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Brazilian Order of Merit Awarded to Two Heidelberg Jurists

Press Release No. 53/2010
16 March 2010
Prestigious distinction for Prof. Dr. Thomas Pfeiffer and Prof. Dr. Herbert Kronke

A prestigious distinction from Brazil was bestowed yesterday on Prof. Dr. Thomas Pfeiffer and Prof. Dr. Herbert Kronke. On Monday, 15 March 2010, the two renowned Heidelberg jurists and directors of Heidelberg University’s Institute of Foreign and International Private and Economic Law were awarded the Brazilian Order of Rio Branco. The distinction honours their commitment to promoting international academic dialogue. During a ceremony at the Brazilian consulate in Frankfurt am Main, the recipients were presented with the distinction by Prof. Dr. Gilmar Mendes, President of the Federal Supreme Court of Brazil.

Prof. Dr. Thomas Pfeiffer

Prof. Dr. Thomas Pfeiffer

Prof. Dr. Herbert Kronke

Prof. Dr. Herbert Kronke

Photos: © Universität Heidelberg

At the ceremony, Professor Pfeiffer, Pro-Rector for International Affairs, underscored the excellent academic relations with Brazil, notably with Heidelberg’s partner university, the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul in Porto Alegre. In addition, Heidelberg University maintains a variety of contacts at the faculty and institute level with various other Brazilian universities and research institutions. The order of merit awarded to Professor Kronke and Professor Pfeiffer is named after the journalist, jurist, historian and diplomat Baron Rio Branco, who was also the Brazilian minister of foreign affairs in the early 20th century.

Herbert Kronke is professor of civil law, commercial law, international private law and comparative law. From 1998 to 2008 Professor Kronke was secretary-general of UNIDROIT, an international organisation devoted to the unification of private law. He is a member of various academic bodies, legal associations and academies. In 2006 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Eötvös Loránd University of Budapest (Hungary). Professor Kronke has been distinguished with the Order of Rio Branco, notably for his UNIDROIT activities and his early commitment to cooperation with the partner university in Porto Alegre.

Thomas Pfeiffer is professor of civil law, international private law, comparative law and international procedural law at Heidelberg University. A member of various academic associations including the Joint Network on European Contract Law, he has also served as an expert witness in numerous legislative, court and arbitration proceedings in Germany and elsewhere. In 2007 Professor Pfeiffer was elected prorector of Heidelberg University.

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Digital photos of Professor Pfeiffer and Professor Kronke are available from the Press Office.


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