spain) on 16 and 17 October 2023 on the topic "Crisis of Sustainability" and "of Food Security" in the framework of the Third International Congress on Land Use and Human Rights. The congress was organised by Professor Dr Miguel Angel Martín Lopez from the University of Seville.

Book "Animals in the International Law of Armed Conflict" wins ESIL Collaborative Book Prize

The book "Animals in the International Law of Armed Conflict", co-authored by Prof. Dr. José Martínez, has won this year's ESIL Collaborative Book Prize. For more information about the book, the authors and the prize, please see the flyer.

"Borchert Commission" ends its work

On 22 August, the "Competence Network on Farm Animal Husbandry", whose members included Prof. Dr Martínez, decided to end its work. Known as the "Borchert Commission", named after former Federal Minister of Agriculture Jochen Borchert, the Competence Network was established in 2019 and in the past years has developed recommendations for improving farm animal husbandry in Germany and submitted them to the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. In its concluding statement, the commission reiterates that it believes "a significant increase in the level of animal welfare throughout German livestock farming remains feasible and urgently needed". Federal Minister of Agriculture Özdemir thanks the Commission for its "successful and forward-looking work".

The statement of the Competence Network can be found here.

The statement of the Federal Minister of Agriculture can be found here.

Appointment of Prof. Dr. Martínez to the scientific advisory board of the Federal Environment Agency for "Ernährung und Landwirtschaft mit Zukunft"

Prof. Dr. José Martínez has been appointed as a member of the scientific advisory board at the Federal Environment Agency for the project "Ernährung und Landwirtschaft mit Zukunft". The project deals with the sustainable orientation of the agricultural and food system. The advisory board consists of experts in the field of agricultural and nutrition research. The function of the advisory board is to provide scientific support for the research project. Prof. Martínez will support the scientific advisory board with his (agricultural) legal perspective.

Further information on the scientific monitoring committee can be found on the website of UBA.

Headquarters of the Federal Environment Agency, Dessau-Roßlau (Source:

Moorklimaschutz beschleunigen! - Wie die Wiedervernässung der Moore in die Fläche kommt

On 01 June 2023, the TBU conference "Moorklimaschutz beschleunigen! - Wie die Wiedervernässung der Moore in die Fläche kommt ". Within the framework of the event, Prof. Martínez presented the legal perspective on the topic in his lecture "Rechtliche Ansätze zur Beschleunigung des Moorbodenschutzes in Deutschland".

The schedule of the workshop can be found here.

Moreover the conference was recorded. You can watch the recording here.

Virtual Workshop of the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the China University of Political Science and Law on the Codification of Environmental Law on 30 May 2023

On 30 May 2023, the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the China University of Political Science and Law held the virtual "Workshop on Codification of Environmental Law in China and Germany: Promoting the Development of Environmental Law" in Beijing, People's Republic of China. Prof. Martínez, who attended the event online, was allowed to give a presentation entitled "Environmental protection through integration - on the need for codification".
The schedule of the workshop can be found here.

Conference Report Peace and conflict resolution in rural areas: Challenges for the implementation of UNDROP, November 17-18, 2022

On November 17 and 18, the conference "Peace and conflict resolution in rural areas: Challenges for the implementation of UNDROP" of the Institute of Agricultural Law took place in Göttingen. During these two days, numerous international scholars gave presentations on the UNDROP Declaration and its impact especially on rural populations and the pacification of rural conflicts. You can read the entire conference report in German and also download the flyer with the summary of the results in English and Spanish.
The conference was supported by the German Foundation for Peace Research, the Landwirtschaftliche Rentenbank and the Alexander-von-Humboldt-Stiftung.

Handover of the statement on food poverty under pandemic conditions to Federal Minister Cem Özdemir

On Tuesday, March 21, 2023, the Scientific Advisory Board for Agricultural Policy, Nutrition and Consumer Health Protection handed over its statement Food Poverty under Pandemic Conditions to Federal Minister Cem Özdemir.
About 3 million people in Germany cannot eat a healthy diet and are excluded from nutrition-related aspects of social life. During the pandemic, important safety nets such as daycare and school meals and charitable food distributions (Tafeln) were lost, especially for this group. They are also particularly affected by the continued rise in high inflation and the associated high food costs.
For these reasons, the WBAE recommends that to address the material and social aspects of food poverty:

1. a set of measures to ensure that during a pandemic or similar crises, food provision through daycare and school catering, food banks, etc. continues to be guaranteed
2. recommendations on fundamental measures, such as the citizen's income, daycare and school catering and the data basis of food poverty in Germany.

Here you can download the statement.

Meeting of the Institute of Agricultural Law of the University of Göttingen/CAPAZ with the Colombian Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cecilia López.

On January 23, 2023, a working breakfast of the Institute of Agricultural Law of the University of Göttingen as representative of the CAPAZ Institute with the Colombian Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Cecilia López, took place at the Colombian Embassy in Berlin. During this meeting, the challenges of agrarian reform in Colombia were discussed in particular.
For more information, please click here.
The participants committed themselves to intensify cooperation, especially on the academic level, in order to promote the reform.

Presentation of the legal opinion for the DBV - Contemporary consideration of agriculture and climate protection in the Basic Law

On 24.01.2023, Prof. Martínez presented his legal opinion on the objectives of agriculture and climate protection in the Basic Law at the event "Food security globally and nationally - What needs to be done" and discussed it afterwards with Kolyang Palebele, President of the Pan-African Farmers' Federation PAFO, among others. The legal opinion can be accessed here and its presentation can be viewed here.

Participation in the joint project "GreenGrass

The IfLR participates in the joint project "GreenGrass" funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BmBF), which is led by Professor Isselstein from the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences at the Georg-August University. The funding application was approved in full on 08.12.2022. Among other things, this project will design, develop and test novel, innovative grazing systems for farm animals using new animal control technologies. In this context, digital smart farming technologies are to be used to systematically change pasture management with farm animals; pasture use is to be made more attractive, efficient, productive and targeted.
The focus is on so-called virtual fencing. This technology will enable pasture management without physical fences. Virtual fences are drawn at any size and at any time intervals, without physical effort, on the mobile device. This allows the space-time behavior of grazing animals to be precisely controlled and very precisely adapted to the needs of producing multiple ecosystem services of grassland (grass growth, forage quality, protection and promotion of biodiversity, etc.).

Lecture tour of the Institute of Agricultural Law to Japan

From September 5 to 11, 2022, the Institute of Agricultural Law visited Japan at the invitation of Prof. Dr. Yoshiki Kurumisawa, Faculty of Law, Waseda University, Tokyo. The delegation consisted of Prof. Dr. José Martínez, the lecturer Ms. Anna Kiermeier, the staff members Ms. Friederike Heise, Ms. Cara von Nolting and Mr. Jonas Lohstroh and the PhD student Ms. Anna-Lena Poppe.
As part of the visit, the delegation participated in a lecture event at Ryukoku University in Kyoto on September 7. The Dean of the Faculty of Law, Prof. Dr. Mahoro Murasawa, had invited the delegation. The subject of the lecture event was the greening of agriculture and the industrialization of agriculture.
You can read the travel report here.
We would like to thank our host, Prof. Yoshiki Kurumisawa, very much for the fruitful exchange and the manifold impressions we were able to take away from Japan, both academically and culturally, thanks to him.

Election of Prof. Martínez as Chair of the Senate Commission on Information Management.

The Senate Commission for Information Management (KIM) elected Prof. Martinez as chairman in its meeting on 12.5. 2022.
The KIM performs cross-sectional tasks of evaluation and development of the informational infrastructure including cooperation within the Göttingen Campus as well as data management, data security and data protection.

Holdings of the Westphalian Library of Agriculture (WBL) are now available online

From May 1, 2022, the holdings of the Westphalian Library of Agriculture (WBL), which is part of the Stiftung Landwirtschaftsverlag in Münster, will be available online. Scientists, students and all other interested parties can log in via link and research many topics related to agriculture, rural life and agricultural history. The library can also be used as a reference library after prior registration. The WBL contains approximately 6,500 volumes of practice-oriented agricultural literature from the past five centuries with a spatial focus on Westphalia-Lippe or northwestern Germany. "Many of the books in the collection are rare, some even unique, and have not yet been recorded in any library catalog. That's why it is very important to us to make the collection accessible to the public," explain Dr. Ludger Schulze Pals and Marc Schürmann, members of the board of the Stiftung Landwirtschaftsverlag. A special jewel of the library, for example, are the issues of the 178-year-old "Wochenblatt für Landwirtschaft und Landleben" and its predecessors, which are available almost in their entirety from the founding year 1844. The historical book holdings of the Westphalia-Lippe Chamber of Agriculture form the basis of the collection founded in 2008. It was significantly expanded in 2011 with the acquisition of part of the libraries of the former agricultural school in Lüdinghausen and the main agricultural association in Münsterland.

Immenga/Mestmäcker Competition Law, Volume 5: State Aid Law with comments by Prof. Martínez

The 6th edition of Immenga/Mestmäcker Competition Law, Volume 5: State Aid Law with commentaries by Prof. Martínez on "Aid to Agriculture and Fisheries (Section XV) has been published. The Immenga/Mestmäcker offers a comprehensive commentary on the TFEU competition law, the GWB and the relevant EU regulations at the highest scientific level. The 6th edition brings a significant expansion of public procurement and state aid law - including procedures and sector-specific state aid regulations.
Volume 5 explains state aid law, supplemented by detailed commentaries on areas such as energy, transport and telecommunications.

Theoretische Grundlagen der Systembildung im Agrarrecht, Schriften zum Agrar-, Umwelt- und Verbraucherschutzrecht, Vol. 89, Baden-Baden 2022 - by José Martínez, Gottfried Holzer and Roland Norer.

In the anthology "Theoretical Foundations of System Formation in Agricultural Law", the dogmatic deficit of an incomplete elaboration of the principles of agricultural law that existed until now is addressed and this gap is filled. The theoretical findings and their verification are discussed on the basis of the legal systems of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Thus, the elaboration of these structuring principles of agricultural law should help the legislature, the administration and the judiciary to develop a coherent system of agricultural law. The contributions take into account the legal situation as of November 1, 2021 (with an outlook on the CAP reform coming into force on January 1, 2023).

2nd edition of the agricultural law commentary by Düsing/Martínez has been published

The 2nd edition of the newly revised agricultural law commentary by Mechthild Düsing and Prof. José Martínez hast been published.
The practical, compact and well-foundend commentary on agricultural law explains the essential aspects of this extremely comprehensive cross-sectional area. The structure of the work is mainly based on the requirements of the specialized attorney for agricultural law (14m FAO), but also deals with adjacent areas of law and therefore provides all practitioners involved in agricultural law with comprehensible explanations, solid solution proposals and practice-proven decision-making aids. In total, more than 50 individual laws and ordinances are commented on, partly in excerpts, partly systematically. The work deals with the public law, civil law and criminal law aspects of agricultural law and thus offers the only comprehensive commentary on this area of law to date.

11th Göttingen Talks on Agricultural Law on 04 November 2022 on the topic of "Truth in Agricultural Law"

The 11th Göttingen Talks on Agricultural Law will take place this year on Friday, 04 November 2022 on the topic of "Truth in Agricultural Law".You can find more informations here.

commentary by Prof. Calliess, Ruffert on the EUV/AUEV with commentary by Prof. Martínez

The commentary by Prof. Calliess (ed.) and Prof. Ruffert (ed.) on the EUC/TFEU with commentary by Prof. Martínez on The Agriculture and Fisheries (Title III) and Transport (Title IV) has been published by Beck Verlag. In one volume, the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) are presented in detail in their current version after the Treaty of Lisbon, as well as the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Yearbook of Agricultural Law Volumne XV, writings on agricultural, environmental and consumer protection law edited by Prof. Dr. José Martínez

The XV volume of the Yearbook of Agricultural Law, writings on agricultural, environmental and consumer protection law edited by Prof. Dr. José Martínez was published on 22.06.2021.
In it, current agricultural law problems are highlighted and legal solutions are presented. Internationally, the approach of South Korea with regard to the ownership restrictions of arable land and compulsory use is presented, and from the Polish point of view, the de minimis subsidies are explained. In terms of labeling law, the innovations and opportunities of the EU Organic Regulation No. 2018/848 are addressed. In another contribution, the legal instruments of the Common Agricultural Policy are evaluated in different crisis scenarios. In addition, the increasing integration of environmental and climate protection concerns into the Common Agricultural Policy is evidenced. Another contribution, written by Prof. Dr. Martínez, deals with the Common Fisheries Policy from a state aid law perspective. This volume also continues the comprehensive overview of the monograph and journal articles on German and foreign agricultural law published and included in the Institute's library from 2018 to 2020.

expert report "Climate protection in Germany's agricultural and food system: The three central fields of action on the way to climate neutrality" was published by the Climate Neutrality Foundation - with participation of Prof. Martínez

On June 2, 2021, the expert report "Climate protection in Germany's agricultural and food system: The three central fields of action on the way to climate neutrality" was published by the Climate Neutrality Foundation. Prof. Dr. Martínez is co-author of the report, in which recommendations for action are developed under the leadership of scientists from Berlin's Humboldt University in order to exploit the considerable reduction potential in GHG emissions from agriculture. In addition to the multitude of technological mitigation options, the reduction of GHG emissions should focus on three key action areas:
1) Improve nitrogen efficiency,
2) Reduce consumption and production of animal products,
3) Rewetting peatlands.
Working with Prof. Dr. Martínez were Prof. Dr. Harald Grethe (Humboldt University of Berlin) Dipl.-Ing. agr. Bernhard Osterburg (Thünen-Institut), Prof. Dr. Friedhelm Taube (Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel) and Dr. agr. Ferike Thom (Humboldt University of Berlin) worked together on the report.

You can read the entire expert opinion here.
The regulatory proposals can be found here.

Commentary on the Law Governing of the "Landwirtschaftliche Rentenbank"

The "Landwirtschaftliche Rentenbank" is the most important German promotional institution for agriculture and rural areas. The commentary deals with the Law on Landwirtschaftliche Rentenbank, which forms the legal basis for the activities of the credit institution, which is structured as an institution under public law. The unique historical legal structure of this institution and its success story are also described in detail.

Dr. Natalia Ruiz Morato as an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Fellow at the Institute of Agricultural Law

From 01 July 2020 until 31 December 2022 Dr. Natalia Ruiz Morato perceived her research as an Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellow of the Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation at the Institute of Agricultural Law of the Georg-August-University Göttingen.

Prior to that, she was a Residential Fellow at the Wilson Center in Washington, DC. In Colombia, she was Associate Professor at LaSalle University and a lecturer at several other universities, and an independent consultant in law and development for public and private institutions, on issues related to international development, ethnic and indigenous rights, and social and environmental justice. She has published several academic papers and book chapters on these topics.

She holds a Ph.D. in Law from the National University of Colombia and earned her M.A. in International Studies from Korea University.
She is also a member of the Pax Ruralis research group between Göttingen University and Colombia’s National University.

Her current research work, “an agrarian adjudication theory for small farmers and indigenous populations in Colombia”, focuses on aspects of rural reform in Colombian following the 2016 Peace Accord. There is a clear and urgent need to construct an agrarian legal theory for transitional justice and the prospective agrarian jurisdiction, in order to avoid the perpetuation of land conflicts and ensure the fulfilment of human rights of subsistence farmers and ethnic communities, which are the poorest and most vulnerable populations in Colombia.

The goal of this research project is to help overcome the current civil adjudication of agrarian problems in Colombia. Formulating an agrarian legal adjudication theory will enable Colombian judges to improve their decisions in agrarian disputes, and will offer a solid basis for the proposed new agrarian jurisdiction as set out in the Peace Accord. Beyond the Colombian scenario, an agrarian adjudication theory would represent an important advancement of legal knowledge for land distribution for subsistence farmers and ethno-communities in developing countries.