Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Court Action in Germany

Germans like structure, rules, and regulations.  They also like to enforce the ninth degree.

Back in 2011, there was a mess unfolding in Libya.....with chaos and potential hostage issues brewing.  The German Bundeswehr made a determination, decided a course of action, and within hours....had what you'd call a rescue team there to pull 132 people (22 of them Germans) out of what might have been a fairly serious situation.  They weren't prisoners or such....but the civil conflict was unfolding rather quickly and it simply made sense to do it now....rather than wait and watch it turn into a hostage mess.

Well.....some folks at the Bundestag were disturbed....mostly from the Green Party.  There is a rule written into the operation of the German government which says that the Bundestag must consult with the Bundeswehr, in a meeting where the issue is discussed and the Bundestag can deny the operation to occur.

Unlike where the President of the United States can simply order the military to operate on some's supposed to be up to a debate if they can leave Germany and conduct actions.

So, the Green Party sued in court.  Yeah, kinda shocking.

You can imagine how this might have gone.....if consultation had taken place.....possibly for hours and hours, with news of the meeting leaking out, and the element of surprise gone, and then ordering the Bundeswehr to operate in a fairly hostile environment.

The German Federal Federal Constitutional Court finally came out today with it's ruling.
They generally agreed.....the Bundestag does have authority and control on foreign missions.  But then they said....the rules apply 'in-general'

Then, the Court defined this one exception: "In case of emergency, the federal government is exceptionally entitled provisionally to decide alone the use."  Other than informing the Bundestag immediately.....with the prescribed course and use of action....subsequent approval is not always necessary.

In this case, the Green Party lost.  And some unwritten rule of the Bundestag has been enhanced or modified....without a lot of frustrated political folks in the middle.

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