Article 1 - 5 GG –

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Details to single Basic Rights


Article 1 I GG Human Dignity

In the Article 1 I GG a human beeing is seen as the highest value, before the state or other possible values. Each human is seen as an own personality. This rule at the beginning of the Basic Law is the base of the other Basic Rights and the whole Basic Law.

On the one hand, the protection of the human dignity is a defense right, that means it prohibits all actions which affect the human dignity. On the other hand 1 I S 2 GG obligates the state to active occurring for human dignity.

Because of its central, paramount meaning Article 1 I GG as the only basic right can not be limited.

Reversed, the human dignity could not been hurt by insignificant measures, but only by serious interferences, if the individual becomes an object and treated like a thing ("object formula", for example torture of prisoners on enslavement of humans).

Article 1 III GG

Article 1 III GG binds the state and its organs to the basic rights.

The entire Article 1 GG is protected by the so called "eternity clause" of Article 79 III GG and can not be changed in an legal way because of that.

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Article 2 I GG Personal Freedoms

Article 2 I GG as the general liberty right guarantees the general freedom of action ("everyone can do and let what he wants.") and protects together with Article 1 I GG the free development of the personality (general personality right).

Among the freedom of action rank for example the freedom of contract, free competition, the emigration liberty or the right of self-determination. It has its borders, where the rights of others, the custom law or the constitutional order are hurt (constitution-direct barrier).

The constitutional order is defined as all laws, which were decided formally correct (legislative procedures) and are materially (contentwise) in agreement with the constitution.

The custom law is not a law in the classical sense, but a generic term for the up-to-date valid worth and moral conceptions, which change occasionally.

The general personality right contains for example the protection of the personal honor and the right at the own spoken word and the own picture or the representation of the own person for example in a newspaper Article. In all these fields everyone has the possibility to contribute, as far information about him may go to the public.

Article 2 II GG Right to life

The right to life supplemental directly the protection of the human dignity, because without life human dignity is not worth too much.

The right to physical intactness protects against interferences, which impair the health. However it is disputed, how far this protection goes. Trifle interferences for example are not affected by it.

The "liberty of the person" ensures the physical freedom of movement of each individual, contains thus also the right to leave Germany for example for the well-deserved vacation.

Article 2 II GG can be limited due to the law reservation.

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Article 3 GG Equality before the law

Article 3 I GG as general equality right rules that mostly equal has to be treated legally in an equal way and mostly unequal is legally unequally to be treated. Article 3 I GG forbids arbitrariness treatments. If differences are made, then they had to be justified essentially comprehensibly. Equal treatment is aimed by improvement of the position of the disadvantaged, there is no equal treatment in injustice.

Article 3 II GG rules the equal rights of women and men. From the legal point of view the sex in principle should have no meaning.

Article 3 III GG calls further differentiation prohibitions. Their admission in the Basic Law is in particular a reaction to the contempting for human beings situation in the 3. Reich.

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Article 4 GG Freedom of faith

Article 4 GG has a dual function, on the one hand is it an individual basic right and protects the freedom of conscience and faith, inclusive faith practice (exceptions: Criminal offences, business enterprises as religion camouflaged)

On the other hand it is an element of the objective legal order and requires a neutrality obligation of the state and a parity of the religious communities, that means the religious communities are in principle alike to treat. By religious communities here not only the large religions are to understand but also smaller groupings.

Paragraph 3 of the Article regulates the conscientious objection for conscience reasons.

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Article 5 I GG Freedom of expression

Article 5 I GG is a base of the political and public forming of an opinion process. It is a special liberty basic right.

Definition opinion:

Opinions are rating rationally results of thinking procedures. It is characteristic for an opinion that it includes an assessment. Pure reports of fact are not opinions, however according to dominant opinion they are also protected.

Definition freedom of information:

Right of information from general, public sources.

Definition press:

All for spreading determined duplications. The entire press activity is protected. General censorship is forbidden, an additional censorship, for example for reasons of the protection of children and young people, is however permissible.

In an indirect democracy the press and other (mass) media are important links between the people and the parliament.

Article 5 II GG

By exp. 2 the rights from exp. 1 are limited. General laws are those, which are not particularly directed against the rights from Article 5 I GG.

Article 5 III GG Art and science liberty

Article 5 III GG protects art and science. The term art can not be defined accurately but described. Thus art covers:

The work range (production) and the effective range (presentation) of the art are protected.

Science is the serious, regular attempt for the determination of the truth.

Both the research and the teaching are protected.

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