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Oral hearing in the proceedings “Nuclear phase-out” on Tuesday, 15 March 2016, 10:00 a.m. and Wednesday 16 March 2016, 10:00 a.m.

Press Release No. 97/2015 of 22 December 2015

Reference: 1 BvR 2821/11, 1 BvR 321/12, 1 BvR 1456/12

The First Senate of the Federal Constitutional Court will conduct an oral hearing on

Tuesday 15 March 2016, 10:00 am and

Wednesday 16 March 2016, 10:00 am

in the courtroom of the Federal Constitutional Court,
Schlossbezirk 3, 76131 Karlsruhe

concerning three constitutional complaints lodged against the decision to accelerate the phase-out of peaceful uses of nuclear energy adopted with the Thirteenth Law Amending the Atomic Energy Act of 31 July 2011 (Dreizehntes Gesetz zur Änderung des Atomgesetzes). Complainants are the nuclear power companies of three of the four large energy suppliers operating in Germany as well as an operating company of a nuclear power plant.

Additional information with regard to the proceedings, and the outline of the oral hearing, will be published at a later point in time.


Accreditation Conditions and Information for Journalists 


The accreditation procedure started with the publication of this press release in German and ends on Thursday 10 March 2016, at 12:00 noon. After the expiry of this period, accreditation is no longer possible. 

For accreditation requests, the forms provided under


(in German) or 


(in English) 

must be used. The form must be filled in completely and signed. If applicable, a copy of the valid press card must be enclosed; this is necessary only for the first accreditation during the card’s term of validity. The accreditation request may be sent by email to presse@bundesverfassungsgericht.de or by telefax to the telefax number +49 721 9101-461. Accreditation requests that are sent to other email addresses or fax numbers of the Court will not be considered. 

Members of the Justizpressekonferenz Karlsruhe e.V. may send their accreditation requests to the Federal Constitutional Court’s Press Office without having to use the form. 

Accreditation requests will be considered in the order in which they are received. If requests are received simultaneously, accreditation is awarded by drawing lots. A few days after the expiry of the deadline, the Federal Constitutional Court will notify the applicants by email of whether their accreditation requests were successful or unsuccessful. 

Available Seats and Allocation of Seats 

The press gallery holds a total of 42 seats for media representatives; 11 of them are reserved for members of the Justizpressekonferenz. Seats are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Media representatives who cannot obtain a seat in the press gallery may follow the pronouncement of the judgment in the press room or – provided that seats are available there – in the courtroom itself. 

There will be an audio transmission from the courtroom to the press room. The press room is equipped with 60 desk workplaces. There are a limited number of sockets for laptop computers. The Federal Constitutional Court cannot guarantee that mobile telephone and data networks will function properly at all times. 

Additional Rules Concerning the Courtroom 

It is not permissible to make phone calls, tweet or send other messages, retrieve digital data, or use the internet in any way within or from the courtroom. All electronic devices which can be used for these purposes, in particular mobile phones, laptop computers and tablet computers, may not be used in the courtroom. Media representatives may obtain permission to use computers in offline mode if it is ensured that the devices are not used for sound or image recording or for data transmission. 

Taking Photographs and Filming; Pooling 

1.       Taking photographs, filming, and sound recording are permissible until the end of the establishment of the presence of the parties to the proceedings by the presiding Justice of the Senate. After that, photographers and camera teams have to leave the courtroom level (including the space outside the courtroom and the press gallery). They may await the end of the hearing in the reception room on the first floor. 

2.       There will be pooling for taking photographs and filming in the courtroom. Two television teams (a public and a private television station with a maximum of three cameras each) and six photographers (four agency photographers and two freelance photographers) will be admitted to the courtroom. The pool representatives undertake to supply, upon request, their photographs and films to other radio and television stations, as well as to photographic agencies. 

Willingness to be a pool representative must be explicitly stated with the accreditation request. Pool representatives are appointed according to the order in which the accreditation requests were received. If requests were received simultaneously, the function of pool representative is allocated by drawing lots. The television stations, agencies, and photographers so chosen are free in determining the members of their teams. 

3.       When taking photographs and filming in the courtroom, photographers, camera operators, and other media representatives must ensure that the Senate has an unobstructed field of vision in all directions. Taking photographs, filming, and sound recording from behind the Justices’ bench is not permissible. Instructions to this end by the court staff must be complied with. Taking photographs and filming is only permitted with silent devices that do not use a flash. 

4.       After the end of the oral hearing, and during the lunch break, a period of 20 minutes is allocated for interviewing, filming, or photographing the parties to the proceedings or other individuals in the courtroom itself. After this time, only the reception room on the first floor and the entrance hall on the ground floor are available for this purpose. 

Vehicles of Radio and Television Teams; Technicians 

There are only a limited number of parking spaces available for SNG vehicles, editing vehicles, and OB vans. If parking spaces are needed, this must be indicated with the accreditation request on the form provided. The parking spaces are allocated in the order in which the requests have been received. For the allocation of the parking spaces, please provide the following information: number plate, vehicle type, make, dimensions (L x W x H in metres), weight and, if applicable, demand of power to be supplied by the Federal Constitutional Court.

The names, dates of birth, and ID card numbers of the accompanying technicians, and the vehicle data can be submitted subsequently. The form provided under 


(in German) or


(in English)

must be used for this. The form can be sent by email to the address presse@bundesverfassungsgericht.de, or by telefax to the number +49 721 9101-461, by Monday 14 March 2016, 12:00 noon, at the latest. 

It is possible to arrive and to set up the equipment on the day before the start of the oral hearing from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, and on the days of the oral hearing between 7:00 am and 9:00 am. 

Setting up of Studios 

The setting up of studios must be agreed in advance with the Federal Constitutional Court’s Press Office. It is only possible to set up studios in the reception room on the first floor and in the entrance hall on the ground floor. 

This information is based on § 17a of the Federal Constitutional Court Act in conjunction with the supplementing provisions laid down by the First and the Second Senate of the Federal Constitutional Court.