The former president of Germany's Federal Constitutional Court Andreas Voskuhle officially stepped down from office on Monday after fulfilling his 12-year term as judge for the country's top court.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier personally delivered the official letter of dismissal at a ceremony in Berlin.
Voskuhle's influence as head of the court was had been "represented excellently to the outside world," Steinmeier said, adding that the judge had innovated his everyday work and displayed "tact and sensitivity."
Voskuhle had also made valuable contributions to discourse on the development of society in Germany and Europe, Steinmeier said.
"The common thread of these contributions was the desire for reconciliation, compensation and integration — without, however, renouncing the intellectual sharpness of his own argument or giving in to a desire to sweep things under the rug," the German President said.
Steinmeier also presented the 56-year-old with Germany's Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, the country's second highest form of Federal Cross of Merit.
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Condemnation for lawlessness in Stuttgart
Steinmeier also condemned looting and violence that took place in the city of Stuttgart over the weekend.
"In times of corona, we are not living in a lawless society," he said before adding that attacks against police officers must be punished within the full extent of the law.
Nineteen officers were injured in the violence that broke out Saturday night.
"We have to strongly oppose this behavior," Steinmeier said.
Three new appointments
Current court vice-president Stephan Harbart was appointed to succeed Voskuhle.
Steinmeier also presented certificates of appointment to federal judge Doris König, elected by the Bundestag last week and to serve as the new vice president, and to constitutional law professor Astrid Wallrabenstein, who will take over the place in the court's Second Senate left vacant by Voskuhles.