Civil Service Act (Germany)

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Basic data
Title: Law on civil service for conscientious objectors
Short title: Civil Service Act
Abbreviation: ZDG
Type: Federal law
Scope: Federal Republic of Germany
Legal matter: Administrative law
References : 55-2
Original version from: January 13, 1960
( Federal Law Gazette I p. 10 )
Entry into force on: January 20, 1960
New announcement from: May 17, 2005
( BGBl. I p. 1346 , ber.p. 2301 )
Last change by: Art. 7 G of December 12, 2019
( Federal Law Gazette I p. 2652, 2692 )
Effective date of the
last change:
January 1, 2024
(Art. 60 G of December 12, 2019)
GESTA : G026
Please note the note on the applicable legal version.

The Civil Service Act (ZDG; formerly Alternative Service Act - ErsDiG or Law on Civilian Alternative Service ) regulates the law of those doing community service as well as the tasks and organization of community service in accordance with the Compulsory Military Service Act and the Conscientious Objection Act (KDVG) in Germany .

In principle, the Civil Service Act classifies civil service itself as an activity for the common good . The Federal Ministry of Family Affairs is responsible .

The ZDG strives to achieve equality between civilian service on the one hand and military service on the other. The suitability for drawing is determined as in the conscription law.

Every German is subject to civil service surveillance up to the end of his 32nd year of life, provided he is a recognized conscientious objector ( Section 23 ). With the suspension of compulsory military service in 2011, the civil service surveillance only applies in the event of tension or defense ( Section 1a ).

Offenses that otherwise exist for soldiers within the meaning of the Military Penal Act are repeated in somewhat varied form as unauthorized absence , evacuation and non-compliance with the instructions in Sections 52 to 54 ZDG. The ZDG is therefore part of ancillary criminal law .

The provision of civil service damage is regulated in Sections 47 to 51a ZDG.

Civilian service, like military service, was suspended in 2010; the last civilian service expired in 2011. Since then there has been no civil service for an indefinite period. The newly created federal voluntary service has partially replaced the previous civil service.

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