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Award of the Federal Cross of Merit to Prof. Dian Schefold

The Bremen legal scholar Prof. Dr. Dian Schefold was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit on 7 February 2022. On behalf of the Federal President, he was presented with it by Mayor Dr. Andreas Bovenschulte during a ceremony at the City Hall.

Schefold taught at the University of Bremen from 1980 until his retirement in 2001. Before that, he taught at the Faculty of Law at the Freie Universität Berlin after study stays in Basel, Berlin, and Rome. In addition, he held visiting professorships in Rome and Paris, among other places. His fields of specialization are constitutional law, administrative and municipal law, constitutional history, and Italian law. 

"His body of writings and publications constitutes an outstanding contribution to the democratic constitutional law of the Federal Republic of Germany," the Office of the Federal President states.

In the university sector, Schefold advocated the integration of progressive elements from the Bremen teaching system into the new system during the transition from the progressive "one-tiered legal education" taught at the University of Bremen until 1982 to the "two-tiered" path common throughout Germany. He had close academic ties to Bremen constitutional law and was  a member of numerous legal societies.

"Dian Schefold is an outstanding legal scholar," Mayor Bovenschulte said at the award ceremony. "But that alone would not have been enough. To receive this award, you have to have worked for the common good for a very long time and to an extent that is above ordinary. in your case, that meant promoting the preservation of democracy, European integration and understanding, and the sovereignty of the state of Bremen. As a Swiss national, you have a natural empathy with the city-state - you have lived and worked in Basel, Berlin and Bremen. And with a great deal of personal commitment and tenacity, you have ensured that many good approaches of the former one-tier legal education have been incorporated into the two-tier legal education introduced lateron."

Justice Senator Dr. Claudia Schilling also had words of praise for the university professor: "Professor Schefold not only deserves this award - he has literally earned it: as an unwavering European, as an unwavering fighter for the independence of our federal state, and above all as a professor of public law at the University of Bremen. Research and teaching were never a contradiction for him, but rather equally significant parts of his work, which also extended into the private sphere. Many of his students still have fond memories of his house where many seminars ended with legal discussions around Schefold's musicbox. Many jurists in Bremen, Germany and Europe have learned a lot from Professor Schefold and owe him a debt of gratitude."


Updated by: FB6