Kritische Blicke auf die Coronakrise und ihre Folgen
Kritische Blicke auf die Coronakrise und ihre Folgen

Second ad hoc statement of German public health experts

Gerd Glaeske et al.: 2. Ad hoc-Stellungnahme. Die Pandemie durch SARS-CoV-2/Covid-19 – Zentralisierte Willkür: Über den Entwurf eines 4. Bevölkerungsschutzgesetzes, Bremen et al. April 14, 2021.

Résumé of the statement:

“The law prescribes a concept of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI) in its § 28b Infection Protection Act (IfSG, Infektionsschutzgesetz) and favors contact restrictions as its main focus. It is based on an arbitrarily set “threshold value” and attaches to it an automatism and a legal ordinance authorization limiting the Federal States’ competences. The thresholds are a political decision based on an uncertain and arbitrary setting. They fail to provide a basis for regulatory action under the rule of law.

Linking the automaticity of different interventions (encroachments on fundamental rights) in Section 28b (1) IfSG-E to the uniform threshold value violates the principle of proportionality, which requires a differentiated justification for each individual intervention. The requirement for specific justification of the proportionality of interventions in fundamental rights has been confirmed during the pandemic period by the case law of the BVerfG (Bundesverfassungsgericht: Federal Constitutional Court) and several other constitutional and higher administrative courts. The proportionality test must be measure-specific; fundamental rights-specific adequacy requirements must be observed. The prerequisites of the statutory automated interventions can be influenced by controlling the testing; the same applies to the legal ordinance authorizations.

The law excludes differentiation as a concept of pandemic control.

The automatism of ordering “measures” by law makes judicial review of the constitutionality of the measures difficult and allows only for norm control proceedings or (limited) constitutional complaints before the BVerfG. The indispensable administrative court control alone enables the differentiating weighing of fundamental rights of protection and encroachment in individual cases.

The law politically disavows federalism without necessity through centralization based on crisis. Centralization as a political intervention is justified neither by evidence nor by conviction.

The pandemic should not be the starting point for state organizational intervention/change. The thought of a new emergency constitution in the health sector suggests itself.”

Link to the complete statement on the website of the SOCIUM – Research Center for Inequality and Social Policy at the University of Bremen.

Download link to the statement as PDF file on the page of the SOCIUM – Research Center Inequality and Social Policy at the University of Bremen.