The Limits of Freedom of Expression in the Wunsiedel Decision of the German Federal Constitutional Court
Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf
September 15, 2011
German Law Journal, Vol. 11, No. 8, 2010
On 4 November 2009, the First Senate of the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) handed down its decision in the Wunsiedel case. In this decision, the Court held that 130(4) of the Criminal Code does not violate the fundamental right of freedom of expression as it is protected by Article 5 of the Basic Law. 130(4) of the Criminal Code- in concordance with § 15(1) of the Assembly Act- provides the legal basis for prohibiting certain National Socialist assemblies, particularly those taking place on dates and at locations with a high symbolic meaning for supporters of National Socialism. Therefore, the decision is of the highest importance for the fight against neo-Nazism and other supporters of National Socialist ideologies. Beyond this specific context, the decision has a significant impact on the doctrine of freedom of expression in general.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 14
Keywords: freedom of speech, Germany, German Federal Constitutional Court, Wunsiedel
Date posted: September 15, 2011