Former Minister of Justice Prof. Dr. Herta Däubler-Gmelin holds lecture on German legal theory

Event: Society and Politics

German lawyer, academic and former Minister of Justice Prof. Dr. Herta Däubler-Gmelin held a lecture on German legal theory at the China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL) to Chinese and international students.

The speech arranged by FES discussed questions of rule of law with a focus on the theories of Karl Schmitt.

The overriding question of Däubler-Gmelin’s lecture consisted in the relationship between law and politics. It turned out that different contexts require different solutions, leading to a change of the role of law over the years.

With regard to Karl Schmitt, the main issue consisted in the question of applicability of his theory in the light of his controversial personality and prominent role during the Nazi regime. Is it correct to apply particular ideas of his theory while ignoring the bigger context of his work? To what extent is it possible to separate the oeuvre from its author? The speech of Prof. Dr. Herta Däubler-Gmelin resulted in a lively exchange of views with students.

In the end of the discussion, she stressed the importance of specific background knowledge to read such controversial theories as Schmitt’s in order to avoid being deceived by them.

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