The Future of Militant Democracy in Germany

Extremists are using the Covid-19-pandemic to get attention. In Germany, the pandemic led firstly to an increase of hate crimes. The situation has become even more serious, especially due to the demonstrations of the lateral thinkers (“Querdenker”), where also right-wing extremists participated. The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution classified the protests as an object of observation nationwide. Legally, this observation is possible if actors support efforts against the free democratic basic order. This is an expression of the principle of a militant democracy, which includes e.g. party and association bans. All legal possibilities share that they protect the free democratic basic order. An analysis of case law shows that a whole range of fundamental rights is covered. I will use some examples to show that the interpretation is currently too broad and will argue that a return to the basic idea of militant democracy is necessary.