Germany’s top court has overturned a controversial law that allowed the defence minister to order the shooting down of a hijacked plane. The law was drawn up following the September the 11th attacks and came into force last year. But it was challenged by critics who said the state had no right to sacrifice innocent passengers, even if their lives were apparently doomed.
Gerhart Baum from the opposition liberal democrats, who were against the law, has welcomed the court’s decision: “It’s not about how many people are concerned. You can’t weigh one life against another, one life counts as much as a thousand lives, and it doesn’t depend on how long that life was going to last.” Some defence specialists have criticised the ruling saying it leaves Germany vulnerable to attack.
Others say it could have an impact on security during this summer’s football World Cup which is taking place in Germany.