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Norbert Reich RH

Professor Norbert Reich

Obituary: Professor Norbert Reich

9 September 1937 – 17 October 2015


Exeter Law School is sad to announce the death of Prof. Norbert Reich, Emeritus Professor of German and European Private and Economic Law at the University of Bremen. As many current students will know, Professor Reich held this year’s Lasok Lecture on 29 April 2015, delivering a stunning critique of recent developments in EU Citizenship law entitled: "EU Citizenship - Progressive Concept or Regressive Failure?”


In an extraordinary career Prof. Reich had been Director of ZERP (Center for European Legal Policy) and had taught at the Universities of Hamburg and Bremen.  He was Rector of the Riga Graduate School of Law (2001-2004), during the period straddling the Latvian accession to the EU. Prof Reich was an alumnus of Frankfurt University Law School, Georgetown Law School (1964-65), Moscow State University (MGU) (1968-71) and taught inter alia at Stanford (1982), Montpellier (1984), Sydney (1991), Moscow State University (MGU) (2003), Tartu/Estonia (2006-2008), Vilnius/Lithuania (2007), Florence (Braudel Senior Fellow at the EUI 2009), Groningen (2013/14). He held honorary doctorates from the University of Helsinki (2000) and from Titu Maiorescu University Bucharest (2014).


Throughout the brilliance of his collected works Prof. Reich carried the firm conviction that it is possible to promote social progress, economic reason, efficiency and social justice. He actively contributed to and encouraged debate on European Integration with vibrant imagination and keen criticism. Prof. Reich saw the real crisis Europe faces today as a test, not for others in distant Institutions and even less for the easy answers of the opportunist or demagogue, but for every citizen and every academic.  He was in every sense a true citizen and an inspiring academic, we are, as a community, so much the poorer for losing him.


Date: 2 November 2015

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