Party against the Office for the Protection of the Constitution: AfD as a suspected right-wing extremist case? Higher Administrative Court says yes

According to a ruling by the North Rhine-Westphalia Higher Administrative Court, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution rightly classified the AfD as a suspected right-wing extremist case.

Party against the Office for the Protection of the Constitution: AfD as a suspected right-wing extremist case? Higher Administrative Court says yes

According to a ruling by the North Rhine-Westphalia Higher Administrative Court, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution rightly classified the AfD as a suspected right-wing extremist case. The court in Münster confirmed a judgment from the lower court on Monday. This means that the Office for the Protection of the Constitution can continue to use intelligence resources to monitor the party. The verdict is not yet legally binding. The OVG did not allow an appeal. However, the AfD can submit an application for approval to the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig (case numbers: 5 A 1216/22, 5 A 1217/22 and 5 A 1218/22).

In the appeal process, the AfD objected to the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution listing the entire party, the now disbanded AfD "wing" and the youth organization Junge Alternative (JA) as suspected extremist cases. The wing is also concerned with the classification as a confirmed extremist effort. In the first instance, the Cologne Administrative Court ruled in favor of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution: the judges saw sufficient evidence of anti-constitutional efforts within the AfD.

According to the judgment announced on Monday, the OVG shares this view. The lawsuits were directed against the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution. Because the Federal Office is based in Cologne, the courts in North Rhine-Westphalia are responsible.

The assessment standard is the Federal Constitutional Protection Act. The next step after the suspected case is the determination that the object is a confirmed extremist effort. In the case of the JA, the Federal Office has already declared this and the Cologne Administrative Court also confirmed this in February 2024. However, this question was not yet addressed before the OVG.

The party's lawyers in Münster have announced that they will move to the next instance. In a possible appeal, the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig would examine the OVG's decision for legal errors. However, since the court in Münster is the final authority on facts, the AfD could no longer submit any new applications for evidence before the Federal Administrative Court.

Note: This article is continually updated.

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