Lawyers: Compulsory vaccinations are compatible with Basic Law

Supporters of compulsory coronavirus vaccinations now have the backing of legal experts.

Juristen: Impfpflicht vereinbar mit dem Grundgesetz

Berlin (dpa) - Supporters of compulsory coronavirus vaccinations now have the backing of legal experts. Renowned lawyers believe them to be compatible with Germany’s Basic Law. In the view of constitutional lawyer Ulrich Battis, compulsory vaccinations would be covered by the Basic Law. "This kind of universal obligation to be vaccinated is perfectly justifiable – in order to protect the lives of others," the legal expert from Berlin's Humboldt University told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung. Battis referred to Article 2 of the Basic Law, in which protection of other people's lives is enshrined. "The basic right to physical integrity, which Article 2 also stipulates, has to take a back seat to this."

Saarbrücken pharmacy professor Thorsten Lehr told "RTL direkt" that there was no alternative but to introduce compulsory vaccinations next spring. This could change the situation "abruptly". "Compulsory vaccinations would place the end of the pandemic in our hands." Administrative law expert Hinnerk Wißmann from the University of Münster told the "Welt" that compulsory vaccination is the more moderate solution "if the alternative is to abolish the free state in endless series of lockdowns". Uwe Volkmann, professor of public law at Goethe University in Frankfurt, said the "degree of intervention" would be less pronounced than "the severe restrictions on freedom that would otherwise be necessary".

Bielefeld law professor Franz C. Mayer told the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND/Tuesday): "The freedom of the individual ends when this jeopardises the freedom and health of others – which is the case if the vaccination campaign does not succeed." Mayer made it clear that the issue was about making vaccinations compulsory, not about forcing people to get vaccinated. For those who refuse the vaccination, a fine or legal regulations involving the loss of health insurance coverage are conceivable, he said.