COVID-19 IN THE JURISPRUDENCE OF THE GERMAN COURTS

The measures adopted to combat the spread of the Corona-virus in Germany impact many fundamental rights, sometimes completely suspending their exercise, to an extent up until now unthinkable in the post-war German legal system. This presentation analyses the reaction of the administrative and constitutional courts to the significant restrictions on fundamental rights in Germany. The focus will be on the judicial responses to the legal basis for enacting the Corona measures in the Infection Protection Act, as well as the enacted measures regarding freedom of religion and freedom of assembly. The analysis will show first, how the courts – after an initial cautious approach – later became increasingly critical of the measures taken; second, were also in a position to influence the legislature with their rulings (especially with regard to the legal basis) and finally, how the courts dealt with the problem of uncertainty and modified their test of proportionality as the pandemic progressed.