The first woman to be president of the Federal Consitutional Court in Germany has died in Berlin, aged 82. Jutta Limbach was also the president of the prestigious Goethe Institute for a number of years.
The Karlsruhe-based German Federal Consitutional Court said on Monday that Limbach died peacefully surrounded by her family on Saturday.
Limbach was the first, and so far only, woman to lead Germany's highest court, holding the office of president from 1994 to 2002.
When her term ended, she then spent the six years until 2008 as president of the Goethe Institute, which promotes the German language and culture across the world. From 2003 onwards, she also headed the Limbach Commission, which was set up to mediate in disputes over the ownership of art looted or procured during the Nazi era.
As president of the Consitutional Court, she presided over important rulings regarding the prosecution of former East German agents, the participation of Germany in the European currency union, the deployment of German troops abroad and the minimum subsistence level for children, among other things.
She received a number of honors for her work as a jurist and public figure, notably the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, the only federal decoration in the country.
Limbach was born in Berlin in 1934, and went on to study law both in the German capital and in the southern city of Freiburg. As a member of the Social Democrats, she was justice minister in the state of Berlin from 1989 to 1994, before her appointment to the Constitutional Court.
tj/rc (dpa, KNA, AP, AFP)