Recent Decision of the Federal German Constitutional Court on the requirement for Bundesrat Consent is Transferable

Berlin, 14.06.2010

In a press release dated 11.06.10, the Federal German Constitutional Court referred to its recent decision on the involvement of the Bundesrat (Upper House). According to this, a merely quantitative increase in the workload for the Länder (Federal states) will not require the Bundesrat´s consent. At the same time it follows from this that an amendment to the Atomic Energy Act that only increases residual power generation likewise does not require consent by the Bundesrat.

The subject of the Federal German Constitutional Court´s decision of 04.05.2010 was a substantial increase in enforcement costs for the Aviation Safety Authorities of the Länder. The Federal German Constitutional Court expressly stated in Head Note 3 of the decision: A new transfer of duties that requires consent shall not be deemed to exist if "an amendment of an act does not lead to a quantitative increase in the workload." Quite rightly the Federal German Constitutional Court states decisively that the purpose of the Act has not been changed by the extension of duties. The same would also be applicable to the Atomic Energy Act. The purpose of the Act - the protection of life and health - is not affected in any way by a mere extension of the running times.

Administration of the Atomic Energy Act, like administration of the Air Traffic Act, is assigned to the Länder in the form of what is referred to as federal executive administration. Therefore, the statements of the Federal German Constitutional Court on the lack of need for consent are completely transferable to the Bundesrat´s involvement in the event of an extension of the running times which is currently under discussion.

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