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Honorary title of KUL for prof. Zimmermann

Prof. Reinhard Zimmermann (born 1952) - an outstanding German lawyer and university teacher will be awarded the title of doctor honoris causa by the Rector and Senate of the Catholic University of Lublin. The ceremony will take place online on Tuesday, June 22, 2021, at 11.00. An honorary doctorate is the highest university distinction. The Catholic University of Lublin awarded them to over one hundred prominent personalities, incl. John Paul II, Czesław Miłosz and Władysław Tatarkiewicz.


Main Fields of Research

Law of obligations and law of succession in historical and comparative perspective; relationship between the English common law and continental civil law; mixed legal systems (in particular Scotland and South Africa); harmonization of European private law.


Reinhard Zimmermann has been a Director of The Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law Hamburg since 2002. Additionally, he teaches as Affiliate Professor at Bucerius Law School, Hamburg.

After completing his legal studies at the University of Hamburg Reinhard Zimmermann was appointed in 1981 as the W.P. Schreiner Professor of Roman and Comparative Law at the University of Cape Town; from 1986 he additionally served as the Dean of the Faculty of Law. In 1988 he relocated and assumed the Chair of Private Law, Roman Law and Comparative Legal History at the University of Regensburg, where he was Dean of the Faculty of Law from 1994 to 1996.


From 2001 Reinhard Zimmermann served as a member of the board of the German Association of Professors of Private Law; from 2011 to 2015 he was Chairman of that Association. In 2014 he became Chairman of the Association of Comparative Law. He is a Founding Member of the Senate of the European Law Institute and since 2017 its Speaker. In 2006 he was elected Chairman of the Human Sciences Section of the Max Planck Society; between 2006 and 2010 he was Senator ex officio and since 2011 he is an Elected Senator of the Max Planck Society.


Reinhard Zimmermann has been President of the German National Academic Foundation since 2011. He has been a Guest Professor at the Universities of Chicago (Max Rheinstein Visiting Professor), New Orleans, Edinburgh, Stellenbosch, Berkeley, Yale, Cornell, Auckland, Santiago de Chile, Cambridge (A.L. Goodhart Professor and Fellow at St. John’s College), and Oxford (Visiting Fellow, All Souls College).


In 1996 Reinhard Zimmermann was awarded the Leibniz Prize of the German Research Association. He has been conferred honorary doctorates by the Universities of Chicago, Aberdeen, Maastricht, Lund, Cape Town, Edinburgh, Lleida, Stellenbosch, McGill and Lublin. He is Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh as well as Ordinary or Corresponding Member of the Bavarian Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Academy of Arts and Sciences of Göttingen, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Accademia delle Scienze di Torino, the Austrian Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Academia Europaea.




Rector of the Catholic University of Lublin, Fr. prof. Mirosław Kalinowski recalled that the title of doctor honoris causa is awarded to people of particular merit in the field of science, culture and religion, and at the same time characterized by animpeccable moral approach. Catholic University of Lublin with great joy and pride distinguishes an outstanding lawyer whose significant contribution to the development of science has also been appreciated by other European universities, honoring prof. Zimmermann with an honorary doctorate.




Prof. Reinhard Zimmermann not only changed the form of research on Roman law and its reception, but also put a lot of energy into searching for the sources of our cultural identity - said in the laudation the head of the Department of Roman Law, Dr. Maciej Jońca, prof. KUL. In his works he gives expression to the legitimate claim that our legal culture was created not only by jurists. Hence the references to Aristotle, Plato, Roman poets and rhetoricians, but also to the Bible and the Fathers and Doctors of the Church. - Works by prof. Zimmermann can without doubt be perceived as those which are already inspiring others and are mapping new trails. The example of Professor Zimmermann is an indisputable proof that a creative approach to Roman law, its history and tradition is still able to instigate changes in our perception of the world.