Prof. Dr. Sommer has been a lawyer and criminal defence lawyer since 1979, giving up a university career in favour of the courtroom. But as a lecturer at the University of Cologne today, he shares his practical experience once again with young students. Not only has Dr. Sommer argued for his clients with scientifically sound expertise in numerous criminal trials, he has also developed a special understanding of a trial’s emotional aspects. In his opinion, good criminal defence requires at least as much psychology as legal ability. Dr. Sommer has always used his legal curiosity and creativity in his practice, many writings and essays on criminal proceedings attest to this. Most recently, he has been particularly interested in the legal aspects of corruption and money laundering, as well as medical criminal law. His singular depiction in the work "Effective Criminal Defence" has received the highest recognition in defence circles. A matter close to his heart is his engagement with with the European Convention on Human Rights. Hardly any other German criminal defence lawyer has represented as many human rights complaints in Strasbourg as Prof. Dr. Sommer.

Prof. Dr. Sommer has always been active in questions of professional policy. He was a member of the board of the Cologne Bar Association for 10 years and a member of the board of the German Bar Association for 5 years. For a decade he successfully acted as a member of the executive committee of the Criminal Law Working Group of the German Bar Association and editor of the "STRAFO". He is currently chairman of the preliminary examination committee of the Cologne Bar Association where he holds the title "Specialist Lawyer for Criminal Law".

Prof. Dr. Sommer is as committed to teaching law students as he is to the professional development of his fellow lawyers. At the University of Cologne, he lectures on "Law of Criminal Defence" and selected problems of the Code of Criminal Procedure. In addition to changing current topics, he regularly lectures on the subject of courtroom trial defence in the specialist course in criminal law at the German Lawyers' Academy.

Prof. Dr. Sommer speaks French and English.

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