Public event

Fellow travellers on diverging paths? German constitutional law and human rights

This event is hosted by the Centre for Fundamental Rights as part of the Fundamental Rights in Practice event series, in collaboration with the Student Advisory Board for the Centre for Fundamental Rights.

The German Basic Law is often portrayed as an answer to the atrocities of the 20th century, with the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) emerging as a strong counter-majoritarian player thanks to its extensive rights jurisprudence. Does this perception, however, capture the Basic Law's complex genealogy, the self-understanding of its prime interpreters, and the surprisingly ambiguous relationship between the Basic Law, the European Treaties and the European Convention on Human Rights?

This event will explore the relationship between the Basic Law and Human Rights, particularly the ECHR. Speakers Prof. Michaela Hailbronner and Prof. Başak Çalı will discuss the BVerfG’s constitutional jurisprudence, its “value-formalism” approach, and its potential resilience to constitutional capture by authoritarian groups as well as the stance adopted by the Court towards the European legal order and its implications for the defense of the rule of law and human rights on a European level.

Prior registration is required. Registered attendees will receive the dial-in details via e-mail prior to the event.



    • © JLU/Rolf K. Wegst

      Michaela Hailbronner is Professor of Public Law and Human Rights at the University of Giessen. Michaela completed two German law degrees at the University of Freiburg and the Kammergericht of Berlin before doing an LL.M. and a J.S.D. (doctorate) at Yale Law School (LL.M. 2010 and J.S.D. 2013). Previously, she worked at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg (Germany), the University of Pretoria (South Africa), as a visiting professor at the University of Ottawa (Canada) and as a Senior Fellow at the University of Münster (Germany).

      © JLU/Rolf K. Wegst


    • Başak Çalı is Professor of International Law at the Hertie School and Co-Director of the School's Centre for Fundamental Rights. She is an expert in international law and institutions, international human rights law and policy. She has authored publications on theories of international law, the relationship between international law and domestic law, standards of review in international law, interpretation of human rights law, legitimacy of human rights courts, and implementation of human rights judgments. Çalı is the Chair of European Implementation Network and a Fellow of the Human Rights Centre of the University of Essex. She has acted as a Council of Europe expert on the European Convention on Human Rights since 2002.


    • Malte Spielmann is a second year MPP student at the Hertie School and a member of the Student Advisory Board for the Centre for Fundamental Rights. He holds an LL.M. degree from SOAS, University of London and a B.A. in Politics and Law from the University of Münster. He is a graduate student assistant at the Max-Planck-Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law. His personal research interests are the role of law in authoritarian systems, the European human rights regime, and the intersections of jurisprudence and critical theories.


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