Brigitte Zypries

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Brigitte Zypries
WLP14-ri-0279- Brigitte Zypries (SPD).jpg
Federal Minister of Justice
In office
22 October 2002 – 27 October 2009
Preceded by Herta Däubler-Gmelin
Succeeded by Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger
Personal details
Born (1953-11-16) 16 November 1953 (age 61)
Kassel, Germany
Nationality German
Political party Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD)
Alma mater University of Giessen

Brigitte Zypries (born 16 November 1953) is a German politician. Since 2013, she has been serving as Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, where she coordinates Germany's aviation and space policies. Previously, she was Federal Minister of Justice of Germany from 2002 to 2009 and Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of the Interior from 1998 to 2002. She is member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD).


Zypries studied law at the University of Giessen from 1972 to 1977, and took her first legal state exam in 1978. Then followed in-service training in the regional court district of Gießen, and in 1980 the second state exam. Until 1985 she worked at the University of Giessen.

  • 1985–1988: Assistant Head of Division at State Chancellery of Hesse
  • 1988–1990: Member of academic staff at the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany
  • 1991: Head of Division of the State Chancellery of Lower Saxony
  • 1995–1997: Head of Department of the State Chancellery of Lower Saxony
  • to 1998: Active in the Ministry for Women, Labour and Social Affairs of Lower Saxony
  • 1998–2002: Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of the Interior
  • November 1998 to October 2002: Active in the Federal Ministry of the Interior. From September 1999 Chair of the State Secretary Committee for the management of the Federal Government programme "Modern State — Modern Administration".
  • 23 October 2002 – 27 October 2009: Federal Minister of Justice

In the negotiations to form a government following the 2005 federal elections, Zypries led the SPD's delegations in the working groups on justice, consumer protection, and internal affairs; her co-chairs from the CDU/CSU were Wolfgang Bosbach, Horst Seehofer and Wolfgang Schäuble, respectively.[1]

Between 2005 and 2013, Zypries served on the German Bundestag’s Committee on the Election of Judges (Wahlausschuss), which is in charge of appointing judges to the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany.

On the occasion of the sixtieth anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel, Zypries participated in the first joint cabinet meeting of the governments of Germany and Israel in Jerusalem in March 2008.[2]

Other activities[edit]

Political positions[edit]

Zypries is considered a proponent of regulating more tightly access to internet platforms such as Google, Facebook, and Apple Inc.’s iTunes. A joint letter to the European Commission in November 2014, signed by Zypries and her French counterpart Axelle Lemaire on behalf of the German and French governments, suggested “essential” digital platforms should potentially be brought under existing rules for telecoms markets, a standalone regulation or specially tailored antitrust rules.[4]


In 2003, Zypries represented the German government before the Federal Constitutional Court when the Free Democratic Party challenged a German law allowing authorities to eavesdrop on conversations in private homes. While law-enforcement officials and the government argue that the law helps fight organized crime and terrorism, opponents contend it violates constitutional privacy guarantees and has not allowed authorities to crack a single major case.[5]

Ending a nasty diplomatic dispute between the United States and Germany, Zypries announced at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2006 that the German government was dropping its decades-long resistance to opening the archives kept at the International Tracing Service in the town of Bad Arolsen.[6]

On 3 June 2007, Zypries caused some controversy by saying at a meeting of G8 justice ministers in Munich that it should be assumed that missing British child Madeleine McCann was abducted by a gang that passes on children to be abused.[7]

In response to a 2007 meeting between chancellor Angela Merkel and the Dalai Lama, China canceled a high-level meeting on the protection of intellectual property rights of Chinese legal experts and Zypries in retaliation. A statement from the German Justice Ministry later said the meeting was called off "for technical reasons."[8] The opposition Green Party, which was in coalition with then-Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's Social Democrats from 1998 to 2005, also praised Merkel's stance.[9]

In the case of Richard Williamson in 2009, Zypries said that the German government was willing to press charges against the bishop if he did not clearly retract his comments.[10]

When German economics minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg decided to outsource the drafting of new bankruptcy legislation in 2009, Zypries criticised that Guttenberg wasted taxpayers’ money and that it was the responsibility of her ministry, not his, to oversee the preparation of the legislation.[11]


External links[edit]