Dieter Deiseroth

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Dieter Deiseroth (born May 18, 1950 in Hillartshausen ; † August 21, 2019 ) was a German lawyer and judge at the Federal Administrative Court . He became known in the media primarily for his statements on whistleblowing and questions of international martial law as well as on the perpetrators of the Reichstag fire in 1933.


Dieter Deiseroth studied law , sociology and political science in Giessen . From 1977 to 1983 he was a research associate at the University of Giessen and a lawyer. His doctoral thesis (1985) at the University of Giessen deals with the subject of disputes over energy, jobs and environmental protection before the administrative courts in the Federal Republic .

In 1983 Deiseroth became a judge at the Düsseldorf Administrative Court. From 1989 to 1991 he was seconded to the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe as a research assistant . He then became a judge at the Higher Administrative Court in Münster and head of department at the data protection authority in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Deiseroth had been a judge at the Federal Administrative Court since 2001. From 2001 to 2009 he was a member of the military service senates there. During his tenure in 2005, the controversial and sensational verdict in the case of Major Florian Pfaff fell . There was a dispute over his successor in 2009 because an applicant with military service experience was sought.

In 2009, Deiseroth moved to another Senate of the BVerwG at his own request. From 2014 he was a member of the 8th and 10th Audit Senate, among other things responsible for economic administration, property, financial services and local law.

Deiseroth retired in 2015. He died in August 2019 after a serious illness.


Deiseroth was based on the scientific attitude of the Giessen constitutional lawyer Helmut Ridder . He was best known for his statements on whistleblowing , on questions of the occupation statute and Allied rights of intervention after 1945 and on questions of international martial law and on the perpetrators of the Reichstag fire in 1933.

In addition to his judicial work, he mainly published on issues of (martial) international law , in particular in connection with the so-called " war on terror " and the Kosovo war

He also dealt with questions of constitutional law, especially Article 115a of the Basic Law, and with the question of continuity in the history of constitutional law before, during and after National Socialism .

In addition, he was co-editor of Helmut Ridder's collected writings, published in 2010 by Nomos-Verlag . He was the editor of the anthology The Reichstag Fire and the Trial before the Reich Court , Tischler Verlag, Berlin 2006.

Memberships and functions


Ramstein, Statute of Troops and Air Shows 1988

In connection with the air accident in Ramstein in 1988 Deiseroth prepared an expert opinion for the Starnberg Research Institute for Peace Policy, in which he pointed out the duty of the defense minister to prepare “a careful risk prognosis” before approval. German aviation law applies. With regard to the legal status of Ramstein, in his opinion, there is great confusion. The federal government should therefore demand a review of the additional agreement to the NATO troop statute. This also stipulates that this contract will be reviewed “at any time upon request from a contracting party with regard to one or more provisions” if “this party believes that their further application would be unreasonable for them”. Der Spiegel commented on Deiseroth's demand: “But for the federal government, the NATO treaties are obviously still something inviolable. Chancellor Helmut Kohl resolutely fended off the request for a review: 'We definitely won't do that.' "

In his 33-page report, Deiseroth also stated that, according to the UN Charter, a state violates its peace obligation if it tolerates its territory being used to commit acts of war against a third country. The Federal Republic has no possibility to intervene if, for example, US weapons are delivered from Germany to a war zone, "as happened in the Yom Kippur War (1973) or during the American air raid on Tripoli (April 15, 1986)". The Federal Republic could therefore be drawn into acts of war against its will because of the NATO agreement.

The Bundestag rejected Deiseroth's assessment as objectively unfounded. The investigation had "produced no evidence that the Allies in the Federal Republic of Germany are exercising their rights in the supplementary agreement to the NATO troop statute (here relevant: Articles 46, 53 and 57 ZNTS) in a manner that is detrimental to German sovereignty." Deiseroth's view based on an obvious misinterpretation of German aviation law. The behavior of the USAFE, as it was debated in the committee of inquiry, proves rather the opposite, namely the unconditional, unreserved recognition of German sovereignty in the field of aviation law, the observance of which in Article 46 (1) sentence 2 and Article 57 (3) ZNTS in particular is addressed. Deiseroth had succumbed to a legal fallacy because he had failed to deal with §§ 73 ff. LuftVZO in more detail. "If the regulations for the civil approval procedure also do not provide for an examination of the flight figures by the German approval authority, the conclusion that there is a lack of sovereignty is downright absurd."

Ramstein, Statute of Troops and Drone Strikes 2016

In 2016, Deiseroth again presented his international and constitutional view that the US Airbase Ramstein is located within German national territory, therefore German law applies and actions that are carried out there are subject to German responsibility. The US armed forces would only have a contractual right of use based on international treaties, agreements and agreements and no longer, as originally, based on the law of occupation. In detail, he referred to the stationing agreement of 1954/1955 , the NATO troop statute of 1951/1955 and the supplementary agreement to the NATO troop statute of 1959/1963 with the subsequent changes. The use must therefore be specified in a property agreement. Deiseroth sees a need for improvement in the previous regulations, as they are often only very general and imprecise.

International Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty 2017

Deiseroth is committed to the conclusion of a nuclear weapons ban treaty . In his opinion, the principle of the logic of deterrence does not apply. In the past 70 years, the world has escaped a nuclear catastrophe at least 20 times by chance and luck - according to Deiseroth.


The Mollath case and the HypoVereinsbank

Deiseroth analyzed the case Mollath in terms of whistleblowing as Mollath on black money transactions of HypoVereinsbank had pointed (HVB). The Nuremberg-Fürth regional court did not examine the relevant information, although the HVB had internal evidence as early as 2003, because of which employees were dismissed. The bank report found that all of [Mollath's] verifiable allegations were found to be correct. According to Deiseroth, HVB had kept this report under lock and key so that Mollath's allegations could be judged delusional in court.

Hessian tax investigator affair

In the Hessian tax investigator affair , Deiseroth headed the legal proceedings against the psychiatrist who had certified the four tax investigators paranoia and advocated awarding the tax investigators the whistleblower prize .

Reichstag fire

In 2008 the verdict against Marinus van der Lubbe was overturned. Deiseroth, who criticized the single perpetrator thesis, analyzed above all the case law of the Imperial Court . It was biased, categorically excluded the perpetrators of Nazis, refused to admit defense witnesses and imposed a death sentence based on a retroactive individual law.

Deiseroth was also critical of the behavior of the post-war judiciary: Until 1998, no German court or legislature had "had the will and the creative power to dispel a judgment that obviously contradicted central rule of law requirements in many ways ."


  • together with Friedhelm Hase : The “Fast Breeder” in court. Comments on the judicial review procedure before the Federal Constitutional Court. In: Democracy and Law . 1979, pp. 135-153.
  • Continuity problems in German constitutional law theory (r). Theodor Maunz's example . In: Dieter Deiseroth, Friedhelm Hase, Karl-Heinz Ladeur (eds.): Ordnungsmacht? About the relationship between legality, consensus and rule. Dedicated to Helmut Ridder on the occasion of his 60th birthday. EVA, Frankfurt am Main 1981, pp. 85-111.
  • The BVerfG in the social dispute . In: concerns JUSTICE. No. 54, June 1998, pp. 248-252.
  • The Kosovo War and International Law . In: Peace Political Correspondence. 1/2001 ( online ).
  • Civil courage at work - legal framework. In: Hermann Reichold, Albert Löhr, Gerhard Blickle (eds.): Wirtschaftsbürger oder Marktopfer? Munich 2001.
  • Nest pollution or indispensable information: What are the benefits of whistleblowing for employees? In: ProAlter. 3/2006, ISSN  1430-1911 , pp. 16-23.
  • The legacy legend. From the fire in the Reichstag to the Nazi regime. In: Sheets for German and international politics. 2/2008, ISSN  0006-4416 , pp. 91-102 ( online ).
  • together with Peter Derleder , Christoph Koch, Frank-Walter Steinmeier (eds.): Helmut Ridder . Collected Writings. Nomos, Baden-Baden 2010.
  • Dieter Deiseroth, Hartmut Graßl (Hrsg.): Whistleblower revelations (series of publications Science in Responsibility). Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag, 2016, ISBN 978-3-8305-3641-3 . In it by Deiseroth: Appendix 1: Constitutional duty to prevent acts contrary to international law in Germany ; Appendix 2 .: Stationing rights, democratic self-determination and sovereignty under international law ; Appendix 3 .: Options for reviewing and terminating the residence contract of October 23, 1954 .

Further publications by Deiseroth are mentioned in the articles Reichstag fire and Whistleblower .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Obituary Dieter Deiseroth , FAZ from August 31, 2019
  2. See employee commentary on the Basic Law
  3. ^ Christian Rath: Rule of Law: Unserved? Unfit as a judge! In: the daily newspaper . ( [accessed on February 4, 2017]).
  4. ^ Schleswig-Holstein advertisements . Justice Ministerial Journal of Schleswig-Holstein . Edited by Ministry of Justice, Culture and Europe of Schleswig-Holstein in Kiel. No. 11; Part A, November 2014, p. 423.
  6. | The Scientific Advisory Board of the German Section of the International Doctors for the Prevention of Nuclear War - Doctors in Social Responsibility e. V.
  7. a b SPIEGEL ONLINE, Hamburg, Germany: "A kind of occupation law" - DER SPIEGEL 37/1988. Retrieved February 4, 2017 .
  8. Recommendation for a resolution and report by the Defense Committee as the 1st committee of inquiry under Article 45a, Paragraph 2 of the Basic Law on the resolution of the Defense Committee, taken on September 21, 1988 at the request of the SPD parliamentary group, to clarify the events during and in connection with the flight days in Ramstein and to constitute Nörvenich on August 28, 1988 as a committee of inquiry under Article 45a, Paragraph 2 of the Basic Law. German Bundestag - 11th electoral term Printed matter 11/5354
  9. NachDenkSeiten | IQM eV: “Ramstein is on German territory” And: “BK and BMVg advocate sitting out pressure from parliament and the public.” - . In: NachDenkSeiten . ( [accessed on February 4, 2017]).
  10. Marcus Klöckner on heise / telepolis: "The discussion about nuclear weapons is determined by legends and myths". Retrieved June 29, 2017 .
  11. Dieter Deiseroth, Marcus Klöckner: A whistleblower in forced psychiatry . In: Sheets for German and international politics . February 4, 2017, p. 21–24 ( [accessed February 4, 2017]).
  12. Dieter Deiseroth: Reichstag fire: The question about the (co-) perpetrators remains open . In: . February 28, 2008 ( [accessed February 4, 2017]).