Prof. Kommers Concludes German Fellowship with Major Lecture

Author: Susan Good


Notre Dame Professor of Law Donald P. Kommers will deliver the George H. W. Bush and Axel Springer Lecture at the American Academy in Berlin on “Change and Continuity in German Constitutionalism: 1949-2008” on Wednesday, May 6. Kommers holds the George H.W. Bush and Axel Springer residential fellowship in the Academy. The lecture will be moderated by Professor Dr. Dieter Grimm, a former justice of Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court.

Kommers’ lecture focuses on developments in German constitutionalism over the last 60 years, underscoring major changes and continuities in the Basic Law (Germany’s Constitution), and concludes with an assessment of the current status of Germany’s constitutional culture. The lecture is part of a larger project entitled, “Germany’s Constitutional Odyssey,” in which Kommers seeks to measure the influence of the Basic law on the development of German democracy and constitutionalism since 1949.

Read an article by Kommers on Germany’s Basic Law in the Atlantic Times here:

Kommers won the prestigious Berlin Prize Fellowship from The American Academy in spring 2008, and arrived at the Academy in January 2009 to spend a semester completing his research project.

The mission of the American Academy in Berlin is to strengthen the transatlantic relationship by promoting intellectual and cultural exchange.

The prize is a residential fellowship for advanced study in the arts, culture and public affairs. The Academy bestows between ten and 20 awards each year world-wide. Fellows have a concurrent association with a Berlin institution such as a museum, library, archive, art institute, film studio or university. Kommers will be affiliated with the law faculty of Berlin’s Humboldt University.

With scores of major publications to his name, Kommers’ work has been highly acclaimed by legal scholars and political scientists alike. A leading American authority on Germany’s political and constitutional system, he was honored recently by Heidelberg’s Ruprecht-Karls-University “for advancing cooperation between American and German legal scholars and for the role his publications have played in bringing Germany’s constitutional jurisprudence to the attention of Anglo-American legal audiences.”

The American Academy in Berlin was established in September 1994 on the initiative of Richard C. Holbrooke, Thomas Farmer, Henry Kissinger, Richard von Weizsäcker, and a number of other distinguished Americans and Germans committed to a healthy transatlantic relationship.