Colloquium in honor of Georg Ress
Europa-Institut honors human rights expert Georg Ress with colloquium

Europa-Institut ehrt Menschenrechts-Experten Georg Ress mit Festkolloquium

He has had a decisive influence on the development of human rights and has been a pioneer in shaping the Europa-Institut at Saarland University: On Saturday, January 18, the Europa-Institut invited to a academic colloquium for its long-standing director Prof. Dr. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Georg Ress. The former judge at the European Court of Human Rights and professor of public law, international and European law at Saarland University celebrated his 85th birthday on 21st January.

The colloquium, sponsored by the Montan-Stiftung Saar, dealt with current issues in international media and economic law as well as human and international law. Lectures by renowned experts dealt with topics such as the protection of free communication spaces in the digital world, the increasing threat to freedom of expression by private individuals or the defensive democracy 4.0. Developments and controversial issues in economic law were highlighted as well as the tension between human rights and national residence and social law using the example of the Istanbul Convention, the change in the concept of non-interference in internal affairs or the mutual responsibility of the member states of the European Union.

About Georg Ress

Georg Ress was Professor of Public Law, International and European Law at Saarland University from 1977 and Judge at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg from 1998 to 2005. As Director of the Europa-Institut he shaped its international profile for two decades and founded the postgraduate course European Integration, today European and International Law. The Master's program enjoys a high international reputation. More than 5,500 students have successfully completed it and now hold leading positions in European and international institutions, internationally oriented law firms, companies as well as national governments and administrations. The Europa-Institut has been on the Saarbrücken campus since 1951 and is the second oldest institute of its kind in Europe.

Georg Ress was born on 21 January 1935 in Berlin. He studied at the Universities of Berlin and Vienna and received his doctorate in political science in Vienna and law in Heidelberg. He was a research assistant at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg and later worked in the Ministry of Justice in Rhineland-Palatinate and at the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe. In 1977 he was appointed full professor of public law, international and European law at the University of Saarland.

Ress has been committed to the academic community in a variety of ways and was a member of the Advisory Council on International Law at the Federal Foreign Office from 1980 to 1998 and of the European Commission for Human Rights in Strasbourg from 1994 to 1999. From 1998 to 2005 he was a judge at the European Court of Human Rights. Professor Ress is a member of the Finnish Academy of Sciences and a corresponding member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. In the field of academic self-administration, he was, among other things, chairman of the Council and, between 1966 and 1988, First Vice-President of Saarland University.

After his retirement in Saarbrücken, Ress was a visiting professor at the Danube University Krems and has held the endowed chair of International Law at Jacobs University Bremen since 2006. Guest lectures have taken him to universities in Finland, France, Italy, USA, Great Britain, Austria, Japan, China, Greece, Poland and South Africa.

Numerous high awards and honors honor his merits. He holds honorary doctorates from the Universities of Keio (1992), Paris Descartes (Paris V) (1992) and Edinburgh (2000) and has been awarded the Golden Cross of Honour of the Republic of Austria, the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art 1st class and the Grand Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. In 2018 he received the Saarland Order of Merit.