This chapter analyses the use and interpretation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in sixty-nine decisions of German federal courts between 2009 and mid-2016. German courts’ failure to be proactive in demonstrating ‘friendliness towards public international law’ when dealing with international human rights norms has been criticised. The National CRPD Monitoring Mechanism addressed problems in the application of the law. This chapter investigates the courts’ understanding of basic CRPD concepts, judicial techniques, interpretation methods and specific CRPD provisions. The importance of the concepts of self-executing provisions and direct effect is discussed. In quantitative terms, German courts have referred to the CRPD more often than any other UN international human rights instrument. Furthermore, in qualitative terms, federal courts have become more receptive towards the CRPD. However, it is clear that much of the potential for courts to use the CRPD in the realisation of the rights of persons with disabilities remains untapped.
Keywords: Germany, constitutional friendliness, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), direct effect, human rights law, Görgülü decision, National CRPD Monitoring Mechanism, self-executing provisions
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