German Constitutional Court Reshapes “Right to be Forgotten” and Expands Its Oversight of Human Rights Violations
In two recent landmark decisions issued on November 6, 2019, the German Constitutional Court presented its unique perspective on the “right to be forgotten” and announced that it will assume a greater role in safeguarding German residents’ fundamental rights from now on.
In first case the court held that since media nad privacy rights are not fully harmonized by EU law, the fundamental rights guaranteed by the German Basic Law (Grundgesetz) applied. The court stressed that in areas where the law is not fully harmonized, the application of fundamental rights granted by national constitutions can lead to different outcomes in the Member States.
In second case the court followed the Google Spain decision with respect to the general principles, in particular by confirming that the right at stake was the right to privacy. However, in the end, Google prevailed and the court did not order the takedown of the links at issue.