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Germany: Third Parties Have Legal Right to Anonymized Copy of Civil Decisions

(June 12, 2017) On April 5, 2017, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH) held that civil courts must make anonymized copies of decisions available to third parties.  It added that the third party does not need to prove a legitimate interest, as is generally necessary to inspect court records.  The BGH decision was […]

Germany: Bodycams for Federal Police Officers

(June 1, 2017) On May 16, 2017, legislation entered into force in Germany that allows federal police officers to wear bodycams in order to prevent the increasing number of violent attacks against them and to improve the prosecution of crimes in general. The recording devices must be manually started by the police officer and must […]

Germany: Purchase of Lethal Dose of Narcotics for Painless Suicide Not Deniable in “Extremely Exceptional Situations”

(May 24, 2017) On March 2, 2017, Germany’s Federal Administrative Court (Bundesverwaltungsgericht (BVerwG)) held that the constitutionally guaranteed general right to protection of personality includes the right of seriously and terminally ill patients to decide how and when to end their lives, provided that the patients are able to form the decision of their own […]

Germany: Constitutional Right to Reimbursement for Uncovered Health Care Services Only Exists in Emergencies

(May 17, 2017) On May 11, 2017, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) declined to accept a case for review that challenged a lower court’s decision not to obligate the applicant’s statutory health insurance to pay for intravenous immunoglobulin therapy (antibody infusions) not covered under her plan, to treat her autoimmune disease. (BVerfG, 1 BvR 452/17, […]

European Union: Court of Justice Expands Scope of Copyright Infringement to Sellers of Multimedia Players

(May 2, 2017) On April 26, 2017, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) held that the sale of a multimedia player that enables protected works available illegally on the Internet to be viewed easily and for free on a TV screen could constitute an infringement of copyright. The sale of such a player is a […]

Germany: Parliament Debates Burqa and Niqab Ban for Civil Servants and Soldiers

(Mar. 22, 2017) On March 9, 2017, the German Bundestag (parliament) debated a draft act that would prohibit federal civil servants performing official duties and soldiers in general from wearing full body and face veils (burqas) and face veils (niqab).  Exceptions would be allowed for medical reasons (protection against infections) or for official purposes.  The […]

Switzerland: Upper House of Parliament Rejects Burqa and Niqab Ban

(Mar. 15, 2017) On March 9, 2017, the Swiss Council of States (upper house of Parliament) rejected by a vote of 26 to 9, with 4 abstentions, a parliamentary initiative to ban the full body and face veil (burqa) and the face veil (niqab) and amend the Swiss Constitution accordingly.  The Council of States is […]

European Union: Court of Justice Rules Member States Not Required Under EU Law to Issue Humanitarian Visas

(Mar. 14, 2017) On March 7, 2017, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) held that Member States are not obligated under European Union law to issue humanitarian visas to asylum seekers, because such applications fall within the scope of national law. (Case C-638/16, X and X v. État belge (Mar. 7, 2017), CURIA.) Facts of […]

Germany: Medical Marijuana Act Enters into Force

(Mar. 13, 2017) On March 10, 2017, an amendment to the Narcotic Drugs Act entered into force in Germany that allows doctors to prescribe cannabis to seriously ill patients even if other treatment options are available.  No additional special permit will be required.  The costs of the treatment will be covered by the patient’s health […]