The University of Bremen has conferred an honorary doctorate on Peter Masuch, president of the Bundessozialgericht [Federal social court]. Masuch studied law at the University of Bremen in the 1970s. After graduating, he continued his ties with the University as a lecturer. To mark the occasion, the University held a scholarly symposium in Gästehaus am Teerhof. This was followed by a festive award ceremony held in the Bremen City Hall. Among the distinguished guests attending was the first mayor of Hamburg, Olaf Scholz, the former SPD Federal Minister of Labor and Social Affairs who made Peter Masuch president of the federal social court in 2008.
“…really something special”
In his speech, the University’s Vice President for Research and Young Academics, Professor Andreas Breiter, commented: “It’s not so often that the University of Bremen awards honorary doctorates: It’s really something quite special. We are both thrilled and grateful to be able to add such an outstanding personality as Peter Masuch to the distinguished list.” Besides his work as a high court judge, his contribution to scholarship and social engagement is truly impressive—quite in keeping with the guiding principles of his alma mater, the University of Bremen. “It fills us with pride to know that Peter Masuch is an alumna of our university”, said Breiter.
“…shaped by Bremen reform university“
“It is now almost 40 years since you graduated from our University”, said Professor LorenzKähler, Dean of the Law Faculty, before handing Masuch the doctoral certificate. He went on to say that at that time the University of Bremen was marked by educational reform with a strong orientation to the practice and the social sciences, all of which contributed towards shaping his later work as a judge and president of the social court. This is reflected in Masuch’s writings for everyone to see. He possesses a keen sense of understanding for the cause of weaker members of society and is constantly occupied with their protection by law. A prominent example of this is Peter Masuch’s engagement in the implementation and development of law pertaining to disabled persons, a topic which forms the main theme of many of his publications and lectures. Peter Masuch has also been proactively engaged in this area for many years.
"…outstanding legal figure”
“The Senate of the Free Hanseatic State of Bremen is justly proud that a Bremen jurist went on to become such an outstanding legal figure”, said Bremen's State Secretary for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Matthias Stauch, in his speech in the City Hall. It is impressive how in the course of his legal career and scholarly engagement Peter Masuch has contributed to the advancement of social law in the interest of the German people.
First mayor of Hamburg addressed the economy and globalization
In his speech, the first mayor of Hamburg, Olaf Scholz, addressed developments in the area of the economy and globalization, topics that first at a second glance reveal their relevance for social jurisdiction: According to Scholz, “The high court for social affairs doesn’t even have to look beyond the borders of Germany to be confronted with the impact of globalization—it is ever present in the cases it has to deal with”. The cases brought before the Bundessozialgericht reach far beyond the scope of German constitutional law. “As an economically strong and densely populated European country and member of the G7 group with relatively low sovereign debt, Germany bears a great responsibility for finding solutions to the challenges brought on by globalization”, said the first mayor. “With the right policies we can be a role model for others. Our modern world is complex and inextricably intertwined. No country on Earth is able to solve the challenges of today on its own."
Honorary doctorates awarded by the University of Bremen
Before Peter Masuch, in its 40-year history the University of Bremen has awarded 31 honorary doctorates—two of these were conferred on the former President of the German Constitutional Court, Professor Jutta Limbach (2008) and Bremen‘s former mayor, Hans Koschnick (2004).
For more information, please contact:
University of Bremen
Faculty of Law
Phone: 0421 218-66069
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