Prof Dr Sommer has been a lawyer and defence counsel in criminal cases since 1979. In fact, he gave up a university career in favour of more lively activity as defence counsel. As lecturer at the University of Cologne, though, he also passes on his practical experience to young students. He has not only been a committed fighter for his clients in numerous criminal proceedings, inputting his sound scholarly competence, but has also developed a special perception for the emotional aspects. As he sees it, a good defence in criminal cases requires at least as much psychology as it does legal skills. Still, his practical work has not led to a neglect of his curiosity and creativity in jurisprudence, and his many writings and essays on the criminal process testify to this. Most recently, he has been particularly interested in the commercial criminal-law aspects of corruption and money laundering as well as medical criminal law. Closest to his heart, however, are – as they have been for many years – his cases involving Europe’s human-rights convention. Few other German defence lawyers are likely to be represented so comprehensively in Strasbourg with human-rights complaints as is Prof Dr Sommer.

    • Born in Herne, Germany, in 1952
    • 1970 – 1975 studied law at the Universities of Bochum and Cologne
    • 1979 admitted to practise law
    • 1998 admitted as specialist lawyer for criminal law
    • Since 1998: member of the pre-examination board of the Cologne bar association for awarding the title “specialist lawyer for criminal law”
    • 1996-2006 board member of the Cologne lawyers’ association
    • 2001-2005 board member of the German lawyers’ association (DAV)
    • Since 2002: member of the executive committee of the DAV criminal-law working group
    • 2002-2004 German delegate in Europe’s only comprehensive lawyers’ organization, CCBE, in Brussels
    • Since 2004: member of the European Criminal Bar Association (ECBA)
    • Since: 2004: lecturer at the University of Cologne
    • 2010 University of Cologne awards Dr Sommer the title of professor

Regular lecturing activities:

  • Verteidigung in der Hauptverhandlung (Defence at the trial) in: specialist lawyer course on ‘Criminal law’, German Lawyers’ Academy
  • Untersuchungshaft (Detention awaiting trial) in: specialist lawyer course on ‘Criminal law’, German Lawyers’ Academy
  • Medizinstrafrecht (Medical criminal law) in: specialist lawyer course ‘Medicine’, DAV
  • Internationale Strafverteidigung (International criminal defence) in: specialist lawyer course ‘Criminal law’, DAV criminal-law working group
  • Der Umgang mit Rechtmitteln und Rechtsbehelfen (Handling appeals and remedies), further-training event for lawyers, DAV
  • Das Recht der Strafverteidigung (The law of criminal defence), lecture at the University of Cologne
  • Vertiefung Strafprozessrecht (Advance studies in the law of criminal procedure), lecture at the University of Cologne

Publications of Prof. Dr. Ulrich Sommer (german)