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Dr. iur. utr. - What does this mean?

The abbreviation "dr. iur. utr." means doctorate "doctor iuris utriusque". The translation of this latin academical grade is "doctorate in both laws".

The "two laws" as afore mentioned mean the secular (state) law and the law of the roman-catholic church (= canon law), the latter being based since the fundamental reform in 1917 on the Codex Iuris Cononici (CIC) = Code of the Canon Law. The C.I.C. is the comprehensive Code of Law of the Roman Catholic Church and of the Catholic Eastern Churches. It rules the internal affairs of the church and in wide areas provides for jurisdiction of the church itself. The name derives from the head Canon given to all chapters within the C.I.C. This term goes back to the Greek / Latin word "canon", which can be translated as guide-line.

The coexistence of state law and canon law is old. The collection and codification of canon law began in the Middle Ages and led to the first Corpus Iuris Canonici, which until the year 1917 had been the relevant Code of the Catholic Church and then was replaced by the Codex Iuris Cononici (CIC) as a result of the fundamental 1917-reform. The last revision of the C.I.C. took place in 1983. In this revised version the C.I.C. is the currently valid clerical Code of Law.

The theological faculties of universities confer doctorates in canon law (dr. can.) as well as the faculties of law of universities do so in the area of state law (dr. iur.). In both cases a full-fledged and independent doctorate is conferred upon the aspirants.

However, in consultation and cooperation with the respective theological faculty of their university the law faculties of some German universities confer in addition to the academic degree of doctor of law (dr.iur.) also the academic degree "dr.iur.utr" signifying a "doctorate in both laws". Therefore you can - if you wish to do so – understand this degree also as a "double doctorate". In order to achieve this academical grade the aspirants must also deal with special requirements, that come from the field of canon law.

The doctorate "dr.iur.utr." is relatively rare. In Germany it is conferred upon aspirants by the Universities of Cologne, Würzburg, Heidelberg and Erlangen only, and since 2004, by the University of Potsdam as well.