Prof. Dr. Johannes Saurer

Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen

Curriculum Vitae

Professor Dr. Johannes Saurer studied Law at the University of Tübingen and Yale University. In 2004, he received his doctorate degree with the piece “Die Funktionen der Rechtsverordnung” (“The Functions of Legislative Decree”) at the University of Bayreuth, where he had been employed since 2002 as a research associate. He took his second state examination in Law in 2007 before receiving his Master of Laws (LL.M.) from Yale University in 2008. He subsequently worked as Academic Director in Bayreuth and received his habilitation there in Public Law, European Law, and Legal Philosophy in 2011. In his habilitation, Johannes Saurer pursued the subject of “The Individual in European Administrative Law”. From 2011 to 2013, Professor Saurer held interim professorships in Berlin, Gießen, and Bielefeld. In 2013, he accepted a university professorship at Bielefeld University. Since 2014, Johannes Saurer has served as Professor of Public Law, Environmental Law, Infrastructure Law, and Comparative Law at the University of Tübingen.

Professor Dr. Johannes Saurer was Fellow at the Käte Hamburger Center for Advanced Study “Law as Culture” in Bonn from April to September 2019.

Research Project

“Climate Protection Regulation in the Anthropocene – In Consideration of the Role of Courts in the Transformation to a CO2-neutral Global Economy”

This research project examines legal-cultural dimensions of climate protection law and its legal enforcement. In the Paris Agreement from December 2015, the international community set ambitious global goals for climate protection, such as the two-degree-limit and global carbon neutrality for the economy and society alike. These targets are linked to the “nationally determined contributes” of individual states. The weaker the minimum requirements for greenhouse gas emissions are set by governments and legislative bodies, the more courts will come to the fore. There is a growing number of very different climate protection-related lawsuits around the world, including the NGO Urgenda’s successful case against the Dutch Government. Given this context, this research project investigates the explanatory value of cultural-scientific theory formation for climate protection law. The comparison of legal cultures deals with the attribution of meaning and self-interpretation of courts in the context of climate protection lawsuits. The research project refers to the interdisciplinary effective paradigm of the Anthropocene, according to which anthropogenic influences have, since the beginning of industrialization, led to the smoldering of a new earth age. The associated shock of the epistemological dichotomy of nature and culture will be analyzed in greater detail in terms of its significance for law.        

Publications (selected)


  • Saurer, Johannes. 2014. Der Einzelne im europäischen Verwaltungsrecht. Die institutionelle Ausdifferenzierung der Verwaltungsorganisation der Europäischen Union in individueller Perspektive. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen (Jus Publicum Vol. 228), XXII and 550 pages
  • Saurer, Johannes. 2005. Die Funktionen der Rechtsverordnung. Der gesetzgeberische Zuschnitt des Aufgaben- und Leistungsprofils exekutiver Rechtsetzung als Problem des Verfassungsrechts, ausgehend vom Referenzgebiet des Umweltrechts, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin (Schriften zum Öffentlichen Recht Vol. 1008), 562 pages

Editorial Work

  • Kaiser, Anna-Bettina/Petersen, Niels/Saurer, Johannes (eds.). 2019. The U.S. Supreme Court and Contemporary Constitutional Law: The Obama Era and Its Legacy, Nomos Verlag/Routledge Publishers, 312 pages

Essays and book chapters

  • Saurer, Johannes. 2018. Strukturen gerichtlicher Kontrolle im Klimaschutzrecht – Eine rechtsvergleichende Analyse, Zeitschrift für Umweltrecht (ZUR), p-  679-686.
  • Saurer, Johannes. 2017. Klimaschutz global, europäisch, national – Was ist rechtlich verbindlich?, Neue Zeitschrift für Verwaltungsrecht (NVwZ), p. 1574-1579.
  • Saurer, Johannes. 2017. EU Agencies 2.0: The New Constitution of Supranational Administration beyond the EU Commission, in: Susan Rose-Ackerman/Peter L. Lindseth/Blake Emerson (eds.), Comparative Administrative Law, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK/Northampton, MA, USA, 2nd edition, p. 619-631.
  • Saurer, Johannes. 2016. Rechtsvergleichende Betrachtungen zur Energiewende, Jahrbuch des öffentlichen Recht (JöR) 64, p. 411-430.
  • Saurer, Johannes/Purnhagen, Kai. 2016. Klimawandel vor Gericht – Der Rechtsstreit der Nichtregierungsorganisation „Urgenda“ gegen die Niederlande und seine Bedeutung für Deutschland, Zeitschrift für Umweltrecht (ZUR), p. 16-23.
  • Saurer, Johannes. 2015. Das Klimaschutzrecht der USA seit dem Amtsantritt von US-Präsident Barack Obama, Juristenzeitung (JZ), p. 401-406.
  • Saurer, Johannes. 2009. Das Recht als symbolische Form und Gegenstand der praktischen Philosophie: Zur Rechts- und Staatsphilosophie Ernst Cassirers, Archiv für Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie (ARSP) 95: p. 490-509.