Christoph Schönberger

  • Constitutional courts in the crisis of democracy
  • Lecture

The current tense political situation in Germany and the rise of populist voices has triggered a debate about the status and protection of the Federal Constitutional Court. A political instrumentalization of the highest court by legal means would be entirely possible – with a simple parliamentary majority, the Federal Constitutional Court could be restructured or even overridden.

Even if this scenario still seems dystopian at the moment, Christoph Schönberger is aware of the threat to our highest court as a pillar of our democratic system. His research into the Reichsbürger movement makes it clear that the growing scene is of paradigmatic importance for the current threat to democracy. He explains what consequences this has for the Federal Constitutional Court and how we can protect it against possible attacks on our democracy.

Christoph Schönberger is Professor of Constitutional Law, Philosophy of State and Political Law at the University of Cologne and researches German constitutional history. Together with Sophie Schönberger, he published the book Die Reichsbürger. Eine neue verfassungsfeindliche Bewegung zwischen Staatsverweigerung und Verschwörungstheorie (2020).

In the series Schlaglöcher

Foto: Jochen Müller

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