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Fundamental rights protection of the manufacture, transport and marketing of weapons of war

by Dr. Philipp Busche

The study analyses the correlation between the basic rights of the German arms industry and a strict and effective war weapons control which is laid down in Art. 26 of the German constitution. The prevailing opinion understands the basic rights in part one of the constitution as a prima facie freedom for every man. The study points out that this broad understanding of freedom does not apply to the arms industry. According to Art. 26(2) of the German constitution weapons designed for warfare may be manufactured, transported or marketed only with the permission of the Federal Government. Details shall be regulated by a federal law. This affects the arms industry's basic rights. They are not established directly by the constitution. Instead they are granted by the federal legislature within certain boundaries and provide only a limited protection against state interference. The Federal Government has a wide discretion to grant or deny a permission.

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