Johannes Masing (Freiburg): Courts as Political Actors Under the Conditions of Internationalization


In the last three decades many states have established constitutional courts or strengthened constitutional review by its courts, hereby accompanying the rise of international human rights courts. In today’s Europe judicial constitutional review can be considered as a standard of modern constitutions to some extent. Indeed, such review deliberately encompasses a certain counter-majoritarian effect. Nevertheless, we traditionally legitimize such jurisdiction as a form of democratic self-determination, applying the constitutionally determined rules within a legal community. However, globalization puts constitutional courts in a new position. They have to cope with cases of international implications pushing them to bridge gaps between different legal orders. Human rights protection, coordinated by international courts, has become an ever more important means to build common ground. By thus strengthening the universal element of fundamental rights, courts grow apart from an all-embracing legal community and become increasingly important political players. This means chance and challenge. It will affect the work and more generally the whole communication process of constitutional courts. If claims of renationalization are further going popular it may even bring them in a precarious situation.

Prof. Dr. Johannes Masing

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Meeting-ID: 990 3926 9746
Kenncode: 441235

Photo LorenzCurriculum Vitae

Prof. Dr. Johannes Masing is a legal scholar and a former justice of German Federal Constitutional Court. Following a semester in Grenoble where he studied French Language and Culture for Foreigners, he enrolled at the University of Freiburg (Breisgau) in 1979. He studied Music (Piano) at the University of Music (from 1985 to 1986 in Freiburg, and subsequently in Stuttgart) as well as Law. In addition, Prof. Dr. Masing studied Philosophy from 1981 to 1983. He passed two examinations in Piano in 1983 and 1986, as well as two in Law in 1985 and 1989. Starting in 1986, Johannes Masing was a freelancer at a law firm, a research assistant at the Institute for Public Law at the University of Freiburg, and a research assistant at the German Federal Constitutional Court with Justice Prof. Dr. Ernst-Wolfgang Böckenförde. In 1996, Johannes Masing obtained his doctorate from the University of Freiburg. His habilitation followed in 1997. After having served as a visiting professor in Bielefeld and Heidelberg, he was invited to become Chair of Constitutional and Administrative Law at the University of Augsburg in 1998. In Augsburg, Prof. Masing also served as Director of the faculty-affiliated Institute for Environmental Law and as Dean of the Law Faculty from 2003 to 2005. Since 2007, he has held the Chair of Public Law at the University of Freiburg. In addition, Johannes Masing has been an academic scholar at the University of Michigan Law School, as well as a visiting professor at the University Jean Moulin, Lyon III; the Jagiellonian University of Krakow; the Universities of Paris I (Sorbonne) and Paris II (Panthéon-Assas); and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. In 2008, he received the Gay Lussac Humboldt Prize. From 2008 to 2020, Prof. Masing served as a justice on the German Federal Constitutional Court (First Senate). Upon his retirement, he was awarded the Great Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, with star and shoulder ribbon.

Since April 2021, Prof. Dr. Johannes Masing has been a Fellow at the Käte Hamburger Center for Advanced Study in the Humanities “Law as Culture” in Bonn.