Andreas Voßkuhle

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Andreas Voßkuhle
2016-10-03 Andreas Voßkuhle (Tag der Deutschen Einheit 2016 in Dresden) by Sandro Halank.jpg
9th President of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany
In office
16 March 2010 – 22 June 2020
Nominated bySocial Democratic Party of Germany
DeputyFerdinand Kirchhof, Stephan Harbarth
Preceded byHans-Jürgen Papier
Succeeded byStephan Harbarth
12th Vice-president of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany
In office
7 May 2008 – 16 March 2010
Nominated bySocial Democratic Party of Germany
PresidentHans-Jürgen Papier
Preceded byWinfried Hassemer
Succeeded byFerdinand Kirchhof
Judge of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany
In office
7 May 2008 – 22 June 2020
Nominated bySocial Democratic Party of Germany
Preceded byWinfried Hassemer
Succeeded byAstrid Wallrabenstein
Personal details
Born (1963-12-21) 21 December 1963 (age 58)
Detmold, West Germany
Spouse(s)Eva Voßkuhle
Alma materLudwig Maximilian University of Munich

Andreas Voßkuhle (born 21 December 1963) is a German legal scholar who served as the president of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany from 2010 until 2020.

Early life and education[edit]

Voßkuhle was born and grew up in the small Western German city of Detmold, where his father was a lawyer specializing in administrative law.[1] Baptized into Lippische Landeskirche, one of Germany's few Reformed member churches. He started studying law at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and the University of Bayreuth between 1983 and 1989. In 1989 he passed the first Staatsexamen. Before he completed the second Staatsexamen in 1993 he wrote his doctoral thesis (German title Rechtsschutz gegen den Richter [Legal protection against the judge]) under supervision of Peter Lerche.


Career in academia[edit]

Between 1992 and 1994, Voßkuhle was a research fellow at the chair for public law in Augsburg. Later, in 1995, he worked as a referent in the Ministry of the Interior of the Free State of Bavaria. Following his habilitation at the University of Augsburg in 1998, he became a full professor at the University of Freiburg in 1999 as well as the head of their institute for political science and the philosophy of law. Additionally, he held various positions including faculty director of the law faculty.

Since 2007 he is also an ordinary member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Later, in July 2007, he became the head of the University of Freiburg as well. He started to work in this position in April 2008.

Judge on the Federal Constitutional Court, 2008–2020[edit]

In May 2008, Voßkuhle became the vice-president of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany and the chairman of its second senate. He was the second choice of the SPD, after their initial candidate, Horst Dreier, was rejected by the CDU because of his position regarding stem cell research and torture.[2] When the mandate of the former President of the Court, Hans-Jürgen Papier ended in 2010, Voßkuhle became the youngest President in the history of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany.

In February 2012, Chancellor Angela Merkel offered Voßkuhle the opportunity to succeed Christian Wulff as President of Germany, after the president's resignation. He later declined the offer.[1]

The term of office of a judge on the Federal Constitutional Court is 12 years and cannot be extended. Therefore, his term ended in June 2020.

Later career[edit]

Since 2022, following an appointment by Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Voßkuhle has been serving on a three-member panel (alongside Norbert Lammert and Krista Sager) to assess potential conflicts of interest, requiring senior German officials from the chancellor to deputy ministers to observe a cooling-off period if they want to quit the government for a job in business.[3]


After Norbert Lammert, the President of the Bundestag, criticized the court's 2009 ruling on the Treaty of Lisbon, Voßkuhle wrote in an essay for the daily newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung that Lammert's statements were "strong words for a non-lawyer" and hardly served to "foster a culture of respect." Lammert eventually came around and upon "second reading" declared the court's ruling "a brilliant legal concept."[1]

Personal life[edit]

He is married. His wife is Eva Voßkuhle. They do not have any children.[4]

Other activities[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Dietmar Hipp (11 September 2012), Germany's Constitutional Court President: The Man Who Holds Europe's Destiny in His Hands Der Spiegel.
  2. ^ "Bundesrat wählt Voßkuhle zum Verfassungsrichter", Tagesschau, 25 April 2008.
  3. ^ Christoph Schult (1 April 2022), Voßkuhle, Lammert, Sager: Neue Besetzung bei Karenzzeitwächtern Der Spiegel.
  4. ^ "Andreas Voßkuhle – Der Präsident im Hintergrund". Cicero Online.
  5. ^ Executive Bodies Stiftung Mercator.
  6. ^ Board of Trustees Ernst Reuter Foundation for Advanced Study.
  7. ^ Scientific Advisory Board Fritz Thyssen Foundation.

External links[edit]

Media related to Andreas Voßkuhle at Wikimedia Commons