Germany: amendments to the Law on Infectious Protection of the Population

The Bundestag and Bundesrat urgently adopted amendments to the Law on Infectious Protection of the Population. It includes a new paragraph, which lists a number of specific measures, such as: banning events, restricting travel, limiting physical contact. The wording is open about the possibility of introducing new rules. It is assumed that the innovation will make it easier for the courts to make decisions on the legality of certain anti-epidemiological measures of the government.

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Elements of an authoritarian democracy

Bundestag itself has significantly weakened its position, criticizes Frankfurter Rundschau:

“From now on, the government’s ‘anti-corona’ orders must meet more stringent criteria, but the parliament is not expected to be actually involved in this. It turns out that if the Bundestag wants to ‘slow down’ the government, then in order to do this, it will have to cancel the conclusion about the presence of an emergency epidemiological situation in the country as a whole — even if this would not correspond to the real state of affairs. And in ordinary times, parliament too often approves prepared decisions. In a situation, this trend only intensifies. It does not, of course, lead directly to the ‘dictatorship’ that the Right sees itself as. On examination, however, it is easy to see elements of what — with only apparent contradiction — can be called “authoritarian democracy.” Parliament should not support such a thing.“

Unparalleled state intervention

The publication also sharply criticizes the innovation:

“With this law, the government has endowed itself with the right to restrict the fundamental rights of citizens under the pretext of fighting the epidemic. … From now on, Chancellor Merkel can prohibit the country’s citizens from gathering or meeting each other, moving from one point to another, or holding demonstrations. The worst part is that parliament has given the government the power to govern the country through decrees. This means that from now on there is no separation of legislative and executive powers in  — at least it is now largely limited.“

Berlin strengthens the rule of law

Lidove news compares the situation in different countries and comes to the following conclusion:

“Germany serves as an example that in a pandemic there is not only a path to declaring a state of emergency — the path followed by the Czech Republic, France, and other countries. … Germany is one of the few countries where the court had its say in the fight against the pandemic. This is a country in which freedoms are enshrined in the constitution. Now Germany has strengthened it’s Basic Law — and it’s not easy to declare a state of emergency. … But what is better for society? Such a strengthened constitution — or is it a state of affairs in which the government has the right to declare a state of emergency in the country in pursuit of its own goals?“

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