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Germany: Non-Biological Father Who Agrees to Artificial Insemination Is Liable for Child Support

(Nov. 6, 2015) On September 23, 2015, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH) held that a man who agreed to the artificial insemination of his girlfriend with another man’s donor sperm will be contractually liable for child support even though he was not married to the mother of the child and did not […]

Germany: Parliament Adopts Legislative Package on Asylum and Refugees

(Nov. 2, 2015) On October 20, 2015, the German Bundestag (parliament), with the participation of the German Bundesrat, the constitutional body through which the German states participate in the legislative process, enacted the Act on the Acceleration of Asylum Procedures. The Act amends several laws in order to accelerate the asylum process, substitute benefits in […]

Germany: Court Clarifies Scope of Parliamentary Right to Approve Deployment of Troops

(Oct. 20, 2015) On September 23, 2015, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) ruled that the German government does not need to seek retroactive parliamentary approval for the deployment of troops in cases of imminent danger. The Court reiterated its view that the German government is under a general obligation to seek parliamentary approval […]

Germany: Allowing Juvenile to Stop Medical Treatment for Cystic Fibrosis Constitutes Torture

(Sept. 11, 2015) On August 4, 2015, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH) held that letting a 12-year-old boy decide if he wants to continue treatment for the genetic disease cystic fibrosis, from which he had suffered since early childhood and for which he needed constant medical treatment, constitutes neglect of the custodian’s […]

Germany: Judge Texting During Trial Created Appearance of Bias

(Sept. 10, 2015) On June 17, 2015, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH) held that the private use of a cell phone by a judge during the questioning of a witness in the trial of a case created an appearance of impropriety and bias and thus constituted absolute grounds for appeal of the […]

Germany: States Implement Federal Rent Control Act

(Aug. 3, 2015) On June 1, 2015, a new federal act on rent control entered into force in Germany. The Tenancy Law Amendment Act authorizes the individual German states to enact regulations to designate “tight housing markets” in which a rent cap will apply. Twelve of the 16 German states (Länder) have implemented the Act […]

Germany: Federal Constitutional Court Declares Child Care Allowance Act Unconstitutional

(July 27, 2015) On July 21, 2015, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) ruled that the Deutscher Bundestag (German Parliament) lacked the legislative power to enact provisions on the care allowance (Betreuungsgeld), which provides money to stay-at-home parents. (BVerfG, 1 BvF 2/13, July 21, 2015 (in German).) The provisions of the Federal Act on […]

Germany: New Anti-Terrorism Legislation Entered Into Force

(July 10, 2015) On June 20 and on June 30, 2015, new anti-terrorism legislation entered into force in Germany. The new law makes it a crime to travel outside the country with the intent to receive terrorist training, adds a new section on terrorism financing to the Criminal Code, and creates national identity card and […]

Germany: Parliament Debates Data Retention Act

(June 18, 2015) On June 12, 2015, the German Bundestag (parliament) debated in a first reading a draft Data Retention Act. (Entwurf eines Gesetzes zur Einführung einer Speicherpflicht und einer Höchstspeicherfrist für Verkehrsdaten [Draft Act on Introducing a Requirement to Store Traffic Data and a Maximum Retention Period], DEUTSCHER BUNDESTAG: DRUCKSACHEN UND PROTOKOLLE [BT-Drs.] 18/5088 […]

Germany: Court Dismisses Lawsuit Concerning U.S. Drone Attacks in Yemen

(June 17, 2015) On May 27, 2015, the Administrative Trial Court of Cologne (Verwaltungsgericht Köln, VG Köln) dismissed a lawsuit by three Yemeni citizens who alleged that the German government violated their right to life, as established by the German Basic Law, by allowing the U.S. government to use the air base Ramstein, located in […]