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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 […]

Germany: Federal Court of Justice Classifies Liquids for E-Cigarettes as Tobacco Products

(Feb. 23, 2016) On December 23, 2015, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof (BGH)) held that the nicotine-containing liquids used in electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) qualify as tobacco products and that their distribution and sale without a permit are therefore illegal. (BGH, Dec. 23, 2015, 2 StR 525/13, BGH website (in German).) According to the Court, it […]

Germany: Proposed Tightening of Asylum Rules

(Feb. 8, 2016) On February 3, 2016, the German government agreed on a set of stricter asylum measures (“Asylum Package II”). The Asylum Package II would accelerate the asylum application process; suspend family reunification for refugees with subsidiary protection status for a period of two years; decrease asylees’ monthly cash benefits; facilitate deportation; establish a […]

Germany: Parliament Debates E-Cigarettes Prohibition for Minors

(Dec. 9, 2015) On December 4, 2015, the German Bundestag (parliament) debated a draft act that would prohibit the sale to and consumption of electronic cigarettes and electronic shishas by children and adolescents under 18 years of age.  (Entwurf eines Gesetzes zum Schutz von Kindern und Jugendlichen vor den Gefahren des Konsums von elektronischen Zigaretten […]

Germany: Parliament Adopts Draft Act to Criminalize Commercial Assisted Suicide

(Dec. 1, 2015) On November 6, 2015, the German Bundestag (parliament) adopted a draft act that criminalizes commercial assisted suicide. (Entwurf eines Gesetzes zur Strafbarkeit der geschäftsmäßigen Förderung der Selbsttötung [Draft Act to Criminalize Commercial Assisted Suicide] (July 1, 2015), DEUTSCHER BUNDESTAG: DRUCKSACHEN UND PROTOKOLLE [BT-Drs.] 18/5373, Deutscher Bundestag website (scroll down to view text of the […]