Prof. Dr. Elisa Marie Hoven

Prof. Dr. Elisa Marie Hoven


Deutsches und ausländisches Strafrecht, Strafprozessrecht, Wirtschafts- und Medienstrafrecht
Burgstraße 21, Room 1.11
04109 Leipzig

Phone: +49 341 97-35291
Fax: 31135298


Elisa Hoven is Professor of German and Foreign Criminal Law, Criminal Procedural Law, Economic Criminal Law and Media Criminal Law at Leipzig University. She studied law at the Free University of Berlin, Nijmegen University and Cambridge University and has held visiting scholarships at the Universities of Berkeley, Cambridge, Phnom Penh, Harvard, Basel, Los Angeles and Sydney. She completed her legal traineeship in Berlin and at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.  For her habilitation thesis on foreign bribery she received the habilitation prize of Erlangen-Nuremberg University. Her doctorate in the field of international criminal law was awarded the dissertation prize of the Free University of Berlin. She is currently carrying out third-funded projects on “Hate Speech on the Internet“ as well as on the reform of the sentencing law. In June 2020 Elisa Hoven was elected judge at the Saxon Constitutional Court.

Professional career

  • since 09/2018
    Professorship of German and Foreign Criminal Law, Criminal Procedural Law, Economic Criminal Law and Media Criminal Law, Leipzig University
  • 10/2019 - 02/2020
    Visiting professorship, Sydney University, Australia
  • 07/2016 - 10/2016
    Visiting scholarship, UCLA School of Law, USA
  • 10/2015 - 09/2017
    Junior professorship of Criminal Law and Criminal Procedural Law, University of Cologne
  • 04/2014 - 09/2015
    Funding of the academic assistance at the University of Cologne by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
  • 07/2013 - 03/2014
    Academic assistance, Institute for International Peace and Security Law, University of Cologne (Prof. Dr. Claus Kreß)
  • 06/2013 - 07/2013
    Visiting scholarship, University of Basel, Switzerland
  • 01/2013 - 05/2013
    Visiting scholarship, Harvard University, USA
  • 06/2012 - 12/2012
    Visiting scholarship, Pannasastra University of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  • 11/2009 - 04/2010
    Visiting scholarship at War Crimes Studies Center, University of California, Berkeley, USA
  • 06/2009 - 11/2009
    Legal Assistant at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), Civil Parties, Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Production of the short film "The Khmer-Rouge-Tribunal. Cambodia's Search for Justice", funded by the Free University of Berlin
  • 08/2008 - 11/2008
    Visiting scholarship, Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge, Great Britain


  • 05/2010 - 05/2012
    Legal traineeship at the Berlin Appellate Court, the "Auswärtiges Amt" (department of international law with focus on international criminal law) and at the International Criminal Court, The Hague
  • 10/2002 - 02/2008
    Studies of Law, Free University of Berlin; Graduate Award of the Free University of Berlin
  • 02/2006 - 08/2006
    Studies of Law, Radboud Universitaet Nijmegen, Netherlands

My research on substantive criminal law and criminal procedural law focuses on the following topics:

  • commercial criminal law, with a focus on corporate sanctions law 
  • media criminal law and digitalisation, with a focus on hate speech
  • sentencing: law and practice
  • sports criminal law, with a focus on anti-doping law
  • animal welfare criminal law

The chair is currently conducting two third-party funded projects.

“Just sentencing“

The project, funded by the German Research Foundation, aims to critically analyze the law and practice of sentencing in Germany and develop reform proposals. Within the framework of the project, procedural files and group discussions with judges are evaluated. The introduction of a database for sentencing decisions and the design of optional sentencing guidelines are being discussed.


“Hate Speech on the Internet“

Within the framework of the project, which is supported by the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, the various facets of hate speech are being examined from a criminological, media science, criminal law and criminal procedural perspective. The project takes an interdisciplinary approach as it is conducted in cooperation with colleagues from media studies, communication sciences and sociology. On the basis of empirical studies, proposals for effective criminal law measures to combat hate speech are developed.

It is my goal to give my students insights into the legal practice and my fields of research. This is why I organize the “Rechtspolitische Gespräche“ every semester, in which scholars and practitioners discuss current (criminal) legal issues with students.

I have also founded the “Legal Lab Hate Speech“ in which students of all semesters can participate. As part of the lab, students conduct their own research projects on the topic of Hate Speech and gain insight into legal and criminological research in this way.

In 2019 I created the nationwide Moot Court Criminal Law. Teams from ten faculties in Germany took part, the finals were held before judges of the fifth Criminal Senate of the Federal Court of Justice (BGH). The Moot Court will be continued by the faculty of the winning team and is supposed to develop into a permanent institution.

  • LEO

    Within the scope of the bar review of the university Professor Hoven is teaching the Special Part of german criminal law.

  • Media criminal law

    The lecture approaches different aspects of media criminal law. Phenomena such as 'Hate Speech' and 'Fake News' are covered as well as the role of media in criminal proceedings and its importance for the public perception of crime and justice.

  • Seminar on animal protection and environmental criminal law

    Violations regarding animal and environmental protection are very relevant in society and media, but are rarely discussed in penology. In the seminar students deal with current questions regarding animal protection criminal law or enivironmental criminal law.

  • Lecture on animal protection criminal law

    Through the lecture 'animal protection criminal law' students get an insight into the ethical basis and legal framework of animal husbandry, the conditions of criminal liability under the german animal protection law as well as the current research on law enforcement regarding violations in the sector of livestock farming.

  • Seminar on law governing sexual offences

    The law governing sexual offences is very important for the media and the public, but it is hardly taught at the universities. The participants of the seminar shall deal with current questions regarding the law governing sexual offences, such as the enhancement of penalities for child aussault, Upskirting or the model of "only yes means yes".

  • Legal Lab Hate Speech

    The Legal Lab scientifically approaches questions about online hate speech. Under the guidance of Professor Hoven the students closely research the phenomenon and learn how criminal law applies to it.

  • Moot Court 2020

    While the first nation-wide Moot Court in Criminal Law (MCS) took place in Leipzig, it will now be hosted by Cologne University. Key element of the MCS is the preparation of a concluding statement. The teams receive the facts of a case, which – amongst other subjects – focuses on digitalisation as well as commercial criminal law. As last year, the Moot Court will be held before a top-class jury of practitioners from the judiciary.