Susanne Baer

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Susanne Baer
Susanne Baer in November 2010
Justice of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany
Assumed office
February 2, 2011
Nominated by The Greens
Preceded by Brun-Otto Bryde
Personal details
Born Susanne Baer
(1964-02-16) February 16, 1964 (age 53)
Saarbrücken, Germany
Alma mater Free University of Berlin
University of Michigan Law School
Goethe University Frankfurt

Susanne Baer, FBA (born February 16, 1964) is a German legal scholar and one of the 16 judges of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany. Baer has been the William W. Cook Global Law Professor at the University of Michigan Law School since winter 2010 and is also a professor of public law and gender studies with the Law Faculty at Humboldt University of Berlin and its dean of academic affairs.

Early life and education[edit]

Baer was born in Saarbrücken on February 16, 1964. From 1983 to 1988 Baer studied German law and political science at the Free University of Berlin. She received her LL.M. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1993.[1]


With a scholarship by the Hans Böckler Foundation between 2003 and 2005, Baer wrote her doctoral thesis – a comparison of the approach to sexual harassment in the workplace in Germany and the U.S. – at the Goethe University Frankfurt.[2]

Baer was Visiting Professor of Public Law at the Universities of Bielefeld in 2001/02 and Erfurt in 2001.[3]

In 2002, Baer declined the offer of a professorship at the University of Bielefeld but soon after was appointed university professor at the Humboldt University of Berlin.[4] In 2005/2006, she served as vice president for academic and international affairs at Humboldt University and as director of its Centre for Transdisciplinary Gender Studies and GenderCompetenceCentre (2003-2010).[5] According to a Freedom of Information Request from 2012 dealt with by Berlin administrative court as late as spring 2017, Humboldt University of Berlin was unable to provide any record of research, publications or lectures held by Susanne Baer during her tenure as a professor at the University from 2002 to 2011. According to University regulations, research records must be kept in writing for 10 years and she would have been obliged to teach for 9 h per week, too.[6]

Baer’s research areas include socio-cultural legal studies, gender studies, law against discrimination, and comparative constitutional law.[7]

Judge of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany, 2011-[edit]

Baer has been a judge of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany since February 2011, when she was elected to the Court by a committee of the German Parliament for a 12-year term upon nomination by The Greens. She is the second judge of the Federal Constitutional Court to be elected on the proposal of the Greens; Brun-Otto Bryde was the first. Baer is the first lesbian to serve on the Federal Constitutional Court. She is in a civil union.[8][9]

In a unanimous 2014 decision by the eight-judge First Senate on abolishing a law allowing companies to be passed from generation to generation tax free, Baer – alongside fellow members Reinhard Gaier and Johannes Masing – issued a supplementary decision saying the judgment should have included wording to ensure that revised tax rules did not undercut the basic purpose of inheritance law, which was to hinder excessive concentration of wealth among a privileged few: “The inheritance tax serves not only to generate tax revenue. Rather it is also an instrument of the state to hinder disproportionate accumulation of wealth from generation to generation solely as a result of origin or personal connection.”[10]

In 2015, Baer was one of the judges who overturned the ban on the wearing of hijabs in German classrooms, arguing that a general prohibition, incumbent on teachers in state schools, of expressing religious beliefs by outer appearance, is not compatible with their freedom of faith and their freedom to profess a belief.[11]


  • Comparative Constitutionalism: Cases and Materials, (together with Norman Dorsen, Michel Rosenfeld, András Sajó), St. Paul 2010

Other activities[edit]


In July 2017, Baer was elected a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy (FBA), the United Kingdom's national academy for the humanities and social sciences.[13]


External links[edit]