This year, Baker McKenzie is awarding the Baker McKenzie Prize to Dr Julia Hoffmann and Dr Philipp Sebastian Tilk for their outstanding dissertations. Since 1988, the law firm has been awarding the prize, which is endowed with 6,000 euros, for dissertations and professorial theses in commercial law completed at the Goethe University's Law Department and graded 'summa cum laude'. Prof Dr Marc Gabriel, partner at Baker McKenzie, will present the prize on next Friday, 3 May 2024, during the doctoral awards ceremony in the Casino building on the Westend campus.

Dr Julia Hoffmann will be honored for her dissertation "Die Standardsetzung der Bund/Länder-Arbeitsgemeinschaften des Umweltrechts – Zulässigkeit, Grenzen und Folgen informeller Gesetzeskonkretisierung" ("The standard-setting of the federal/state working groups of environmental law - admissibility, limits and consequences of informal legal concretization"). "Authorities are repeatedly faced with the following problem, especially in environmental law: they have to base their decisions on specific technical requirements, which they are unable to determine themselves. The view into the ideas of other authorities is provided in the constitution, e.g. the papers of the federal/state working groups on environmental law," says the supervisor of the work, Prof Dr Indra Spiecker gen. Döhmann. "Julia Hoffmann shows how little the attempts to make undefined legal concepts controllable can fulfil the requirements of modern standard-setting practices. The dissertation significantly advances science and practice, especially in the sensitive area of environmental regulation."

Dr Philipp Sebastian Tilk receives the prize for his dissertation "The quantification of trust - An examination of the transparency requirements for credit scoring prior to the conclusion of general consumer loan agreements against the yardstick of banking supervisory and data protection law" ("Die Quantifizierung des Vertrauens – Eine Untersuchung der Transparenzanforderungen an das Kreditscoring vor dem Abschluss von Allgemein-Verbraucherdarlehensverträgen am Maßstab des Bankaufsichts- und Datenschutzrechts“). The supervisor of the work, Prof Dr Katja Langenbucher, points out that it is about the dual function of credit scoring. On the one hand, this has to do with the bank's business model and its capital backing, and on the other hand with the consumer-centred assessment of whether there is a risk of over-indebtedness: "The problem has become the focus of a highly topical global debate, especially in the context of AI-controlled creditworthiness assessments based on so-called alternative data. The European Court of Justice has just ruled on the SchuFa (General Credit Protection Agency) and the European legislator has taken up the problem in the context of the draft regulation for an AI law as well as in the amendment of the Consumer Credit Directive. In his work, Philipp Sebastian Tilk deals with the complex of scoring and transparency on a broad interdisciplinary basis and delivers carefully substantiated proposals throughout."

"The Baker McKenzie Prize has been an integral part of our promotion of young talent for more than 35 years," said Prof Dr Marc Gabriel, who is a member of the selection committee. "It has always been important to our law firm to specifically support young lawyers, most recently with the scholarship for equal opportunities. With this scholarship, we support 20 law students annually who would otherwise find it difficult to access the legal profession."
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