43 BVerfGE 203 (1977)

[Facts:

The Federal Republic of Germany and Czechoslovakia signed a treaty regulating the bilateral affairs on December 11, 1973. The German lower house ratified the treaty on July 12, 1974. The most important passages of the treaty are: (i) Both countries declare the German-Czech treaty signed in Munich 1938 void, (ii) both countries emphasize the inviolability of their common border and oblige themselves to respect the territorial integrity of the other, and (iii) both countries declare that neither now nor in the future will either one demand territory from the other.

Petitioners here are German citizens who came to the Federal Republic of Germany after the Second World War from Sudetenland, an area located in Czechoslovakia. They claim that the treaty violates their basic rights as protected by Article 2, 5, 9, and 14 of the Basic Law.

The Federal Constitutional Court finds the constitutional complaints impermissible. In finding the Constitutional complaint impermissible, the court also discusses Article 11 of the Basic Law.

Issue:

Is the German-Czech treaty from 1973 a violation of petitioners= basic rights as guaranteed in Article 11. of the Basic Law?

Holding by the First Senate:

No, it is not.

Discussion:]

III.

The right of the petitioners to freedom of movement is not being limited by the German-Czech treaty. This right guarantees, according to Article 11.1. of the Basic Law, the freedom of movement in the federal territory, i.e. the right to assume, unhindered by the German authority of the state (Staatsgewalt), at any location within the federal territory, domicile and residence (Aufenthalt und Wohnsitz), also [if this is done] with the purpose to enter the federal territory (*); the Sudetenareas do not belong to [the federal territory]...

[signed by all eight Judges]

| Return to Topic Menu | Return to Main Menu |