Marietta Auer awarded Leibniz Prize 2022

December 09, 2021

Marietta Auer has been awarded the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the German Research Council (DFG), the most prestigious research award in Germany. She received this distinction ‘for her outstanding work in the areas of legal theory and legal history, with which she has contributed to the development of a comprehensive legal-philosophical understanding of private law in relation to public law.’

Marietta Auer stated: ‘Law is one of the most important social steering systems of modern society. Within this context, increasingly pressing questions emerge regarding as to how legal concepts such as property or contract, which are central to our co-existence and economic order, can be understood with regard to their global, social and economic impacts and thought forward into the future. The high visibility afforded by the Leibniz Prize for questions of fundamental legal research represents an exceptional opportunity.’

Both her PhD and postdoctoral (Habilitation) theses were already considered pioneering works of legal theory: ‘In the former Auer shows the fundamental tensions between individual freedom and “collectivist” concern for the vulnerable, between legal certainty and case-by-case reasoning and between legislator and judge’. Building upon this, her habilitation thesis opens up a new perspective on the relationship between private law, on the one hand, which is meant to secure the freedom of the individual, and public law, on the other, which is supposed to create social order.

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