Constitutional Court Decides NPD-Party Ban Case

On 17 January 2017 the German Federal Constitutional Court issued its long-awaited judgment on the federal states’ application to ban the National Democratic Party of Germany.  The Second Senate rejected the application, finding that the party lacked the capacity to implement its grotesque ideology in a manner that might pose a tangible threat to Germany’s “free, democratic basic order.”  This seems likely to be the last stop in the scrutiny of the NPD that has spanned decades.  The German Law Journal has covered many of those clashes, dating back to its first volumes:

Government Commits to Seeking a Ban of the Extreme Right-Wing National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD)

Federal Constitutional Court To Review NPD Party Ban Motion (Felix Hanschmann)

Federal Constitutional Court Issues Temporary Injunction in the NPD Party Ban Case

FCC suspends hearing in NPD Party Ban Case (Alexander Hanebeck)

The latest confrontation, culminating in the judgement from 17 January 2017, served as a framework for a number of other constitutional disputes involving the freedom of the NPD (and other marginal political parties) to participate on equal terms in Germany’s democratic processes.  We are lucky to be able to publish in this month’s issue Thomas Kliegel’s thoughtful commentary on the Constitutional Court’s decisions in these side-skirmishes.

German Law Journal editor Russell Miller also published a photo-essay, in the days prior to the Court’s publication of its judgement, documenting and critically reflecting on the three-day hearing in the party-ban case, which was held in March, 2016.