Matthias C. Kettemann
Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr., LL.M. (Harvard)

Head of Department
Professor of Innovation, Theory and Philosophy of Law

   University of Innsbruck, Innrain 15, 6020 Innsbruck
  Open office hours: Thursday 10 am - 12 pm
 +43 512 507 81605

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Univ.-Prof. Dr. Matthias C. Kettemann, LL.M. (Harvard) is University Professor for Innovation, Theory and Philosophy of Law at the Institute for Theory and Future of Law. After studying law in Graz, Geneva and as a Fulbright and Boas scholar at Harvard, he completed his doctorate with a thesis on the legal status of the individual in international law with Prof. Benedek in Graz. In 2014, he was called to the Cluster of Excellence "The Formation of Normative Orders" at the Goethe University Frankfurt as a postdoctoral fellow, where he habilitated with Prof. Kadelbach and Prof. Vesting at the Institute of Public Law of the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main with a thesis on the normative order of the internet and received the authorisation to teach international law, internet law and legal theory. In the winter semester 2019/2020, he held the Chair of Public Law, International Law and Human Rights and the Hengstberger Professorship for Basic and Future Issues of the Rule of Law at the Institute for Constitutional Law, Constitutional Theory and Philosophy of Law at the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, and from the summer semester 2020 to the summer semester 2021, he held the Chair of International Law at the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität in Jena.

In addition to his professorship, Prof. Kettemann is research programme leader of the research programme "Regulatory Structures and Rule Formation in Digital Communication Spaces" and senior researcher at the Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans Bredow Institute, Hamburg; research group leader "Global Constitutionalism and the Internet" and head of the research project "International Law of the Net" at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, Berlin; Head of Section, "International Law and the Internet" at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law; and Member of the Board and Research Group Leader "Platform and Content Governance" at the Sustainable Computing Lab, Vienna University of Economics and Business.

Prof. Kettemann is also an associated researcher at the Hamburg branch of the Research Institute for Social Cohesion, an associated researcher and convener of the Frankfurt Internet Colloquium at the research network "The Formation of Normative Orders" at the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main and an external associated member of the research network "Human Factor in Digital Transformation" (HFDT) at the Karl Franzens University Graz.


Consulting and expert activities

  • Consultant/expert for various foundations, DAX companies and ministries, among others
  • Reviewer for the doctoral funding of the German National Academic Foundation and the Polish and Czech national funding funds
  • Rapporteur for OSCE and Council of Europe working and expert groups on Artificial Intelligence and Platform Governance
  • Expert for UN ECLAC, OSCE, African Union Commission, EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRANET)
  • Expert in the Bundestag (Committee on Legal Affairs and Consumer Protection, Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid and Committee on the Digital Agenda)

Research interests

  • National, European and international internet law
  • Regulatory aspects of the governance of complex processes, especially with regard to digitalisation and artificial intelligence
  • Multinormativity, especially platform law and state regulation of private spaces
  • International law of the internet and internet governance
  • Innovation law, technology and standards impact assessment and future justice
  • Legal theory and legal philosophy, especially legal theory of the internet
  • Media (law), media change and changes in media order(s)

Extramural functions (a selection)

  • Managing Editor of the Mohr/Siebeck series "Internet und Gesellschaft" (Internet and Society)
  • Member of the Editorial Board, The Defence Horizon Journal (2020-), M&K (Media and Communication Studies), jusIT - Zeitschrift für Informationsrecht (2014-)
  • Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the European Yearbook on Human Rights
  • Reviewer for Cambridge University Press, Hart International Publishing, SUNY Press, Rowan & Littlefield
  • Reviewer for Media and Communication, Political Communication, Australian Journal of Human Rights, Computer Law & Security Review: International Journal of Technology Law and Practice; International Law Blog. International Law and International Legal Thought, juridikum. journal for criticism | law | society, Policy & Internet, First Monday. Peer-Reviewed Journal on the Internet
  • Member, International Law Association (ILA), ILA Committee on submarine cables and pipelines under international law
  • Speaker, JF:TEC - Young Forum for Technical Sciences
  • Working Group Leader and Member of the Management Committee, COST Action "Global Digital Human Rights Network"
  • Consultant, Instituto LGPD - Legal Grounds for Privacy Design, São Paulo
  • Founding member of the Advisory Board, "disrUpt. Student Initiative for Legal Tech", Heidelberg
  • Member of the Academic Board of the ELSA International Legal Research Group
  • Austrian Computer Society and Vienna Centre for Legal Informatics - Co-Chair of the ICANN At-Large Structure Working Group

Third-party funding (a selection)

  • COST - European Cooperation in Science and Technology, EU-Canada Research Partnership
  • FWF - Austrian Science Fund, OeNB Jubilee Fund, Spanish National Fund
  • Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, Federal Foreign Office
  • Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Development and Peace Foundation, Naumann Foundation for Freedom, (Luminate), Volkswagen Foundation, Mercator Foundation, German Informatics Society
  • Council of Europe, German Commission for UNESCO,
  • Google, Merck KGaA, Deutsche Telekom


A complete list of publications with full texts can be found here.



A complete list of lectures can be found here.


Prof. Kettemann has been offering courses in internet law, innovation law, international law, European law, legal theory and legal philosophy since 2008. He teaches in German, English and French and has gained teaching experience in Graz, Frankfurt/Main, Heidelberg and Jena.

You can find an overview of current courses here.

Prof. Kettemann's teaching concept can be found here.

Qualification theses

Prof. Kettemann supervises bachelor theses, diploma theses, dissertations and post-doctoral theses related to internet law, innovation law, international law, legal theory and legal philosophy.

Are you writing your diploma thesis soon? Register for our course: AG Rechtswissenschaftliches Arbeiten: Current topics in digital and innovation law and legal theory. This course is the perfect preparation for writing your thesis! In this course we deal with the basics of (legal) scientific work: research, citation, tips on finding a topic, outline, structure of (diploma) theses. 

How to reach us

You can reach Prof. Kettemann at and at the Institute for Theory and Future of Law, Innrain 15. On Thursdays there is an online consultation hour from 10 am to 12 pm. Please register and briefly describe your concern. 

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