Home > Public space > Germany > 2005-06-01 - High Administrative Court of Hesse, n. 8 UZ 54/04

2005-06-01 - High Administrative Court of Hesse, n. 8 UZ 54/04

Public space · Germany · Crucifix · Religious symbol

A member of the district assembly can demand that the cross on the wall of the conference room is removed during the assembly’s meetings

Key facts of the case - A member of the district assembly wanted the cross that was placed in the conference room to be removed during the meetings. She argued that the cross in the room violated her constitutionally granted negative religious freedom (Art. 4 GG) and her rights as an assembly member to exercise her mandate undisturbed. The lower instance courts followed this reasoning. The respondent then lodged an appeal before the Higher Administrative Court.

Main reasoning of the court - The Higher Administrative Court found that the cross had to be removed during assemblies. It reasoned that the cross is incompatible with the principle of State neutrality. Other than a civil servant who expresses his religion individually, the cross does not have to be tolerated. Placing a cross in a conference room of the district assembly is a State act. The individual members of the assembly cannot evade the cross since they are obliged to participate in the conferences. Therefore the members’ negative religious freedom is infringed by this act of the State and the cross has to be removed.