In German police law security measures usually demand a ‘concrete danger’. This threshold is fundamental for the rule of law. Since the 1970s, however, the police are entitled to undertake precautionary measures irrespective of a concrete danger. One of these new authorities is the entitlement to verify someone’s identity at ‘dangerous places’ even though the individual person has done nothing to raise suspicion beyond being physically present at a certain place.
This doctoral dissertation systematically critiques the criteria used by police for designating public space and its connection to crime, making two timely contributions to Public Security Law. First, it aims to create a more profound understanding of the thresholds of interference and their systematization in this new field of precautionary police actions. Second, by linking thresholds of interference to preliminary stages, this project aims to analyze how rule of law standards can be best ensured. With fundamental rights at stake, the research will include the discriminatory potential of typified grounds of interference.
Positioned at the core of the Department’s research priorities on fundamental structure and challenges to fundamental rights and rule-of-law-values, this project blends doctrinal analysis, statutory interpretation, and empirical research methods to evaluate connections between crime and public space. Expected outcomes will include a more comprehensive understanding of the doctrinal structure of police law and the threats these new dynamics are imposing on fundamental rights and the rule of law.
Research outcome: doctoral dissertation at the University of Freiburg (2019–2022).