Fridays for Future v. Augsburg
Jurisdiction: Higher Administrative Court of Bavaria
Side A: Fridays for Future (Ngo)
Side B: Augsburg (Government)
Core objectives: Whether a permanent climate camp constitutes an assembly under Article 8 of the German Basic Law.
SummaryIn July 2020, Fridays for Future Augsburg set up a climate camp next to the city’s town hall that was later disbanded by the city. Activists challenged the city’s action. During the proceedings, the city submitted that the climate camp was not an assembly, as protected by Article 8 of the German Basic Law (Grundgesetz; GG), but rather that fun and entertainment were the motivating factor.
In spring 2022, the Higher Administrative Court of Bavaria (BayVGH) upheld the judgment by a lower court, which had already found that the climate camp constituted an assembly under Art. 8 GG. The BayVGH held that Art. 8 GG protects diverse forms of communal activity aimed at forming public opinion. This also includes non-verbal forms of expression, activities such as poster painting and workshops, or engaging with politicians in the framework of the camp. The city of Augsburg criticized the Court for only considering the first ten days of the camp July 1-10, 2020), which were the subject of the dispute, and for not making more general statements on the legality of permanent protest camps. The city of Augsburg decided against the possibility of an appeal to Federal Administrative Court, and instead announced strict conditions for the permanent assembly.