Corona and Constitutionalism


Who suffers? Who is hurt? The Pandemic touches upon every aspect of our lives – and this certainly raises many questions, including difficult questions in constitutional law. While liberties often dominate, equality is also a concern. Overall, constitutionalism provides a framework within which to address the challenges, but also comes under pressure when dealing with such a crisis. First and foremost, the state and legislatures are called upon to act, but it is also courts that react to the pandemic, as institutions themselves, and to assess the division of responsibility, to limit populist attempts to abuse the occasion, to properly balance life and health with assembly and religious rights, and public interests with “private” matters including family life, and more. The seminar will focus on Germany, to allow for a broader comparative and critical discussion.


Susanne Baer serves as Justice of the Federal Constitutional Court in Germany. She is the Professor of Public Law and Gender Studies at Humboldt University Berlin and a Bates Global Law Professor at the University of Michigan Law School. She received honorary doctorates in 2014 in Michigan, 2017 in Hasselt and 2018 in Lucerne, and is a Corresponding Fellow at the British Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has taught at CEU Budapest, in Austria, Switzerland and Canada. Prof. Baer studied law and political science and was active in movements against discrimination, including pornography, sexual harassment and domestic violence; from 2003 until 2010, she directed the GenderCompetenceCentre to advise the German federal government on gender mainstreaming. At Humboldt University, she served as Vice-President for International and Student Affairs, as Director of Gender Studies and Vice Dean of the Faculty of Law, and she founded the Law and Society Institute Berlin and a Law Clinic in Fundamental and Human Rights.  She publishes videos on sociolegal studies #rechtreal.
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This is the first event of the CECS seminar series: Global, European, constitutional and legal cultural perspectives on pandemics / Covid19 - SPRING 2021. See the list of all the seminars here.