Federal constitutional court lifts ban on assemblies in heidenau

"The ban of assemblies in the entire area of the city of Heidenau for the upcoming weekend weighs heavily"

The fundamental right to freedom of assembly (Art. 8 GG) is a gross fundamental right, commented SZ legal expert Heribert Prantl when the administrative court in Dresden overturned a ban on demonstrations by the district administration for the weekend in Heidenau.

After that, the Higher Administrative Court in Bautzen had reinstated the assembly ban in an emergency decision – at least partially. Because: "All events planned by the alliance 'Dresden Nazifrei' for this Friday were allowed to take place, the judges decided in the evening", reported the Tagesschau.

In the media, this was described as a "legal tug-of-war" . An official, precise justification as to why only events of the Bundnis "Dresden Nazi Free" were allowed, was not announced. So questions arose about how to evaluate this legally.

The answer was given today by the highest court in Germany, the Federal Constitutional Court. It overruled the decision of the Higher Administrative Court in Bautzen and ruled that "Assemblies in Heidenau can take place on the weekend after the general assembly regulations have been issued".

In its decision, the court granted an application by a law student who also considers the right to freedom of assembly to be a fundamental right (and who says he has the support of Sigmar Gabriel for his legal action):

For me, this is a basic, fundamental question. I don't mind if authorities impose conditions, that is sometimes necessary. But a ban on gatherings in a whole city for a whole weekend is not acceptable? That is not possible at all!

In their impact assessment based on the application for a temporary injunction, the Karlsruhe judges concluded:

The ban on meetings in the entire area of the city of Heidenau for the upcoming weekend weighs heavily on the present. Due to the recent events and the current media coverage, the city of Heidenau is of particular importance for the currently intensively discussed political topic of dealing with refugees in Germany and Europe.

The weekend, which for many citizens is free from gainful employment, is often the only opportunity to participate in the process of public opinion-forming through a "gathering" and to take a stand in the literal sense "to take a stand". In this respect Art. 8 para. 1 GG the right to determine for oneself when and under which modalities a meeting should take place and whether one intends to participate in it.

In the opinion of the court judges, it is further stated that the administrative court has established a police emergency "police emergency" – which the District Office had asserted for the weekend assembly ban – could not have been established. Likewise, the later urgent decision of the Higher Administrative Court had not established such an event – "with regard to the event of yesterday under the motto 'Dresden Nazifrei'".

According to the Federal Constitutional Court, the conditions under which events or demonstrations by other organizers can take place this weekend are up to the competent authorities:

The issuance of the temporary injunction does not affect the authority of the competent authorities to issue limiting orders in individual cases after the right of assembly has been surrendered.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.