Criminalization of NGO work: Announcement of demonstrations does not constitute coercion

In the process against animal conservationists an NGO was silenced for years by means of criminal law. Although the accused had been acquitted by the court and the notorious "Mafia paragraph" § 278a of the Criminal Code was defused, the public prosecution appealed. Some of the accused are pursued further for coercion. The Vienna Higher Regional Courts’ view that the announcement of a demonstration fulfills the offense of coercion caused uproar, since the holding of demonstrations constitutes an uncontested fundamental right. Now an expert’s report confirms that the elements of coercion are not met. One reason for the misrepresentation is the vague definition of coercion in the Criminal Code.

The Transatlantic trade and investment partnership – More harm than good?

The Transatlantic trade and investment partnership between the EU and the U.S. is currently being negotiated. It is primarily aimed to limit legal barriers to transatlantic trade. This creates risks that TTIP is also weakening the high environmental and food safety standards in Europe. Until now, the negotiations on that far-reaching agreement have been characterized by a high degree of confidentiality - civil society has been left in the dark, no democratic legitimacy for the negotiators. The Investor-to-State Dispute Settlement – ISDS is the most controversial point of the agreement. A private arbitral tribunal shall decide in case of contractual disputes between investors and states and / or the EU.

geändert am 28.04.2016