Klaus Stern (legal scholar)

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Klaus Stern (born January 11, 1932 in Nuremberg ) is a German legal scholar and professor of public law , general law and administration as well as a judge at the Constitutional Court of North Rhine-Westphalia a. D. Stern is considered one of the most renowned constitutional lawyers in Germany .


Klaus Stern went to school in Nuremberg and graduated from high school in 1951 at the humanistic Melanchthon high school . From 1951 to 1955 he studied law and economics at the Universities of Erlangen and Munich . In 1955 he passed in Munich the first state examination and was with the dissertation interpretation of the law and principles of interpretation of the Constitutional Court in 1956 at the Law Faculty of the University of Munich to Dr. iur. PhD . Between 1956 and 1960, Stern completed his legal clerkship at the Munich Higher Regional Court and was also a research assistant at the University of Munich . In 1960 he passed the second state examination there. As early as 1961 he was with the habilitation economic constitution and Energy Law for Public Law and General Theory of Law at the University of Munich habilitation .

In 1962, when he was only 30 years old, Stern was appointed full professor for constitutional law and politics at the Free University of Berlin , where he worked until 1966. After accepting the call to the University of Cologne in 1965, he took over a full professorship for public law, administrative theory and general legal theory there in 1966 as the successor to Hans Peters. From 1966 to 1997 he was director of the Institute for Public Law and Administrative Doctrine. Since 1968 he has been director of the Institute for Broadcasting Law at the University of Cologne, which he continues to head. Stern turned down calls from the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (1962), the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel (1964), the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität in Frankfurt am Main (1965) and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (1977) from. His students include a .: Hermann-Josef Blanke , Herbert Bethge , Joachim Burmeister (†), Johannes Dietlein , Michael Nierhaus , Günter Püttner , Michael Sachs , Helmut Siekmann , Peter Tettinger (†).

From 1969 to 1971, at the age of 39, Stern was elected Dean of the Law Faculty of the University of Cologne for two terms and served as Rector from 1971 to 1973 and Vice-Rector from 1973 to 1975 . From 1971 to 1972 he was chairman of the state rectors' conference in North Rhine-Westphalia . From 1976 to 2000, Stern was also elected judge of the constitutional court for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia . In addition, Klaus Stern was called in on several occasions as a consultant in the negotiations on the reunification of Germany . From 1966 to 2015, Stern was head of studies at the Administration and Business Academy in Düsseldorf, where he also taught a. a. the subjects of public law, constitutional law and administrative law. Since 1975 he has been a member of the Scientific Advisory Board at the Federal Ministry of Finance .

Klaus Stern was with Helga Stern, geb. Horn, married until her death on August 29, 2013.

Main areas of work

The main areas of work of Klaus Stern are:


Klaus Stern was appointed to several federal and state institutions as well as various scientific organizations.

Stern is a member of the German-Atlantic Society , the German Section of the International Jurists 'Commission , the German Lawyers' Association , the German-Italian Lawyers Association, the German-Polish Society , the German-Hungarian Society, the German-Japanese Legal Association, the Munich Society Lawyers, the Society for Legal Policy, the Society for Comparative Law , the Society for Economic and Social Sciences - Association for Social Policy , the Legal Society of Berlin , the Cologne Legal Society and the Association of German Constitutional Law Teachers . Since 1978 he has been a member of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences and Arts .

Fonts (selection)


Klaus Stern is the founder and author of one of the most comprehensive constitutional, political and historical accounts of German constitutional law. The five-volume work with around 12,500 pages has become the standard work since the first volume was published in 1977. Co-authors of the work since Volume III / 1 have been the Cologne constitutional law teacher Michael Sachs and the Düsseldorf constitutional law teacher Johannes Dietlein (Vol. IV / 1 and Vol. IV / 2).

The constitutional law of the Federal Republic of Germany (5 volumes):

  • Volume I: Basic concepts and foundations of constitutional law. Structural principles of the constitution , Munich 1977, 2nd edition 1984
  • Volume II: State organs, state functions, financial and budgetary constitution, emergency constitution , Munich 1980
  • Volume III / 1: General Doctrines of Fundamental Rights , Munich 1983
  • Volume III / 2: General Doctrines of Fundamental Rights , Munich 1994
  • Volume IV / 1: The individual basic rights , Munich 2006
  • Volume IV / 2: The individual basic rights , Munich 2011
  • Volume V: The historical foundations of German constitutional law , Munich 2000

Furthermore, Klaus Stern is the author of numerous books and publications focusing on German and foreign state and constitutional law, broadcasting law, administrative law and European law.

  • The constitutional position of local authorities in electricity supply . Studies in public law and administrative theory, vol. 1, Berlin and Frankfurt 1966
  • Functional financing of the broadcasters by the state. A contribution to the freedom of broadcasting under Article 5, Paragraph 1 of the Basic Law , series of publications by the Institute for Broadcasting Law at the University of Cologne, Vol. 1, Munich 1968
  • Basic questions of global economic management , Berlin 1969
  • Commentary on the law to promote stability and economic growth (with Paul Münch), Stuttgart [u. a.] 1967, 2nd edition 1982
  • 40 years of the Basic Law. Origin, probation and international charisma , Munich 1990
  • Treaties and legal acts for German unity (with Bruno Schmidt-Bleibtreu), vol. 1: State treaty for monetary, economic and social union with treaty laws, explanations, explanations and materials. Munich 1990. Vol. 2: Unification Agreement and Election Agreement with contractual laws, reasons, explanations and materials. Munich 1990. Vol. 3: Two-plus-four contract, partnership agreements, EC package of measures with reasons and materials. Munich 1991
  • The regional principle in the public savings bank system. Its validity and scope in savings bank organization and savings bank business law (with Michael Nierhaus), Heidelberg 1991
  • Postal Law of the Federal Republic of Germany, Commentary on the Postal Reorganization Act (publisher and staff), Heidelberg 1997
  • State intervention in bank holdings (with Johannes Dietlein), Studies on Public Law, Vol. 60, Munich 1997
  • Beck'scher Postal Law Commentary (co-editor and collaborator), Munich 2000
  • From the European Convention on Human Rights to the European Charter of Fundamental Rights. Perspectives of the protection of fundamental rights in Europe , in: The European Charter of Fundamental Rights in an evaluative comparison of the constitution , ed. by Klaus Stern and Peter J. Tettinger, Berlin 2005, pp. 13–30
  • European Constitution and Charter of Fundamental Rights after the French and Dutch say no , in: European Constitution in Becoming, ed. by Klaus Stern and Peter J. Tettinger, Berlin 2006, pp. 25–36
  • Protection of non-smokers in Germany. International and constitutional requirements together with Jörg Geerlings, Munich 2008 (= studies on public law and administrative theory, vol. 78)
  • Fundamental Rights - Commentary (with F. Becker), Cologne 2009
  • 60 years of the Basic Law , Munich 2010

As well as many articles in commemorative publications , compilations and journals (references on his website)


Klaus Stern is (co-) editor of the following series of publications:

  • North Rhine-Westphalian administrative sheets
  • Cologne writings on German and European constitutional and administrative law
  • Studies in public law and administrative theory
  • Series of publications by the Institute for Broadcasting Law at the University of Cologne
  • Public Administration - Journal for Public Law and Administrative Science (Scientific Advisory Board)
  • Journal of Public Law - Austrian Journal of Public and International Law (Scientific Advisory Board)
  • Teoria del Diritto e dello Stato - Rivista Europea di Cultura e Scienza Giuridica (Scientific Advisory Board)


Klaus Stern received the following honors:


Honorary doctorates (Dr. iur. Hc)


  • Germania restituta. Symposium on the occasion of the 60th birthday of Klaus Stern . Cologne 1992.
  • The state of the Basic Law. Selected writings and lectures by Klaus Stern . Cologne 1992.
  • Constitutional statehood. Festschrift for Klaus Stern on his 65th birthday . Munich 1997.
  • In the service of the state, law and science. Selected speeches . Cologne 2002.
  • The constitutional state shaped by fundamental rights. Festschrift for Klaus Stern on his 80th birthday. Edited by Michael Sachs and Helmut Siekmann, in connection with Hermann-Josef Blanke , Johannes Dietlein , Michael Nierhaus and Günter Püttner, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-428-13535-6 .

Individual evidence

  1. Jörn Ipsen , in: ders. (Ed.), The new municipal constitution law. 21. Bad Iburger Talks , Universitätsverlag Osnabrück / V & R unipress, Göttingen 2011, p. 9 .

Web links