In the mid-summer of 1989 the German Democratic Republic-- known as the GDR or East Germany--was an autocratic state led by an entrenched Communist Party. A loyal member of the Warsaw Pact, it was a counterpart of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany), which it confronted with a mixture of hostility and grudging accommodation across the divide created by the Cold War. Over the following year and a half, dramatic changes occurred in the political system of East Germany and culminated in the GDR's "accession" to the Federal Republic itself. Yet the end of Germany's division evoked its own new and very bitter constitutional problems. The Imperfect Union discusses these issues and shows that they are at the core of a great event of political, economic, and social history. Part I analyzes the constitutional history of eastern Germany from 1945 through the constitutional changes of 1989-1990 and beyond to the constitutions of the re-created east German states. Part II analyzes the Unification Treaty and the numerous problems arising from it: the fate of expropriated property on unification; the unification of the disparate eastern and western abortion regimes; the transformation of East German institutions, such as the civil service, the universities, and the judiciary; prosecution of former GDR leaders and officials; the "rehabilitation" and compensation of GDR victims; and the issues raised by the fateful legacy of the files of the East German secret police. Part III examines the external aspects of unification.
Prompted by unification, the German constitution has undergone the most fundamental re-examination since the foundation of the Federal Republic. This volume seeks to identify challenges which constitional policy faces and analyzes how, and with what degree of success, they are being met.
The book analyses the most important international and domestic legal aspects of German unification. Part One (Chapter one-five) contains a general introduction then deals with international issues: the status of Germany from 1945 to the present day; the German borders are examined then issues of state succession and self-determination are discussed in the context of unification. Part Two (Chapters six-nine) deals with domestic matters: property issues in the former East Germany, feminism after unification (dealing principally with the abortion issue), the prosecution of former East German citizens for offences relating to the security of East Germany, and the reform of the asylum law. The aim is to give the reader an overview of the most controversial and problematic issues of German unification.
Publisher: Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft Mbh & Company
The third volume of the series ÂªDecisions of the BundesverfassungsgerichtÂ´ contains 37 selected decisions of the Federal Constitutional Court, inter alia from the areas of civil law, criminal law, property law, labour law, pensionÃs law and civil-service law, which have been reached in succession of the German reunification.
Understanding Germany's federal structure is crucial to understanding contemporary Germany. The federal system shaped the way German unification was carried out, it shapes the way in which policies are made, and it plays a role in determining the way in which Germany presents its priorities in the EU. The first part of the book analyzes the nature of pre-unification West German federalism and the unique challenge posed for the federal system by unification. Part 2 takes stock of key issues in the operation of post-unification federalism, including the policy process, the role of parties in federalism, conflicts of interest over financial allocations, and the impact of deepening European integration. The final part offers a series of critical perspectives which address the long-term legacies of unification and increasing pressures for reform.
The book promotes a completely new understanding of constitutional lawmaking in Germany. A thorough analysis of the 1989 Revolution in the GDR demonstrates that it is wrong to reduce the Revolution's meaning to bringing about German unification and an unconditional adoption of West German constitutional law by the new states. Instead, the author shows that the Revolution had its own constitutional agenda, at least parts of which were transferred to unified Germany, where mostly the Federal Constitutional Court integrated them into the West German constitutional order. Case analyses reveal that unified Germany's constitutional law is a co-production between East German revolutionaries and the old Federal Republic.
The Pershing Missile Protests in Comparative Perspective
Author: Peter E. Quint
In the 1980s the West German Peace Movement -- fearing that the stationing of NATO nuclear missiles in Germany threatened an imminent nuclear war in Europe -- engaged in massive protests, including sustained civil disobedience in the form of sit-down demonstrations. Civil Disobedience and the German Courts traces the historical and philosophical background of this movement and follows a group of demonstrators through their trials in the German criminal courts up to the German Constitutional Court -- in which their fate was determined in two important constitutional cases. In this context, the volume also analyzes the German Constitutional Court, as a crucial institution of government, in comparative perspective. The book is the first full-length English language treatment of these events and constitutional decisions, and it also places the decisions at an important turning-point in German constitutional history.