In the 1980s the West German Peace Movement -- fearing that the stationing of NATO nuclear missiles in Germany threatened an imminent nuclear war in Europe -- engaged in massive protests, including sustained civil disobedience in the form of sit-down demonstrations.
Civil Disobedience and the German Courts traces the historical and philosophical background of this movement and follows a group of demonstrators through their trials in the German criminal courts up to the German Constitutional Court -- in which their fate was determined in two important constitutional cases. In this context, the volume also analyzes the German Constitutional Court, as a crucial institution of government, in comparative perspective.
The book is the first full-length English language treatment of these events and constitutional decisions, and it also places the decisions at an important turning-point in German constitutional history.
Introduction 1. The Anti-missile Demonstrations: The Protests and their Context 2. The Sit-down Blockades in the Criminal Courts 3. The Sit-down Blockades in the Constitutional Court: The Court and the Arguments 4. The Sit-down Blockades in the Constitutional Court: The Decisions of 1986 and 1995 5. The Great Cases of 1995: Success for the 'Long March' of 1968? Epilogue