|Minister of Justice|
28 October 2009
|Preceded by||Brigitte Zypries|
18 May 1992 – 17 January 1996
|Preceded by||Klaus Kinkel|
|Succeeded by||Edzard Schmidt-Jortzig|
26 July 1951 |
Minden, West Germany
|Political party||Free Democratic Party|
|Alma mater||University of Göttingen
Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger [zaˈbiːnə ˈlɔʏthɔʏsɐ ˈʃnaʀənˌbɛɐ̯ɡɐ] (born 26 July 1951) is a German politician of the libertarian Free Democratic Party. Within the FDP, she is a leading figure of the small social-liberal wing. She served as Federal Minister of Justice of Germany from 1992 to 1996 in the cabinet of Helmut Kohl, and holds the office again in the second Merkel cabinet from 2009.
- 1 Early life and work
- 2 Political career
- 3 Honorary offices
- 4 Awards
- 5 Personal life
- 6 Publications (selection)
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Early life and work
She was born in Minden, North Rhine-Westphalia. After graduating from gymnasium in Minden in 1970, Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger started studying law in Göttingen and Bielefeld. In 1975 she passed the first state exam in Hamm, in 1978 the second state exam in Düsseldorf.
In addition to her mandate as a member of the German parliament (Bundestag), she has been working as a lawyer in Munich since 1997.
In 1978 Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger became a member of the Free Democratic Party (FDP). Since 1991 she has been a member of federal board of the FDP.
Member of the Bundestag and Minister of Justice, 1992-1996
Since 12 December 1990 Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger has been a member of the German Bundestag. On 18 May 1992 she was sworn in as Federal Minister of Justice of Germany. In 1995 there was a broad public discussion in Germany about the invulnerability of the private domain by means of acoustic observation (Großer Lauschangriff, literally "big eavesdropping attack"). In this argument she strongly objected to expanding the state's right to interfere in citizens' private domain. After the members of the FDP decided in a poll to support the conservative lead of the CDU in this matter, she resigned from her office on 1 January 1996. Since May 1997 she is a member of the Steering Committee of the FDP ("Präsidium"). Since December 2, 2000 she has also been FDP chairwoman for the Federal State of Bavaria. Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger was twice Deputy Chairwoman of the FDP parliamentary group from February 2, 2001 to October 2, 2002 and from September 27, 2005 until October 28, 2009.
Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
Following her time in government, Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger sharpened her profile as deputy parliamentary leader of the FDP and high-profile civil rights campaigner. During the 16th Legislative Term of the Bundestag she was spokeswoman on legal policy for the FDP parliamentary group, chairwoman of the FDP in the parliamentary committee on legal affairs and deputy member in the parliamentary committee on human rights and humanitarian aid.
Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger was also active in the Council of Europe. From 2003 to 2009 she was member of the German delegation at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. As member of the Council of Europe's Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, she conducted an investigative trip to Russia and authored a critical report on the country's judicial system. In 2008, she presented a report to the Parliamentary Assembly on the investigation of the Gongadze case and other crimes of the Kuchma era in Ukraine. Titled Allegations of Politically Motivated Abuses of the Criminal Justice System in Council of Europe Member States, her 2009 report examined alleged abuses in Britain, Germany, France, and Russia. Much of the document focused on Russia, detailing several recent cases that "give rise to concerns that the fight against 'legal nihilism' launched by President Medvedev is still far from won."
Minister of Justice, 2009-
Since 2009, Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger has been Federal Minister of Justice again, this time in the second Merkel cabinet. Alongside four men, she is the only female FDP member in Merkel's cabinet.
In 2010, talking about issues like privacy and copyright, she complained about Google's instinct for "pressing ahead" and its "megalomania". That same year, she asked Apple Inc. to tell state data protection officials about the kind of data the company was gathering on individual iPhone users in Germany. In a case Leutheusser herself brought to the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany, the judges eventually rejected a core piece of security legislation that requires data on telephone calls and e-mail traffic to be stored for up to six months for possible use by law enforcement and intelligence agencies. As part of the draft of a law governing workplace privacy, she proposed placing restrictions on employers who want to use Facebook profiles when recruiting. She also expressed her support for legislation that would punish officials who purchase illegally obtained data of German tax evaders in Switzerland. In response to the 2013 mass surveillance scandal, Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, in a guest editorial for the Web site Spiegel Online, called the revelations about the U.S. surveillance “deeply disconcerting” and possibly “dangerous.”
Under legislation introduced by Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger following a wave of revelations about Catholic priest abusing minors in 2011, Germans who were sexually abused as children today have as long as 30 years after they turn 21 to bring accusations in court; the previous statute of limitations on civil abuse cases was three years. After the Federal Constitutional Court ruled in 2013 that gays and lesbians should be allowed to adopt children already adopted by their partners, Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger argued that “[t]he decision to put civil unions and marriage on level footing needs a big push”; however, her party’s efforts failed due to opposing views of her conservative coalition partner. 
During the 2012–13 Cypriot financial crisis, Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger broke new ground by calling directly on European Union leaders to do more to defend Germany’s role in helping the weaker Eurozone members.
In 2011, Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger became one of the first prominent Free Democratic politicians to suggest a change in the party's top leadership. She recommended over then incumbent Guido Westerwelle be replaced by Christian Lindner, then the party’s general secretary.
- Member of the Executive Committee ("Vorstand") of the Theodor Heuss Foundation
- Club nember of the Gegen das Vergessen – Für Demokratie e.V.
- Patron ("Schirmherrin") and member of Dunkelziffer e.V. – Hilfe für sexuell missbrauchte Kinder (Help against Child Abuse)
- Member of the German Child Protection Agency (Deutscher Kinderschutzbund e.V.)
- Member of the Weißer Ring e.V. (Support for victims and crime prevention)
- Council member of the Sebastian-Cobbler-Foundation
- Member of the Pro Justitia Foundation (Promoting Research in the field of Law)
- Board member of the Humanist Union Bavaria
- Member of the Advisory Board of the Global Panel Foundation
- 1995 – Hamm-Brücher Medal
- 1996 – Paul-Klinger Prize by the Vereinte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft
- 1997 – Mona Lisa Woman of the Year
- 2002 – 1st Class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
- 2002 – Bavarian Order of Merit
- 2010 – “Kompassnadel” of the Gay of Network in North Rhine-Westphalia
- 2011 – Silver Bavarian Constitutional Medal (Bayerische Verfassungsmedaille)
Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger is widowed, after her husband died in 2006. Her father, Dr. Horst Leutheusser, was also a lawyer, and deputy mayor of Minden as member of the CDU. Her uncle, Wolfgang Stammberger, was one of her predecessors as minister of justice (from 1961 to 1962).
- "Gegenkurs. Plädoyer für eine selbstbewusste Politik der Freiheit" (96).
- Zwischen Einbürgerung und politischer Partizipation 'ausländischer Mitbürger'. Welchen Spielraum gewährt der demokratische Rechtsstaat in Deutschland? In: Büttner, Christian / Meyer, Berthold (eds.): Integration durch Partizipation. 'Ausländische Mitbürger' in demokratischen Gesellschaften. Campus Publisher 2001, pp. 31–43
- Vorratsdatenspeicherung – Ein vorprogrammierter Verfassungskonflikt. In: Zeitschrift für Rechtspolitik, 2007, p. 9 ff.
- Auf dem Weg in den autoritären Staat. In: Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik, Edition 1/2008, pp. 62–70
- http://www.tagesschau.de/aktuell/meldungen/0,1185,OID3037054_TYP1_NAVSPM2~3036854_REF1,00.html Zehn Jahre Diskussion um den Großen Lauschangriff (German)
- Oliver Samson (August 23, 2006), Striking the Right Balance Between Freedom and Security Deutsche Welle.
- Erin E. Arvedlund (March 29, 2005), Critics Say a Jailed Yukos Lawyer Is a 'Hostage' New York Times.
- Jason Bush (June 24, 2009), Report Slams Moscow: No Justice for Business in Russia Der Spiegel.
- Marcel Fürstenau (May 3, 2013), Liberal Free Democrats set to launch election offensive Deutsche Welle.
- Eric Pfanner (February 2, 2010), Europe Looms as Major Battleground for Google New York Times.
- Kevin J. O'Brien (June 28, 2010), Germany Asks Apple About iPhone’s Data-Gathering New York Times.
- Judy Dempsey (March 2, 20100), German Court Orders Stored Telecom Data Deleted International Herald Tribune.
- David Jolly (August 25, 2010), Germany Plans Limits on Facebook Use in Hiring New York Times.
- German minister calls for punishing tax CD purchases Deutsche Welle, September 1, 2012.
- James Kanter (June 11, 2013), E.U. Official Pushes U.S. to Explain Its Surveillance New York Times.
- Germany: Change to Abuse Statute New York Times, March 23, 2011.
- Chris Cottrell and Nicholas Kulish (February 27, 2013), Gay Rights Emerge as Campaign Issue in Germany New York Times.
- Melissa Eddy (March 27, 2013), Cypriots’ Criticism of Bailout Rattles Nerves and Raises Ire in Germany New York Times.
- Judy Dempsey (January 3, 2011), Coalition Partner Becomes Liability for Merkel Government International Herald Tribune.
- This article incorporates information from the German Wikipedia.
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