Youth & Study Edit
Böhler was born in Freiburg, West Germany. Her father was a financial director a publishing house and her mother was a civil servant. Both her parents were members of the Social-Democratic Party Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands.
After attending the public grammar school and the Goethe Gymnasium, Böhler started to study law and philosophy in 1979 at the Albert-Ludwigs Universität in Freiburg. She chose to study law because that, in her view, allowed one to pursue all kinds of options in the Germany of the seventies. She specialized in criminal law. During her studies she sympathized with the people of Palestine and Marxism. Between 1979 and 1980 she also studied economics, and between 1980 and 1982, political science. In 1984, she graduated in law.
In 1985 she became a lawyer in Munich. She also was a referendar, PhD-candidate in law. In 1989 she became a lawyer at the law firm Peat Marwick in Frankfurt am Main. She mainly worked on corporate law. In 1991, she moved to Amsterdam, where she was employed at the "prestiguous" Loeff Claeys Verbeke law firm (now Loyens & Loeff). In 1992, Böhler received a PhD in law at the Albert-Ludwigs Universität on her thesis "Gerhart Husserl: Leben und Werk" about the life and work of the legal philosopher Gerhart Husserl.
In 1994 she was an observer at the [[South African general elections, the first elections after Apartheid. South Africa and its people left a strong impression on Böhler and inspired her to become a political lawyer. Between 1994 and 1995 she was a lawyer at Van den Biessen en Prakke, a left wing law firm. In 1995 she became partner at Böhler Franken Koppe Wijngaarden, a law firm that works on "the border between politics and law"..
For this firm, she worked on several political cases. These are cases in which, according to Böhler, the case "is about more than the hearing the trial of a crime, where political aspect, the history and the motivation of the client matter. Böhler defended PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan since 1998 and Volkert van der Graaf, the murderer of Pim Fortuyn, since 2002. She represented people who did not want Jorge Zorreguieta to attend the marriage of his daughter Máxima Zorreguieta and crown prince Willem Alexander. In 2005 she defended Samir Azzouz, member of the Hofstadgroep. She also was legal counsel of Ayaan Hirsi Ali during the crisis about her nationality.
In 2004 she published two books "De zwerftocht van een leider: Achter de schermen van de zaak Öcalan" on the case of Öcalan and "Crisis in de rechtspraak. Spraakmakende zaken, verborgen processen" ahout the development of the Dutch rechtsstaat.
Böhler received several prizes for her work. She received the dean award for best lawyer in Amsterdam in 2003 and the Clara Wichmann prize in 2005. In 2003 she appeared on the program "Zomergasten", a 4 hour marathon interview.
In addition to her work as a lawyer, Böhler also had several positions in civil society. Between 1994 and 1999, she was secretary of Greenpeace Netherlands. Between 2002 and 2003, she was chair. Between 1995 and 2003, she was a member of the board of Lawyers for Lawyers.
Member of the Eerste Kamer Edit
In November 2006, Böhler announced that she wanted to become senator for the GreenLeft te worden. In 2006 she had advised the SP on their election program. She chose for the GreenLeft because "self realization and the individual take a central place in their program and because the party pays close attention to the conservation and defense of the principles of the Rechtsstaat". In February 2007 she was placed on the second place of the list, behind Tof Thissen. Because of her candidacy for the Eerste Kamer, Böhler had to obtain Dutch nationality. Because the German nationality law does not allow multiple citizenship, she had to give her German nationality up. During the Eerste Kamer election she was elected.
She is member of the committees on European Cooperation, Finance,justice, agriculture, nature and food quality, social affairs and employment, defense, development cooperation and housing, spatial planning and the environment / housing and integration, as well as the committee on Justice and Home Affairs Council, which oversees Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters of the European Union,.
- "Gerhart Husserl: Leben und Werk" (1992, thesis)
- "De zwerftocht van een leider: Achter de schermen van de zaak Öcalan" (2004)
- "Crisis in de rechtspraak. Spraakmakende zaken, verborgen processen" (2004)
- profile on the site of the lawfirm Böhler Franken Koppe Wijngaarden
- profile on eerstekamer.nl
- profile on GroenLinks.nl
- profile on novatv.nl
- Zomergasten with Böhler
- profile on parlement.comn
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