German Federal Constitutional Court – 30 September 2018: The defendant must be heard in preliminary injunction proceedings regarding press law

With decision dated 30 September 2018 1 BvR 1783/17, the German Federal Constitutional Court ruled that a preliminary injunction, granted without a prior warning letter and hearing of the defendant, violates the defendant’s right to procedural equality of arms according to Article 3 (1) in conjunction with Article 20 (3) of the German Basic Law, which is equivalent to a basic right. The German Federal Constitutional Court stated that the principle of procedural equality of arms grants the right to be heard to both parties. Issuing a preliminary injunction without an oral hearing is possible in cases of particular urgency according to § 937 (2) of the German Code of Civil Procedure. However, this is only justified to the extent the waiver of a hearing is required by said urgency.