Ali Ighreiz, Christoph Möllers, Louis Rolfes, Anna Shadrova, Alexander Tischbirek

Karlsruher Kanones?

Selbst- und Fremdkanonisierung der Rechtsprechung des Bundesverfassungsgerichts

Volume 145 () / Issue 4, pp. 537-613 (77)
Published 09.06.2021

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Almost seventy years after the German Federal Constitutional Court's first ruling, it is hardly possible to read every single decision that the Court has published since then. Hence, students and scholars of Constitutional Law and interested citizens alike must increasingly refer to certain (pre-)selections of cases that – for one reason or the other – may or may not represent the Court's case law in its entirety. The present study examines some of these processes of canonization qualitatively and quantitatively by introducing methods of the so-called Digital Humanities into German legal studies. In the first part of the paper, we analyze some of the most well-established case books as well as a study on German Constitutional Law jurisdiction in an influential volume on comparative law in order to identify the »scientific« canon of German Constitutional Law. In the second part of the paper, we turn towards the Court's everyday practice in dealing with its own case law. We do so by relying on a network analysis in a computer-generated citation network of the Court's published senate decisions. Contrasting, both, the external as well as the internal approaches to canonization of the German Federal Constitutional Court's case law, we find that – other than in the United States, for instance – the different selection processes hardly yield divergent results. This is even more surprising as an exemplary qualitative study of some of the most-cited decisions reveals that there are highly varying reasons for a certain case to become »canonical".

Ali Ighreiz No current data available.

Christoph Möllers ist Professor für Öffentliches Recht und Rechtsphilosophie an der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin und ist Permanent Fellow am Wissenschaftskolleg ebenda.

Louis Rolfes No current data available.

Anna Shadrova No current data available.

Alexander Tischbirek Geboren 1981; Studium der Rechtswissenschaft an der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin und der Columbia University, New York; Referendariat am Kammergericht Berlin; Forschungsaufenthalte am European University Institute und an der Princeton University; 2016 Promotion; seit 2021 Inhaber einer Juniorprofessur (Tenure Track) für Öffentliches Recht, insbesondere Verwaltungsrecht, mit Schwerpunkt Recht der Digitalisierung, Medienrecht und Recht des E-Governments an der Universität Regensburg.