Press Release 75/2008

Success Story of a Temporary Solution

ZAK Presentations on “60 Years German Basic Consitutional Law” with Renowned Speakers
May 23, 1949: The President of the Parliamentary Council,Konrad Adenauer, proclaims the basic constitutional law(ltr: Helene Weber, CDU; Hermann Schäfer, FDP;Konrad Adenauer, CDU; Adolf Schönfelder, SPD; JeanStock, SPD)(Photo by: Federal Photo Archive)

“60 Years Basic Constitutional Law – Constitution with Pretensions and Reality”, this is the heading of the KIT Colloquium Fundamentale in the winter semester 2008/2009. The presentations organized by the ZAK | Center for Applied Cultural Science and Studium Generale will focus on the German basic constitutional law from many perspectives with renowned speakers. During the opening event on November 06, the President of the Federal Constitutional Court, Hans-Jürgen Papier, will talk about “Constitution and Constitution Change”. The series of events will be completed on January 29 next year by the Federal Minister of the Interior, Wolfgang Schäuble. All presentations will be open to the public, admission will be free. The events will take place on thursdays at 18.00 hrs on the premises of the Universität Karlsruhe.

On May 23, 1949, the German basic constitutional law entered into force in the Federal Republic of Germany. Prior to its 60th anniversary, the presentations organized by the Colloquium Fundamentale will bring to mind the eventful history of the origins of the constitution that was initially considered to be a temporary solution for a divided country. Moreover, acknowledged experts from science, politics, jurisdiction, and journalism will focus on how the constitution has shaped real life in the Federal Republic of Germany and which changes it has experienced. Pretensions and reality of the constitution, the compatibility of individual articles, and protection of human dignity will be discussed controversely. Moreover, the basic law will be analyzed as the constitution of the reunified Germany in a union of European states.

The Colloquium Fundamentale organized by the ZAK | Center for Applied Cultural Science and Studium Generale is one of the central series of presentations at the KIT. It is held every semester and covers an interdisciplinary topic by presentations, debates, and podium discussions. The Colloquium Fundamentale addresses students and KIT employees as well as the interested public. Every winter semester, a topic of sociopolitical relevance is discussed. In the summer semester, it is focused on a research area and its interaction with society.

Overview of the Dates of Presentations

06.11.2008, 18.00 hrs
“Constitution and Constitution Change” Prof. Dr. Dres. h. c. Hans-Jürgen Papier,
President of the Federal Constitutional Court, Karlsruhe
Place: Tulla-Hörsaal, Englerstraße 11, building 11.40

13.11.2008, 18.00 hrs
“Historicity of the German Basic Constitutional Law“
Prof. em. Dr. Gerd Roellecke, Universität Mannheim
Place: Engesser-Hörsaal, Otto-Ammann-Platz 1, building 10.81

20.11.2008, 18.00 hrs
”(Cultural) Relativism in the Constitution?“
Prof. Dr. Michael Anderheiden, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
Prof. Dr. Keebet von Benda-Beckmann, Max-Planck-Institut für ethnologische Forschung (to be confirmed)
Placet: Engesser-Hörsaal, Otto-Ammann-Platz 1, building 10.81

27.11.2008, 18.00 hrs
”The German Basic Constitutional Law and Human Dignity“
Christian Bommarius, Berliner Zeitung
Place: Engesser-Hörsaal, Otto-Ammann-Platz 1, building 10.81

15.01.2009, 18.00 hrs
”The German Basic Constitutional Law under Pressure from Inside and Outside”
Prof. em. Dr. Uwe Wesel, Freie Universität Berlin
Place: Engesser-Hörsaal, Otto-Ammann-Platz 1, building 10.81

22.01.2009, 18.00 hrs
“Human Rights – Conventions and Reality”
(Podium discussion)
Dr. h. c. Renate Jaeger, European Court for Human Rights, Strasbourg
Alexander Hülle, Amnesty International Deutschland
Prof. Dr. Doris König, M.C.L., Bucerius Law School, Hamburg
Place: Engesser-Hörsaal, Otto-Ammann-Platz 1, building 10.81

29.01.2009, 17.00 hrs
”60 Years German Basic Constitutional Law: Pretensions and Reality
Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble, Member of Parliament, Federal Minister of the Interior
Place: AudiMax, Straße am Forum 1, building 30.98

The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is the merger of the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, member of the Helmholtz Association, and the Universität Karlsruhe. This merger will give rise to an institution of internationally excellent research and teaching in natural and engineering sciences. In total, the KIT has 8000 employees and an annual budget of 700 million Euros. The KIT focuses on the knowledge triangle of research – teaching – innovation.

The Karlsruhe institution is a leading European energy research center and plays a visible role in nanosciences worldwide. KIT sets new standards in teaching and promotion of young scientists and attracts top scientists from all over the world. Moreover, KIT is a leading cooperation partner of industry.

jha, October 30, 2008


Monika Landgraf
Head of Corporate Communications, Chief Press Officer
Phone: +49 721 608-41150
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
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Contact for this press release:

Sigrid Peters. M. A.
ZAK I Zentrum für Angewandte
Kulturwissenschaften und
Studium Generale
Tel.: +49 721 608 7414
Fax: +49 721 608 3658
sigrid petersEcz5∂zak uni-karlsruhe de
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