The constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany was established on May 23, 1949. Germany is a key player on the world stage and a leading liberal democracy. The Basic Law has been the “constitution” of the Federal Republic of Germany since 1949 and contains the legal foundations of the state. The Basic Law also lists the fundamental rights which have the place above all other laws. The inviolability of human rights, human dignity and the liberty of an individual are primary principles of the Basic Law.
With the introduction of the COVID-19 epidemic, the Basic Law has been called into question and democratic setback has spread to parts of Europe and other corners of the world. However, thanks to the guarantees and solid fundamentals of the German Basic Law, German democracy has remained strong.
Article 1 is the most important of the rights set out in the Basic Law. All other fundamental rights are linked to this article which declares that everyone’s life is precious – and the dignity of every individual (young or old, poor or rich, German citizen or refugee) must be protected. Such an article aims to ensure that torture and intimidation will not be part of the daily experience in German prisons and police confinements
According to Article 2, everyone has the right to freedom- a right which may only be interfered with on sound, legal grounds. So, civil liberties are articulated in Article 2 of the German constitution, the Basic Law. Every person has the right to develop freely. As long as it doesn’t violate the rights of others and the constitution.
Article 3 lays down that all the people have equal rights. No one can be discriminated against due to their origin, belief, gender, language, skin colour, sexual orientation or disability. The state must make certain that nobody gets deprived of basic opportunities such as the case of employment or housing facility. A landlord, for instance, may not reject a gay couple as a tenant because of their sexual identity. What could life in Germany look like without Article 3? Watch and check both endings!
Article 4 of the Basic Law states: “Freedom of belief, conscience and freedom of religious and ideological belief are inviolable.” This means that all religions are allowed in Germany and that everyone can have their own faith. People may also have no religion at all. Everyone has the right to pray as they wish and where you want. However, this can be difficult if there is no place of worship nearby.
According to Article 5, everyone is free to express their opinion and the media has a freedom of reporting. No one can forbid criticism of the government. No one can ban reporting on certain topics. However, it is forbidden to spread hatred or lies – and the same also applies to insults and defamation. Without freedom of expression and freedom of the press, there can be no democracy.