Research Programme 2013-2016
Hugo Sinzheimer Institute
Repositioning Labour Law
The relative autonomy of labour law, based on regulation at state level and legitimised by its role in compensating for the unequal position of dependent workers, has been based on suppositions that nowadays have all to some extent been challenged. The guiding question is whether, how and to what extent labour law and its central tenets ought to be revised or re(de)fined, in light of these developments.
The aim of the research programme is to contribute critically to a repositioning of ‘labour law’ in a world in which other levels (European, international) and other domains (competition, company law) of regulation, and other methods than regulation by the state (market, selfregulation) tend to have an increasing impact on labour relations, even to the extent that a reassessment and reconceptualisation of the goals and basic tenets of labour law and thus a reassessment of its identity may be required.
Research will analyse the impact of new labour market policies, of internationalisation and of developments in other fields of law on the ‘legal order of labour’. The novelty of this research programme is that it will not only critically evaluate the results of these developments in terms of labour law’s declared tenets of guaranteeing autonomy, structuring labour relations and of protecting workers, but also vice versa use them to work towards a refinement, reformulation, or revision of these tenets themselves.