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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 […]

Germany: Unconventional Fracking Prohibited

(Mar. 8, 2017) On February 11, 2017, an act to prohibit unconventional fracking entered into force in Germany. The Act forms part of a package of laws and regulations that regulate various aspects of fracking and related mining, water, and environmental law issues.  (Gesetz zur Änderung wasser- und naturschutzrechtlicher Vorschriften zur Untersagung und zur Risikominimierung […]

Germany: Government Proposes Automated Driving Act

(Feb. 9, 2017) On January 25, 2017, the German government agreed on a draft act that would allow the driver to transfer control of the vehicle to highly or fully automated driving systems and for those vehicles to be used on public roads. Completely autonomous driving, meaning the driving system controls the vehicle completely and […]

Germany: No Prohibition of the National Democratic Party

(Feb. 2, 2017) On January 17, 2017, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) unanimously rejected the application of the German Bundesrat to ban the National Democratic Party (NPD). The German Bundesrat is the constitutional body through which the German states participate in the legislation and administration of the German Federation.  (BVerfG, Jan. 17, 2017, docket […]

ECtHR/Switzerland: Compulsory Co-Ed Swim Classes Do Not Infringe Freedom of Religion

(Jan. 24, 2017) On January 10, 2017, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) held unanimously that a decision of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court, which upheld an administrative fine for the refusal of Muslim parents to send their 9- and 11-year-old daughters to compulsory co-ed swim lessons as part of their schooling, did not […]

Germany: Government Proposes Law to Reduce Gender Pay Gap

(Jan. 18, 2017) On January 11, 2017, the German government agreed on a draft act that aims to ensure equal pay for work of equal value for women and men in the same workplace. (Gesetzentwurf der Bundesregierung, Entwurf eines Gesetzes zur Förderung der Transparenz von Entgeltstrukturen [Draft Act of the Federal Government, Draft Act to Promote Transparency in […]

Germany: Compensation to Utilities for Acceleration of Nuclear Energy Phase-Out

(Dec. 21, 2016) On December 6, 2016, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) ruled that the 13th Act to Amend the Atomic Energy Act was partially unconstitutional.  The 13th Amendment Act for the first time set fixed end dates for the operation of nuclear power plants and reduced the additional operating time that had […]

Germany: Court Declines Case Challenging Mandatory Participation of Female Muslim Student in Co-Ed Swim Class

(Dec. 15, 2016) On November 8, 2016, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) declined to accept for review a constitutional complaint alleging that mandatory participation in a co-ed swim class for a female Muslim student infringed on the applicant’s freedom of religion. In an unusual move, the Court provided reasoning for its refusal to hear […]