Doctrine of Fundamental Rights in a Trans­national Perspective

The project aims at a continuous doctrinal development of fundamental rights—with particular focus on funda­men­tal rights especially impacted by public se­cu­rity measures—in a transnational perspective. Fundamental rights are central for the legal evaluation of public security measures. Knowledge of the doctrinal development of individual fundamental rights such as human dignity, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, data protection, and privacy, to name just a few, and the proper understanding of general fundamental rights doctrines such as the principle of proportionality are crucial to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of powers attributed to security agencies.
The project’s steady backbone is a comprehensive, systematic account of fundamental rights doctrine in Germany, published in an established textbook, in annual editions. The book has shaped 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 currently 38 editions by our academic teachers Bodo Pieroth and Bernhard Schlink. In the edi­tions since published under our responsibility, we thoroughly updated and internationalized the perspective on German fundamental rights in keeping with the focus on general fundamental rights structures, which has made the book highly influential. The annual publication of the book allows for the dissemination of research results distilled from more specific fundamental rights subprojects to a large legal audience and, conversely, the sub­pro­jects serve to elaborate on new ideas developed in the context of each edition.


Research outcome: annual monograph (including international translations); academic articles
Research focus: 3. Challenges: Fundamental Rights, Rule of Law, Democracy
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

Kingreen, T., & Poscher, R. (2022). Grundrechte. Staatsrecht II (38. Aufl.). Heidelberg: C.F. Müller.
Kingreen, T., & Poscher, R. (2021). Grundrechte. Staatsrecht II (37. Aufl.). Heidelberg: C.F. Müller.
Kingreen, T., & Poscher, R. (2020). Grundrechte. Staatsrecht II (36., neu bearb. Aufl.). Heidelberg: C.F. Müller.
Kingreen, T., & Poscher, R. (2019). Grundrechte. Staatsrecht II (35., neu bearb. Aufl.). Heidelberg: C.F. Müller.
Poscher, R. (2022). Human Dignity in the Mechanics of Claims. Jus Cogens, 4(2), 193–201. doi:10.1007/s42439-021-00047-0
Poscher, R. (2020). Resuscitation of a Phantom? On Robert Alexy’s Latest Attempt to Save His Concept of Principle. Ratio Juris, 33(2), 134–149. doi:10.1111/raju.12286
Poscher, R. (2021). Proportionality and the Bindingness of Fundamental Rights. In E. Billis, N. Knust, & J. P. Rui (Eds.), Proportionality in crime control and criminal justice (pp. 49–68). Oxford: Hart Publishing. doi:10.5040/
Poscher, R. (2022). Artificial Intelligence and the Right to Data Protection. In S. Voeneky, P. Kellmeyer, O. Mueller, & W. Burgard (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Responsible Artificial Intelligence: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (pp. 281–289) Cambridge Law Handbooks. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781009207898.022

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