Thomas Oppermann (lawyer)

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Thomas Oppermann (born February 15, 1931 in Heidelberg ; † January 26, 2019 ) was a German constitutional lawyer . From 1967 to 1999 he was full professor for public law and foreign policy at the Eberhard Karls University in Tübingen .

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Thomas Oppermann came from a family of scholars. The grandfather Otto Gustav August Oppermann was the city school director. His father was the classical philologist Hans Oppermann , who married Ella Maria Borchers, who had a doctorate in art history, in 1926. The couple had a child together with Thomas Oppermann. From 1951 to 1956 he studied law at the universities of Frankfurt , Lyon , Oxford and Freiburg . In 1959 he received his doctorate under Joseph H. Kaiser and Konrad Hesse in Freiburg on the subject of British lower house suffrage and the two-party system . From 1960 to 1967 Oppermann worked in the European department of the Federal Ministry of Economics . There he last worked as a government director. In 1967 Herbert Krüger completed his habilitation on cultural administrative law: education, science, art at the University of Hamburg . From 1967, at the age of 36, Oppermann taught as a full professor for public law and foreign policy at the University of Tübingen until his retirement in 1999. Oppermann received calls to Hamburg (1972) and Bonn (1979). However, he stayed in Tübingen. He has taught as a visiting professor in Chicago (1991), Aix-en-Provence (1993), Jerusalem (1999) and Yokohama (2000), among others . His successor in Tübingen was Martin Nettesheim .

Oppermann's main areas of work were European law , international business law, constitutional law, and education and media law. In 1991 he presented a textbook on European law, which became a standard work and was published in its 8th edition in 2018.

Oppermann was awarded honorary doctorates in Aix-en-Provence (1978) and in Piraeus (2002). In 1998 Oppermann received the Medal of Merit of the State of Baden-Württemberg and in 2004 the Great Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany . From 1983 to 1985 he was Vice President of the University of Tübingen. From 1985 to 1989 Oppermann was chairman of the German Society for International Law. From 1991 to 1993 he was chairman of the Association of German Constitutional Law Teachers and from 1999 to 2002 he was President of the European Integration Working Group in Bonn. From 2002 to 2003 he was an advisor to Prime Minister Erwin Teufel at the European Constitutional Convention .

Oppermann died in January 2019 shortly before his 88th birthday. He was buried in the Tübingen city cemetery.



  • European law. A study book. 8th, revised edition. Beck, Munich 2018, ISBN 978-3-406-72633-0 .
  • Ius Europaeum: Contributions to European unification (= Tübingen writings on international and European law. Vol. 75). Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2006, ISBN 3-428-12195-3 .
  • with Marc Beise and Gerald G. Sander : Gray areas in world trade. Protectionism under the old GATT as a challenge to the new WTO (= integration of Europe and order of the world economy. Vol. 17). Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, Baden-Baden 1998, ISBN 3-7890-5235-3 .
  • German broadcasting fees and European aid law (= Tübingen writings on international and European law. Vol. 41). Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1997, ISBN 3-428-09064-0 .
  • with Erich-Wolfgang Moersch : Europe Guide. A Guide to the European Single Market 1992. 2nd, revised and expanded edition. Walhalla and Praetoria Verlag, Regensburg 1990, ISBN 3-8029-8691-1 .
  • together with Hans Meyer : The parliamentary system of government of the Basic Law: structure, experiences, future suitability (= publications of the Association of German Constitutional Law Teachers. Vol. 33). De Gruyter, Berlin 1975, ISBN 3-11-006579-7


  • From state enterprise to foundation. Modern universities for Germany. Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen 2002, ISBN 3-89244-656-3 .
  • together Erich-Wolfgang Moersch: Professional Handbook Economic Area Europe. Taxes, subsidies, transport, the environment. With the Maastricht treaties. 3rd, revised and expanded edition, Berlin 1994, ISBN 3-8029-8693-8 .


  • My six decades of public law. In: Yearbook of Public Law of the Present. 62, 2014, pp. 511-527.


Web links


  1. ^ Obituary Professor Dr. iur. Dr. hc Thomas Oppermann . In: Schwäbisches Tagblatt. February 2, 2019, accessed February 3, 2019; Obituary notice In: FAZ.NET February 2, 2019, accessed on February 3, 2019.
  2. Dagmar Düll: Heidelberger Gelehrtenlexikon 1933–1986. Berlin / Heidelberg 2009, p. 586 f.