NPD Ruling

German Court Rules Against Far-Right Party Ban

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    In the current context of rising xenophobia, Germany’s top court’s decision not to ban the NPD could give a new lease of life to the moribund far-right party, which in the past used to be represented in a few regional parliaments.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Authorities regard the far-right National Democratic Party of Germany as racist, anti-Semitic, revisionist and inspired by Nazism and as such potentially violating the constitution.
    • The Constitutional Court has ruled against banning the NPD because the party, with just 5,200 members and no parliamentary seats at the national or regional level, doesn’t pose enough of a political threat to the constitution.
    • A first attempt to outlaw the NPD collapsed in 2003 because government-paid informants were to be called as witnesses.
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    Audio

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Constitutional Court Rules On NPD Ban
Judges “unanimously” found that that NPD pursues goals which are not compatible with Germany’s constitution. Source: Getty Images

Germany’s highest court ruled against banning the far-right National Democratic Party for the second time on Tuesday, finding the movement was too insignificant to pose a real threat to the country.

In a closely-watched verdict, the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe rejected the petition submitted by Germany’s states in 2013 to ban the NPD, which was founded by right-wing splinter groups in former West Germany in 1964. Today, the NPD claims some 5,000 members nation-wide, though they are not currently represented in any regional parliaments.

Although the judges “unanimously” found that that NPD exhibits “similarities” with National Socialism and pursues goals which are not compatible with the country’s constitution, court president Andreas Vosskuhle stated that “there is currently no tangible evidence that make it appear possible for their actions to become successful.”

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