Springe direkt zu Inhalt

Prof. Dr. Bettina Rentsch, LL.M. (Michigan)


Assistant Professor for European Private Law, Conflict of Laws and Comparative Law


Boltzmannstraße 3
14195 Berlin
Michelle Piosik

Bettina Rentsch is an Assistant Professor for European Private Law, Private International Law and Comparative Law at Freie Universität Berlin's Department of Law. 

Her core areas of research are Private International and Comparative Law, ranging from International Family Law via Collective Redress to questions of International Company Law, International Sales of Goods and International Successions Law.

Bettina’s methodology is informed by the constant interplay of Private International Law and European Law. She focuses on regulatory tools and styles in the EU as received by domestic legal systems. She has also written and spoken on the potential of Private International Legal thought on social theory and philosophy. She is involved in comparative and interdisciplinary projects related to both topics.

Bettina's postdoctoral book project explores the Private Law of Social Spaces from a doctrinal, comparative and critical legal perspective. It consists of two pillars. A first, doctrinal and comparative pillar, identifies a private legal framework for complex real-world phenomena like house and stadium bans. The analysis focuses on the German property regime, yet employs comparative references to the approaches taken by neighbouring legal orders. A second pillar of the project accounts of the marginalizing potential of property in communities, drawing from accounts by critical geography and spatial social theories. Both approaches - the doctrinal and critical one - in their own right give reason to challenge the legitimacy of private property as a ground for private ordering in social spaces and call for a socially sensitive model of consent in German Property Law.

Bettina holds a First State Exam in Law from the University of Freiburg and the State of Baden-Württemberg (high honours '13), a Doctoral Degree in Law from the University of Heidelberg (s.c.l., '16), a Master of Laws from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (LL.M., m.c.l. equivalent, '16) and Bar Exam equivalent from the Higher Regional Court of Berlin ('19). Bettina's doctoral thesis (Der gewöhnliche Aufenthalt im System des Europäischen Kollisionsrechts, published in 2017) has received the Rolf and Lucia Serick Award '16, acknowledging the best doctoral thesis in Private International Law, and the Ruprecht Karls award '18 for the best doctoral thesis accomplished at the University of Heidelberg in that academic year. After passing the Bar, Bettina practised in the German law firm Hengeler Mueller's Berlin office with a focus on Dispute Resolution and Corporate Law. In 2020, she returned to the University of Heidelberg for a Postdoctoral Degree (Habilitation), before being appointed to a tenure track assistant professorship at Freie Universität Berlin in early 2022. She has been an Academic Visitor at the University of Oxford's Harris Manchester College for Michaelmas Term, 2023.



  • Habitual Residence in the System of European Conflict of Laws, Studien zum ausländischen und internationalen Privatrecht Vol. 382, Mohr Siebeck 2017, 465 + XXXII pages
    • Reviews: RabelsZ 83 (2019), 880 - 886 (Dietmar Baetge); IPRax 2/2018; Conflict of Laws (November   2017) (Giesela Rühl)

Published Political Statements and Advisory Opinions:


  • Deference to the Foreign, co-edited with Florian Heindler, Martina Melcher et al., 2024
  • [in preparation] Self-Determination Act, Commentary, co-edited with Dana-Sophia Valentiner

Journal Articles (peer-reviewed articles and equivalent are marked in bold letters):

  • Memory Politics (“Erinnerungspolitik”) as a limit to Private Property, ZUM 2024, 9 - 18
  • Secularity as a Closed System - Religious Marriage before German Civil Courts, in: Rike Edith Sinder (eds.), Die Neuvermessung der Säkularität. Zum Selbstverständnis des Staates im Angesicht islamischen Rechts, 2023, 121 - 147, co-authored with Alessa Karlinski and Maren Vogel
  • Traditional and Critical Legal Theory, in: Kristina Peters/Nina Schrott (eds.), In Search of a Theory of the Science of Law, 2023, 58 - 84
  • Collective recognition of law or revision "light"? - Leading Decision Proceedings (“Leitentscheidungsverfahren”) at the Federal Court of Justice, ZRP 2023, 135 - 138
  • The "Good" Public Corporation, in: Christian Deckenbrock et al. (eds.), Arbeit - Wirtschaft - Recht, Festschrift für Martin Henssler, 2023, 1189 - 1200, co-authored with Marc-Philippe Weller
  • Doing Gender Equality in the Society of Singularities, in: Elisabeth Dux et al. (eds.), Frau.Macht.Recht, 2023, 221 - 237
  • Board Diversity as a Future Task in Corporate Governance, ZGR 2022, 107 - 143
  • Prima Facie Evidence, Factual Presumption and effet utile in follow-on antitrust litigation: Sham Imperatives from EU Law, GVRZ 2022, 4 (1 - 47)
  • Intersectional and Intertemporal Justice in Re-Naturalization, JZ 2021, 872 - 880, co-authored with Vanessa Grifo
  • Surrogacy as Damages - Babies beyond the Law, ZEuP 2021, 712 - 730co-authored with Lisa-Sophie Wollschläger
  • Cross-border Collective Redress in the European Union - No New Deal for Consumers, RabelsZ 85 (2021), 544 - 578
  • Collective Redress under the EU Directive on representative actions - forum shopping under Brussels Ia?, EuZW 2021, 524 - 533
  • Forum Shopping against Digital Unfairness - Upsides and Downsides of the Representative Action Directive, in Reinhard Singer et al. (eds.), Consumer Protection in a Digitalized World, 2021, 134 - 150, co-authored with Jonas Müter
  • Speciality, immunity and the effect of the EU Insolvency Regulation - Comment on CJEU, C-716/17 - A and C-47/18 - Riel, GPR 2020, 294 - 300, co-authored with Marc Manow
  • The cross-border enforcement of provisional measures - lex fori as a default, comment on ECJ, judgment of October 4, 2018, Societá Immobiliare al Bosco - Case C-379/17 IPRax 2020, 337 - 342
  • The United Kingdom as a "third country" under the Rome I Regulation - On the future of choice of law and the dangers of the "internal market clause" after Brexit, EuZW 2017, 981 - 988
  • The centre of main interests in personal insolvency - determination of residence and abuse of jurisdiction in the EU Insolvency Regulation, GPR 2017, 147 - 153
  • Precedent versus preservation of power - a critical reconstruction of ECJ case law on habitual residence, in: Caspar Behme/Matthias Fervers/Franz Hofmann/Lena Maute et al. (eds.), Perspektiven einer europäischen Zivilrechtswissenschaft - Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft Junger Zivilrechtswissenschaftler, 2017, 273 -302
  • Recognition of judgments in international custody law: Levels of regulation of the EU Marriage Regulation against levels of evaluation of public policy - Comment on ECJ, judgment of 19.11.2015, P./.Q - Case C-455/15 PPU, IPRax 2017, 262 -267, co-authored withMarc-Philippe Weller
  • Same-sex is not the same as same-sex – a critical review of BGH XII ZB 15/15, Myops 18/2016, 41 - 49
  • Hans Kelsen's Psychoanalytic Heritage - an Ehrenzweigian Reconstruction, in: Jeremy Telman (eds.): Hans Kelsen in America: The Anxieties of Non-Influence, Part IV, Chapter 11, Springer 2016
  • Habitual Residence" in a Rome 0-Regulation - A Plea for Settled Intention, in: Stefan Leible et al (eds.), General Principles of European Private International Law, 2016, 171 - 188, co-authored withMarc-Philippe Weller
  • US Constitution and Zeitgeist - Comment on the judgment of the US Supreme Court in Obergefell et al. v. Hodges, Director, Ohio, Department of Health et al. of June 26, 2015, NZFam 2015, 995 - 998
  • Place and residence connection in international tort law - Art. 4(3) Rome II Regulation in the event of a subsequent change of residence of the injured party - High Court of Justice [2014] EWHC 3164 (QB) of 6 October 2014, Winrow v Hemphill and Ageas Insurance Ltd, GPR 2015, 191 - 198
  • Compensation for pain and suffering after airplane accidents, NJW 2015, 1909 - 1914, co-authored with Marc-Philippe Weller and Chris Thomale
  • The international scope of application of the gender quota for large companies, ZGR 2015, 361 - 395, co-authored with Charlotte Harms, Chris Thomale, Marc-Philippe Weller
  • The future of the European personal status in habitual residence, ZEuP 2015, 288 - 311
  • Crisis management through conflict of laws - intervention norms as an integral part of European private international law, in: Jonathan Bauerschmidt/Bardo Fassbender et al. (eds.), Constitutionalization in times of global crises, Nomos, 2015, 255 - 300
  • The doctrine of combination in cross-border changes of legal form - New impulses from European law, IPRax 2013, 530 - 536, co-authored withMarc-Philippe Weller
  • Constitutionalization through general legal principles of international law?, in: Bardo Fassbender/Angelika Siehr (eds.): Suprastaatliche Konstitutionalisierung - Perspektiven auf die Legitimität, Kohärenz und Effektivität des Völkerrechts, Nomos, 2012, 101 - 136


  • [in preparation] Artt. 1-18 , 89-101 CISG, in Stefan Grundmann (eds.), Staub's Kommentar zum Allgemeinen Deutschen Handelsgesetzbuch, Vol. 10 
  • [in preparation] Artt. 4, 21 EuErbVO, in Thomas Raff (eds.), J. von Staudingers Kommentar zum Bürgerlichen Gesetzbuch mit Einführungsgesetz und Nebengesetzen
  • Rome III-VO, Art. 17 (with annex.), 17a, 46e EGBGB and Art. 229 § 28 EGBGB, in: Franz-Jürgen Säcker, Roland Rixecker, Hartmut Oetker, Bettina Limpberg (eds.), Münchener Kommentar zum Bürgerlichen Gesetzbuch, Vol. 12 and 13 (from the 9th edition 2023)
  • Art. 13 EGBGB, in: Christine Budzikiewicz/Marc-Philippe Weller/Wolfgang Wurmnest (eds.), Beck'scher Online Großkommentar zum Internationalen Privatrecht, Munich 2015, 10th ed. 01.08.2022


  • Civil law Case Study, "Tschick", JURA 2023, 1442-1450, co-authored with Frederik Jaeger
  • Civil Law Case Study n, "Marriage and Espresso", ZJS 2023, 524 - 541, co-authored with Frederik Jaeger
  • Civil law Case Study, "Zu früh gefreut", JuS 2018, 791-798, co-authored withConstantin Hartmann
  • Civil law Case Study, "The house by the lake", JURA 2014, 833-841

Book Reviews:

  • Commemorative publication 40 years of the Austrian IPRG. Edited by Florian Heindler, RabelsZ 86 (2022), 687 - 693
  • Maximilian Lotz, Cross-border exercise of influence in the group. Group management, control, liability. On the basis of German, French and US law, RabelsZ 86 (2022) 545 - 549
  • Michael Kränzle, "Heimat as a legal concept?", 2014, JZ 2016, 253

 Conference and Discussion Reports:

  • Discussion report on the presentation by Marc-Philippe Weller, ZGR 2022, 602 - 606
  • Discussion report on the presentation by Gunther Teubner, AcP 218 (2018), 206 - 212
  • Die Europäischen Güterrechtsverordnungen", Scientific Symposium of the German Notarial Institute on 10.2.2017 in Würzburg, ZEuP 2017, 1003 - 1007
  • Conference "Coherence in IPR and ICLR of the European Union", Freiburg, JZ 2015, 885 - 887
  • ERA Annual Conference on International Family Law, ZEuP 2015, 436 - 439

Small Contributions:

  • Comment on ECJ, judgment of 28.4.2022 - C-319/20 - Meta Platforms Ireland Limited, formerly Facebook Ireland Limited/Bundesverband der Verbraucherzentralen und Verbraucherverbände - Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband eV, EuZW 2022, 522 (co-authored withMaren Vogel)
  • Comment on ECJ, judgment of 18.7.2020, C-80/19 - E./.E, LMK 2021, 437104
  • Jurisdiction for actions for damages in connection with the sinking of the ferry Al Salam Boccaccio`98, EuZW 2020, 898 (co-authored withLisa-Sophie Wollschläger)
  • BGH, IV ZB 20+21/18, LMK 2019, 417109 
  • OLG Hamburg: Lack of language skills as a reason for co-guardianship, NZFam 2017, 1161
  • ECJ, Case C-111/17 PPU - OL ./. PQ, FamRZ 2017, 1506 -1511
  • OLG Munich, 22.3.2017: Local jurisdiction and negative conflict of jurisdiction in probate proceedings, ZEV 2017, 333
  • BGH, 20.7.2016: Determination of the name in a same-sex marriage concluded abroad, NZFam 2016, 1031-1033
  • Determination of jurisdiction in cases of legal kidnapping abroad, NZFam 2016, 576
  • Time limit and justification in HKÜ proceedings, NZFam 2016, 83
  • No perpetuatio fori in custody proceedings if the child moves to a third country, NZFam 2015, 474

Blogposts and Editorials:

  • Deregulating Legal Gender in the Shadow of Social Ascription, VerfBlog 23/11/22
  • Board Diversity: Business Case or Public Policy?, Oxford Business Law Blog, 13.6.2023 (co-authored withStefan Trautmann)
  • #nodoption - Berlin or Karlsruhe?, NJW aktuell, issue 16/2021 from 15.4.2021
  • Gesellschaftspolitik durch Gesellschaftsrecht, Research Magazine of Heidelberg University, issue "Spalten und Verbinden", July 2021, co-authored with Marc-Philippe Weller