Happy New Year!

I have no idea know how often I have listened to Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start the Fire”, hundreds of times I guess. But it was only today that I accidentally heard the song on the radio and spotted that Billy referred to “vaccine” between “Eisenhower” and “England’s got a new Queen”. At first I thought this was Covid-induced paranoia, but it wasn’t: 

It is a reference to Jonas Salk testing his vaccine for polio. As we all know, the vaccine went on to eradicate polio. So on that positive note, I wish all of you a Happy New Year!

 

Photo:Vicuna R from Germany, Sunset on a cold winter day in Frankfurt (39430220984), CC BY-SA 2.0

Today Is Human Rights Day

Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December. It is the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The UDHR is a milestone document that proclaims the inalienable rights which everyone is entitled to as a human being – regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.  Continue reading

The Art of Anonymous Case-Reporting: Who is Dr O?

I have written about the time-honoured German tradition of anonymous case reporting, and some rather absurd results thereof, on several occasions (see here, for example). In a recent order, the Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof) has taken that practice to a completely new level of meaninglessness.

The case involved one of Germany’s household food brands – I am not yet giving away which one – and dealt with the information that had to be displayed on the packaging of a popular cereal. As it is customary for disputes of this nature, the judgment included a picture of the product in question.
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An Average Legal Career in Weimar: Because They Know What They Are Doing

Bildschirmfoto 2020-05-24 um 19.00.56Recently, I read two biographies of German lawyers in the early 20th century – a real and a fictitious one.  In last week end’s post, I wrote about the historic one, Ronen Steinke’s biography of Fritz Bauer, the prosecutor who brought Auschwitz and – indirectly – Adolf Eichmann to trial, which has recently come out in an English translation. I re-read the Fritz Bauer biography alongside Ottwald’s “Because They Know What They Are Doing. A German justice novel” (Denn sie wissen, was sie tun. Ein deutscher Justizroman), first published in 1931 and newly edited in 2018. Continue reading