Werner Krawietz was born in 1933 in Beuthen. From 1954 to 1960, he studied law, economics, philosophy, and sociology at the universities of Freiburg, Graz, and Münster. In 1960, he defended his doctoral thesis in economic and social sciences at the University of Graz and in 1965 his doctoral dissertation in law at the University of Münster. Also at the University of Münster he defended his habilitation degree work in 1974; he then worked there until 1979 with the title of Professor of Public Law, General Theory of Law, and Legal Philosophy. In 1979, he became the head of the Chair of the Sociology of Law and Legal and Social Philosophy. Then, in 1981−1982, he was the dean of the Faculty of Law of the University of Münster. From 1982 on, he was also a professor at the Central Institute of Spatial Planning at the University of Münster. Moreover, in 1982 he became a professor at the European Faculty of Sciences of Land Strasbourg. In 1990, the University of Helsinki awarded him an honorary doctorate. Later, in 1997, he became an honorary doctor also at the Russian Academy of Sciences. For many years, Krawietz has been deputy head of the German section of the International Society for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy. In 1974, he founded the journal Rechtstheorie. Zeitschrift für Logik, Methodenlehre, Kybernetik und Soziologie des Rechts, and since then he has been its publisher as well. After his retirement from professor’s work in 1998, he continued his academic organisational activities and became director of the International Centre of German−Russian Legal Studies at the University of Münster. In addition, since 2002 he has been a member of the co-ordination committee of the German−Russian University Centre for Legal Studies Moscow.
Krawietz has been a highly productive scholar. The Festschrift volume Theorie des Rechts und der Gesellschaft, published in honour of his 70th birthday, contains a bibliographical annex that lists 357 publications. These include 42 monographs or parts thereof. His scholarly interest has been very broad, including questions of public law — in particular, constitutional law, the general part of administrative law, legal methods, theory of law and state, sociology of law (informational and communication theory as well as system and institution theory), and legal and social philosophy (especially philosophy of language, logic, and norm ontology and the field of behavioral and value theory).
The contact between Krawietz and the Faculty of Law of the University of Tartu was established in 1992, soon after Estonia regained its independence. He has visited Tartu many times and presented lectures to our students. He has helped to arrange two international conferences based on which special issues of the academic journal Rechtstheorie have been or will be published (entitled ‘Rechtspolitik und Gesetzgebung’ and ‘Multiple Modernität, Globalisierung der Rechtsordnung und Kommunikatsionsstruktur der Rechtssysteme’, respectively). In both cases, the main authors are legal scholars at the University of Tartu. All of this shows that Krawietz has played an outstanding role in giving Estonian legal thought access in global academic fora. Additionally, Krawietz has been a foreign member of the editorial board of Juridica International, the law review of the University of Tartu, since the inception of the journal, securing with his participation high academic standards for the publication. He also strongly supported the application of the Estonian Society for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy to become a member of the International Society for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy (IVR). The application was approved at the world congress of the IVR in New York in 1997.
Taking into account the outstanding scholarly achievements of Professor Werner Krawietz and his contributions to making Estonian legal scholarship more visible in Europe and at a global level, the University of Tartu is very pleased to award him the title of honorary doctor.