Doctrine of Fundamental Rights in a Trans­national Perspective

The project aims at a continuous doctrinal development of fundamental rights with a special focus on fundamental rights implied in public security measures in a transnational perspective. Fundamental rights are central for the legal evaluation of public security measures. The doctrinal development of individual fundamental rights such as human dignity, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, data protection, privacy to name just a few and the proper understanding of general fundamental rights doctrines such as the principle of proportinality are crucial to keep up with the ever changing landscape of powers attributed to security agencies.
The continuous backbone of the project is a comprehensive systematic account of fundamental rights doctrine in Germany in a long established textbook, that is published in yearly editions. The book has formed the understand­ing of fundamental rights of generations of German lawyers. My co-author, Thorsten Kingreen and I have been en­trusted with the book since the 29th of now 38 editions by our academic teachers, Bodo Pieroth and Bernhard Schlink. In the editions under our responsibility we have by now thoroughly updated and internationalized the prespective on German fundamental rights in keeping with the focus on general fundamental rights structures, which has made the book so influential. The yearly publication of the book allows for destributing the distilled results of more specific fundamental rights sub-projects for a large legal audience and inversly the subprojects sever to elaborate on new ideas developed in the context of the editions.


Research outcome: annual monograph (including international translations); academic articles
Project languages:German, English



Project description

The subprojects analyze some of the most pressing fundamental rights issues with respect to public security law in much more depth – doctrinally as well as theoretically. Especially the theoretical perspective opens the projects for a transnational discussion of fundamental rights. In the reporting period they focussed amongst others on the theoretical performance limits of constititional balancing and an alternative explication of decisions that sail under the flag of pro­por­tionality review, the relation between the right to life and human dignity, an alternative conception of the right to data protection and its implication for evalutationg artificial intelligence. Next to a doctrinal analysis of the respective juris­pru­dence the subprojects methodolocially often branch out into neighboring disciplines. Drawing on analytical or politi­cal philosophy, ethics or political theory often allows to aquire a better understanding of the underlying structural or substantive issues, which can than inform novel doctrinal perspectives.

Next to the yearly editions of the fundamental rights book the project aims at articles with a theoretical focus in German and as far as the topics lend themselves in English to engage mor fully with the internationalized discussion. Further the project supports translations in the sense of an outreach to different legal cultures. In this vein the department has worked with colleagues in Asia to provide a second Japanese and a first Korean translation of the fundamental rights volume, a Turkish translation is in progress. The same holds for some of the articles on subprojects, which have been translated into different languages.


Key publications

Thorsten Kingreen and Ralf Poscher, Grundrechte. Staatsrecht II. (C.F. Müller, Heidelberg, 2022), 38. Aufl. ed.
Thorsten Kingreen and Ralf Poscher, Grundrechte. Staatsrecht II. (C.F. Müller, Heidelberg, 2021), 37. Aufl. ed.
Thorsten Kingreen and Ralf Poscher, Grundrechte. Staatsrecht II. (C.F. Müller, Heidelberg, 2020), 36., neu bearb. Aufl. ed.
Thorsten Kingreen and Ralf Poscher, Grundrechte. Staatsrecht II. (C.F. Müller, Heidelberg, 2019), 35., neu bearb. Aufl. ed.
Ralf Poscher, "Human Dignity in the Mechanics of Claims," Jus Cogens 4 (2), 193-201 (2022).
Ralf Poscher, "Resuscitation of a Phantom? On Robert Alexy’s Latest Attempt to Save His Concept of Principle," Ratio Juris 33 (2), 134-149 (2020).
Ralf Poscher, "Proportionality and the Bindingness of Fundamental Rights", in Proportionality in crime control and criminal justice, edited by Emmanouil Billis, Nandor Knust, and Jon Petter Rui (Hart Publishing, Oxford, 2021), pp. 49-68.
Ralf Poscher, "Artificial Intelligence and the Right to Data Protection", in The Cambridge Handbook of Responsible Artificial Intelligence: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, edited by Silja Voeneky, Philipp Kellmeyer, Oliver Mueller, and Wolfram Burgard (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2022), pp. 281-289.

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