Simon Garnett

Informational self-determination and the semantics of personality in the jurisprudence of the Federal Constitutional Court 1949–1983

1 Introduction

The landmark Census Judgment of the Federal Constitutional Court in December 1983 gave a constitutional foundation to the data protection legislation that had developed in West Germany since the Hessian Data protection Act of 1970. Referring to art. 2 par. 1 of the Basic Law – the free development of the personality in combination with art. 1 par. 1 – the protection of human dignity – the court recognized a “right to informational self-determination”. As will be shown, arriving at this formulation required the re-definition of previous concepts of personality (Persönlichkeit) and the ...

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