Amendment of the German Statute on Restaurants and Pubs

As a consequence of the federalism reform of 2006, the Bundesländer were given the exclusive legislative competence on pubs and restaurants law. This law on pubs and restaurants at federal level remains applicable as long as the Länder do not adopt their own law.

Beyond the scope of the AGG, it would be advisable to include a more specific protection against discrimination also in other laws.

Many people with migration background regularly experience refusals to nightclubs. Since 2010, BUG has been assisting several complaints of racially motivated refusals to nightclubs, among others in Lower Saxony.

In order to tackle this practice in the long term, BUG contacted relevant political actors. BUG encouraged an amendment to the German Statute on Restaurants and Pubs in Lower Saxony in order to permit protection against discrimination not only in civil, but also in administrative law. Thereby, people that faced discrimination do not have to file a complaint on their own but a discriminatory refusal at the entrance of a nightclub can then be sanctioned by the local public order office.

Subsequently, the Länder Parliament accepted BUG’s suggestions. In late 2015, Lower Saxony and Bremen amended their Statute on Restaurant and Pubs. So far, they are the only two Länder that did so. In case of discrimination, the public order office can on this basis impose a fine. Should there be several breaches, the owner of the nightclub or of the restaurant could subsequently loose his/her business license.

© Büro zur Umsetzung von Gleichbehandlung e.V. 2011