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Germany: Parliament Votes to Allow Same-Sex Marriage

(July 5, 2017) On June 30, 2017, the German Bundestag (parliament) adopted an amendment to the Civil Code that allows same-sex couples to enter into marriages. The amendment was passed with 393 to 226 votes and four abstentions in a roll-call vote in which parliamentarians were allowed to vote against party lines. (Gesetzentwurf des Bundesrates, […]

European Union: “Milk” Cannot Be Used to Market Purely Plant-Based Products

(June 27, 2017) On June 14, 2017, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) held that the term “milk” and other milk product names cannot, in principle, be used to designate a purely plant-based product even if clarifying or descriptive terms indicating the plant origin of the product concerned are used (e.g., tofu butter). The Court […]

European Union: Court Dismisses German Bank’s Challenge Against “Significant Entity” Classification

(June 22, 2017) In a decision issued on May 16, 2017, the General Court of the European Union confirmed the decision of the European Central Bank (ECB) to classify the German State bank Landeskreditbank Baden-Württemberg – Förderbank as a “significant entity.” The bank is therefore subject to direct supervision by the ECB rather than supervision […]

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 […]