Prof. Dr. Liane Wörner, LL.M. (UW-Madison)


Prof. Dr. Liane Wörner, LL.M. (UW-Madison),

holds the Chair of Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Comparative Criminal Law, Medical Criminal Law and Legal Theory (successor to Rudolf Rengier) at the University of Konstanz/Germany since January 2019.

After studying law from 1994-1998 at the University of Leipzig and completing her legal clerkship from 1999-2001 in Hesse, she completed a Master's degree as a Bucerius Law Scholar at the University of Wisconsin Law School in Madison/WI (USA) in 2001-2002. Since 2003 she worked as a research assistant, later (since 2010) as an academic postdoctoral researcher, at the Chair of Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure Law and Comparative Criminal Law of Walter Gropp at the Justus Liebig University of Giessen and was involved in many international projects. Already since 2003 she coordinated the exchange program of the Department of Law with the University of Wisconsin Law School, which at the same time opened up further lecture and research opportunities for her at the Law School in Madison/Wisconsin (2002, 2005, 2006, 2012, 2016). In 2009, she completed her doctorate on a criminal law dogmatic topic in general German criminal law, "Der fehlgeschlagene Versuch zwischen Tatplan und Rücktrittshorizont", Baden-Baden 2009.

From 2009 to 2014, together with Walter Gropp, she conducted an Alexander von Humboldt-funded research project on anchoring mechanisms in law against the background of the 2005 Turkish criminal law reforms with more than 45 participating scholars* and two project publications (2010 and 2014). In 2011, she received the award for special services to the internationalization of the Justus Liebig University. Since 2012 ‘Habilitandin’ at the department, the habilitation on a medical criminal law topic followed in 2017, "Widersprüche beim Lebensschutz", currently in preparation for publication at Mohr Siebeck (2022/23).

From 2010-2011, Liane Wörner was a Margarete Bieber Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Justus Liebig University, from 2011-2014 a member of the Research Network on the Role of Comparative Criminal Law in the Europeanization of Criminal Justice (DFG project), and from 2013-2015 a Robert Bosch Fast Track Fellow. After successfully completing her habilitation and holding interim-professorships in Frankfurt a.M. 2016, Göttingen 2017, Leipzig 2017/18, and Frankfurt O. 2018, she was appointed to the Chair of Criminal Law with Subsidiary Areas at the University of Konstanz in September 2018. Since 2017, she has also been actively involved in the Global Diplomacy Lab (GDL) on an interdisciplinary basis, in 2017 as 'editor', in 2018 as 'general rapporteur' and in 2019 as part of the 'curriculum group' in program development.

In 2020, she joined a research group at the University of Konstanz in the so-called potential area of data science during the pandemic and was elected director of the Center for HUMAN | DATA | SOCIETY on October 26, 2022, within the now newly designated research focus "Humans in the Data Society". In close cooperation with Krisztina Karsai (Szeged/Hungary) and Adem Sözüer (Istanbul/Turkey), she has been developing a teaching and research program on "Digitization and Criminal Law" in the EU-funded project DIGICRIMJUS since 2020, including studybooks, a dedicated lecture program and coordinated three-country seminars. With a working group at the Department of Law "Law and Digitalization (RuD)" she discusses intradisciplinary “The Digitalization of Law and in Law”.

Liane Wörner is currently the country rapporteur of Section II "Criminal Law Special Part in the Face of the Challenges of Digitization" of the Association Internationale De Droit Pénal and has been a member of the Scientific Committee of the international association since 2020. As a DFG network member of the working group Normentheorie, she organized a conference on the potentials of the theory of norms internationally in Constance in September 2022, and in a working group Security Law and Criminal Law she is currently working on the co-responsibility of researchers in the detection of security breaches. In 2022, she received appointments at the University of Greifswald (successor Christoph Sowada) and at the University of Marburg (successor Georg Freund).

In her research, Liane Wörner examines criminal law and criminal procedure from its European and international perspective and raises questions about the further development of dogmatics, comparative criminal law – here especially also methodologically –, the development of criminal constitutional law, and legal theory. Currently, Liane Wörner is deepening her research in three areas in particular: Together with British researchers, she is investigating conflict issues of mutual legal assistance in transnational criminal proceedings in federal structures. In the multidisciplinary Constance initiative "HUMAN | DATA | SOCIETY", she is investigating the effects of new responsibility structures in criminal law in the course of digitalization. In the area of the (re)regulation of the protection of life at its beginning, which is currently the subject of intense political debate in Germany, in particular through a possible decriminalization of abortion, she is working on regulatory concepts that are viable in terms of criminal law dogma. Together with her doctoral students, she has been developing the research and teaching area Gender and Criminal Law in Konstanz since 2020.

Liane Wörner is the mother of four children aged 21, 18, 14 and 7 and lives with her husband, Matthias Wörner, and their younger children in Constance on Lake Constance.

Curriculum vitae


  • 2012 - 2017: „Widersprüche beim strafrechtlichen Lebensschutz? – Überlegungen zu einem konsistenten strafrechtlichen Schutz des Lebens vorgeburtlich in vitro, vorgeburtlich in utero, bei Sterbehilfe und bei der Hilfe zur Selbsttötung“ (“Contradictions in the criminal protection of life? – Thoughts on a consistent criminal protection of prenatal life in vitro, prenatal life in utero, of life in the context of euthanasia and assisted suicide”)
  • 06/2017: Grant of venia (teaching licence) for criminal law and criminal procedure, comparative criminal law, European and international criminal law, medical criminal law and legal theory


  •  05/2009: „Der fehlgeschlagene Versuch zwischen Tatplan und Rücktrittshorizont“ (“The failed attempt amongst criminal plan and abandonment”) (summa cum laude), awarded with the dissertation prize of the Legal Study Society of Justus-Liebig-University Gießen

Career development

  • Since 11/2019: Equal opportunities officer of the University of Constance’s department III
  • Since 1/2019: Nomination as university professor for life at the University of Constance, ever since chairholder of the chair of Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Comparative Criminal Law, Medical Criminal Law and Legal Theory
  • Winter semester 2018: Substitution of the chair of Criminal Law and Auxiliary Fields (Prof. Dr. Rudolf Rengier) at the University of Constance
  • Spring semester 2018: Substitution of the chair of Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure and Legal Informatics (previously Prof. Dr. Gerhard Wolf) at the Europe University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder)
  • Since 2017: Member of the Global Diplomacy Lab (GDL) - – supported by Germany’s Federal Foreign Office, the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt, the global command and staff college of the GIZ, the Robert Bosch Foundation and the Mercator Foundation
  • Winter semester 2017: Substitution of the chair of Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure and Media Criminal Law (N.N.) at the University of Leipzig
  • Spring semester 2017: Substitution of the chair of Criminal Law and Criminology (Prof. Dr. Katrin Höffler) at the Georg-August-University Göttingen
  • Spring semester 2016: Substitution of the professorship of Legal Theory, Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure (Prof. Dr. Klaus Günther) at the Goethe University Frankfurt a.M.
  • 2010-2016: Temporary Academic Council at the chair of Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure and Comparative Criminal Law of Prof. Dr. Walter Gropp (JLU Gießen)
  • 2013-2015: Robert Bosch Fast Track Scholar
  • 2010/2011: Margarete-Bieber-Postdoctoral-Scholar of JLU Gießen
  • 2002-2010: Doctoral student and research assistant at the chair of Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure and Comparative Criminal Law of Prof. Dr. Walter Gropp (JLU Gießen)

Awards and scholarships

  • 2013-2015: Robert Bosch Fast Track Scholarship
  • 2011: Award for special merits in the internationalization of JLU Gießen
  • 2010/2011: Margarete-Bieber-Postdoctoral-Scholarship of JLU Gießen
  • 2009: Doctorate award of the Legal Study Society Gießen e.V.
  • 2001/2002: Gerd-and-Ebelin-Bucerius ZEIT Scholarship


  • Since 2019: Member of the AIDP Scientific Committee
  • Since 2019: Member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Professional Association of Compliance Managers (BCM):
  • Since 2017: GDL (Global Diplomacy Lab of Germany’s Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development in cooperation with the Foundations of BMW, Mercator and Bosch):
  • Since 2016: Work group for European Criminal Law
  • Since 2013: Robert Bosch Foundation (Scholarship 2013-2015, alumna since 2015)
  • Since 2010: German Association of University Professors and Lecturers
  • Since 2009: Association Internationale de Droit Pénal (AIDP), founding member of the German regional faction of the AIDP e.V.
  • Since 2009: Society for Comparative Law
  • Since 2005: Legal Study Society Gießen
  • Since 2002: Gießen-Wisconsin-Alumna
  • Since 2001: ZEIT Foundation Gerd-and-Ebelin-Bucerius (Scholarship 2001/02, Alumna since 2002)
  • Since 2001: German Academic Scholarship Foundation (Scholarship 2001/02, Alumna since 2002)