To link to this article, copy this persistent link:
http://www.loc.gov/lawweb/servlet/lloc_news?disp3_l205401472_text

(Aug 05, 2009) On July 30, 2009, the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany ruled that the government intelligence service (BND) may not withhold information from the legislature, unless there is a good cause presented in a detailed explanation. (Federal Constitutional Court website [in English], http://www.bundesverfassungsgericht.de/en/index.html (last visited Aug. 3, 2009; text of ruling not yet available as of this date).) Merely refusing to provide information claiming a need to maintain secrecy is insufficient, the judges said, calling such claims "not plausible." (Legal Setback for German Government and Its Intelligence Agencies, DEUTSCHE WELLE, July 30, 2009, available at http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,4529937,00.html.)

The decision came in a case that began when the BND declined in 2006 to report to the German Green Party as to whether the Party was the subject of surveillance. The BND had argued that release of the information would have compromised their intelligence-gathering methods. (Id.) According to some parliamentarians, the recent Constitutional Court decision could lead to some information that is currently classified becoming public. (Matt Glenn, Germany High Court Rules Intelligence May Not Be Withheld from Parliament, PAPER CHASE NEWSBURST, July 31, 2009, available at http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/paperchase/2009/07/germany-high-court-rules-
intelligence.php? 07 2009 paperchase jurist.law.pitt.edu
.)

Intelligence services in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States have all come under government review in recent months. (Id.)

Author: Constance Johnson More by this author
Topic: Executive power More on this topic
Jurisdiction: Germany More about this jurisdiction

Search Legal News
Find legal news by topic, country, keyword, date, or author.

Global Legal Monitor RSS
Get the Global Legal Monitor delivered to your inbox. Sign up for RSS service.

The Global Legal Monitor is an online publication from the Law Library of Congress covering legal news and developments worldwide. It is updated frequently and draws on information from the Global Legal Information Network, official national legal publications, and reliable press sources. You can find previous news by searching the GLM.

Last updated: 08/05/2009