Herta Däubler-Gmelin

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Däubler-Gmelin 1988
Herta Däubler-Gmelin (2008)

Herta Däubler-Gmelin [ -'ɡmeːliːn ] (born August 12, 1943 in Bratislava , Slovakia , as Hertha Gmelin) is a German lawyer and politician ( SPD ). She was Federal Minister of Justice from 1998 to 2002 and was a member of the German Bundestag from 1972 to 2009.

Life and work

Herta Däubler-Gmelin is the daughter of the former diplomat and Mayor of Tübingen, Hans Gmelin . She has been married to labor lawyer Wolfgang Däubler since 1969 . You have two children.

After graduating from high school in Tübingen , Herta Däubler-Gmelin studied history , law and political science in Tübingen and Berlin . After the state examinations in law (1969 and 1974) and a doctorate in labor law (1975) on educational leave for employees: a way to realize the fundamental right to education? at the University of Bremen , where her husband had been a professor for labor law since 1971, she worked as a lawyer , first in Stuttgart, then in Berlin. In 1995 she was made an honorary professor and has a teaching position at the Otto Suhr Institute of the Free University of Berlin . Since October 2011 she has been visiting professor at the Chair for Systematic Theology at RWTH Aachen University .

Political party

Däubler-Gmelin has been a member of the SPD since 1965, where she was deputy federal chairwoman from 1988 to 1997. She is also the patron of the Virtual Local Association (VOV).


From 1972 to 2009 she was a member of the German Bundestag , where she was chairman of the legal committee from 1980 to 1983 and deputy chairwoman of the SPD parliamentary group from 1983 to 1993 . From 1994 to 1998 she was spokesperson for the legal policy working group and legal advisor for the SPD parliamentary group.

From 2002 to 2005 she chaired the Committee on Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture and from 2005 to 2009 she chaired the Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid .

From 2008 to 2009 she was Chair of the Legal Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly in the Council of Europe .

Herta Däubler-Gmelin entered the Bundestag in 1998 as a directly elected member of the Tübingen constituency and otherwise always via the Baden-Württemberg state list.

Däubler-Gmelin announced that she no longer wanted to run for the Bundestag in 2009, so that she left parliament on October 27, 2009 at the end of the 16th electoral term of the German Bundestag.

Public offices

She withdrew her candidacy for the office of Vice President of the Federal Constitutional Court , which had met with fierce opposition from the CDU / CSU in particular , at the end of 1993 after party political disputes.

On October 27, 1998, she was appointed Federal Minister of Justice in the federal government led by the then Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schröder . During her tenure, she campaigned for a fundamental amendment to the civil code in the law of obligations , which finally came into force on January 1, 2002. The new version of the law of obligations is one of the most comprehensive reforms of the BGB since its entry into force on January 1, 1900. The Civil Partnership Act came into force in 2001 with the advocacy of Däubler-Gmelin.

The fact that Däubler-Gmelin liked to formulate it pointedly earned her the nickname "Schwertgosch". As a result of an election campaign statement - she said that American President Bush wanted to divert his attention from domestic political problems with his foreign policy, something that has been known "since Adolf Nazi" - Däubler-Gmelin was no longer in favor of the election after the 2002 federal elections and his own previous announcement to apply for a ministerial office, no longer taken into account when forming a government. She left the federal government on October 22, 2002.

Academic teaching

As an honorary professor , Däubler-Gmelin has a teaching position at the Otto Suhr Institute for Political Science at the Free University of Berlin . There she mainly leads events in her areas of interest international relations and human rights . In the past semesters she held advanced seminars on the topics of Transitional Justice , Responsibility to Protect and South Africa . In the 2011/2012 winter semester, Herta Däubler-Gmelin held the Hemmerle Professorship at the Institute for Catholic Theology at RWTH Aachen University .


In 1989 she founded the German section of the International Association of Lawyers against Nuclear Arms (IALANA) together with Peter Becker .

In the SWR - Tatort Bienzle and the secret witness from 2001, Herta Däubler-Gmelin has a guest appearance in which she plays herself as Minister of Justice. She played a guest role as a choir director in 1992 in A Man for Each Key .

Däubler-Gmelin is the patron of the German Hospice and Palliative Association .

Together with the Leipzig constitutional and administrative lawyer Christoph Degenhart , she announced in a press conference of the organization Mehr Demokratie - of which she is a member of the board of trustees - that she would represent an alliance action before the Constitutional Court in the event that there was no referendum on the European Stability Mechanism (ESM ) and the European Fiscal Pact for tighter budget discipline in 25 of the 27 EU countries . On June 29th, the alliance “Europe needs more democracy” filed their complaint, which they had drawn up together with Degenhart.

In addition, she is committed to the German and European legal training and international understanding in the advisory board of ELSA-Deutschland e. V.

Since October 24, 2014 she has been Honorary President of the Federal Association of Honorary Judges e. V.

She is a member of the board of trustees of the Carlo Schmid Foundation .



Individual evidence

  1. http://www.schwaebische.de/home_artikel,-_arid,885179.html ( Memento from August 11, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  2. Minister speaks of slander. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. September 20, 2002.
  3. Bush felt himself betrayed by Chancellor Schröder. In: The world . accessed on November 10, 2010.
  4. Herta Däubler-Gmelin's new lust for battle. ( Memento from February 18, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) In: WAZ from July 10, 2012.
  5. Däubler-Gmelin takes over the Hemmerle professorship in Aachen
  6. https://www.mehr-demokratie.de/kuratorium.html ( Memento from February 28, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) - More democracy: Kuratorium
  7. Däubler-Gmelin announces constitutional lawsuit. In: FAZ. April 12, 2012.
  8. ^ Constitutional complaint
  9. http://www.schoeffen.de/assets/Download/pdf_Bundesverband/2014_Pressemitteilung_1.pdf
  10. ^ Franz Domgörgen: Herta Däubler-Gmelin with the Hecker hat (German) . In: Südkurier , January 16, 2014. 

Web links

Commons : Herta Däubler-Gmelin  - Collection of images, videos and audio files