This publication is part of the International Max Planck Information System for Comparative Criminal Law, a project at the heart of the Institute's comparative legal research. One of its primary objectives is to develop a universal meta-structure of criminal law that can serve as the basis for the organization of material, enable systematic comparisons, and further the development of an international criminal law doctrine. This meta-structure is also a prerequisite for analyzing the various approaches taken around the world to shared criminal law-related problems, identifying general legal principles, and drafting international model codes. A second goal of the project is to provide access to data from the participating legal systems in the form of country reports organized on the basis of the aforementioned universal meta-structure.
Towards these ends, a pilot project was carried out to analyze, structure, and present the general part of the criminal law in twelve legal systems. The results were published in five volumes from 2008 to 2010 (in German). In the meantime, the number of legal systems included in the study has grown considerably – with contributions from researchers at the Max Planck Institute as well as from external research partners. This volume in English contains fruits of this expansion (Japan) as well as translated, revised reports from the pilot project (China, Poland, and Turkey).