Former Münster University’s Rector honoured with National Order of the Southern Cross

© UniMünster/Peter Grewer

The former rector and emeritus professor of public, European and administrative law at the University of Münster, Prof Dr Dr h c Hans-Uwe Erichsen, was awarded the National Order of the Southern Cross. The decree signed by Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva confers the professor the honour intended for foreigners who have made outstanding contributions to Brazil. The appointment is made by the Minister of Foreign Affairs. This is the highest Brazilian honour awarded to foreign citizens. The commendation was awarded, among others, to the Austrian writer Stefan Zweig and the Franco-Belgian anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss.

In the case of Prof Dr Erichsen, the nomination for the award was based on his contributions throughout his professional career to the academic ties between Brazil and Germany - which were not restricted to the area of law. The main reason given for Prof Dr Erichsen's nomination for the medal is that he is one of the founders of the Brazil Centre at the University of Münster, which, according to the text, "has been promoting invaluable cooperation with Brazilian partners at all levels since 2010”.

Prof Dr Erichsen was the supervisor of the current Dean of the Brazilian Supreme Court (STF), Dr Gilmar Mendes, during his doctorate at the University of Münster on the subject of "The abstract control of norms before the German Constitutional Court and before the Federal Supreme Court". This relationship continues to this day and has already borne fruit for the Faculty of Law of the University of Münster, including a recently signed cooperation agreement with the STF.