Reinhard Gaier, a judge at Germany’s highest court, the Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) has written a remarkable op-ed piece for yesterday’s Frankfurter Allgemeine (Hard Nuts – Harte Nüsse). Judge Gaier suggests that what the German judiciary needs is more private practice lawyers getting involved in the judiciary.
Judge Gaier starts with the observation that German lawyers (Rechtsanwälte) hardly ever become judges, unlike the English pratcie of appointing barristers to judges. Judge Gaier himself is a career judge, having served at the Frankfurt Court of Appeals (Oberlandesgericht Frankfurt) and the Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof) before his election to the Federal Constitutional Court. In other words, he is a litigation practitioneer with years of hands-on experience, and he knows what he is talking about.