Authorisation to shoot down aircrafts void

German Federal Contitutional Court held that § 14.3 of the German Aviation Security Act (Luftsicherheitsgesetz – LuftSiG), which authorised armed forces to shoot down aircrafts intended to be used as weapons against human lives, was incompatible with the Basic Law and hence void. This was decided by the First Senate of the Court in its judgment 1 BvR 357/05 of 15 February 2006. The Federal Constitutional Court held that the Federation lacks legislative competence to issue such regulation in the first place. According to the Court, Article 35.2 sentence 2 and 35.3 sentence 1 of the Basic Law (Grundgesetz – GG), which regulates the employment of the armed forces for the control of natural disasters or in the case of especially grave accidents, does not permit the Federation to order missions of the armed forces with specifically military weapons. Moreover, § 14.3 of the Aviation Security Act is incompatible with the fundamental right to life and with the guarantee of human dignity to the extent that the use of armed force affects persons on board the aircraft who are not participants in the crime. By the state’s using their killing as a means to save others, they are treated as mere objects, which denies them the value that is due to a human being for his or her own sake (Press release no. 11/2006 – for full text of judgement see:

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