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Germany's Constitution and participation in international peacekeeping operations

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In this article, Torsten Stein, Professor of Constitutional, European and Public International Law and Director of the Institute of European Studies at the University of Saarland, Saarbr├╝cken, traces the constitutional development that has enabled Germany to take part in a meaningful way in United Nations peacekeeping operations (PKO). As in Japan, Germany's post-war Constitution (Basic Law) was held to prohibit such participation. Germany's Federal Constitutional Court, however, has found an interpretation of the Constitution that - without amending the Constitution or any other pertinent legislation - allows a "German solution" which reconciles the putative post-war prohibitions with Germany's obligations as a member of the United Nations. Stein, who is also a Colonel in the German Air Force Reserve, warns that the "five conditions" contained in Japan's 1992 Peacekeeping Operations Law are unrealistic in view of present day PKO, but envisages an interpretation of the Japanese Constitution that might follow the German example.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2000

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