Andreas Voßkuhle (born 21 December 1963 in Detmold) is a German legal scholar and the president of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany.
Early life and education
Voßkuhle grew up in the small western German city of Detmold, where his father was a lawyer specializing in administrative law. Baptized into Lippische Landeskirche, one of Germany's few Reformed member churches. He started studying law at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich 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) under supervision of Peter Lerche.
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. At this university he held various positions, e. g. the one of the faculty director of the law faculty in the following years.
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.
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. 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.
After Norbert Lammert, the President of the Bundestag, criticized the court's 2009 ruling on the Treaty of Lisbon, Voßkuhle wrote in an op-ed piece in 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."
- Karlsruher Forum für Kultur, Recht und Technik, Member of the Board of Trustees
- Max Planck Society, Member of the Senate
- Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Member of the Board of Trustees
- Ernst Reuter Foundation for Advanced Study, Member of the Board of Trustees
- Fritz Thyssen Foundation, Member of the Scientific Advisory Board