Inviolability of the home

Inviolability of the home

Inviolability of the home

Inviolability of the home

- Constitution of Germany

Article 13 (Inviolability of the home)

(1) The home is inviolable.

(2) Searches may be authorised only by a judge or, when time is of the essence, by other authorities designated by the laws and may be carried out only in the manner therein prescribed.

(3) If particular facts justify the suspicion that any person has committed an especially serious crime specifically defined by a law, technical means of acoustical surveillance of any home in which the suspect is supposedly staying may be employed pursuant to judicial order for the purpose of prosecuting the offence, provided that alternative methods of investigating the matter would be disproportionately difficult or unproduc­tive. The authorisation shall be for a limited time. The order shall be issued by a panel composed of three judges. When time is of the essence, it may also be issued by a single judge.

(4) To avert acute dangers to public safety, especially dangers to life or to the public, technical means of surveillance of the home may be employed only pursuant to judicial order. When time is of the essence, such measures may also be ordered by other authorities designated by a law; a judicial decision shall subsequently be obtained without delay.

(5) If technical means are contemplated solely for the protec­tion of persons officially deployed in a home, the measure may be ordered by an authority designated by a law. The information thereby obtained may be otherwise used only for purposes of criminal prosecution or to avert danger and only if the legality of the measure has been previously de­termined by a judge; when time is of the essence, a judicial decision shall subsequently be obtained without delay.

(6) The Federal Government shall report to the Bundestag an­nually as to the employment of technical means pursuant to paragraph (3) and, within the jurisdiction of the Federation, pursuant to paragraph (4) and, insofar as judicial approval is required, pursuant to paragraph (5) of this Article. A panel elected by the Bundestag shall exercise parliamentary oversight on the basis of this report. A comparable parlia­mentary oversight shall be afforded by the Länder.

(7) Interferences and restrictions shall otherwise only be permissible to avert a danger to the public or to the life of an individual or, pursuant to a law, to confront an acute danger to public safety and order, in particular to relieve an accommodation shortage, to combat the danger of an epidemic or to protect young persons at risk.

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