Knut Wolfgang Nörr

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Knut Wolfgang Nörr (born January 15, 1935 in Munich ; † January 15, 2018 in Tübingen ) was a German legal scholar .

His father was Siegmund Nörr and from 1954 to 1969 a judge at the Federal Court of Justice . He passed the school leaving examination in 1952. From 1953 to 1955 he completed an apprenticeship as an industrial clerk. At the same time he studied law at the Universities of Heidelberg and Munich . He passed the first state examination in law in 1957 and the second state examination in 1962. Two years later he received his doctorate with a thesis supervised by Johannes Heckel on the Cardinal and Archbishop of Palermo Nicolaus de Tudeschis . He then went on to study at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC in 1960/1961. He completed his habilitation in 1966 with Wolfgang Kunkel and Siegfried Grundmann on the private knowledge of judges in the Middle Ages for the subjects of Roman law, modern history of private law, canon law and civil law. In 1966, at the age of 31, he became a full professor at the University of Bonn . From 1971 he taught as the successor to Dieter Medicus on the chair for Roman and civil law at the Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen . In Tübingen he founded the "German-East Asian Science Forum". He declined appointments to Augsburg (1974), to the post of director of the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History in Frankfurt am Main (1978) and to the chair of his teacher Stephan Kuttner in Berkeley / California (1984).

Nörr researched the high medieval canon in detail , dealt with the developments of civil procedural law across epochs, devoted himself to the private law of the Weimar Republic and the law of the economy in the Federal Republic. Another focus of work was the historical legal philosophy. In his dissertation he analyzed the teachings of Archbishop Nicolaus de Tudeschis (Panormitanus) on the concept of the church and church power, the relationship between council and pope, cardinals and bishops. From 1967 to 2007 Nörr was co-editor of the magazine of the Savigny Foundation for Legal History , Canon Department . The journal developed through Nörr's work into a central forum for internationalized research on medieval canon law. He was also co-editor of Comparative Studies in Continental and Anglo-American Legal History and the monographic series Contributions to the Legal History of the 20th Century . Nörr became an external scientific member of the Max Planck Society in 1970 and a full member of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences in 1998 . He was a corresponding member of the Academies of Siena and Messina. The University of Siena and the University of Yokohama ( Toin University ) awarded him honorary doctorates . Nörr died on his 83rd birthday. He leaves behind his wife and two children. He was buried in the Tübingen city cemetery.


  • The sufferings of private law. Cartels in Germany from the wood pulp cartel decision to the law against restraints of competition (= contributions to the legal history of the 20th century. Vol. 11). Mohr, Tübingen 1994, ISBN 3-16-146226-2 .
  • Between the millstones. A history of private law in the Weimar Republic (= contributions to the legal history of the 20th century. Vol. 1). Mohr, Tübingen 1988, ISBN 3-16-645324-5 .
  • On the position of the judge in the scholarly process of the early days: Iudex secundum allegata non secundum conscientiam iudicat (= Münchener Universitätsschriften, Vol. 2). Beck, Munich 1967.
  • Church and council with Nicolaus de Tudeschis (Panormitanus) (= research on ecclesiastical legal history and canon law. Vol. 4). Böhlau, Cologne 1964.


  • Wolfgang Kaiser : Knut Wolfgang Nörr (January 15, 1935– January 15, 2018). In: Yearbook of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences for 2018. Heidelberg 2019, pp. 171–174 ( online ).
  • Richard H. Helmholz: Knut Wolfgang Nörr (January 15, 1935– January 15, 2018). In: Journal of the Savigny Foundation for Legal History, Canonical Department 105 (2019), pp. 417–422.

Web links


  1. See the review by Ludwig Buisson in: Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte. Canonical Department 53, 1967, pp. 393-397.
  2. Member page of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences