German Federal Court Rules Anti-BDS Policy to Be ‘Unconstitutional’

Activists protest against the anti-BDS resolution adopted by German parliament. (Photo: Courtesy of BDS Website)

A German federal court has described as “unconstitutional” the city of Munich’s refusal to allow a public venue to be used for a debate on its 2017 anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions resolution, The Electronic Intifada reported on Monday.

The court ruled that the resolution “violates the fundamental right to freedom of expression.”

Munich City Council passed a local resolution in December 2017 outlawing BDS events promoting the rights of the people of occupied Palestine from being held in the city’s public facilities. The council called the peaceful BDS movement “antisemitic”.

According to the Electronic Intifada, Munich resident Klaus Ried sought to use a room in a city museum in September 2018 to host a discussion about how the municipality’s anti-BDS resolution would affect freedom of speech and he filed a legal challenge after the museum denied him the space.

A lower court initially ruled against him, claiming that Munich had the right to impose such restrictions. However, Ried appealed in 2020 and won. The city council took the case to the federal court but failed again.

The Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig issued its ruling on January 20, siding with Ried, affirming that German law “guarantees everyone the right to freely express and disseminate their opinion.”

The landmark decision sends a warning to councils and other bodies across Germany that have passed similar resolutions and have been banning BDS-related events in public venues.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

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