The German Bundestag awarded the Hamburg-based legal scholar Dr. Tino Frieling with the Science Prize 2019 for his doctoral dissertation “Wille des Gesetzgebers und Gesetzesmaterialien – Fallgruppen verbindlicher Willensäußerungen” (published in 2017, translation: “Legislative History and Legislative Intent. Case Groups of Binding Declarations of Intent”). Dr. Frieling with be presented with the award by the president of the Bundestag, Wolfgang Schäuble, on May 15.
The jury, consisting of constitutional law professors, historians and political scientists, selected Dr. Frieling’s dissertation out of 42 submitted publications because it addresses an established legal problem in an articulate, concise and original manner.
The question whether and how legislative history affects the interpretation of any given statute is as old as the legislative procedure itself. In his analysis, Dr. Frieling develops the idea to examine this matter by differentiating between the constitutional functions of legislation and the constitutional status of different kinds of legislative history materials.
According to the jury, the connection of Dr. Frieling’s dissertation to democracy and parliamentarianism frequently becomes clear when he examines, knowledgeably and in much detail, the different legislative history materials, including the by-laws of the Bundestag. Equally enlightening are his remarks on the current practice of statutory interpretation, through which he proves that in recent times legislative history has increasingly been used as a source to determine the legislative intent and as a method of interpreting statutes.
Dr. Tino Frieling (born 1985) studied law at Bucerius Law School and at the University of Sydney. After the first state examination, he worked a research associate at Bucerius Law School, where he earned his doctoral degree in 2017. He passed the second state examination in the same year. He has been working as a post-doctoral research assistant at the Chair of Civil Law III, Civil Law, Labour Law and Law of Civil Procedure since.
The Science Prize was established by the German Bundestag in 1989 to commemorate its 40th anniversary. Since 1997, the prize has been awarded every two years. The prize is endowed with €10,000 and honors outstanding scientific papers that encourage the examination of questions of parliamentarianism and contribute to a deeper understanding of parliamentary practice.