Honorary Professor Dr. Axel Adrian

Person and Career

  • 1969 born in Fürth
  • 1975 School enrolment in San Diego Cal./USA
  • 1989 Abitur at Hardenberg-Gymnasium in Fürth
  • 1989 – 1994 law studies at the FAU
  • 1994 – 1996 legal clerkship in Nürnberg and Ansbach
  • 1996 – 1997 lawyer in the central legal department of Siemens AG
  • 1997 – 2000 notary Assessor in Feuchtwangen and Fürth
  • 2000 – 2006 notary in Naila
  • Since 01.04.2006 notary in Nürnberg
  • Since 2019 honorary professor at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

Homepage of the notary’s office


Authorisation to teach

  • Legal theory and legal design


Academic Focus

  • Philosophy of science, theory of law, legal methodology, philosophy of law
  • Legal-Tech, in particular interdisciplinary questions of law and structural or computer science (logic, mathematics, computer science)
  • Constitutional law, electoral law, demography
  • civil law

Overview of the links to my YouTube videos

Legal Tech – buzzword or hype?

Legal Tech – Does the traditional legal system have to adapt? – Interview with Prof. Dr. Franz Hofmann

What is behind legal design? – Interview with attorney Baltasar Cevc

How does speech recognition work? – Interview with Prof. Dr. Elmar Nöth

What does corpus and computational linguistics cover? – Interview with Prof. Dr. Stefan Evert

What is automatic legal epistemology? – Interview with Mr. Christoph Merdes

How can legal argumentation be formalized at all – Interview with Prof. Dr. Michael Kohlhase

Legal Tech in the context of digital transformation – Interview with Dr. Bernd Flessner

Thought, Language and Meaning – Interview with Prof. Dr. Erasmus Mayr

Challenges of Artificial Intelligence and Law – Interview with Attorney Tom Brägelmann

Contract review tools of a legal department – Interview with Mr. Martin Kurtze, lawyer (Siemens AG)

How self-driving cars will learn and apply traffic and legal rules in the future – Interview with Mr. Felix Friedmann

Hour 1 – Lecture Content Overview and Introduction To Legal Tech

Hour 2 – Concrete legal tech applications of platforms and blockchain primer

Hour 3 – Introduction to the concept of Artificial Intelligence – basics of legal exam technology

Hour 5 – Scientific-theoretical and linguistic-philosophical challenges

Hour 6 – Intermediate results 1-5 hour and AI research projects at FAU on legal tech

Hour 7 – Ashley – State of the Art in US, What should legal-tech education include?, What is changing in the legal profession?

Hour 9 – Exemplary legal logic, First steps in Java, Trivial examination of § 985 BGB with Java

Hour 10 – Guest lecture by Martin Kurtze (Siemens AG) – Legal-Tech-Tools on their way into the daily work of the legal department

Hour 11 – Guest lecture by Hubertus Rost (Bavarian State Tax Office) – How SZS and DIANA hunt down tax evaders – Legal Technique in the Bavarian Tax Administration

Hour 12 – Guest lecture by Dr. Tobias Wagner (DATEV eG) – Legal-Tech between hype or added value – a market view through the DATEV glasses)

Hour 1 – Introduction: From legal methodology to argumentation theory

Hour 2 – Argumentation theory as philosophy of science 2.0

Hour 3 – Development of argumentation theory – from Aristotle to Wohlrapp

Hour 4 – Explanation and criticism of modern argumentation theory based on the concept of argument according to Wohlrapp and references to Legal-Tech

Hour 1 – Introduction to the topic and BVerfGEs January/April 2019 on the unconstitutional exclusions of the right to vote of persons under care according to § 1896 BGB and of offenders according to §§ 20, 63 StGB.

Hour 2 – Initial ignition 2019 for right to vote U-18, violation of rights of children and parents (Art. 3, 38, 6 GG)

Hour 3 – Election review appeals to the BVerfG against the European election of May 26, 2019

Hour 4 – Demography, demoscopy, social justice and voting rights

Hour 5 – Electoral law and psychology, philosophy and corpus linguistics (legal tech).





  • Postgraduate Ass. jur. Michael Keuchen
    Research Assistant

    E-Learning Coordinator for the Law Department
    QuiS II TP08 „Digitalisierung der Lehre“
    Service unit „Lehre und Studienberatung“
    Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg
    –  Department of Law –
    Schillerstraße 1, 91054 Erlangen, room 0.223
    Phone: +49 (0) 9131/85-26360
    Fax: +49 (0) 9131/85-22849
    Email: michael.keuchen@fau.de
  • Research assistant Student Lukas Ehrlich
    Phone: +49 (0) 163/6392090

    Email: lukasehrlich@gmx.de
  • Research assistant Student Milan Stoiljković
    Email: milan.stoiljkovic@fau.de


Previous teaching activities

  • Propaedeutic exercises in civil law.
  • Proseminars on the technique of examination processing, legal methodology, scientific theory and computer science (legal tech, legal theory and legal practice).
  • Seminar on the subject: Will the judge’s machine judge soon? Interdisciplinary perspectives on „Legal-Tech“ with Mr. Cevc, Prof. Evert, FAU, Dr. Flessner, Prof. Hofmann, Prof. Kohlhase, FAU, Prof. Mayr, Dr. Merdes and Prof. Nöth, FAU.
  • Lectures on corporate law
    (with simulated authentication procedures).
  • Lectures on legal tech and on issues of artificial intelligence and legal decision making, as well as on how legal tech will change the way we work.
    (with various guest speakers from Siemens, IBM, DATEV, Landesamt für Steuern, Autonomous Intelligent Driving, dem Höchstleistungsrechenzentrum Stuttgart und aus der Anwaltschaft, etc.).


Research projects/interests

  • Anonymization and pseudonymization of court decisions (with Prof. Evert, FAU)
  • Examination of contract clauses on BGH corpus (with Prof. Evert, FAU)
  • Digitisation of criminal prosecution of shoplifters (Prof. Kudlich, Prof. Noeth, both FAU)
  • Argumentation Mining for legal reasons (Prof. Kohlhase, FAU)
  • Ontologies and Legal Reasoning (with Dr. Cheptsov, HLRS -High Performance Computing Center Stuttgart- und Schönhof, IZS -Frauenhofer Institut Stuttgart)
  • Legal and Technical Possibilities of Internet Arbitration Courts in Germany – Comparison with the „Internet Court“ in Hangzhou/China (with Prof. Gesk, University of Osnabrück)
  • Monograph:Grundelemente folgerichtigen Denkens (so far only working title, currently only in preparation)
  • Textbook: BGB der Suppenwürfel – Alles was ich im Bürgerliche Recht für das Examen wissen muss (so far only working title, currently only in preparation)



Current event WS 2021/22

In the upcoming winter semester, a pro-/seminar entitled „‚Artificial Intelligence‘ and Legal Reasoning“ will take place.

In the first few hours of the proseminar, students will learn how legal reasoning and legal practice work in addition to scientific work. Then, questions of legal methodology and argumentation theory as such, a meanwhile established philosophical discipline, will be addressed in order to gain insights into legal argumentation.

Thematically, this involves, for example, whether the concept of argument can be defined at all, whether criteria for „valid“ arguments can be established, whether „convincing“ arguments can be distinguished from merely „persuasive“ arguments, etc. Finally, philosophical references e.g. to philosophy of science and epistemology are pointed out. For example, how have the criteria of scientific testability changed starting from intuition, through verification and falsification, to the question of the rationality of arguments? At the end the topics are assigned, e.g.

  • Argumentation theory according to Aristotle – theory with logic vs. practice with rhetoric
  • The judicial syllogism -foreign bodies in Aristotle’s argumentation theory?
  • Stephen Toulmin „The Use of Argument“
  • Chaim Perelman „La nouvelle rhétorique. Traité de l`argumentation“
  • Charles Hamblin „Fallacies.
  • The extension of logic in argumentation theory by Trudy Govier and Christoph Lumer
  • Manfred Kienpointer’s „Everyday Logic“ and the Rationalization of Rhetoric through 60 Argumentation Patterns
  • The concept of argument according to Harald Wohlrapp
  • What attempts are there to simulate legal argumentation with machines?
  • Overview of the (scientific-theoretical) development of legal informatics
  • What is the difference between symbolic and subsymbolic AI?
  • The formalization of legal arguments for processing with machines
  • Example explanation of rule-based and statistical NLP tools.
  • What is rule-based reasoning?
  • What is case-based reasoning?
  • What is Argumentation Mining?
  • Legal reasoning and the idea of cognitive computing by Kevin D. Ashley (AI and legal analytics)
  • What is the difference between machinelearning and deeplearning?

This proseminar is especially intended for students in their first four semesters. Special prior knowledge of argumentation theory, legal methodology or philosophy of science would be helpful, but is not expected. Introductory information on the content of the respective topics as well as information on introductory literature will be given in the course of the first dates and also still specifically when the topics are assigned and prepared.

The detailed announcement can be found here.

Last event SS 2021

The pro/seminar was held as a Zoom meeting.

In the summer semester of 2021, I will be teaching a pro/seminar on the law of democratic parliamentary elections.
In the proseminar, the first hour will teach how academic work and classical legal reasoning and argumentation works. Then we will deal with questions of electoral law.
How has the right to vote developed historically and which elections are available for people living in Germany. There will also be comparative studies of various foreign legal systems in contrast to the German legal system, e.g. in connection with questions about the possibility of proxy voting in electoral law or in connection with various minimum/maximum voting age limits. In addition to questions of substantive law, the discussion will also focus on various legal remedies available in the German legal system for contesting elections or the right to vote. Finally, there will be an outlook on possible technical possibilities (e.g. via legal-tech tools) of democratic participation, as well as in connection with demoscopic, sociological and psychological questions. At the end of the last double lesson the topics will be assigned, e.g.

  • The right to vote in antiquity
  • The development of the right to vote in modern times (from three-class suffrage to the right to vote from birth?)
  • Comparative presentation of European, Bundestag, Bavarian state parliament and local elections using the example of BVerfG of 15.4.2019 – 2 BvQ 22/19
  • Comparative presentation of legal remedies in European, Bundestag, Bavarian state parliament and local elections
  • Comparative legal studies on voting age restrictions in different legal systems
  • Comparative legal studies on the possibility of substitution in the exercise of the right to vote in various legal systems
  • Art 7 Bavarian Constitution and minimum age for basic rights as well as for the right to vote
  • How is counting done in federal elections? – Differences D’Hondt-, Hare- Niemeyer-, Sainte-Laguë-method (counting and success value, overhang mandates, reforms)
  • Right to vote from birth and election to the German Bundestag
    Sociological and demoscopic issues in the discussion on voting rights from birth and on lowering the voting age.
  • The influence of technology (e.g., (social) bots) on political opinion formation/campaigning/election results- USA? Fukushima?
  • Use of modern technology (legal tech?) for polls and political participation


The videos of the event can be found here.

You can find the presentation slides here.

Conference „Digitization of Civil Process and Enforcement“

On July 1 and 2, 2021, the conference „Digitization of Civil Process and Law Enforcement“ – hosted by Prof. Dr. Axel Adrian and Dr. Martin Zwickel – took place at FAU.

The program can be found here. The conference dealt in five parts with central issues of the digitization of civil process and law enforcement and is intended to expand in several respects the already intensive discussions of the ideas available with the discussion paper of the working group Modernization of Civil Process:

The legal issues were supplemented by the expertise of computer scientists and discussed from a joint perspective.

At appropriate points, a practical/interdisciplinary view or expansion of the working group’s proposals took place, e.g., by including communication psychologists, bailiffs, and actors in consensual dispute resolution.

A look at similar systems to be discussed for the judiciary, such as the automatic verification of income tax returns and the upcoming online incorporation of limited liability companies, can also be helpful in questions of the digitization of the judiciary.

Foreign legal systems often provide rich illustrative material on individual issues relating to the digitization of civil proceedings. Even if a direct adoption of foreign legal institutions often comes up against limits, comparative law experience reports should by no means be ignored.


My summary of the conference can be found here.

The videos of the conference can be found here.


WS 2020/21

The pro/seminar was held as a Zoom meeting.

The course will thematically address, for example, whether the concept of argument can be defined at all, whether criteria for „valid“ arguments can be established, whether „convincing“ arguments can be distinguished from merely „persuasive“ arguments, etc. Finally, philosophical references e.g. to philosophy of science and epistemology are pointed out. How, for example, have the criteria of scientific testability changed, starting from intuition, via verification and falsification, to the question of the rationality of arguments? At the end, references to symbolic AI and to the question of the possibility of representing legal arguments with machines will also be addressed.

The videos of the 4 double lessons of the event can be found here.

You can find the presentation slides here.

SS 2020

The lecture „AI and legal decision making“ took place as a zoom meeting. As guest speakers have lectured:

  • Martin Kurtze, Siemens AG
  • Hubertus Rust, Bavarian State Tax Office
  • Dr. Tobias Wagner, DATEV eG

The videos of the 12 double lessons of the event can be found here.

You can find the presentation slides here.

WS 2019/20

The presentation slides can be found here.

SS 2019

WS 2018/19



  • Examiner in the oral first state examination for civil law and for the bachelor’s programme.
  • Member of the board of the Digital Tech Academy der FAU.

Publications (Status 2020)

Dependent publications

  • Juristische Methodenlehre und die „Keck-Entscheidung“ des EuGH, in: Europaisches Wirtschafts- und Steuerrecht 1998, p. 288 ff.
  • Die Nailaer Demografie-Tage – Ziele, Inhalte, Bilanz und Perspektiven, in: Der demografische Wandel in der Grosregion Luxemburg 2005, p. 263 ff.
  • Der Wettbewerb der Kommunen in der demographischen Schrumpfung, in: Der Bayerische Burgermeister 2005, p. 290 ff.
  • Wie wissenschaftlich ist die Rechtswissenschaft? – Gibt es eine bindende Methodenlehre?, in Rechtstheorie Heft 4/2010, p. 521 ff.
  • Der demografische Wandel, Wir schrumpfen und altern, in Datev Magazin 2012, p. 8 ff.
  • Erben über Grenzen, Deutsche Erbschaft im Vereinigten Königreich, , in Datev Magazin 2013, p. 22 ff.
  • Sicher auf neuem Terrain, Haftungsfragen rund um die Testamentsvollstreckung, in Datev Magazin 2014, p. 12 ff.
  • Berliner bleiben, Vererbung, in Datev Magazin 2/2015
  • Populär aber tückisch, Das Berliner Testament, in Datev Magazin 4/2015
  • Der Richterautomat ist möglich – Semantik ist nur eine Illusion in Rechtstheorie Heft 1/2017, p. 77 ff.
  • Besteht eine Rechtspflicht zur Einführung eines Wahlrechts ab Geburt? In frühe Kindheit Heft 6/2017 (Jubiläumsheft von Liga für das Kind 2017), p. 28 ff.
  • Ist ein Wahlrecht ab Geburt rechtlich möglich? In Rechtspsychologie (RPsych) Heft 1/2018, p. 8 ff.
  • Besteht eine Rechtspflicht zur Einführung eines Wahlrechts ab Geburt? In Rechtspsychologie (RPsych) Heft 2/2018, p. 208 ff.
  • Juristische Methodenlehre – Ein Vorbild für verantwortungsvolle Digitalisierung?, In Verantwortungsbewusste Digitalisierung, Tagungsband des 23. Internationalen Rechtsinformatik Symposiums IRIS 2020, Hrsg. Erich Schweighofer/Walter Hötzendorfer/Franz Kummer/Ahti Saarenpää, Bern 2020
  • Max Rapp, Axel Adrian, Michael Kohlhase, Context Graphs for Legal Reasoning and Argumentation, available at: https://arxiv.org/pdf/2007.00732.pdf
  • Interview „Legal Tech Professor: ‚My proposal is to combine legal tech with basic subjects'“, available at: https://mkg-jura-studis.de/
  • Book review of Büttner/Frohn/Seebach, Electronic Legal Transactions and Information Technology in Notaries, C. H. Beck, 2019 in MittBayNot 5/2020, p. 423 f.

Independent publications