Basic Rights, Federal Constitutional Court, Human Dignity, Public Law, Social Welfare Law

The Federal Constitutional Court Eviscerates German Welfare Law. Or does it?

In 2005, the German Bundestag revolutionized social welfare law with the so-called Hartz IV(g) reforms. These reforms were pushed through by former Social Democratic German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, and quite possibly ended his political career. The reason? They tightened eligibility criteria, capped the amount of benefits people could receive, and tied the benefits to "cooperation"… Continue reading The Federal Constitutional Court Eviscerates German Welfare Law. Or does it?

Bundestag, Constitutional Law, Election Law, Federal Constitutional Court

What to Do About Germany’s Ever-Expanding Parliament?

The lower house of Germany's federal parliament, the Bundestag, now has 709 members, making it the second-largest parliament in the world. This is over 100 more members than the 598 seats Germany's voting laws formally provide for. Why is the Bundestag growing? To understand this, you have to understand German federal election law. Here's a… Continue reading What to Do About Germany’s Ever-Expanding Parliament?

Basic Rights, Bundestag, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Federal Constitutional Court

A “Justice Offensive” to Legalize Marijuana in Germany

The German Hemp Federation (GHF), a German marijuana-legalization lobby, has started what it calls a "justice offensive" (g) to convince the German Federal Constitutional Court (FCC) to declare laws against marijuana unconstitutional. The current state of play in Germany is that it is illegal nationwide, under § 29 (g) of the Narcotics Law, to possess… Continue reading A “Justice Offensive” to Legalize Marijuana in Germany

Bundestag, Federal Constitutional Court, Public Law

Can the Bundestag pass laws with 85% of its Members Absent? The Answer May Shock You.

A recent dispute involving the German federal parliament, the Bundestag, has highlighted a quirk of German parliamentary practice: The Bundestag sometimes passes laws when the vast majority of its 709 current members aren't there. This quirk became a political theme on June 28, 2019, when the Bundestag held a marathon session before its summer break.… Continue reading Can the Bundestag pass laws with 85% of its Members Absent? The Answer May Shock You.

Constitutional Law, Federal Constitutional Court, Freedom of Speech, Social Media

Facebook Ban Before the Federal Constitutional Court

The Federal Constitutional Court has just issued a preliminary injunction (einstweilige Anordnung) in what may turn out to be a landmark case about the constitutionality of Facebook bans. The case involves a Facebook post from January 21, 2019 by a far-right group called the "Third Way" (Der III. Weg), which bills itself as "National, Revolutionary,… Continue reading Facebook Ban Before the Federal Constitutional Court