Contact

Address

Institute of European and Comparative Law

St Cross Building, St Cross Road, Oxford OX1 3UL

Other affiliations

Phone

+44 (0)1865 287045

+44 (0)1865 281615

Biography

Birke Häcker holds the statutory Chair in Comparative Law. She is the Director of the Institute of European and Comparative Law and a Professorial Fellow of Brasenose College.

Prior to taking up her position, she was a Fellow of All Souls College, a Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance in Munich, and a Lecturer in Law at Ludwig-Maximilian-University Munich (awarded the Therese von Bayern Prize 2015). As an undergraduate, she obtained a dual legal education, reading Jurisprudence at Oxford as well as German law at the Universities of Tübingen and Bonn. Her Oxford DPhil is on comparative private law (Consequences of Impaired Consent Transfers: A Structural Comparison of English and German Law, published 2009, republished 2013). She is qualified to practise in Germany. 

Professor Häcker's main research interests lie in the field of private law, with a strong comparative and historical focus. This includes especially contract, tort/delict, restitution for unjust(ified) enrichment, property, trusts, and succession, but also extends to adjoining areas of commercial and company law, aspects of tax law, as well as the principles governing the conflict of laws. Besides analysing the traditional 'common law / civil law divide' and comparing different civilian systems with one another, a specific research focus lies on examining the relationship and increasing divergence of common law systems around the world and thinking systematically about the 'comparative common law' phenomenon (both in terms of black letter law and methodology).

At Oxford, Professor Häcker teaches the course options Comparative Private Law as well as Comparative Contract Law in Europe. She also lectures on European Private Law, comparative law theory and methodology and regularly offers sessions introducing civil lawyers to the common law tradition. Professor Häcker supervises research students within all areas of her expertise and is always pleased to discuss MPhil/DPhil proposals with potential applicants.  

She is a Council Member of the British Association of Comparative Law (BACL), a Fellow of the European Law Institute (ELI), a Research Affiliate at the Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance, an Honorary Bencher of Lincoln's Inn, and an Academic Member of the Chancery Bar Association. In the past, she has held visiting positions at the Australian National University in Canberra (February-March 2009), Singapore Management University (August 2019), and at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Visiting Professor 2017-2019). 

Publications

Selected publications

  • Collective Judging in Comparative Perspective: Counting Votes and Weighing Opinions
    B Häcker and W Ernst (eds), Collective Judging in Comparative Perspective: Counting Votes and Weighing Opinions (Intersentia 2020)

Edited Book (3)

B Häcker and W Ernst (eds), Collective Judging in Comparative Perspective: Counting Votes and Weighing Opinions (Intersentia 2020)
Id: 11803
B Häcker and C Mitchell (eds), Current Issues in Succession Law (Hart Publishing 2016)
Reviewed by Michael Ashdown in [2017] Conveyancer and Property Lawyer 158–160; Edward Buckland in (2017) 15 Trust Quarterly Review 42–43; Matthew E Carn in [2017] 31 Trust Law International 41–43; Judith Bray in (2017) 29 Denning Law Journal 143–148; Richard Frimston in (2017) 6 European Property Law Journal 272–276; Robert H Sitkoff in [2017] Cambridge Law Journal 674–676; John Mee in (2018) 134 Law Quarterly Review 156–158 .
Id: 8302
S Elliott, B Häcker and C Mitchell (eds), Restitution of Overpaid Tax (Hart Publishing 2013)
Reviewed by Graham Virgo in [2015] Cambridge Law Journal 173–175.
Id: 8303

Chapter (20)

B Häcker, 'Europäische Rechtsidentität(en)' in Corinne Michaela Flick (ed), Der Wert Europas in einer bedeutsameren Weltgeschichte (Wallstein 2020)
Id: 11679
B Häcker, 'European Legal Identities and European Legal Identity' in Corinne Michaela Flick (ed), The Standing of Europe in the New Imperial World Order (Convoco! Editions 2020)
Id: 11802
B Häcker, 'Causa und Consideration: Ein historischer Dialog' in Gregor Albers, Francesco Paolo Patti and Dorothée Perrouin-Verbe (eds), Causa contractus. Auf der Suche nach den Bedingungen der Wirksamkeit des vertraglichen Willens / Alla ricerca delle condizioni dell'efficacia della volontà contrattuale / À la recherche des conditions de l'éfficacité de la volonté contractuelle (Mohr Siebeck 2020) (forthcoming)
Id: 12130
B Häcker, 'Unjust factors versus absence of juristic reason (causa)' in Elise Bant, Kit Barker and Simone Degeling (eds), Research Handbook on Unjust Enrichment and Restitution (Edward Elgar 2020)
Id: 11804
W Ernst, B Gsell, B Häcker and T Rüfner, 'Concluding Remarks' in Birke Häcker and Wolfgang Ernst (eds), Collective Judging in Comparative Perspective: Counting Votes and Weighing Opinions (Intersentia 2020)
Id: 12129
B Häcker, ' Fait d’autrui in Comparative Perspective' in Jean-Sébastien Borghetti and Simon Whittaker (eds), French Civil Liability in Comparative Perspective (Hart Publishing 2019)
Id: 10686
B Häcker, ''Substance Over Form': Has the Pendulum Swung Too Far?' in Andrew Robertson and James Goudkamp (eds), Form and Substance in the Law of Obligations (Hart Publishing 2019)
Id: 10684
B Häcker, 'All Souls College v Codrington (1720): Money, Books, and the Interpretation of Wills – A Testamentary Drama in Three Acts' in Brian Sloan (ed), Landmark Cases in Succession Law (Hart Publishing 2019)
Id: 10685
B Häcker, '"… the Heir, which in the Laws of England is called an Executor ..." Zum System der Nachlassabwicklung in England' in M Löhnig, A Dutta and others (eds), Testamentsvollstreckung in Europa (Gieseking 2018)
Id: 9883
B Häcker, 'La troisième jeunesse du Code civil: un regard allemand sur la réforme française du droit des contrats' in J Cartwright, B Fauvarque-Cosson and S Whittaker (eds), La Réécriture du Code civil. Le droit français des contrats après la réforme de 2016 (Société de Législation Comparée 2018)
Id: 9185
B Häcker, 'The Impact of Illegality and Immorality on Contract and Restitution from a Civilian Angle' in S Green and A Bogg (eds), Illegality after Patel v Mirza (Hart Publishing 2018)
Id: 8692
B Häcker, 'La Troisième Jeunesse du Code Civil: A German Lawyer Looks at the Reform of French Contract Law' in J Cartwright and S Whittaker (eds), The Code Napoléon Rewritten: French Contract Law after the 2016 Reforms (Hart Publishing 2017)
Id: 8639
B Häcker, 'Minority and Unjust Enrichment Defences' in A Dyson, J Goudkamp and F Wilmot-Smith (eds), Defences in Unjust Enrichment (Hart Publishing 2016)
Id: 8296
B Häcker, 'What’s in a Will? – Examining the Modern Approach towards the Interpretation and Rectification of Testamentary Instruments' in B Häcker and C Mitchell (eds), Current Issues in Succession Law (Hart Publishing 2016)
Id: 8283
B Häcker, 'Public Law Restitutionary Claims: The German Perspective' in S Elliott, B Häcker and C Mitchell (eds), Restitution of Overpaid Tax (Hart Publishing 2013)
Id: 8284
B Häcker, 'Trees and Neighbours' in A Burrows, D Johnston and R Zimmermann (eds), Judge and Jurist – Essays in Memory of Lord Rodger of Earlsferry (Oxford University Press 2013)
Id: 8295
B Häcker, 'Direct and Indirect Enrichment at the Claimant’s Expense in Three-Party Cases' in C Mitchell and W Swadling (eds), The Restatement Third: Restitution and Unjust Enrichment – Critical and Comparative Essays (Hart Publishing 2013)
Id: 8294
S Elliott, B Häcker and C Mitchell, 'Introduction' in S Elliott, B Häcker and C Mitchell (eds), Restitution of Overpaid Tax (Hart Publishing 2013)
Id: 8292
B Häcker, 'Testamentsformen in England – unter besonderer Berücksichtigung ihrer historischen Entwicklung ' in M Schmoeckel and G Otte (eds), Europäische Testamentsformen (Nomos 2011)
Id: 8291
B Häcker, 'Causality and Abstraction in the Common Law' in E Bant and M Harding (eds), Exploring Private Law (Cambridge University Press 2010)
Id: 8290

Journal Article (12)

John Bowers, Ruth Dukes, and others and B Häcker, 'Sir Otto Kahn-Freund QC (1900–1979): A Retrospective' (2019) Zeitschrift für Europäisches Privatrecht 315
Id: 10683
B Häcker, 'Fog on the Channel? Six Comparative Lessons in Unjust(ified) Enrichment' (2017) Restitution Law Review 61
Id: 8640
B Häcker, 'Divergence and Convergence in the Common Law – Lessons from the Ius Commune' (2015) 131 Law Quarterly Review 424
Id: 8277
B Häcker, 'Das englische Common Law – Eine Einführung' (2014) Juristische Schulung 872
Id: 8301
B Häcker, 'Mistaken Gifts after Pitt v Holt’ ' (2014) 67 Current Legal Problems 333
Id: 8278
B Häcker, 'A Case Note on All Souls College v. Cod[d]rington (1720)' (2012) 76 Rabels Zeitschrift für ausländisches und internationales Privatrecht 1051
Id: 8279
B Häcker, 'Die geplante EU-Verordnung zur grenzüberschreitenden vorläufigen Kontopfändung – Eine kritische Analyse' (2012) Wertpapier-Mitteilungen 2180
Id: 8300
B Häcker, 'Das Trennungs- und Abstraktionsprinzip im englischen Recht – dargestellt anhand der Übereignung' (2011) Zeitschrift für Europäisches Privatrecht 335
Id: 8280
B Häcker, 'Proprietary Restitution after Impaired Consent Transfers: A Generalised Power Model' (2009) 68 Cambridge Law Journal 324
Id: 8281
B Häcker, 'Mistakes in the Execution of Documents: Recent Cases on Rectification and Related Doctrines' (2008) 19 King's Law Journal 293
Id: 8299
B Häcker, 'Rescission and Third Party Rights' (2006) Restitution Law Review 21
Id: 8298
B Häcker, 'Rescission of Contract and Revesting of Title: A Reply to Mr Swadling' (2006) Restitution Law Review 106
Id: 8297

Case Note (4)

B Häcker, 'Honour Runs in the Blood' (2017) 133 Law Quarterly Review 36 [Case Note]
Note on Re Baronetcy of Pringle of Stichill [2016] UKPC 16.
Id: 8288
B Häcker, 'Thy Will Be Done' (2014) Law Quarterly Review 360 [Case Note]
Note on Marley v Rawlings [2014] UKSC 2.
Id: 8287
B Häcker, 'The Effect of Rescission on Bona Fide Purchase' (2012) 128 Law Quarterly Review 493 [Case Note]
Note on Independent Trustee Services Ltd v GP Noble Trustees Ltd [2012] EWCA Civ 195.
Id: 8286
B Häcker, 'Still at the Crossroads' (2007) 123 Law Quarterly Review 177 [Case Note]
Note on Deutsche Morgan Grenfell Group plc v HMRC [2006] UKHL 49.
Id: 8285

Book (1)

B Häcker, Consequences of Impaired Consent Transfers: A Structural Comparison of English and German Law (Mohr Siebeck 2009)
Republished 2013 (Hart Publishing). Reviewed by: David Fox in (2011) 127 Law Quarterly Review 477–479; Susan Barkehall Thomas in (2011) 5 Journal of Equity 72–75; John MacLeod in [2012] European Review of Private Law 881–882; Gerhard Dannemann in [2014] Zeitschrift für Europäisches Privatrecht 455–457; Julien Dubarry in [2016] Revue trimestrielle de droit civil 716–719.
Id: 8276

Centres

Research Interests

Comparative law, English and German private law (esp. contract, tort, unjust enrichment, property and trusts, succession law), legal history

Options taught

Comparative Private Law, Comparative Contract Law in Europe

Events organised by Birke Häcker

Past events

04 Dec 2020

Friday - 11:00AM

On Reasons Difficult to Fathom: Hotchpot Rule in Intestate Succession

IECL Lunchtime Seminar Series

Speaker

Christoph Schoppe

Speaker Affiliation

Max Planck Institute Hamburg

Venue

Live Online Seminar (Teams)

27 Nov 2020

Friday - 11:00AM

Historical common grounds vs ideological divergence of expert evidence in English and French law

IECL Lunchtime Seminar Series

Speaker

Nolwenn Simon

Speaker Affiliation

University of Paris 2

Venue

Online event via MS Teams

20 Nov 2020

Friday - 11:00AM

EU Competition Law and the European Green Deal

IECL Lunchtime Seminar Series

Speaker

Dr Marios Iacovides

Speaker Affiliation

Universities of Stockholm and Oxford

Venue

Online - Microsoft Teams

06 Nov 2020

Friday - 11:00AM

Comparative Perspectives on Laesio Enormis: The Story of an Evolution

IECL Lunchtime Seminar Series

Speaker

Dr Gizem Alper

Speaker Affiliation

Bilkent University

Venue

Live Online Seminar (Teams)

23 Oct 2020

Friday - 11:00AM

Contemporary Issues in Energy Projects which are Implemented with the Private Sector Participation

IECL Lunchtime Seminar Series

Speaker

Dr Bahar Bayazit

Speaker Affiliation

Bilkent University

Venue

Online event via MS Teams

12 Mar 2020

Thursday - 12:30PM

Unilateralism vs. Judicial Interventionism in French Contract Law

IECL Lunchtime Seminar Series

Speaker

Professor Yves-Marie Laithier

Speaker Affiliation

University of Paris 1 - Pantheon Sorbonne

Venue

Clifford Chance Seminar Room

10 Mar 2020

Tuesday - 12:30PM

Beyond Unity

IECL Lunchtime Seminar Series

Speaker

Professor Jörg Terhechte

Speaker Affiliation

Leuphana University

Venue

Clifford Chance Seminar Room

03 Mar 2020

Tuesday - 12:30PM

The privatisation of public spaces in France, the UK, the US and Germany

IECL Lunchtime Seminar Series

Speaker

Professor Thomas Perroud

Speaker Affiliation

University of Paris 2

Venue

Clifford Chance Seminar Room

27 Feb 2020

Thursday - 12:30PM

Cold War, an Obstinate Professor, and a Monarchist Plot: the Untold Story of Costa v ENEL

IECL Lunchtime Seminar Series

Speaker

Dr Amedeo Arena

Speaker Affiliation

University of Naples "Federico II"

Venue

Clifford Chance Seminar Room

25 Feb 2020

Tuesday - 12:30PM

Detrimental Effects of Contracts on Third Parties

IECL Lunchtime Seminar Series

Speaker

Professor Sebastian Martens

Speaker Affiliation

University of Passau

Venue

Clifford Chance Seminar Room

Research projects