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Addressing the Gender Gap in Politics: The Case of Germany

In honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, I thought I would write something about political parity laws in Germany. Parity laws aim to counter female underrepresentation in parliament and have recently been enacted or are being discussed in a number of German states. Even though German women gained the right to vote […]

“Justice Dogs” in Germany

Are you looking for a legitimate reason to browse adorable dog pictures at work? Well, this blog post might just be what you were looking for! In December 2019, the Golden Retriever “Watson” started his work as a “justice dog” in the German state of Baden-Württemberg as part of a pilot project. Justice dogs are trained […]

Slow or Just Diligent? The Tale of Germany’s “Slow Judge”

The case of so-called “slow judge” Thomas Schulte-Kellinghaus, a judge at the Higher Regional Court Karlsruhe (OLG Karlsruhe), Germany, has kept the courts busy since 2012. And there does not seem to be an end in sight. In 2012, he was reprimanded by the then-President of the Higher Regional Court for “not properly executing his official […]

Villa Horion, Düsseldorf, Germany – Pic of the Week

In December 2018, I visited Düsseldorf, Germany, the capital of the German state North Rhine-Westphalia. While strolling along the river Rhine, I passed by “Villa Horion.” Villa Horion was built in 1910/11 by the German architect Hermann vom Endt in the neoclassical style. In 1984, it was registered as a historically protected building by the Department for the Preservation […]

100 Years of Women’s Suffrage in Germany

On November 30, 1918—100 years ago today—women in Germany gained the right to vote and stand for election. With the enactment of the Electoral Act (Reichswahlgesetz), the newly formed Council of People’s Representatives—the provisional government—fulfilled its promise made on November 12, 1918, to allow active and passive female suffrage. November 12, 1918, is therefore generally seen as the birth […]

The Protection of Minority and Regional Languages in Germany

Moin (“hello” in Low German)! Today, September 26, 2018, is the European Day of Languages. The European Day of Languages celebrates “linguistic diversity in Europe and promote[s] language learning.” In 2001, the European Union (EU) and the Council of Europe (CoE) jointly organized the European Year of Languages, which turned out to be so successful that […]

Family Voting as a Solution to Low Fertility? Experiences from France and Germany

The following is a guest post by Johannes Jäger, a foreign law intern working in the Global Legal Research Directorate of the Law Library of Congress. I recently read an op-ed in the New York Times in which the author passionately advocated for the introduction of “Demeny voting” in the United States. The concept behind this term, named after the demographer […]

Silent Public Holidays in Germany

Today, March 30, 2018, is Good Friday, a day on which Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Good Friday is an official public holiday in Germany; however it is also one of the “silent public holidays.” Other days on which a silent public holiday is observed include All Saints’ Day, All Souls’ Day, and […]

Naming Laws in Germany

In April 2017, the Association for the German Language (Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache (GfdS)) published its annual list of the most popular baby names of the last year. The GfdS has been publishing this list since 1977. Since 2004, it has been included in the Statistical Yearbook of Germany by the German Statistical Office (Destatis), thereby […]