Association of Commercial Judges− Business expertise for the judical system

About us: philosophy and events

In early 1951, commercial judges in Berlin gathered for the first time after World War II for an informal monthly meeting (Stammtischrunde) in Berlin-Schöneberg and Berlin-Steglitz. On 4 October 1951 this group decided to re-establish itself as the Association of Berlin Commercial Judges (Vereinigung Berliner Handelsrichter, see History page). A ceremony in the Ratskeller in Schöneberg on 20 March 1952 brought the association “back to life to continue its age-old tradition”. Documents from the time provide evidence for the existence of the association prior to 1933 (see letter from board member Carl A. J. Hirte, retired member of the executive of a bank, dated 2 January 1952).

Today the association represents the interests of commercial judges at national level and, increasingly, at European level, as well as vis-à-vis the industrial sector, chambers of industry and commerce, and ministries of justice. Our regular communication with professional judges is enhanced by their active participation in our events, lectures and visits. Since 2014 the association has also been open to commercial judges from other regional jurisdictions and has thus functioned as a network to facilitate contact among commercial judges across Germany. Members are committed to vigorously upholding the principles of good faith in business dealings and actively volunteering their time to the regional courts as honorary commercial judges for the administration of justice.

As in the past, our association aims to foster camaraderie among commercial judges as honourable businesspeople. Enabling business managers to share their experiences with one another is a key part of this, as are events and social functions. Our association is unique because it brings together disciplined and hardworking professionals who are ready, willing and able to make an ongoing honorary contribution to the administration of justice in business matters, and to our country as a whole. The service rendered by commercial judges draws on their personal and professional experience to give something back to their country, voluntarily and without remuneration. This noble attitude is what unites the members of the Association of Commercial Judges.

As of 2014 we have over 120 members. A total of over 200 commercial judges are appointed in the regional jurisdiction of Berlin, while up to 18 commercial judges are active in Berlin’s 16 commercial divisions (Kammern für Handelssachen).

Event formats – We hold lectures and discussions on various topics several times a year. Some speakers come from the circle of commercial judges, while others have a professional background in law, business, politics, arts and culture, or sport. In addition, we draw on our members’ wide network of contacts to organise excursions that allow participants to look behind the scenes at places such as federal ministries, the German Armed Forces, industrial enterprises, and large infrastructure projects. We also offer a wide variety of social events. Among them are the traditional asparagus dinner in the spring as well as summer festivals and Christmas parties, which take place at different locations in Berlin and Brandenburg. Invited guests include the Senator and Minister for Justice, the presidents of the various courts, state secretaries, and other high-ranking officials in the justice system, not to mention the presiding judges for the various divisions.

Some of our most notable annual cultural events include visits to the festivals at the outdoor stage by Lake Wannsee during the summer and a symphony orchestra performance at the New Palace in Sanssouci Park in Potsdam.