Claus-Wilhelm Canaris

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Claus-Wilhelm Canaris (born July 1, 1937 in Liegnitz ; † March 5, 2021 ) was a German legal scholar who is considered an important contemporary dogmatist of civil law and an important representative of legal methodology .


Claus-Wilhelm Canaris was the son of Constantin Canaris and his wife Ilse nee Krenzer. His brother was Volker Canaris , a theater director and film producer. His grandfather was the industrial manager Carl August Canaris , his brother the Admiral Wilhelm Canaris .

He went to school in Königsberg , Miesbach and Düsseldorf and graduated from the Humboldt Gymnasium in Düsseldorf in 1957 . For his achievements he was accepted into the German National Academic Foundation . He began studying law, philosophy and German in Munich; for stays abroad he went to Geneva and Paris. He passed his first state examination in 1961 in Munich and became assistant to Karl Larenz , in which he in 1963 with a thesis on the identification of gaps in the law doctorate was. After his legal clerkship and the second state examination in Munich in 1965 , he completed his habilitation in 1967 with the work The Confidence Liability in German Private Law again at Larenz.

After replacing professorships, he turned down a first call to Regensburg in 1968 and instead became a full professor at the Universities of Graz (1968) and Hamburg (1969–1972). Since 1972 he has been the successor to Karl Larenz Professor of Civil Law , Commercial and Labor Law and Legal Philosophy at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich. He also took over the standard work on the methodology of law from his academic teacher Larenz .

Since 1990 Canaris has been a full member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences , where he held the office of secretary of the philosophical-historical class from 1999 to 2007 and held the office of vice-president from 1999 to 2005.

As a member of the Commission on Performance Disruption Law convened by the Federal Ministry of Justice , Canaris was instrumental in the reform of the law of obligations in 2001 .

Claus-Wilhelm Canaris retired on October 1, 2005. His pupil Hans Christoph Grigoleit became his successor in his Munich chair . On the occasion of his 65th birthday, his students dedicated a commemorative publication to him with the title Continuity in the changing legal order . Another two-volume commemorative publication containing 147 contributions from Germany and abroad was published on his 70th birthday. On his 80th birthday, he was honored again with an extensive commemorative publication entitled Private Law Doctrine in the 21st Century . Canaris died in March 2021 at the age of 83.

Awards and honors


The following lawyers completed their habilitation at Canaris:

selected Writings

  • The determination of loopholes in the law , Berlin 1964, 2nd, revised edition 1983. ISBN 978-3-428-05311-7
  • Systems thinking and system concept in jurisprudence, developed using the example of German private law , Berlin 1969, 2nd, revised edition 1983.
  • Liability of trust in German private law , Munich 1971.
  • Bank contract law , Berlin and New York 1975, 2nd edition 1981, 3rd edition 1988 Volume 1.
  • Law of Securities , 12th edition, Munich 1986.
  • Textbook of the law of obligations Volume II / 2, 13th edition, Munich 1994.
  • Methodology of Law , 3rd edition, Berlin 1995.
  • The significance of the iustitia distributiva in German contract law (= meeting reports of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences , 1997, issue 7), Munich 1997.
  • Fundamental rights and private law , Berlin, New York 1999.
  • Modernization of the law of obligations 2002 , Munich 2002.
  • Commercial law , 24th edition, Munich 2006.
  • Collected writings , 3 volumes, edited by Hans Christoph Grigoleit and Jörg Neuner, Berlin 2012.

Web links


  1. ^ Constantin van Lijnden : Claus-Wilhelm Canaris died. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of April 3, 2021; Obituaries of Claus-Wilhelm Canaris, Süddeutsche Zeitung from April 3, 2021 (accessed April 3, 2021).
  2. Ingo Koller, Johannes Hager, Michael Junker, Reinhard Singer and Jörg Neuner (eds.): Continuity in the changing legal order . 2002, ISBN 978-3-406-49616-5 .
  3. ^ Hans Christoph Grigoleit and Jens Petersen (eds.): Private law dogmatics in the 21st century . 2017, ISBN 978-3-11-046634-8 .
  4. .
  5. Archive link ( Memento from October 28, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  6. .
  7. Archived copy ( Memento of February 5, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  8. Archived copy ( Memento from April 20, 2017 in the Internet Archive )
  9. Prof. Dr. Jörg Neuner .
  10. ^ University of Potsdam: Prof. Dr. Jens Petersen - About the person .
  11. Error page . January 20, 2021.
  12. .