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Too old for a music event? Discrimination lawsuit at the BGH

by drbyos

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) wants to comment on Wednesday (2:00 p.m.) on the question of whether someone may be excluded from a party for reasons of age or whether he is being discriminated against. At the trial in Karlsruhe in February it became clear that the answer is not that easy – the seventh civil senate in particular had a hard time deciding how many participants an event becomes a mass event. The comparability with other cases of discrimination, for example with regard to ethnic origin, religion or gender, also play a role (Az. VII ZR 78/20).

The background to this is the lawsuit brought by Nils Kratzer, the inspectors denied access to an open-air music event in Munich in the summer of 2017 because he looked too old. The then 44-year-old man demands 1000 euros in compensation and invokes the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG). He was unsuccessful in the Munich courts. The event was not intended for a general audience, but was intended for people between the ages of 18 and 28, who should also be dressed as “party goers”. The District Court of Munich I, however, allowed the appeal to the BGH because there were no guidelines for interpreting the AGG regulations.

Before the verdict, Kratzer explained: “Just imagine a potential guest with dark skin color would have been rejected because of his skin color and a German court denied protection against discrimination. That would be an unforgivable embarrassment that German courts in particular could not afford. ” The question of mass business does not arise for him. “The event was publicly advertised, admission was required and it wasn’t a private party.” He hoped for an “effective implementation” of the EU goal of comprehensive protection against discrimination, said Kratzer.

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The representative of the organizers had argued before the BGH that organizers had to be able to select the audience for economic success. Should the BGH assume age discrimination in the present case, about 30+ parties would not be completely ruled out from the point of view of the lawyers on both sides. The organizers would then have to accept that people outside of the target group will also celebrate.


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