Schlichtungsstelle für Flugreisende

“Arbitration board for air passengers.” Created on 03 May 2013 by the Bundesrat to support consumers traveling by air. Starting November 2013, passengers in Germany can contact this office to seek information about passenger rights and financial remuneration from airports and airlines after e.g. delayed connections, missed connections and/or lost luggage. What airlines owe passengers after which screwups is also being defined in regulations.

Update on 01 Nov 2013: German air passengers can now contact the Schlichtungsstelle für den öffentlichen Personenverkehr [German Conciliation Body for Public Transport] to start arbitration proceedings in disputes with airlines. German rail, bus and ship passengers already had this right from that office. Costs for the proceedings will be paid by German transport companies; passengers requiring arbitration in a transport dispute will only have to pay their own costs.

The söp’s charming and helpful English page stated,

“A traveller can get help with a complaint about delays and missed connections, train and plane cancellations, damaged or lost luggage, faulty information, tickets and reservations, and/or bad service. The main task of the söp is the out-of-court settlement of individual disputes between travellers and the transport companies. Within this, söp also helps to strengthen the customer satisfaction with the transport company. […]”

“The söp follows a service and practical approach, as intermodal (‘verkehrsträgerübergreifende’) settlement scheme. It is common for travellers to use more than one form of transport (e.g., train to plane), which can take up a lot of time in a dispute by investigating the whole chain of transport, including the responsible contracted partners. With the söp the consumer does not have to deal with the question of responsibility and can, independent from the transport of choice, just deal with one contact person at söp (one-face-to-the-customer-approach).”

(SCHLICHH toongz shtell ah   foor   FLOOG rye zen dah.)

2649 Belege

2,649 pieces of evidence” which have been collected in a report that will be used in preliminary discussions of another runup to an attempt at banning the far-right German political party NDP (“usually described as a neonazi organization“) for violating the German Constitution. Every failed attempt to ban the NPD apparently has worse consequences than if they hadn’t made the effort, which is one reason why Federal Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich (CSU) said he’s skeptical about the current process. In 2003, the high court in Karlsruhe could not ban the NPD because too many people involved with the party and trial had been paid informants (V-people) for various government agencies. The current report has acknowledged that pitfall by collecting its 2,649 evidence items from public statements rather than testimony from potentially compromised witnesses.

On 5 Dec 2012 one of the small number of government institutions (Bundesverfassungsorgane, lit. “Federal Constitution Organs”) authorized to petition to ban a political party in Germany—in this case the state governors, who were also the group behind this report—unanimously voted to try again to ban the NPD. As Tagesschau.de explained in an online guide to this procedure, the hurdles for banning a political party in Germany are quite high due to lessons learned during the Weimar Republic.

Update on 22 Nov 2013: The federal states announced their petition to ban the N.P.D. party is now complete and will be submitted to the supreme constitutional court [Bundesverfassungsgericht] in Karlsruhe in early December 2013. The federal parliament, Bundestag, and federal government had decided not to join a new attempt at a ban, after failing to achieve one ten years ago before the court in Karlsruhe. The N.P.D. is currently experiencing financial troubles.

Update on 03 Dec 2013: The petition to ban the N.P.D. was submitted to the Bundesverfassungsgericht, which will decide whether to hear the case. Only two political party bans were ever issued in the Federal Republic of Germany, and both were more than fifty years ago, said ARD tagesschau.de legal correspondent Christoph Kehlbach.

(TSVYE t ow! zant, ZEX hoond errrt, N OY! N   oond   FEER tsig   beh LAY geh.)

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