Hugo Sinzheimer and the Constitutional Function of Labour Law

Ruth Dukes

in The Idea of Labour Law

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780199693610
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729744 | DOI:
Hugo Sinzheimer and the Constitutional Function of Labour Law

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Hugo Sinzheimer (1875–1945) was a legal scholar and politician, widely regarded today as the founding father of German labour law. This chapter revisits his work on the economic, or labour, constitution (Wirtschaftsverfassung, Arbeitsverfassung). Against those who argue that under conditions of globalisation ‘old’ or ‘traditional’ ways of thinking about labour law become outdated and unhelpful, this chapter suggests that certain core elements of Sinzheimer's work retain their validity. In particular, his analysis of labour law with reference to its wider constitutional function continues to provide a useful basis for the critical analysis of labour law, underscoring the aspirations of labour law in terms of the defence of human dignity and the emancipation of man within the economic sphere. A second aim of the chapter is to consider how the generalisable elements of Sinzheimer's conception of labour law as constitutional law might be re-specified for current economic conditions.

Keywords: Hugo Sinzheimer; economic constitution; labour constitution; Wirtschaftsverfassung; Arbeitsverfassung

Chapter.  6057 words. 

Subjects: Employment and Labour Law

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