German word of the year / Quasi-Verteidigungsfall

The year is still new, but the German word of the year has already appeared.

In February last year, the Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) found that a statute permitting civilian planes to be shot down if they were hijacked was unconstitutional. The New Anatolian reports:

Wolfgang Schaeuble said officials will draw up new legislation and an amendment to the constitution after the country’s supreme court rejected an earlier air-safety law, the Saechsische Zeitung newspaper reported. Shooting down hijacked passenger planes could be justified if the threat to Germany was considered severe, Schaeuble said, according to the paper.
“In the case of Sept. 11, the shooting down (of the hijacked planes) would have been necessary as well as legally admissible,” he was quoted as saying.

Article 115a of the Basic Law (Grundgesetz) refers to the Verteidigungsfall – literally, the situation where defence is necessary (Muret-Sanders im V.: if defence becomes necessary). If this noun is used a lot, it becomes difficult to render it elegantly in English. Schäuble wants to create the Quasi-Verteidigungsfall (situation analogous to the situation where defence is necessary).

For a German article see the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Then, of course, there is the Bündnisfall (Nato-ville), and others too: Störfall, Ernstfall, to say nothing of Kniefall, Schneefall and Sündenfall. A diagram of Verteidigungsfall can be found if it’s looked up at Leipzig.

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