So it does work – or why the Federal Supreme Court can explicitly order the Corona Recovery Fund not to be signed into law

Last Friday, in interim proceedings, the Federal Supreme Court expressly ordered Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier not to sign the law implementing the European aid fund. A justification is to follow.

The court repeatedly did not consider such an order necessary when it put on hold the Unified Patent Court. There, a simple telephone call was sufficient. This should be justified because it is constitutional practice that the Federal President does not sign laws that the Federal Supreme Court is currently reviewing and whose consequences would be very difficult to reverse. This applies in particular to obligations under international law or other international obligations.

If this were true, there would have been no need for an explicit decision in this case either. As with the Unified Patent Court, it would be very difficult for the Federal Republic of Germany to escape its international obligations in the case of the European Corona Restoration Fund. Why an explicit instruction is needed in one case, which is also justified by the constitutional principles, and not in the other, is not clear – at least not to me.

According to the FAZ (German newspaper), Frank-Walter Steinmeier apparently wanted to protect himself against political pressure, especially from the AFD (“Alternative for Germany”). However, the AFD was similarly critical of the Unified Patent Court. Therefore, there would also be political pressure here that Frank-Walter Steinmeier would have to withstand. In my opinion, this should not be the decisive criterion. In general, it seems highly dubious from a constitutional point of view to only make transparent and written decisions when one of the parties involved feels the “pressure of the street”. The rule of law must be free from ” pressure of the street” in every aspect.

It therefore remains to hope that the Federal Supreme Court will finally create transparency in the area of the Unified Patent Court and disclose why it wants to conduct intensive examinations at the second attempt as well.

by Dr. Christof Augenstein

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