Susanne Baer in November 2010
|Justice of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany|
February 2, 2011
|Nominated by||The Greens|
|Preceded by||Brun-Otto Bryde|
February 16, 1964
|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
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.
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.
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. 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). 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.
Judge of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany, 2011-
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.
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.”
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.
- Comparative Constitutionalism: Cases and Materials, (together with Norman Dorsen, Michel Rosenfeld, András Sajó), St. Paul 2010
- Hirschfeld Eddy Foundation, Member of the Scientific Advisory Board
- Human Rights Centre of the University of Potsdam, Member of the Scientific Advisory Board
- Institute for Human Sciences (IWM), Member of the Board of Trustees
- Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Member of the Academic Advisory Board
- Total E-Quality initiative, Member of the Board of Trustees
- GENDER. Journal for Gender, Culture and Society, Member of the Advisory Board
- STREIT - Feministische Rechtszeitschrift, Member of the Editorial Team
- Wittenberg Institute for Research on Higher Education (HoF) at the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, Member of the Scientific Advisory Board (2007-2011)
- 1993: Scholarly Writing Award, University of Michigan Law School, USA
- 1995: Walter Kolb Memorial Award of the City of Frankfurt
- 2002: Award for Good Teaching, Philosophische Fakultät III, Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany
- 2013: Augspurg-Heymann Award
- 2014: Honorary Doctorate of the University of Michigan, USA
- 2014: Honorary Professor Taipei National University, Taiwan
- Erster Senat: ßSusanne Baer Bundesverfassungsgericht.
- Susanne Baer, Professor of Public Law and Gender Studies, LL.M. University of Zurich, Law Summer School (LSS) Cairo 2008.
- Erster Senat: ßSusanne Baer Bundesverfassungsgericht.
- William W. Cook Global Law Professor: Susanne Baer University of Michigan Law School.
- Website of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany
- Jack Ewing (December 17, 2014), German Court Strikes Down Law Allowing Companies to Be Inherited Tax-Free New York Times.
- A General Ban on Headscarves For Teachers at State Schools is Not Compatible With the Constitution BVerfG, press release no. 14/2015 of 13 March 2015.
- Board of Trustees
- "Elections to the British Academy celebrate the diversity of UK research". British Academy. 2 July 2017. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
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