Andreas Vosskuhle

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Andreas Voßkuhle at the Day of German Unity 2016 in Dresden

Andreas Voßkuhle (born December 21, 1963 in Detmold ) is a German legal scholar . From 2008 to 2020 he was a judge of the Federal Constitutional Court , from 2010 to 2020 its president.


Vosskuhles father was an administrative lawyer and deputy district president. Andreas Voßkuhle passed the Abitur at the Gymnasium Leopoldinum and completed a law degree at the Universities of Bayreuth and Munich , graduating in 1989 with the 1st  state examination . It was in 1992 at the University of Munich with Peter Lerche with a thesis on legal protection against the judge doctorate . Subsequently, he was research assistant at the chair for public law, commercial administrative law and environmental law of Reiner Schmidt at the University of Augsburg until 1994 . The 2nd state examination followed in 1993. Vosskuhle became a consultant in the Bavarian State Ministry of the Interior in 1995 ; in the same year he was awarded the Bavarian Habilitation Award.

Vosskuhle completed his habilitation at the University of Augsburg in 1998 with the work Das Kompensationsprinzip ; he received the venia legendi for the subjects of public law , administrative sciences and legal theory . Since 1999 Voßkuhle has been a full professor at the University of Freiburg and director of the Institute for Political Science and Legal Philosophy. From the winter semester 2001/2002 to the summer semester 2002 he was dean of studies and from the winter semester 2004/2005 to the summer semester 2006 he was dean of the law faculty. Since October 1, 2006, he has been a member of the University Council. He turned down a call to Hamburg in 2004. On July 18, 2007, Voßkuhle was elected Rector of the University of Freiburg to succeed Wolfgang Jäger . He took office on April 1, 2008. Until April 1, 2008, Vosskuhle was a liaison professor at the German National Academic Foundation for several years . In the academic year 2006/2007 he was a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin . Since 2007 he has been a full member of the social science class of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences .

Vosskuhle's main research interests are constitutional law , general administrative law , environmental law , public commercial law , and political and legal theory . He is co-editor of the specialist journals Der Staat , Juristische Schulung , Zeitschrift für Umweltrecht and Gewerbearchiv .

Andreas Voßkuhle is married to Eva Voßkuhle, presiding judge at the Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court .

Judge at the Federal Constitutional Court and its President

Election and appointment

At the suggestion of the SPD , Vosskuhle was elected on April 25, 2008 in the Federal Council to succeed Winfried Hassemer as a judge in the Federal Constitutional Court. After Johannes Masing, he was the second professor at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg to become a judge at the Federal Constitutional Court within two months. Originally, the SPD had proposed the Würzburg lawyer Horst Dreier for this office, but was unable to prevail against resistance from the CDU after statements by liberal and left-wing media. Instead of three, Vosskuhle was named. Previously, Roland Rixecker , Joachim Wieland and Ursula Nelles were also in discussion for the post.

On May 7, 2008, Federal President Horst Köhler appointed Vosskuhle as judge at the Federal Constitutional Court. He then had to give up the office of rector of the University of Freiburg. Vosskuhle also became chairman of the 2nd Senate and thus vice-chairman of the court - the youngest chairman of the Senate in its history.

President of the Federal Constitutional Court

On March 5, 2010, Vosskuhle was elected President of the Federal Constitutional Court by the election committee of the German Bundestag. He took up this post after Hans-Jürgen Papier left on March 16, 2010, and at the age of 46 he was the youngest President of the Constitutional Court to date. Vosskuhle's term of office as President of the Federal Constitutional Court ended on May 6, 2020. On May 15, 2020, Stephan Harbarth was elected as his successor by the Federal Council. On June 22, 2020, the Federal President handed him the certificate of discharge.

Aspects of an activity record

Voßkuhle be made shortly before the expiry of his term in May 2020 from the time of his impressions and experiences surveys in office. Vosskuhle does not want to see the criticism of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) regarding the handling of the government bond purchase program (PSPP) of the ECB , expressed recently in the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court on May 5, 2020 , as a general overriding of decisions of the ECJ. As a constitutional judge, one sees “that our judgment depresses many”, but is bound by law and justice. Many other constitutional courts of the member states are also legitimized and obliged to intervene in the event of an appeal in the event of "particularly serious violations of competence of the European institutions". “We firmly believe that this decision is a good decision for Europe because it strengthens the bond with the law. That will show in the medium and long term. "

Since the beginning of his term in office in 2008, Vosskuhle sees the culture of political discourse as being problematically changed by the influence of social media . It is true that Karlsruhe is not exposed in the same way as politics in Berlin; But constitutional judges too would not only have to endure malice and criticism online, they would also be seriously threatened personally. For historical reasons, German lawyers would find it difficult to “forbid others to speak and speak”; but meanwhile many of them also see the urgency of the problem. Vosskuhle sees digital platforms like Facebook , Twitter and others being called upon to take on more responsibility in this regard. "You just have to be careful that they don't become the ones who can evaluate and manipulate opinions." He puts hope in the forces of free society to get such large corporations under control. The Corona crisis , in which the state - with the trust of the people - demonstrated its ability to act, is in this regard "an opportunity to recharge your batteries."

When asked how he explained the growing skepticism towards liberal democracy, both worldwide and in this country, and the rise of populism during his tenure as constitutional judge, Vosskuhle expresses the impression that the liberal elite have lost sight of "normal" people. Many people belonging to the middle of society see themselves left alone with their problems and their interests are not sufficiently taken into account. There are also new fears in connection with globalization and the digital revolution .

Compared, for example, with the current position of the Polish constitutional court , Vosskuhle does not see the authority of the Federal Constitutional Court threatened because of its high reputation among the population. However, it would take at least a generation to build such a trust and again probably only a few months to destroy it; for this position is mainly based on the force of the arguments. “That is why it is so important that constitutional courts adhere to the law, not to the zeitgeist.” Vosskuhle calls for his rather conservative and media-shy legal guild to be more willing to communicate openly, for example when giving reasons for judgments. "Today we want our doctor to explain what illness we have and what reasons speak for which therapy, and we also want to know from the judge why he made a decision one way and not another."

Rejection of the candidacy as Federal President

According to media reports, immediately after Christian Wulff's resignation on February 17, 2012 , Andreas Voßkuhle was under discussion as a candidate for the office of Federal President , the highest German state office. Vosskuhle turned down a candidacy on February 18, 2012 after a brief period of reflection.

In 2016, Vosskuhle was again in conversation as Federal President. The CDU, CSU and SPD wanted to propose a joint candidate to succeed Joachim Gauck . Vosskuhle was approached as the first possible applicant, but refused, as in 2012.



Web links

Commons : Andreas Voßkuhle  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Press release from the University of Freiburg about the handover .
  2. Vita Vosskuhle / Vita Vosskuhles. ( Memento from March 6, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) In: .
  3. ^ Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin / Fellows 2006/07 .
  4. ^ Research Vosskuhle. In: .
  5. On the career ladder. In: Badische Zeitung , June 10, 2011.
  6. Robert Leicht: Burned. How the liberal constitutional lawyer Horst Dreier was made impossible by liberal critics as a judge at the Federal Constitutional Court. In: The time. February 9, 2008, accessed February 19, 2012 .
  7. a b Vosskuhle succeeds Hassemer. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. April 18, 2008, accessed February 19, 2012 .
  8. Heribert Prantl: CDU prevents change at the constitutional court. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung. February 1, 2008, accessed February 19, 2012 .
  9. Dietmar Hipp: The new constitutional judge is open and cool. In: Spiegel Online. April 25, 2008. Retrieved September 25, 2012 .
  10. ^ Vosskuhle new President of the Federal Constitutional Court. German Bundestag, 2010, accessed on May 18, 2020 .
  11. Christian Rath: Youngest face of the constitutional state. In: March 4, 2010, accessed September 25, 2012 .
  12.,3672,8045932,00.html (link not available)
  13. ^ Richter - President Prof. Dr. Vosskuhle. (No longer available online.) Federal Constitutional Court, archived from the original ; Retrieved September 25, 2012 .
  15. The Federal President / speeches / change of judges at the Federal Constitutional Court. Retrieved June 22, 2020 .
  16. 'Success is rather cold.' The outgoing President of the Federal Constitutional Court takes stock. A conversation with Andreas Voßkuhle about threatened judges, the dangers of the Corona crisis and the mistakes of the liberal elite. Interview with Giovanni di Lorenzo and Heinrich Wefing in: Die Zeit . May 14, 2020, p. 6 f.
  17. Wulff successor: Vosskuhle rejects presidential candidacy. In: Der Spiegel. February 18, 2012, accessed February 18, 2012 .
  18. ^ Coalition and opposition are fighting for the right candidate. In: The time. February 18, 2012, accessed February 18, 2012 .
  19. ^ Coalition wants common candidates for Gauck's successor. In: Spiegel online , September 24, 2016.
  20. Federal Constitutional Court. Press release No. 86/2019 of November 28, 2019: Otto Kirchheimer Prize for President Voßkuhle.
  21. ^ Change of judges at the Federal Constitutional Court. The Federal President, June 22, 2020, accessed on June 22, 2020 .
predecessor Office successor
Wolfgang Hunter Rector of the University of Freiburg
Hans-Jochen Schiewer