Professor Dr. Felix Hanschmann appointed chair "Critique of Law"

Bucerius Law School fills novel basic chair

On May 1, 2021, Professor Dr. Felix Hanschmann will take over the newly established chair Critique of Law - Foundations and Practice of the Democratic Rule of Law, funded by the Dieter Hubertus Pawlik Foundation. This appointment broadens the school’s personnel in the area of basic research in law, focusing on aspects of legal sociology and democratic theory. The chair is the first of its kind in Germany.

Focus on the challenges of the democratic constitutional state

The democratic constitutional state, as a central cultural achievement, is facing existential challenges and transformations. Having said this, the new faculty position will deal with the foundations, mechanisms of action and institutions of public law.  Furthermore, this position will examine law making, jurisprudence and law enforcement for their structural weaknesses and possible reform potentials. One research focus will be on the idea and reality of the democratic rule of law in the international legal community.

About the future Chair

Felix Hanschmann studied law in Frankfurt am Main and sociology in Darmstadt. After his first state examination and research visits, among others, at the Institute for Global Law and Policy at Harvard Law School, he completed his doctorate under Professor Dr. Dr. Günter Frankenberg at Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main.  The topic was on “the thesis of the necessity of homogeneous collectives with special consideration of the homogeneity criteria 'history' and 'language'". Following that he worked as a research assistant at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg and at the Federal Constitutional Court with Judge Brun-Otto Bryde. In 2016, he habilitated on the subject of "State education and training. All-day schools, educational standards and independent schools as challenges for constitutional and school law” at the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main and received the Venia Legendi for Public Law, International Law and Legal Theory. Afterwards, he held professorships in Gießen, Freiburg, and Leipzig. Since 2017, he was the stand-in Chair of Public Law, in particular Constitutional Law and Philosophy of Law, at the Humboldt University of Berlin.

Felix Hanschmann is a member of selection committees of the German National Academic Foundation, a trusted lecturer of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, a member of the board of trustees of the Sebastian Cobler Foundation for Civil Rights and co-editor of "Kritische Justiz (Critical Justice)".

First chair of its kind in Germany

"With Professor Felix Hanschmann, we have gained a dynamic, inspiring and broad-based colleague for our law school who carries with him an excellent reputation as a lecturer and scholar. Here we can offer him every opportunity to reveal democratic and emancipatory reform potentials in lawmaking and jurisprudence, while also encouraging our students to reflect critically," emphasizes President Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Katharina Boele-Woelki.

Professor Dr. Felix Hanschmann adds: "I am very pleased to be able to take up a chair at Bucerius Law School, the necessity and importance of which is beyond question in view of the multitude of challenges facing the democratic social constitutional state, based on the guarantee of human rights and equality. I am especially looking forward to my classes (which I hope will soon be back on campus) and getting to know the students in person at the Bucerius Law School campus."


Jonathan Schramm, translated by David Patrician