The VG did not think that the right to the information could be based on Article 4 Paragraph 1 of the Berliner Pressegesetz (Berlin Press Act – BlnPrG), which was . Offenlegung der Inhaber und Beteiligungsverhältnisse gem. § 7 a Abs. 1 Ziff. 1,. Abs. 2 Ziff. 3 des Berliner Pressegesetzes: Gisela Cram, Rentnerin, Berlin; Dr. Offenlegung der Inhaber und Beteiligungsverhaltnisse gem. § 7a Abs. 1 Ziff. 1, Abs. 2 Ziff. 3 des. Berliner Pressegesetzes: Gisela Cram, Rentnerin, Berlin; Dr.

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This rule, in principle, only protected the freedom of expression and the unhindered exchange of information between private individuals. Unless it had taken such precautions itself, it could not claim that the cost was unreasonable. Beschluss des Oberverwaltungsgerichts Berlin-Brandenburg vom However, this right only justified a minimum standard of protection, which the courts had to uphold.

The VG justified the urgency of the need to release this information by referring to the forthcoming Bundestag election and current debate on similar subjects in relation to members of the Bavarian Landtag state parliament.

IRIS 2013-10:1/15

It ruled that press information rights did not include such extensive access to official documents. OVG 6 S A journalist would therefore need to ask specific questions, which the authority would then have to answer.

In view of the free mandate enshrined in Article 38 1 2 GG, there was a legitimate interest in this case.


The journalist successfully appealed this decision after submitting an urgent application to the Verwaltungsgericht Berlin Berlin Administrative Court – VG. A journalist from a daily newspaper had contacted the Bundesministerium des Berlinner and, as a member of the press, asserted a claim to receive information under Article 4 berpiner of the Berliner Pressegesetz Berlin Press Act – BerlPrGwhich obliges the authorities to disclose to journalists any information they need to fulfil their public remit.

The VG thought the free mandate represented an obstacle to state control, which by way of a reverse argument, meant that control should be exercised by the media. The VG therefore followed the case law of the Bundesverwaltungsgericht Federal Administrative Courtwhich bases the direct prsesegesetz to information on the freedom of the press.

This was only possible if the refusal to disclose the information could not be justified by any legitimate private or public interests. VG 27 L However, since federal law did not provide for such a right, despite the obligation to establish such a right, the peessegesetz arose directly from Article 5 1 2 1 GG.

Germany : Berlin Administrative Court Denies Journalist’s Right of Access to Doping Study

The same information rights are granted to broadcast journalists under the Rundfunkstaatsvertrag Inter-State Broadcasting Agreement. Although in accordance with Article 1 2 the claim under the IFG expressly covered the right of inspection and access to information, Article 7 5 2 IFG gave the authorities a one-month period in which to process such requests, a period that had still not expired when the decision was taken.

However, the right to information did not include a comprehensive right to view files or documents in their entirety. However, the right prssegesetz information derived from Article 10 ECHR by the European Court of Human Rights in individual cases was not applicable to the circumstances of the current case.


A violation of the duty to protect the freedom of the press, i. The Bundestag administration refused to disclose this information, referring to the free mandate described in Article 38 1 2 GG, which prohibits such checks on MPs, as well as the unreasonable cost of providing such information. The journalist had asked the Bundestag lower house of parliament administration for information about which MPs had used the allowance to buy more than five tablet computers or a smartphone.

Besides, Article 12 2 of the Abgeordnetengesetz Members of Parliament Act – AbgG expressly did not require MPs to prove how they had used the allowance or to be punished if they used it inappropriately. In so far as the Bundestag administration had claimed that pressegestz would have to search through various files of every individual MP, it was its own responsibility to take precautions to ensure presseegesetz the relevant information could be issued without great expense.

Providing the information would not be unreasonably expensive.