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Is there a legislation penalising, or prohibiting the establishment of, organisations which promote, incite, propagate or organize racial discrimination against an individual or group of individuals? Is membership of such organisations treated as an offence under the law?

Key Area:
Anti-racist Crime Legislation & Implementation
20/12/2011 - 14:15
Short Answer


Qualitative Info

Article 129 StGB bans the establishment and operation of any criminal organisation set up with the purpose of (or which is mainly occupied with) committing crimes; political parties are excluded from this provision. Sole membership, if only a subordinate role is played, may remain unpunished.  Article 129a StGB bans the establishment of, and membership in, a terrorist organisation, which is defined as any organisation that seeks to commit homicide, genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes or a number of other serious crimes (listed in art. 129a) or to do harm to or threaten the political, constitutional, economic or social basic structures of the state. The support of any such organisations is also banned. Relevant criminal legislation is also covered in art. 86 and 86a StGB which ban the public use and display of any symbols of organisations that are considered to be anti-constitutional. In addition to these criminal law provisions, the federal ministry of the interior and the respective state ministries can ban organisations and associations on the basis of article 9 (2) Basic Law (Grundgesetz, GG) in conjunction with the Act on Private Associations (par. 3) if the organisation's purpose or activities are officially considered to be violating criminal law or to be aimed against the constitutional principles or the principle of positive relation between the peoples of the world. This act has been used several times also to ban right-wing extremist organisations. The legal threshold for banning a political party is very high in Germany, only the Federal Constitutional Court can declare a party ban (Federal Constitutional Court Act) – and only if the party is not only seeking to overcome the constitutional principles of the state (freedom and democracy), but does so actively and aggressively.



Federal Constitutional Court Act (Gesetz über das Bundesverfassungsgerichts, BVerfGG), on 09.12.2011).
Act on Private Associations, (Gesetz zur Regelung des öffentlichen Vereinsrechts), (accessed on 09.12.2011).

Groups affected/interested
Type (R/D)
Key socio-economic / Institutional Areas Policing - law enforcement, Political discourse -parties - orgs, Anti-discrimination, Anti-racism
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