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Internationaler Arten- und Naturschutz im nationalen Recht

Rechtsprobleme beim Vollzug der Zustimmungsgesetze zur CMS und Berner Konvention

Alexander Proelß

Germany is a party to both the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) and the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Berne Convention) and has implemented these international agreements by way of ratifying laws in its domestic legal system. It is noteworthy that the wording of the definitions of the term „taking“ codified in these laws deviates from the pertinent definitions contained in the CMS and Berne Convention in so far as it does not refer to subjective criteria such as a „willful“ and „deliberate“ that have (expressly or implicitly) been included in the text of the two international agreements. The question thus arises whether the German legislator has subjected the taking of protected animals in terms of the CMS and the Berne Convention to stricter requirements under domestic law, which would result in a considerable broadening of the prohibition of taking. Following an in-depth analysis of the relevant conceptions codified in the two international agreements as well as the ratifying laws, this article argues that the subjective elements contained in the definitions of „taking“ under the CMS and Berne Convention have indeed consciously been omitted, and that the prohibition of taking of protected animals under German law thus also covers negligent action. That said, in light of international legal requirements in respect of lawful uses of the oceans, this article submits that an harassment of protected animals (which constitutes under the international agreements concerned one of the alternative behaviors that would result in a „taking“) can only be assumed if the course of action exceeds a critical threshold.

Dr. Alexander Proelß ist Inhaber der Professur für Öffentliches Recht, insbesondere Völkerrecht und Europarecht, und Direktor des Instituts für Umwelt- und Technikrecht (IUTR) der Universität Trier. Bei vorliegendem Beitrag handelt es sich um ein Gutachten, das der Verf. für das Bundesamt für Naturschutz (BfN) erstattet hat. In leicht gekürzter Form ist er bereits erschienen in Delbrück/Heinz/Odendahl/Matz-Lück/von Arnauld, Aus Kiel in die Welt: Kielʼs Contribution to International Law, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 2014, S. 725 ff.


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