ECtHR finds German hunting law an infringement of Human Rights

On 27th June 2012, in Herrmann v. Germany, the European Court of Human Rights found that a German law obligating landowners to tolerate hunting on their land constituted a violation the ECHR. Günter Herrmann, a German national, owned two plots of less than 75 hectares (185 acres) of land in Rhineland-Palatinate. The Federal Hunting Law there automatically made him a member of the Langsur hunting association, which required him to tolerate hunting on his land. Mr. Herrmann is against hunting on ethical grounds, so he filed a request with the hunting authority to terminate his membership with the association, however, his request was rejected. The administrative court also rejected a similar request from Mr. Herrmann and the appeal court and Federal Administrative Court subsequently upheld the rejection. Mr. Herrmann complained that the obligation to tolerate hunting on his premises violated his right to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions under Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property) to the European Convention on Human Rights. The Court found that Germany’s policy allowing landowners to collect royalties from hunters on request did not sufficiently address the concerns of those who object to hunting. The Court’s judgment is binding and not subject to appeal so Germany must amend its law.



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