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Germany: Court Clarifies Requirements for Living Wills and Durable Healthcare Powers of Attorney

(Sept. 30, 2016) On July 6, 2016, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH) held that a statement in a patient’s living will that “I do not wish to receive life-prolonging treatments” was not sufficient to legally bind a patient’s representative to authorize removal of an artificial feeding tube. The Court also separately found that an authorized representative of a patient can only consent to […]

Germany: Government Publishes Civil Defense Concept

(Sept. 9, 2016) On August 28, 2016, the German Federal Government published a Civil Defense Concept in which it set out a federal strategy to facilitate non-military defense measures in Germany in a national emergency such as an attack against the country or a natural disaster. (Bundesministerium des Innern [Federal Ministry of the Interior], Konzeption […]

Germany: Act to Improve Anti-Terror Information Exchange in Force

(Sept. 8, 2016) On July 30, 2016, the Act to Improve Information Exchange in the Fight Against International Terrorism entered into force in Germany. It amends several existing laws that govern anti-terrorism measures, but also equips the German domestic intelligence agency with new means to fight international terrorism, in particular with regard to information-sharing in […]

Germany: Act to Integrate Refugees Enters Into Force

(Aug. 15, 2016) On August 6, 2016, the Integration Act and the Regulation on the Integration Act entered into force in Germany. The Integration Act and the Regulation amend several laws in order to facilitate the integration of refugees into German society. The laws provide for more integration classes, vocational training, employment and training opportunities, […]

Germany: Act to Protect Cultural Property Passed

(July 19, 2016) On June 23, 2016, the German Bundestag (parliament) adopted a revised Act to Protect Cultural Property which protects certain national cultural property from being exported, restricts illegal trade in cultural goods, and facilitates the retrieval of cultural goods that were exported unlawfully. (Gesetz zur Neuregelung des Kulturgutschutzrechts [Act To Amend the Law […]

Germany: Court Recognizes Co-Mothers of Child

(July 6, 2016) On June 15, 2016, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH) published a decision issued on April 20 in which it held that a South African law that awards co-motherhood to the German wife of the biological mother of a child born in a same-sex marriage has to be recognized in […]

Germany: Law Restricting Airbnb and Other Vacation Rentals Takes Effect in Berlin

(May 24, 2016) On May 1, 2016, a law prohibiting the illegal repurposing of residential housing without a permit took effect in Berlin, following the end of a two-year transitional period. The law aims to combat the growing housing shortage in Berlin.  “Illegal repurposing of residential housing” is defined as use of the entire home […]

Germany: Federal Constitutional Court Declares Terrorism Legislation Partially Unconstitutional

(May 3, 2016) On April 20, 2016, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) ruled that the Act on the Federal Criminal Police Office was partially unconstitutional, because various provisions that deal with the investigative powers of the Federal Criminal Police Office for fighting international terrorism were not proportional. The Court criticized the legal requirements […]

Germany: Overhaul of Criminal Law Relating to Sexual Offenses

(Apr. 11, 2016) On March 16, 2016, the German government agreed on a draft act to close gaps in the current criminal law relating to sexual offenses. (Gesetzentwurf der Bundesregierung, Entwurf eines Gesetzes zur Änderung des Strafgesetzbuches – Verbesserung des Schutzes der sexuellen Selbstbestimmung [Draft Act of the Federal Government, Draft Act to Amend the Criminal […]