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Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Germany: Sexual Violence Trial Begins

(May 17, 2011) On May 4, 2011, the trial of two men from Rwanda accused of ordering others to carry out massacres and multiple rapes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) got underway in Stuttgart, Germany. The men are being tried on 39 counts of war crimes and 26 of crimes against humanity […]

Germany: Parliament Extends Life of Nuclear Power Plants

(Nov. 29, 2010) Despite strong opposition, on November 26, 2010, the Bundestag (German Parliament) approved a bill amending the Atomic Energy Act to extend by an average of 12 years the lifespan of the country's 17 nuclear power plants. Opposition parties have declared that they will appeal to Germany's Federal Constitutional Court to rule on […]

Germany: Dawes and Young Plan Bonds Paid Off

(Oct. 28, 2010) On October 1, 2010, Germany paid off the last residual interest payments of the bond issues through which the Dawes and Young plans were privatized, thereby making its last payments on reparations imposed after World War I (Die letzte Rate von Versailles – Deutschland hat abbezahlt, FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG, Oct. 2, 2010, […]

Germany: Legal Issues Concerning Islam Discussed at Jurists’ Convention

(Oct. 18, 2010) The 68th German Convention of Jurists was held in Berlin on September 21 – 24 (Deutscher Juristentag (Sept. 24, 2010), One of the topics of the Convention was “Church-State Relations in an Era of New Conflicts over Religion” (68. Deutscher Juristentag, Berlin 1860 2010 Beschlüsse 12-14, (last visited Oct. 15, […]

Germany: Genetic Modification and Freedom of Speech

(Oct. 18, 2010) On September 8, 2010, the German Federal Constitutional Court (FCC) issued a decision that balanced freedom of speech against commercial interests. The case involved a multinational dairy-producing company that used, in some of its products, milk from cows that had been fed genetically modified corn. (Bundesverfassungsgericht, Sept. 28, 2010, Docket number 1 […]

Germany: Solar Energy Encouragements Reduced

(Sept. 10, 2010) On August 11, 2010, Germany amended the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 (Erstes Gesetz zur Änderung des Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetzes, BUNDESGESETZBLATT I at 1170, amending Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz, Oct. 25, 2008, BUNDESGESETZBLATT I at 2074, updated version available at The amending Act continues to reduce the guaranteed above-market rates for solar energy production, a process […]

Germany: Tax Treatment of European Losses

(Sept. 9, 2010) On June 9, 2010, the German Federal Fiscal Court (Bundesfinanzhof) issued two decisions that describe the circumstances under which losses incurred by a permanent establishment in a foreign country can be claimed as a deduction by a German resident owner (Docket Nos. I R 100/09, & I R 107/09,; Press […]

Germany: Equal Tax Treatment for Same-Sex Partnerships Required

(Sept. 3, 2010) On July 21, 2010, the German Federal Constitutional Court held that the constitutional guarantee of equality requires that the inheritance tax applicable to the survivors of same-sex partnerships must be as favorable as that applied to surviving spouses (Docket Nos. 1 BvR 611/07 & 1 BvR 2464/07, (last visited Sept. 1, […]

Germany: Court Permits Embryo Screening

(Aug. 31, 2010) On July 6, 2010, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) issued a decision that permits pre-implantation testing to screen for serious genetic defects (Docket No. 5 StR 386/09, The decision interprets section 1(1) no. 2 of the Embryo Protection Act (Embryonenschutzgesetz, Dec. 13, 1990, BUNDESGESETZBLATT I at 2746, translation available […]

Germany: Custody for Out-of-Wedlock Children

(Aug. 20, 2010) On July 21, 2010, Germany's Federal Constitutional Court (FCC, Bundesverfassungsgericht) issued a decision that strengthened the rights of fathers of out-of-wedlock children (Docket No. 1 BvR 420/09 (July 21, 2010), available at The decision declares unconstitutional sections 1626a and 1672 of the Civil Code (repromulgated Jan. 2, 2002 BUNDESGESETZBLATT I at […]