Germany has a constitution.It protects and demands commitment. And it itself is protected. Guardian of Basic Rights: The German Constitutional Court

 

O-Ton 1 Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Susanne Baer LL.M., Constitutional Court Judge

“It’s quite an uplifting feeling, entering this building – not just because it’s a beautiful building, but because it was also the first court building to provide transparency, to enable cititzens to see us at work.“

 

Germany’s Basic Law, the “Grundgesetz“, guarantees that:

“The dignity of man is inviolable... “
Article 1, Par. 1, Line 1

 

O-Ton 2 Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Susanne Baer LL.M., Constitutional Court Judge
“Many people in this country value the Grundgesetz, or Basic Law, very very highly, because it has proven again and again that it works, in different eras and for a wide range of challenges. Precisely because it’s the Basic Law.“

 

“Men and women are equal.“
Article , Par. 2, Line 1

 

O-Ton 3 Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Susanne Baer LL.M., Constitutional Court Judge
“Gender equality, equal rights for men and women, is part of the human race’s grand dream of equality. And equality is very much in the foreground in the Grundgesetz, because historically it has been fought for for hundreds of years, the idea of men and women being treated equally in our societies.“


No person shall be favoured or disfavoured because of sex, parentage, race, language, homeland and origin, faith, or religious or political opinions. No person shall be disfavoured because of disability.”

 

Article 3, Par. 3, Line 1

 

O-Ton 4 Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Susanne Baer LL.M., Constitutional Court Judge
“It doesn’t matter who you are, what sex, where you came from, how old you are – you deserve the same respect. The fact that we had to say that specifically with regard to men and women, is of course part of a historic development that unfolded differently in different societies, and in Germany a lot of energy had to be invested at the end of the 1940s, to make sure that the promise of equality and equal rights was not obstructed by concerns about the family and marriage.“


“Our task is  simply to ensure that the Grundgesetz is respected.“

Hermann Höpker-Aschoff
President of the Constitutional Court (1951-1954)

 

O-Ton 5 Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Susanne Baer LL.M., Constitutional Court Judge
“As the Constitutional Court, it’s our job, if we need to – and we don’t often do it, but sometimes we have to – to set boundaries. And to take e a critical stance to politics, to be critical, and to ask: are the rights of ordinary citizens being trampled on, has something been overlooked, is somebody being disadvantaged, is somebody being left out? Or to put it positively: is democracy really working here? Is it really a social state, and is the rule of law working as guaranteed in the Grundgesetz?“

 
“The dignity of man is inviolable... “

Article 1, Par. 1, Line 1