Karlsruhe approves precautionary ban on corona protests

Status: 01/31/2022 5:40 p.m

The Federal Constitutional Court has approved the precautionary ban on unregistered demonstrations against corona measures for the time being. The main focus of the decision is to protect the population from infections.

By Klaus Hempel, ARD legal department

At the beginning of January, the city of Freiburg banned unregistered demonstrations against the Corona policy as a precaution. The Administrative Court of Freiburg and the Administrative Court of Baden-W├╝rttemberg had approved the ban in two urgent decisions. The Federal Constitutional Court has now done the same.

The main proceedings should bring clarification

Whether a precautionary ban violates the fundamental right to freedom of assembly or not is an open question that still has to be clarified in main proceedings. The Constitutional Court therefore carried out a subsequent assessment. The result was that the ban was approved for the time being. The state has a duty to protect the population from infections and thus their constitutionally guaranteed right to life and health under Article 2 of the Basic Law. This is of particular importance at the moment.

In the context of the subsequent assessment, the complainant’s disadvantage was that the way the meeting was organized meant that cooperation with the authorities was deliberately made impossible.

The courts of lower instances had assumed that the organizers were aiming to circumvent official requirements and not have to name any folders. According to the Constitutional Court, these findings are obvious. One has to assume that the participants did not want to adhere to conditions, such as wearing masks or keeping distances. At least that is what the experiences in Freiburg have shown.

Important orientation

With this urgent decision by the Federal Constitutional Court, the authorities and administrative courts in Germany have important guidance on how to deal with unregistered gatherings of opponents of the Corona measures. In some urgent decisions, administrative courts, for example in Stuttgart and Karlsruhe, had overturned precautionary prohibition orders from the authorities in the first instance.

File number: 1 BvR 208/22


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