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.

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 offers various classes introducing Civil Lawyers to the Common Law tradition.  

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 Academic Member of the Chancery Bar Association, and a Visiting Professor at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne


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  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • B Häcker, 'Fog on the Channel? Six Comparative Lessons in Unjust(ified) Enrichment' (2017) Restitution Law Review 61
  • 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.
  • 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)
  • 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 .
  • B Häcker, 'Minority and Unjust Enrichment Defences' in A Dyson, J Goudkamp and F Wilmot-Smith (eds), Defences in Unjust Enrichment (Hart Publishing 2016)
  • 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)
  • B Häcker, 'Divergence and Convergence in the Common Law – Lessons from the Ius Commune' (2015) 131 Law Quarterly Review 424
  • B Häcker, 'Das englische Common Law – Eine Einführung' (2014) Juristische Schulung 872
  • B Häcker, 'Mistaken Gifts after Pitt v Holt’ ' (2014) 67 Current Legal Problems 333
  • B Häcker, 'Thy Will Be Done' (2014) Law Quarterly Review 360 [Case Note]
    Note on Marley v Rawlings [2014] UKSC 2.
  • 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)
  • S Elliott, B Häcker and C Mitchell, 'Introduction' in S Elliott, B Häcker and C Mitchell (eds), Restitution of Overpaid Tax (Hart Publishing 2013)
  • 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)
  • 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.
  • 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)
  • B Häcker, 'A Case Note on All Souls College v. Cod[d]rington (1720)' (2012) 76 Rabels Zeitschrift für ausländisches und internationales Privatrecht 1051
  • B Häcker, 'Die geplante EU-Verordnung zur grenzüberschreitenden vorläufigen Kontopfändung – Eine kritische Analyse' (2012) Wertpapier-Mitteilungen 2180
  • 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.
  • B Häcker, 'Das Trennungs- und Abstraktionsprinzip im englischen Recht – dargestellt anhand der Übereignung' (2011) Zeitschrift für Europäisches Privatrecht 335
  • B Häcker, 'Testamentsformen in England – unter besonderer Berücksichtigung ihrer historischen Entwicklung ' in M Schmoeckel and G Otte (eds), Europäische Testamentsformen (Nomos 2011)
  • B Häcker, 'Causality and Abstraction in the Common Law' in E Bant and M Harding (eds), Exploring Private Law (Cambridge University Press 2010)
  • 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.
  • B Häcker, 'Proprietary Restitution after Impaired Consent Transfers: A Generalised Power Model' (2009) 68 Cambridge Law Journal 324
  • B Häcker, 'Mistakes in the Execution of Documents: Recent Cases on Rectification and Related Doctrines' (2008) 19 King's Law Journal 293
  • 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.
  • B Häcker, 'Rescission and Third Party Rights' (2006) Restitution Law Review 21
  • B Häcker, 'Rescission of Contract and Revesting of Title: A Reply to Mr Swadling' (2006) Restitution Law Review 106


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

Research projects