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No online court chat for autistic people either


Federal Constitutional Court: Court does not have to comply with every request

Courts do not have to organize a trial entirely according to the wishes of one of the parties. For example, an autistic person cannot request to be able to participate in a negotiation by means of an online chat that spans several weeks, as the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe decided in a decision published on Thursday, January 3, 2019 (file number: 1 BvR 957/18 ).

It rejected a 42-year-old man from Chemnitz. He has autism in the form of Asperger's Syndrome and is therefore severely limited in his social communication.

At his request, the Chemnitz social authority awarded him a degree of disability (GdB) of 50. The Saxon State Social Court (LSG) increased this to 70, but rejected an even higher GdB and further disadvantage compensation.

The Chemnitz was not satisfied with that. With a complaint to the Federal Social Court (BSG) in Kassel, he also complained about the LSG proceedings. Because of his illness, he was unable to attend the hearing there. The court had inadmissibly refused to secure his participation from home via an online chat that stretched over several weeks.

However, the BSG rejected the complaint - and rightly so, as the Federal Constitutional Court has now confirmed. Also from the Basic Law there is no obligation for the courts to organize their negotiations completely according to the ideas of one of the parties involved in the proceedings.

The courts would have to make an effort to take into account the health concerns of those involved. "However, this obligation does not exist without restriction," clarified the Karlsruhe judges.

In the specific case, the Federal Constitutional Court referred to the “principle of immediacy” of the hearing. This creates transparency and is "essential under the rule of law".

Here, the LSG had already offered the autistic person the comprehensive written factual report of the procedure so that the disabled person could prepare for the trial. The LSG also wanted to enable him to communicate via a computer during the negotiation.

In general, disabled people could also be represented by a lawyer and, if necessary, get help for themselves, who would also assist them in the negotiation. This would adequately protect their concerns, the Federal Constitutional Court ruled in its decision of November 27, 2018, which has now been published in writing.

In general, however, courts have to make an effort to accommodate the impairments of disabled people. The BSG had already decided in 2013 that an autistic person would not have to answer questions from a medical expert directly (decision of November 14, 2013, file number: B 9 SB 5/13; JurAgentur announcement of December 30, 2013).

Following a decision by the Federal Constitutional Court, blind people can request that the court files be transferred in Braille in difficult cases (decision of October 10, 2014, file number: 1 BvR 856/13; JurAgentur announcement of October 31, 2014). mwo / fle

(Image: Tim Reckmann)

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