"Pour le Mérite" award for Michael Stolleis

July 29, 2014

Michael Stolleis is the latest member of the “Order Pour le Merité for Sciences and Arts”. The order reported that the jurist and legal historian is now one of its 39 local and 35 foreign members. Following the orders charter, the award “Pour le Merité” is given to people who “achieved a good reputation by their merits.” Thus a scientific member of the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History is now laureate of one of the most prestigious awards of Germany.

After studying Law, German Studies and History of Art, Michael Stolleis habilitated in the area of Administrative Law, Modern Legal History and Canon Law in Munich in 1973. Then he became professor at the Goethe University Frankfurt. About 20 years later Michael Stolleis became a scientific member of the Max Planck Society and took over the administration of the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History in Frankfurt where he is still active today. A total of nine scientific members of the Max Planck Society are currently associates of the Order Pour le Merité for Sciences and Arts.

Founded in 1740 by Frederick the Great, the order used to be a military award. By the advice of Alexander von Humboldt, the Prussian King Frederick William IV extended the order by the class of “Sciences and Arts” in 1842. Humboldt himself became one of the first awardees. Since then many internationally known scientists and artists followed. Under the patronage of the Federal President of Germany, the order is now limited to 40 local and 40 foreign members. The secretary of the order is under the administration of the chancellor’s cultural secretary Monika Grütters.

Press release by the commissioner of the federal government in the area of culture and media

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