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Nils Weinberg

Nils studied law at Humboldt University Berlin (First Legal State Exam 2019, Prize of the Faculty of Law, rank 1/546) and at The London School of Economics and Political Science (Master of Laws 2020, Stanley De Smith Prize). He has been a research assistant at the Chair of Public Law and Jurisprudence at Humboldt University (Prof. Christoph Möllers) since 04/2019. His main interests include German constitutional law, anti-discrimination law and legal theory.

Self-determined Identity. The Form of Freedom in Anti-Discrimination Law

Freedom is seldomly considered to be a fundamental concept in anti-discrimination law. However, there is a long-standing tradition of German and European jurisprudence in which anti-discrimination is approached in terms of freedom and self-determination. For example, the European Court of Human Rights found that to deny a transgender applicant the change of the entry in the birth register be a violation of the right to privacy.

However, the relevant jurisprudence is characterized by a contradiction between freedom and unfreedom, or coercion. This contradiction is constitutive for identities as the substance of anti-discrimination law: social identities are self-determined, but not chosen. Because of this structure they can be understood as Hegelian second nature: freedom’s mode of realization in Sittlichkeit. However, Hegel’s concept of freedom is dialectical. Realized freedom threatens to solidify and therefore to turn into unfreedom. This dialectic characterizes identities protected by anti-discrimination law. Their peculiar form of freedom is grounded in the logic of liberal law.

Because of its inherent dialectic, anti-discrimination law can be made the object of immanent legal critique. The PhD project aims at presenting such an immanent legal critique for selected areas of anti-discrimination law (gender, religion, disability) proving the transformative effect of identity as a form of freedom.

»Ansätze zur Dogmatik der intersektionalen Benachteiligung«, in: Europäische Zeitschrift für Arbeitsrecht 2020, S. 60-77

»Die Klimaschutzentscheidung des Bundesverfassungsgerichts«, in: JZ 2021, S. 1069-1078 (gemeinsam mit Christoph Möllers)

»Rezension von Janna Wessels, The Concealment Controversy (Cambridge University Press 2021)«, in: Kritische Justiz 2022, S. 259-261

Freie Universität Berlin
Humboldt Universität zu Berlin
Universität der Künste Berlin