Selected Topics in Comparative Constitutional Law – Comparing Germany and Israel

Course Level

intermediate - advanced / 3rd - 4th year

Course Language


Course Type and Contact Hours

Seminar / intensive course over three entire days + exam


5 (if course has been attended regularly and exam has been passed)


This course will be held in irregular intervals. It will be available in the summer term 2019.

Time Schedule and Course Venue

An up-to-date electronic course catalogue for the summer semester will be available on the website from late February to mid August. Please select "Fachbereiche" - "Rechtswissenschaft" - "Staatsexamensstudiengang" and "Rechtswissenschaft (SPO 2015)" in order to access the Law courses.

Please note that the course does not take place at the Law Department!

Course Description

This course will explore questions in comparative constitutional law and will focus on the constitutional law of Germany and Israel. It will compare issues of constitutional principles, judicial review and rights adjudication.

Almost 70 years after its adoption, the German Basic Law has come to be regarded - both in the German and in the international scholarship - as a "success story". This course will introduce and analyze - from a comparative perspective - selected topics in the German Constitutional Law and jurisprudence, which influenced the jurisprudence of many younger constitutional courts and courts with constitutional adjudication inside and outside Europe, including the Israeli Supreme Court. Israel's constitutional history is unique: for more than 40 years after its establishment as a state, Israel lacked constitutional provisions for the protection of human rights. Israeli constitutional jurisprudence on human rights was based on an unwritten, or judicial bill of rights developed by the Supreme Court. Accordingly, the Supreme Court has been playing a particularly dominant role in constructing fundamental constitutional concepts given the lack of a full written constitution.

Against this background, the course will study how the German and the Israeli courts interpreted rights and constitutional principles to address similar problems. Central examples that will be discussed are the principle of proportionality, its development in German law, its adoption in different systems of law and the interpretation that was given to it as a constitutional principle in German and - in comparison - in the Israeli law, the status and importance given to human dignity as a constitutional value and a constitutional right and the evolution in the constitutional protection of social rights.

Methodically, the course will analyze the protection of fundamental rights in the case law of the Federal Constitutional Court and will juxtapose this adjudication with the constitutional adjudication of the Israeli Supreme Court.

Restricted Enrollment

yes (that means that the number of participants is limited and that you might not get a place in this course)

Course Registration

via Campus Management

Please sign up for this course under the module "Study Program Themis & Overseas - Module 7".

registration period: 1 April - 5 April 2019, 12 p.m. (noon)

In order to know if you have obtained a place in this course, please check out your course plan on Campus Management (tab "Stundenplan") from 6 April 2019.

As long as there are still seats available after the registration period has expired, they will be allocated according to the principle "first come, first served" if you sign up by 26 April 2019.

De-Registration from this Course

via Campus Management

regular drop period: 1 April - 26 April 2019

After the regular drop period you can only drop this course with a valid cause until 14 days prior to the exam. Please contact the International Office at the Law Department if you have to use this option.

Type of Exam

written exam

Exam Period (no guarantee)

Please ask the course instructor.

Registration for the Exam

Students will automatically be registered for the exam when they sign up for this course.

De-Registration from the Exam

Students who drop this course via Campus Management are automatically de-registered from the exam. Students who do not drop this course via Campus Management and do not take the exam, are going to finish this course with a non-passing grade (0 points).

Grade Release

via Campus Management