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Eduardo García de Enterría

Prince of Asturias Award for Social Sciences 1984

Eduardo García de Enterría (Ramales de la Victoria, Cantabria, España, 1923 – Madrid, España, 2013), one of the most outstanding Spanish jurists of 20th century and one whose research work has left a decisive mark upon the world and the institutions of Public Law, studied at the Universities of Barcelona and Madrid, with special prizes for his Degree and Doctorate in Law, which he further studied at the Universities of London and Tubinga.

Legal advisor to the Council of State in 1947, he then took a sabbatical in Valladolid (1947) and, thereafter passed the selection examination for the Complutense University of Madrid, in which he has been Director of the Department of Administrative Law since 1970, made an Emeritus Professor in 1988. Director (and, before that, Executive Secretary) of the Revista de Administración Pública (since its foundation in 1950) and of the Revista Española de Derecho Administrative (since its foundation in 1974), he belongs to the Advisory Committee or Scientific Committee of the most important Spanish and international scientific journals on Public Law, among others, Yearbook of European Law, Nomos-Praxis des europäischen Rechts, Revue trimestrielle des Droits de l'Homme, Annuaire International de Justice Constitutionnelle and Rivista di Diritto Europeo dell'Economia.

The first Spanish Judge on the European Court of Human Rights, with its seat in Strasbourg (April 1978 to February 1986), he was the President of the Fédération Internacional pour le Droit Européen (FIDE), Founder and President of the Spanish Association for the Study of European Law and Founder Member and President of the Free School of Law and Economics, as well as a member of numerous international European legal organizations and associations. Numerary member of the Royal Academy of Jurisprudence and Legislation (1970) and of the Royal Spanish Academy (1994). President of the IX Conference on European Law (Council of Europe, 1979), he was a Lecturer of the Faculté Internationale de Droit Comparé of Strasbourg (1988) and Honourary Lecturer in many Universities in Spanish America, having been distinguished, among many other academic and scientific honours, with the Medal of the Free University of Brussels (1985), and of the Universities of Bologna, on the occasion of their IX Centenary (1988) and Lisboa (2000).

He has been a doctor honoris causa of the Universities of Sorbonne, Paris (1977), Zaragoza (1983), Mendoza (Argentina, 1986), Nuevo León (Monterrey, México, 1987), Benito Juárez de Durango (México, 1987), Valladolid (1990), Carlos III de Madrid (1993), Cantabria (1995), Externado de Colombia (Bogotá, 1995), Oviedo (1996), Santiago de Compostela (1996), Guadalajara (México, 1996) y Málaga (1999).

He was awarded the 1999 Alexis de Tocqueville Prize by the European Institute of Public Administration, Maastricht. He also received the 1998 Pelayo Award for jurists of recognized prestige and chaired the Law Group of the Academia Europeae (1992-1994).

García de Enterría participated in numerous official committees drawing up draft laws, the influence of whose doctrines is evident in Spain’s 1978 Constitution. In 1988 and 1989, he formed part of the Louis Committee, which drew up plans of provision for the European Economic and Monetary Union (published in Brussels, 1989), being also the Director of the Spanish team which took part in the European Inter-Community Project: The 1992 Challenge at National Level. A Community-wide joint research on the realisation and implementation by national government and business on the international market program, European University Institute Florencia, 1989-1992. He likewise formed part of the Committee of Community Experts which, in 1984, drew up a Draft European Constitution (1994).

Author of an outstanding body of scientific work, he completely renewed the very foundations of Public Law, rethinking it in new ways and exerting extraordinary influence on the shaping of contemporary Spanish legal thought. He also wrote literary works and is recognized as one of the most qualified experts on Borges.

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