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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.

Selected Publications


Der gewöhnliche Aufenthalt im System des Europäischen Kollisionsrechts, Studien zum ausländischen und internationalen Privatrecht Band 382, Mohr Siebeck 2017, 465 + XXXII Seiten; Review in RabelsZ 83 (2019), 880–886 (Dietmar Baetge), IPRax 2/2018, Conflict of Laws (November 2017) (Giesela Rühl)

Reports and Studies

Study to support the preparation of a report on the application of Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (Brussels Ia Regulation) - Publications Office of the EU (europa.eu) (co-authored with Maren Vogel)


Board Diversity: Business Case or Public Policy?, Oxford Business Law Blog, 13.6.2023 (co-authored with Stefan Trautmann) 

Selected contributions in Journals, Handbooks and Essay Collections

  • Board Diversity als Zukunftsaufgabe der Corporate Governance, ZGR 2022, 107 – 143
  • Grenzüberschreitender kollektiver Rechtsschutz in der Europäischen Union – No New Deal for Consumers, RabelsZ 85 (2021), 544 – 578
  • Forum Shopping against Digital Unfairness – Upsides and Downsides of the Representative Action Directive, in Reinhard Singer u.a. (Hrsg.), Consumer Protection in a Digitalized World, 2021, 134 – 150, co-authored with Jonas Müter
  • Hans Kelsen’s Psychoanalytic Heritage – an Ehrenzweigian Reconstruction, in: Jeremy Telman (Hrsg.): 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 (Hrsg.), General Principles of European Private International Law, 2016, 171 – 188, co-authored with Marc-Philippe Weller
  • US-Verfassung und Zeitgeist - Anmerkung zum Urteil des US-Supreme Court in der Rechtssache Obergefell et al. v. Hodges, Director, Ohio, Department of Health et al. vom 26.6.2015, NZFam 2015, 995 – 998
  • Die Zukunft des Europäischen Personalstatuts im gewöhnlichen Aufenthalt, ZEuP 2015, 288 – 311