Research event

Access to justice: A blind spot of the German welfare state?

A presentation by Alexander Graser (University of Regensburg). This event is part of the Fundamental Rights Research colloquium hosted by the Centre for Fundamental Rights.

It is a central feature of liberal legal systems that the implementation of policies is largely put into the hands of the individual. The basic mechanism is to give actionable entitlements to the individual, subjective rights, that is, which can be enforced in court. We are thus dealing with a system of decentralized implementation, driven by the self-interest of individual actors. This system is so well-established that its operation is mostly taken for granted. This is particularly true in Germany. Although there is reason to suspect that access to justice has become increasingly problematic here, especially for vulnerable groups, there is very little systematic thinking, let alone empirical work on this topic. The presentation provides a tentative sketch of the situation and seeks to map the field for future research.

Alexander Graser is Professor of Public Law and Policy at the University of Regensburg. From 2006 until 2011, he was Professor of Comparative Public Law and Social Policy at the Hertie School. Previously, he was a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Social Law in Munich from 1997 until 2006. He was awarded the Max Planck Society's Otto-Hahn Medal for outstanding achievements by young scholars in 2001 and the Bavarian prize for the advancement of postdoctoral theses (Bayerischer Habilitationsförderpreis) in 2003. He holds holds degrees from the Oxford University and Harvard Law School and obtained his doctorate and his postdoctoral lecture qualification for the fields of public law, comparative law, legal sociology and theory from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU Munich). Graser is a Fellow at the Hertie School.