Constitutional fidelity in the judiciary: bavaria exams most strictly

constitutional fidelity in the judiciary: bavaria exams most strictly

In order to keep extremists out of the judicial service, bavaria is currently the only federal state to routinely obtain information about prospective judges and prosecutors from the state office for the protection of the constitution.

This is the result of a survey conducted by the association of judges among the judicial administrations of the federal states, the analysis of which was made available to the german press agency. The deutsche richterzeitung reports in its september issue, which will be published this saturday.

There have not yet been any "hits" in bavaria since the introduction of the regular inquiry with the constitutional protection agency at the end of 2016. With mecklenburg-vorpommern, lower saxony and bremen, three more federal states are currently examining mandatory compliance with the constitution. A check for possible extremist tendencies is carried out in all states when hiring judges and public prosecutors – mostly without such a mandatory check.

According to research by the association of judges, the procedure for identifying possible extremists without a regular inquiry to the constitutional protection agency is similar in all countries. Before being hired as a probationary judge – the preliminary stage to becoming a judge or public prosecutor – a certificate of good conduct is obtained. In addition, applicants must confirm their loyalty to the constitution in writing, and according to the report, the topic is also discussed in interviews. If there were any doubts about an applicant’s loyalty to the constitution, it was also possible to make an inquiry with the state constitutional protection agency in the end.

According to research by the association of judges, only one judge or public prosecutor has been removed from office nationwide in the past four years for violating the duty to uphold the constitution. Two years ago, afd member of the bundestag thomas seitz lost his civil servant status as a result of a decision by the judicial service court in karlsruhe – seitz appealed the decision. In election campaigns between 2015 and 2017, he had posted on the internet, among other things, terms such as "quotenneger" and "gesinnungsjustiz" (justice with a mind of its own). He had violated his duties as a public prosecutor and the resulting "obligation to cooperate in the political battle of opinions," the baden-wurttemberg ministry of justice declared at the time.

In saxony, according to the report, there were three proceedings between 2017 and 2020 for misconduct in the service of the judiciary in which the requirement for dismissal was violated. However, according to the information provided, there have been no dismissal proceedings due to a violation of the duty to uphold the constitution. All other federal states recorded no such cases.

The executive director of the german association of judges, sven rebehn, was satisfied with the results of the survey. "The information from the state ministries of justice confirms that the judiciary is doing a good job of keeping possible enemies of the constitution and extremists of all kinds out of courts and prosecutors’ offices," he summed up. "This is an important message at a time when suspected cases of extremism in security agencies are stirring up and worrying the public."

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