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Germany: Coal Mining Subsidies

(Apr. 2, 2008) On December 12, 2007, the President of Germany promulgated the Act to Finance the Termination of Subsidized Coal Mining by 2018 (BUNDESGESETZBLATT I at 3086). The Act is the result of an agreement between the German Federal Government and the states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Saarland, where the German hard coal mines […]

Germany: Earth Observation Satellites

(Mar. 2, 2008) On November 23, 2007, Germany promulgated the Act Protecting Against the Endangerment of German Security Through the Proliferation of High Resolution Aerial Imagery of the Earth (Satellitendatensicherheitsgesetz, BUNDESGESETZBLATT I at 2590). The entire Act became effective by December 1, 2007. The Act allows the German authorities to restrict the proliferation of high-resolution […]

Germany: Online Searches of Personal Computers

(Mar. 2, 2008) On February 27, 2008, the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany issued a decision on online searches of personal computers by the intelligence agencies (Docket No. 1 BvR 595/07, Federal Constitutional Court official Web site. The decision invalidated various provisions of the Act on Domestic Intelligence Agency of the State of North-Rhine Westphalia […]

Germany: Sentencing

(Feb. 2, 2008) On August 23, 2007, the Third Criminal Panel of the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) proposed a sentencing decision to the Court's Great Panel for Criminal Matters, a procedure that is employed when a decision would constitute a significant departure from existing case law (Docket No. 3 StR 50/07, visited […]

Germany: Unemployment Compensation

(Feb. 2, 2008) On December 22, 2007, Germany's legislature enacted the Amending Law to Title 3 of the Social Code (Sechstes Gesetz zur Änderung des Dritten Buches Sozialgesetzbuch, BUNDESGESETZBLATT I at 3245), which reduces unemployment compensation from 4.2 percent to 3.3 percent of earnings. Half of these contributions are paid by the employer and the […]

Germany: Terrorism

(Jan. 2, 2008) On December 5, 2007, the Higher Regional Court (Oberlandesgericht) of Düsseldorf convicted a citizen of Syria and two nationals of Palestine of membership in a terrorist organization and attempted insurance fraud (unpublished trial court decision, as related in Hohe Haftstrafen für Terrorunterstützer in Düsseldorf, FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG, Dec. 6, 2007, at 1). […]

Germany: Telecommunications Surveillance

(Jan. 2, 2008) On December 31, 2007, Germany promulgated the Act Reforming Telecommunications Surveillance and Other Covert Investigative Measures and Transposing Directive 2006/24/EC (Gesetz zur Neuerung der Telekommunikationsüberwachung und anderer verdeckter Ermittlungsarten sowie zur Umsetzung der Richtlinie 2006/24/EG, BUNDESGESETZBLATT I at 3198). The Reform Act serves to transpose the European Union Directive 2006/24/EC (2006 OFFICIAL […]

Germany: Continuing Detention of Sex Offender

(Dec. 2, 2007) On October 19, 2007, the Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) (FCJ) of Germany issued a decision that led to the release of a still dangerous sex offender after he had served his prison sentence (Docket No. 3 StR 378/07, available at (last visited Nov. 16, 2007). The case involved a 60-year-old […]

Germany: Undercover Agents and Self-Incrimination

(Dec. 2, 2007) On July 26, 2007, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) (FCJ) held that an undercover agent may not persistently urge a suspect to confide in him as to whether he committed a crime and may not interrogate him as a police officer, if the suspect had already asserted his right to […]

Germany: Internet Banking

(Nov. 2, 2007) On July 5, 2007, the Administrative Court of Frankfurt am Main upheld an administrative decision of the German Banking Supervisory Agency (Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienst-leistungsaufsicht) that forbade a Swiss provider of consumer loans to engage in loan transactions with German customers via the Internet (Verwaltungsgericht Frankfurt/M, docket No.1 E 4355/06 (V), as summarized […]