Professor Jean du Plessis received the Anneliese Maier Research Award

The Anneliese Maier Research Award, worth EUR250,000 over five years, was awarded to Professor Jean du Plessis of the Deakin Law School. The award is made to scholars from anywhere in the world involved in the humanitarian and social sciences.

The aim of the award is the internationalisation of humanitarian and social disciplines. Although the award was made by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation it is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

In 2013 only seven other scholars received the award from 54 nominations. Jean was nominated for the award by Professor Ingo Saenger, Director of the Institute of International Business Law, University of Muenster, Germany.

Over the next five years Jean will conduct collaborative research in six particular areas of corporate law and corporate governance to explore possibilities of the further internationalisation of the German law.

The six areas are:

  • legal actions against management board members and members of the supervisory board;
  • board diversity (with a focus on gender diversity);
  • the role of the primary corporate regulator in enforcing directors' duties;
  • the role of the primary corporate regulator in applying for banning orders to prevent “rogue directors” from serving on company boards;
  • improving business rescue legislation; and
  • codetermination (Mitbestimmung), which is a controversial part of the German law that requires up to 50% of German supervisory boards to consist of employees.

Jean intends to work closely with Australian, German and other international scholars and also intends to recruit students from Australia, Germany and other countries to participate in and contribute to the project over the next five years.

Prof Jean duPlessis

In addition, he plans to bring eminent scholars and practitioners together in Germany, Australia and other parts of the world for intense forum discussions to debate and deliberate the internationalisation of corporate law and corporate governance principles.

The first such forum will be held in Germany from 3-6 November 2013 in Muenster, while he plans to hold the second one in November 2014 in Melbourne.

This award is significant for the Law School and Deakin University because it falls within the main commercial law focus of the Deakin Law School and one of Deakin University's important strategic aims, namely internationalisation.

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