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Bommarius, Christian

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5 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.

Berliner Zeitung - Germany | 09/01/2015

Extremists united in hatred of media

The deputy chairman of the right-wing populist AfD party, Alexander Gauland, said after the attack in Paris that it showed that all those who have ignored the people's fears of Islam were liars. Never before have Islamists and Islamophobics been so close to each other, the left-liberal daily Berliner Zeitung comments: "Gauland, who sees 'Pegida' as a natural ally for his AfD, has committed necrophilia in public. ... What they have in common [with the Islamists] is the hatred of the 'lying press' which the [Pegida] demonstrators give vent to Monday after Monday in Dresden. This selfsame hatred is what motivated the attackers, who were trying to silence the lying press. ... The bullets weren't just fired at journalists, they were also aimed at a brand of journalism that defends the spirit of freedom against all those whose thoughts are driven by resentment and whose feelings are driven by fear and hatred."

Berliner Zeitung - Germany | 01/10/2013

Grand coalition would have vast majority

The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Social Democratic Party (SPD) will begin talks to explore the possibility of a grand coalition on Friday in Berlin. If the talks are successful and such a coalition is formed the left-liberal Berliner Zeitung fears that an overwhelming majority will be the result: "The problem wouldn't be that with a two-thirds majority it could change the German constitution on a case-to-case basis but that the 127 members of parliament of the opposition parties, the Greens and the Left Party, would effectively be condemned to sitting on the sidelines and watching for the next four years. Because they don't even make up a quarter of the MPs they can neither have laws examined by [the constitutional court in] Karlsruhe nor demand special meetings of the Bundestag or the appointment of investigating committees. ... The price of a grand coalition would not just be high but almost excessive, and could only be justified by the coalition producing some exceptional results. ... The only return service that could perhaps even justify that high price would be the grand federalist reform of a grand coalition."

Frankfurter Rundschau - Germany | 05/05/2011

Therapy not jail for violent criminals

Preventive custody - or keeping dangerous criminals in prison even after they have served their prison terms  - was declared unconstitutional and therefore subject to new regulations by Germany's Federal Constitutional Court on Wednesday. The left-liberal daily Frankfurter Rundschau welcomes the decision because it forces the state to invest in new forms of therapy: "Security has its price. This is - despite all the talk by law-and-order politicians - not to be achieved with ever-stricter laws, but at best by investing in therapy for dangerous people and training for therapists and care personnel. The Federal Constitutional Court is not simply freeing dangerous criminals after they've served their sentences. But it is making sure that in future they will only remain in custody after the most careful scrutiny. It does not say 'lock them away' but 'give them therapy'. Yesterday it banned populist tendencies among lawmakers and helped the constitutional state along the path of justice - also concerning preventive custody."

Berliner Zeitung - Germany | 15/12/2009

Class action against data storage

Around 35,000 people have filed a lawsuit against Germany's law on data storage, which obliges telecommunications companies to store telephone and Internet data for six months. In the eyes of left-liberal Berliner Zeitung the law is unconstitutional, but the paper doesn't hold out much hope for the success of the lawsuit: "Although this is a German law, all it in fact does is implement an EU directive. If the constitutional court condemned the law as unconstitutional it would start a conflict which it has been at pains to avoid with Europe. So the law falls under European protection of species legislation, so to speak. And as with certain poisonous snakes that enjoy this kind of protection, it is likely to suffice if the poison is extracted from the data storage law. All the court has to do is put a binding guiding principle from the census ruling of 1983 first: 'The Basic Law guarantees the right of the individual to make his own decisions regarding the revelation and use of his personal data.'"

Berliner Zeitung - Germany | 03/09/2007

Christian Bommarius on how the state reacts to terrorism

Christian Bommarius uses the "German autumn" of 1977, during which Red Army Faction terrorists murdered Hanns-Martin Schleyer among others, to illustrate how the constitutional state calls its own values into question when faced with terrorism: "The increased penalties, the curbing of civic and human rights, the extended powers for investigative authorities and the conversion to a state of prevention - all this would probably have come about after September 11 even without Germany's experiences with the RAF's terrorism. But the measures put in motion by lawmakers six years ago - which since then have become increasingly tough - all have their roots in the legislative reactions to the RAF terrorism of the 1970s. The restrictions on the rights of the defendant - for example the right to multiple defence, the introduction of §129a in the penal code under which support and membership of a terrorist organisation became a criminal offence, the law stipulating the solitary confinement of suspects, etc. - were the lawmakers' response to the situation back then."

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