Constitutional law

Constitutional law

Our unique expertise in the area of constitutional law is based on our Constitutional Law Practice Group, which was founded and continuously developed by the founding partners of the firm. Our activities before the Constitutional Court range from lodging constitutional complaints to initiating proceedings reviewing the constitutionality of laws, to proceedings dealing with the organisation of the State, such as proceedings involving a conflict between different organs of the State. We regularly represent clients before the Federal Constitutional Court, the Constitutional Courts of the German Federal States and the Federal Administrative Court.

Our areas of expertise

  • Fundamental rights
  • Financial constitution
  • Parliamentary law
  • State organisation

Clients

We advise and represent constitutional bodies, ministries and authorities at both Federal and State level; local authorities, associations, undertakings and private individuals (for example in the context of the enforcement of fundamental rights). Prominent current constitutional proceedings we were involved in, for instance, concerned lignite surface mining, film funding, nuclear phase‐out, and the Euro rescue package.

Selected references*

Representation before the Federal Constitutional Court and state constitutional courts

  • Allianz life insurances on constitutional issues of the insurance act (1 BvR 1674/14).
  • Representation of a physician against the anonymized publication of a professional tribunal decision (1 BvR 1128/13).
  • Federal Government on the admissibility of testing long vehicles (“Gigaliners”) (2 BvF 1/12, 2 BvF 3/12).
  • ZDF on the Interstate Broadcasting Treaty (1 BvF 1/11, 1 BvR 4/11)
  • German Federal Film Board on financial constitutional and competency issues of film funding (NVwZ 2014, 646‐658).
  • European Stability Mechanism (ESM)in the Federal Constitutional Court proceedings on the “rescue package” and the “OMT programme” (among others NJW 2014, 1505‐1518 and NJW 2014, 907‐916).
  • Vattenfall on the constitutionality of the 2011 nuclear phase‐out (1 BvR 1456/12).
  • RWE Power in the Federal Constitutional Court proceedings “Garzweiler” on the scope of property rights and effective legal protection (NVwZ 2014, 211‐233).
  • Representation of a publishing house on a judicial review of contracts on fees for translators (NJW 2014, 46‐51).
  • Landtag of Saarland in proceedings between governmental bodies and election verification processes before the Saarland Constitutional Court (NVwZ‐RR 2012, 169; NVwZ‐RR 2013, 537).
  • Representation of a corporation on the collection of charges for insolvency insurance according to the Company Pensions Act (NVwZ 2012, 1535).
  • Government of North Rhine‐Westphalia on the compatibility of supplementary budgets with the State constitution and public debt limits (NVwZ 2011, 805‐811).
  • Biogas plants in the “Penkun proceedings” on constitutionality of EEG 2009 (BVerfGE 122, 374‐397).
  • VG Wort (and others) on the scope of intellectual property in the digital era (among others GRUR 2010, 999‐1002; GRUR 2011, 223‐225; GRUR 2011, 225‐227; GRUR 2011, 225‐227).
  • Company benefitting from investment allowances because of insufficient fiscal control of the tax authority’s classification of the business as an undertaking of the manufacturing industry (BVerfGE 129, 1).
  • Berlin Senate in several proceedings on the admissibility of referenda (among others LVerfGE 20, 23‐45; LVerfGE 20, 45‐70 ).
  • Federal Government in a legal review of the agriculture “Absatzfonds” regarding extra charges (BVerfGE 122, 316‐341).
  • Federal Council in the 2001 proceedings to ban the NPD (BVerfGE 107, 339‐395).
  • Federal Government in several Constitutional Court and Federal Administrative Court proceedings on federal/Land compensations for breaches of European, international, or federal law duties (BVerfGE 109, 1‐13; BVerfGE 116, 271‐327; BVerwGE 128, 342‐350; BVerwGE 128, 99‐118).
  • Federal Government in constitutional complaints on market regulations (among others BVerfGK 17, 273‐297).
  • Federal Government in various Constitutional Court proceedings on waste law (among others NVwZ 2003, 725‐726; NJW 2003, 418‐419; NVwZ 2007, 1172‐1175).
  • Representation of the complainant on equal treatment of income tax deductability of occupational provisions (BVerfGE 120, 169‐180).
  • Deutschlandradio on the breach of freedom of broadcasting by too low radio licence fees (BVerfGE 119, 181).
  • Representation of a complainant against the enforcement of a prison sentence imposed against the complainant in France (BVerfGK 15, 24).
  • State Treaty on Gambling. Representation of a company on the ban on Internet brokering (NVwZ 2008, 1338).
  • Representation of a complainant on the right to use protected job titles for advertisements within the scope of the freedom to pursue a professional activity (NJW‐RR 2008, 909).
  • Oddset sport bets. Representation of a sports betting shop in Munich because of infringement of the fundamental right to pursue a professional activity by the State monopoly on sports betting (BVerfGE 115, 276‐320).
  • Representation of a former Brandenburg prime minister against being called a Stasi collaborator (WRP 2006, 61‐67).
  • Deutscher Herold on the requirement of an authorization under insurance supervision law for the portfolio transfers of life insurance contracts; disqualification of a Constitutional Court judge on the grounds of former activities as representative in court proceedings (BVerfGE 114, 1‐72).
  • Sports bets. Representation of a private individual on the granting of effective legal protection against the immediate execution of the ban on sports betting arrangements (NVwZ 2005, 439‐440 and BVerfGK 4, 36‐42).
  • The Free State of Saxony, inter alia, on the requirements of democracy and the rule of law in respect of the transfer of legislative power to notaries’ funds (BVerfGE 111, 191‐225).
  • Members of Schleswig‐Holstein parliament in proceedings against the Land government on the question whether the government is obliged to grant members of parliament access to files (BVerfGE 110, 199‐226).
  • Deutsche Telekom in injunctive legal proceedings to protect trade and business secrets in the administrative court proceedings on the charging system under telecommunications law (BVerfGE 115, 205‐259).
  • Competition complaint. Representation of a hospital association seeking effective legal protection when taking a competing candidate into the hospital plan (NVwZ 2004, 718‐71).
  • Compulsory primary education. Representation of the complainants regarding the rejection of a permission for home education by the parents of children subject to compulsory primary education (NVwZ 2003, 1113‐1114).
  • RTL and ZDF against the anonymization of TV footage of the accused person in the proceedings on the homicide of Jakob v. Metzler (NJW 2003, 2523‐2524).
  • ZDF and others against the surrender of communication data of journalistic phone calls for purposes of criminal prosecution (BVerfGE 107, 299‐339).
  • Various radio and TV institutions on reporters’ attendance at oral proceedings against presumed al‐Qaeda terrorists (NJW 2002, 2021‐2022; NJW 2003, 500‐501).
  • Representation of complainants regarding the requirements for the inspection of files by allegedly infringed persons in preliminary criminal proceedings (NJW 2003, 501‐503 and BVerfGE 91, 328‐334).
  • Love Parade. Representation of the events company on the question of the nature of the Love Parade as an assembly (NJW 2001, 2459‐2461).
  • Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on questions regarding the protection of privacy against photographic reports by the press (NJW 2001, 1921‐1926).
  • Representation of the complainant on questions of the admissibility of appeals in administrative court proceedings on policy law responsibilities for so‐called military waste (NVwZ 2001, 552‐553).
  • The State Government of Hesse in an abstract review of the legislative provision relating to election verification regulations of Hesse’s state constitution (BVerfGE 103, 111‐142).
  • Representation of the complainants on the unconstitutionality of the separate registration of appellate attorneys (BVerfGE 103, 1‐20).
  • Representation of opticians on the scope of permitted professional practice (GewArch 2000, 418‐420).
  • Federal Government in Federation‐State disputes on directives under Article 85 (3) of the Basic Law (BVerfGE 102, 167‐175).
  • Representation of a press company on the works council’s involvement in the co‐determination of daily working hours of editors (AfP 2000, 82‐84).
  • Representation of complainants seeking remuneration for the procedural support provided by a social worker to impoverished persons under his employment contract concluded with a care centre (FamRZ 2000, 414‐415).
  • Representation of a complainant in restitution proceedings under the Property Act (WM 1999, 2030‐2032).
  • Representation of a company because of the interdiction to publish anonymous letters composed by employees criticizing the works council in a company magazine (BVerfGE 95, 28).
  • METRO chain because of an imposition of various restraints for reasons of competition (WM 1998, 1554‐1558).
  • Representation of a company on municipal packaging tax (BVerfGE 98, 83‐105).
  • Representation in professional law issues of the lawyer‐notary and prohibition of partnership (BVerfGE 98, 49‐70).
  • Representation of a newspaper publisher because of changes to the right to reply under Saarland press law (BVerfGE 97, 157‐168).

With regard to our commitment to professional discretion, the list of references is restricted to representation cases published by the courts/that are public knowledge (section 43a (2) BRAO)

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