Photo: Markus Scholz / dpa

Sluggish for the Schleswig-Holstein state parliament: The Higher Administrative Court (OVG) in Schleswig has asked the state parliament to publish in full all legal opinions of the scientific service from the past legislative period from 2012 to 2017. The court was right to file a lawsuit from the Pirate Party.

The former general secretary Sven Stückelschweiger failed in 2017 with his lawsuit before the administrative court, but now prevailed before the fourth senate of the next legal authority. The OVG also did not allow any revision. Against the background of the information access law, the court now condemned the state parliament president Klaus Schlie (CDU) to make 82 previously secret reports from the previous parliamentary term public. “The 4th Senate was unable to determine any particular reasons for refusing to disclose the information,” said the OVG Schleswig. However, there is no public obligation for legal expertise from the current legislative period.

“Transparency instead of hide-and-seek – the silence cartel is broken,” says the Schleswig-Holstein pirate MEP Patrick Breyer about the decision. In his time as a member of the state parliament from 2012 to 2017, Breyer had failed against the resistance of all other groups with the demand for complete transparency. It has so far been common practice in the Kiel Landtag that political groups, as clients of legal opinions from the scientific service, can decide for themselves whether or not to make the statements made by the legal body, which has been in the state parliament since 1967, public. Of a total of 185 opinions from the previous parliamentary term, 82 were kept under lock and key. According to Breyer, however, these can be explosive “because they can lead to violations of the constitution by the government and the state parliament”.

The handling of the publications of the scientific service in Schleswig-Holstein is now adapted to the previous handling of other state parliaments and the Bundestag. However, a complaint to the Federal Administrative Court before the Federal Administrative Court had to give legal tuition regarding the Freedom of Information Act. The Kiel state president Schlie did not want to comment on the judgment. (Az. 4 LB 45/17)