The Drafting of a Law against Discrimination on the Grounds of Racial or Ethnic Origin in Germany: Constraints in Constitutional and European Community Law

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  • 1 Dr. jur., Attorney-at-Law, Leipzig.

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  • 1 See Art. 1 Council Directive 2000/43/EC of 29 June 2000 implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin, Dir 2000/43, OJ 2000 L 180, 22. 2 See Art. 1 Council Directive 2000/78/ECJ of 27 November 2000 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation, Dir 2000/78, OJ 2000 L 303,16. 3 Art. 3 Council Directive 2000/43/EC. For a detailed overview of the scope of the directive, see Rainer Nickel, Tiandlungsauftrige zur Bekampfung von ethnischen Diskriminierungen in der neuen Gleichbe- handlungsrichtlinie 2000/43/EG', 54 Neue Juri.sti.sche Wochenschrift (hereinafter N]W) (2001),1668-72 and Gabriel N. Toggenburg, 'The Race Directive: A New Dimension in the Fight against Ethnic Discrimina- tion in Europe', 1 European Yearbook of Minority Issues (2001/2), 231-44. 4 Bundesministerium der Justiz, 'Diskussionsentwurf eines Gesetzes zur Verhinderung von Diskriminierung im Zivilrecht' (10 December 2001). Earlier proposals to adopt special laws against racial discrimination

  • were made in 1994 and 1995; however, neither were adopted, see Peter Radler, `Gesetze gegen Rassendiskri- minierung', 30 Zeitschrift jùr Rechtspolitik (hereinafter ZRP) (199'7), 5-9, at 5. 5 See 'Coalition Agreement for the legislative period 1998-2002' (20 October 1998): '10. Rights of Minorities: The new Federal Government wants to protect minorities and wants to achieve their equal treatment and social participation. No one must be discriminated against on grounds of his disability, origin, colour, ethnic origin or sexual orientation as gay or lesbian, and 'Coalition Agreement for the legislative period 2002- 2006' (16 October 2002): `64. Promotion of tolerance, respect of rights of minorities and self-determination of human beings are leading principles of our policy.... We plan to extend rights of political participation and civil rights and to eliminate discrimination.' (author's translation). 6 Matthias Mahlmann, Anti-Discrimination Legislation in EU Member States - A Comparison of National Anti-Discrimination Legislation on the Grounds of Racial or Ethnic Origin, Religion or Belief with the Council Directives - Germany', report prepared by Matthias Mahlmann under the guidance of Migration Policy Group, edited by Jan Niessen and Isabelle Chopin on behalf of the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (Vienna, 2002), at material/pub/Artl3/ART13-Ger- many-en.pdf. 7 Ibid., 24. 8 For an overview of criminal law provisions against discrimination, their application and effectiveness, see Germany's 'Thirteenth/Fourteenth Periodic Report to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Dis- crimination', CERD/C/299/Add. 5 (21 October 1996), paras. 44-52 and the 'Fifteenth Periodic Report to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination', CERD 338/C/Add.l4 (10 August 2000), paras. 32-5,78-96,106-10.

  • 9 In addition, Art. 33 of the Basic Law protects applicants for a position in the public service against discrimi- nation, see Frank Selbmann, 'Some Thoughts about Access to the Public Service and Non-Discrimination', 1 European Yearbook ofminority Issues (2001/2), 207-30, at 217-8. 10 See Mahlmann, Anti-Discrimination Legislation...', 10 and Nicola Vennemann, 'The German Draft Legislation on the Prevention of Discrimination in the Private Sector', 3(3) German Law,journal (1 March 2002), at, para. 9. 11 German Federal Constitutional Court, 7 BVerfGE (1958),198, 205. 12 Ibid, 206. 13 Peter Radler, Verfabrensmodelle zum Scbutz vor Rassendiskriminierung: Recbtsvergleicbende Untersucbung zum Yerfassungsauftrag in Art. 3 Abs. 3 GG (Berlin, Heidelberg and New York, 1999), 411-2. 14 See ibid., 410; Victor Winkler,'The Planned German Anti-Discrimination Act: Legal Vandalism? A Response to Karl-Heinz Ladeur', 3(6) German Law Journal (1 June 2002), at http://www.gennanla\\joumal.comlpasc issues.php?id=158, para. 6 and'Fifteenth Periodic Report to the CERD...', para. 1. 15 'Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Germany', CERD/C/304/Add.24 (23 April 1997), paras. 17 and 20. 16 A more detailed overview is given in Mahlmann, Anti-Discrimination Legislation...', 15-22.

  • 17 See Bundesministerium der Justiz, `Diskussionsentwurf...',18 and Vennemann, 'The German Draft Legis- lation...', paras.12-3. 18 Mahlmann, Anti-Discrimination Legislation...',12. 19 See Vennemann, 'The German Draft Legislation...', para.13-4. 20 The implementation process for Directive 2000/43/EC has to be completed by 19 July 2003; for Directive 2000/78/EC by 2 December 2003.

  • 21 Draft section 319a(l)(2). 22 Draft section 319a(2) and (3). 23 This issue is discussed in Herbert Wiedemann and Gregor Thusing, 'Fragen zum Entwurf eines zivilrecht- lichen Anti-Disl:riminierungsgesetzes', Der Betrieb (2002), 463-70, at 467-9. 24 However, Section 319b refers to Section 319a, which prohibits discrimination based on gender, race, ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual identity. Thus, the scope of the draft law is broader than the scope of the Race Equality Directive. 25 Section 319b(l) of the proposed amendment to the Civil Code. 26 Ibid., Section 319b(2). 27 Ibid., Section 319b(3). 28 A pure allegation would be insufficient, see Bundesministerium der Justiz, 'Diskussionsentwurf.... 44.

  • 29 Section 319a(1)(1)(b) of the proposed amendment to the Civil Code. 30 Ibid., Section 319a(2). 31 Directive 2002/73/EC of 23 September 2002 amending Council Directive 76/2007/EEC on the implemen- tation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women as regards access to employment, vocational training and promotion, and working conditions, Dir 2002/73, OJ 2002L 269,15. The Directive has to be implemented into national law by 5 October 2005. 32 Adopted on 4 November 2000, ETS No. 177 (not yet in force). 33 Sarah Pritchard, 'Approaching its Use-by Date? National Enforcement Mechanism: The Case of Australia', in Titia Loenen and Peter R. Rodrigues (eds.), Non Discrimination Law: Comparative Perspectives (The Hague, London and Boston, 1999), 365-83, at 378. 34 See Wiedemann and Thusing, 'Fragen zum Entwur£..', 470. 35 ECRI's country-by-country approach, Vol. IV, CRI(99)6 (Strasbourg, 26 January 1999), 81, 84. 36 Bob Hepple,'A Unified Approach to Equality Law',1/2 Roma Rights Quarterly (2003), 24-6, at 25.

  • 37 Ibid., 26. 38 The Commissioners for the Affairs of Foreigners (Beauftragte fUr Auslanderfragen), who work at the federal and at the Lander level, do not have the competency to fulfil the obligations deriving from the Race Equal- ity Directive. See Mahlmann,'Anti-Discrimination Legislation...', 29. 39 Apart from the legal obligation deriving from the Race Equality· Directive, the establishment of an inde- pendent human rights institution, dealing in particular with the issues of racism and racial discrimination was also recommended at the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and related Intolerance in Durban, see 'Report of the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance' (Durban, 31 August to 8 September 2001), Programme of Action, UN Doc. A/CONF.189/12, para. 90. 40 Possible models for equal treatment bodies (Gleicbbebandlungsstellen) and limits set by the Constitution are outlined in Radler, I�erfahrensmodelle..., 414-20. 41 See `Stellungnahme der Anti-Diskriminierungsinitiativen aus Nordrhein-Westfalen zur Verhinderung von Diskriminierungen im Zivilrecht' (10 December 2001), at docs/pdf/Stellungnahme-Netzwerk.pdf. The Federation of German Trade Unions also voted for the adop-

  • tion of a single anti-discrimination act, see `Stellungnahme des Deutschen Gewerkschaftsbundes', at http: // Stellungnahme-DGB.pdf. 42 See Vennemann, 'The German Draft Legislation...', para. 23; more critical are Wiedemann and Thusing, 'Fragen zum Entwurf ...'. 43 Karl-Heinz Ladeur, 'The German Proposal of an 'Anti-Discrimination-Law': Anticonstitutional and Anti-Common Sense. A Response to Nicola Vennemann', 3(5) German LawJournal (1 May 2002), at http: // issues_archive.php; Klaus Adomeit, 'Diskriminierung -Inflation eines Begriffs', 55 NJW (2002),1622-3, at 1623; See also the critical comments by Franz-Jurgen Sacker,' Vernunft start Freiheit - Die Tugendrepublik der neuen Jakobiner - Referentenentwurf eines privatrechtlichen Diskriminierungsgesetzes', 35 ZRP (2002), 287-90 and the German Lawyers' Association, `Stellungnahme des Deutschen Anwaltsvereins durch den Ausschuss Zivilrecht zum Diskussionsentwurf eines Gesetzes zur Verhinderung von Diskriminierung im Zivilrecht' No 14/02 (Berlin, 13 February 2002), at http: // 44 See Cathrin Kahlweit, 'Das 'Antidiskriminierungsgesetz' ist vorerst gescheitert - Benachteiligt sind irgend- wie alle', Suddeutsche Zeitung (9 April 2002). 45 'Diskussionsentwurf eines Gesetzes zur Verhinderung von Diskriminierung im Zivilrecht; Uberarbeitung auf Grund der Besprechungen und Stellungnahmen' (17 February 2002). 46 See Nicole Janz, 'Bundestag im Wahllcampf - Nichts geht mehr', SPIEGEL ONLINE (17 June 2002), at,201263,OO.html. The elections took place on 22 Septem- ber 2002. 47 See Stefan Seibert, 'Einstellungen gegeniiber Minderheiten in der Europaischen Union, 7(1) Menschenre- chtsmagazin (2002),17-27, at 26. For a more detailed analysis of the data, see Eva Thalhammer, Attitudes towards Minority Groups in West and East Germany, European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenopho- bia (Vienna, April 2001), at 48 See Seibert,'Einstellungen ...', 22.

  • 49 'Sechster Bericht der Bundesregierung uber ihre \Ienschenrechtspolitik in den auswartigen Beziehungen und in anderen Politikbereicheri, Berichtszeitraum 01.01.2000-31.03.2002, 45. 50 'Coalition Agreement ...' (16 October 2002), 68. 51 See Veronika Kabis; ' Wer diskriminiert wen, wo, wann und wie?', die tageszeitung (12 May 2002), 14. 52 See 'Stellungnahme des Deutschen .�lnwaltsvereins durch den Ausschuss Zivilrecht zur Verlautbarung der Bundesministerin der Justiz, die EU-Richtlinien 2000/43/EG und 2000/78/EG umzusetzen in deutsches Recht durch ein 'Zivilrechtliches Antidiskriminierungsgesetz", No. 21/03 (May 2003), at http: //, 3. 53 'Stellungnahme des Deutschen Anwaltsvereins durch den Ausschuss Zivilrecht zum Diskussionsentwurf eines Gesetzes zur Verhinderung von Diskriminierung im Zivilrecht ...', 2.

  • 54 Council Directive 76/207/EEC of 9 February 1976 on the implementation of the principle of equal treat- ment for men and women as regards access to employment, vocational training and promotion, and working conditions: Dir 76/207, OJ 1976 L 39, 40. 55 The development is outlined in Jutta Limbach, 'Inter-Jurisdictional Cooperation within the Future Scheme of Protection of Fundamental Rights in Europe', 21 HRLJ (2000), 333-7, at 335-7. 56 German Federal Constitutional Court, 73 BVerfGE (1986), 339, 387 quoted in Limbach, 'Inter-Jurisdic- tional Cooperation ..., 336. 57 German Federal Constitutional Court, 21 HRLJ (2000), 251.

  • 58 Ibid., 254. 59 Limbach, 'Inter-Jurisdictional Cooperation...', 337. 60 Ulrich Everling, 'Brauchen wir 'Solange III'? - Zu den Forderungen nach Revision der Rechtsprechung des Bundesverfassungsgerichts', 25 Europarecht (1990),195-227, at 202. 61 German Federal Constitutional Court, 43 NJW (1990), 974 (author's translation).

  • 62 Everling,'Brauchen wir 'Solange III'...', 212-3. 63 See Philip Kunig, Art. 2, MN 16', in Ingo von Munch and Philip Kunig (eds.), Grundgesetx-Kommentar (Munich, 5�" ed., 2000). 64 See also Susanne Baer, "Ende der Privatautonomie' oder grundrechtlich fundierte Rechtssetzung? - Die deutsche Debatte um das Antidiskriminierungsrecht', 35 ZRP (2002), 290-4, at 291-2. 65 Karl Larenz and Manfred Wolf, Allgemeiner Teil des Bürgerlichen Rechts (Munich, 8d, ed.,199'7), 42. 66 Ibid., 648. 67 See Reinhard Bork,'Vorbemerkungen zu §§ 145 ff., MN 24', in Julius von Staudinger (founder), Gunther Beitzke (ed.), Kommentar zum Burgerlichen Gesetzbuch, §§ 134-63 ff. (Berlin, 13th ed., 1996). 68 Helmut Heinrichs, 'Einf. v. § 145, MN 10', in Otto Palandt (founder), Burgerliches Gesetxbuch (Munich, 61' ed., 2002) and Larenz and Wolf, Allgemeiner Teil... , 649.

  • 69 Michael Reinhudt,'Die Umkehr der Beweislast aus verfassungsrechtlicher Sicht', 47 NJW (1994), 93-9 , at 96-9. 70 Ibid., 97. 71 The concept of vulnerability is explained in Alexander H. E. Morawa, 'Vulnerability as a Concept of Inter- national Human Rights Law', 6(2) Journal of International Relations and Development (2003), 139-55). 72 The term 'sexual identity' is broader than the term 'sexual orientation' and comprises discrimination against homosexuals, intersexuals and transsexuals, see Bundesministerium der Justiz,'Diskussionsent%�-ud...', 38.

  • 73 Ladeur, 'The German Proposal...', para. 2; contested by Winkler, "Ihe Planned German Anti-Discrimina- tion Act...', para. 8. 74 BVerfG,1 BvF 1/01 (17 July 2002), at, para. 88. The decision is summarized in Russel Miller and Volker Roben, 'Constitutional Court Upholds Lifetime Partnership Act', 3(8) German Law journal (1 August 2002), at 75 See EC Treaty, Art. 249. 76 See Arno Scherzberg, 'Die innerstaatlichen Wirkungen von EG-Richtlinieri,15 JUR�4 (1993), 225-32. 77 See, e.g., ECJ C-8/81, Ursula Becker v. Finanzamt Mimster-Innemtadt, judgment of 19 January 1982, [1982] ECR 53, para. 25 and ECJ C-103/88, Fratelli Costanzo SpA v. Comune di Milano, judgment of 22 June 1989, [1989] ECR, 1839, para. 29.

  • 78 See e.g. ECJ C-91/92, Paola Faccini Dori v. Treveb Srl., Judgment of 14 July 1994, [1994] ECR I, 3325, para. 20. 79 The preconditions are outlined in ECJ, Paola Faccini Dori v. Treveb Srl., para. 27. See also Ingo Saenger, 'Staatshaftung wegen Verletzung europaischen Gemeinschaftsrechts', 37Juristische Scbulung (1997), 865-72.

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