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Constitutional Complaints and Organstreit Proceedings Against the OMT Programme of the European Central Bank Unsuccessful

Judgment of 21 June 2016 – 2 BvR 2728/13, 2 BvR 2729/13, 2 BvR 2730/13, 2 BvR 2731/13, 2 BvE 13/13

If the conditions formulated by the Court of Justice of the European Union in its judgment of 16 June 2015 (C-62/14) and intended to limit the scope of the OMT programme are met, the complainants’ rights under Art. 38 sec. 1 sentence 1, Art. 20 secs. 1 and 2 in conjunction with Art. 79 sec. 3 of the Basic Law (Grundgesetz – GG) are not violated by the fact that the Federal Government and the Bundestag have not taken suitable steps to revoke or limit the effect of the policy decision of the European Central Bank of 6 September 2012 concerning the OMT programme. Furthermore, if these conditions are met, the OMT programme does not currently impair the Bundestag’s overall budgetary responsibility. Such was the decision of the Second Senate of the Federal Constitutional Court in a judgment pronounced today. If interpreted in accordance with the Court of Justice’s judgment, the policy decision on the OMT programme does not “manifestly” exceed the competences attributed to the European Central Bank. Moreover, if interpreted in accordance with the Court of Justice’s judgment, the OMT programme does not present a constitutionally relevant threat to the German Bundestag’s right to decide on the budget.

Facts of the Case:


Prohibition of Professional Partnership of Lawyers with Physicians and Pharmacists is Unconstitutional [1 BvL 6/13]

Press Release No. 6/2016 of 02 February 2016

Order of 12 January 2016
1 BvL 6/13

59a sec. 1 sentence 1 of the Federal Lawyers’ Act (Bundesrechtsanwaltsordnung) is unconstitutional and void to the extent that it prohibits lawyers to establish a professional partnership with physicians and pharmacists for the joint practicing of their professions. Such was the decision by the First Senate of the Federal Constitutional Court in an order published today in specific judicial review proceedings conducted upon referral by the Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof). The prohibition to establish a partnership (Sozietätsverbot) disproportionately interferes with the freedom to practice an occupation (Art. 12 sec. 1 of the Basic Law, Grundgesetz – GG). The legislature permits the association of lawyers with other professional groups – in particular with patent attorneys, tax consultants and auditors – in a professional partnership. Compared to such partnerships, an inter-professional cooperation of lawyers with physicians and pharmacists does not hold such considerable additional risks regarding compliance with a lawyer’s professional duties as to justify a different treatment.


Judgment of the Second Senate of 07 September 2011 – 2 BvR 987/10

Judgment of the Second Senate of 04 May 2011 – 2 BvR 2365/09

– 2 BvR 2365/09 – – 2 BvR 740/10 – – 2 BvR 2333/08 – – 2 BvR 1152/10 – – 2 BvR 571/10 –


Judgment of the First Senate of 02 March 2010 – 1 BvR 256/08

– 1 BvR 256/08 – – 1 BvR 263/08 – – 1 BvR 586/08 –


Headscarf Ban (Kopftuchverbot) [2 BvR 1436/02]

Judgment 28th May 1993 – Schwangerschaftsabbruch [2 BvF 2/90]

2 BvF 2/90 – 2 BvF 4/92 – 2 BvF 5/92


Constitutional Complaints Against the Investigative Powers of the Federal Criminal Police Office for Fighting International Terrorism Partially Successful

Judgement of 20 April 2016 – 1 BvR 966/09, 1 BvR 1140/09


Lisbon Decision [2 BvE 2/08]

Act Approving the Treaty of Lisbon compatible with the Basic Law; accompanying law unconstitutional to the extent that legislative bodies have not been accorded sufficient rights of participation

Judgment of 30 June 2009
2 BvE 2/08


On the Scope of the Requirement of Parliamentary Approval for Deployments of the Armed Forces in Cases of Imminent Danger [2 BvE 6/11]

Judgment of 23 September 2015

In a decision pronounced today, the Second Senate of the Federal Constitutional Court further specified the constitutional standards applying to the Bundestag’s right to participate in decision-making concerning deployments of armed German forces abroad. All deployments of armed military forces require parliamentary approval; there is no additional requirement that the deployment be of a certain military importance. In cases of imminent danger, the Federal Government may, by way of exception and for the time being, decide upon deployments alone. However, it is under the obligation to seek the Bundestag’s approval for continuing the deployment as soon as possible. Should the deployment in question already be over, the Federal Government must inform the Bundestag promptly and in a qualified manner of the reasons for its decision and the details of the deployment; yet, it is not obliged to seek retrospective approval by the Bundestag.

Therefore, the application for Organstreit (dispute between federal organs) proceedings lodged by the parliamentary group of ALLIANCE 90 / THE GREENS (BÜNDNIS 90 / DIE GRÜNEN) is unsuccessful. The evacuation of German citizens from Libya on 26 February 2011 constituted a deployment of armed military forces, which required parliamentary approval but was over before Parliament could be called upon.