“Equality of legal protection”: On the constitutional derivation of the right to legal aid in administrative proceedings and its effects on legal persons

Schaks, Nils

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/16495_2023_45
URL: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/16495_20...
Document Type: Book chapter
Year of publication: 2023
Book title: YSEC yearbook of socio-economic constitutions 2022, funding of justice
Page range: 215-243
Publisher: Storskrubb, Eva
Place of publication: Heidelberg
Publishing house: Springer
ISBN: 978-3-031-38509-4 , 978-3-031-38510-0
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Law and Economics > Öffentl. Recht (Juniorprofessur) (Schaks 2015-)
Subject: 340 Law
Individual keywords (German): Rechtsschutzgleichheit , Rechtsschutz , Rechtsweggarantie , juristische Person , Prozesskostenhilfe
Keywords (English): legal aid , legal person , legal protection , fundamental right , constitution , Germany
Abstract: This article addresses the question of where in German constitutional law the entitlement to legal aid is rooted and what effects this has on the entitlement to legal aid for legal persons. After a brief review of the rather inconsistent case law from the German Constitutional Court, the weaknesses of its approach are elaborated. This article then argues that, for administrative proceedings, the right to legal aid follows from the fundamental right which guarantees legal recourse (Article 19 [4] sentence 1 of German Basic Law [Grundgesetz or GG]). Legal aid is - in contrast to the prevailing view in German jurisprudence and scholarly literature - not anchored in the constitutional principles of social welfare, equality under the law, or the general principle of the rule of law. This has a direct effect on legal persons' right to legal aid; contrary to the general opinion, they may also have a right to legal aid on constitutional grounds. While statutory law grants legal persons a right to legal aid, it does so only if additional requirements are met. One significant restriction is the requirement that the legal action not be contrary to the “public interest”. It is precisely this additional requirement, which moreover dates back to a "law" passed in 1933 by the national socialist government, that makes individual legal protection for legal persons dependent on the interest of the public or third parties. This is an unnecessary burden and therefore unconstitutional.

Dieser Eintrag ist Teil der Universitätsbibliographie.

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