German court to examine Lisbon treaty

Jan. 21, 2009 at 8:06 PM

BRUSSELS, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Germany's constitutional court will hold a two-day hearing next month on the European Union's Lisbon treaty, officials said.

The EU Observer reported Wednesday that the German court's ultimate decision could help determine the fate of the document across the bloc.

The newspaper said the judges will discuss Feb. 10-11 whether the treaty violates the German constitution.

The judges will respond to a complaint brought by conservative Member of Parliament Peter Gauweiler, who has argued that the treaty infringes on the rights of German citizens by allowing a foreign court -- the European Court of Justice -- to decide matters.

"This shows that the constitutional court is taking the issue very seriously. A hearing of longer than a day happens very rarely," Gauweiler's attorney, Dietrich Murswiek, said of the rare two-day hearing.

The Lisbon treaty would replace an proposed EU constitution voted down in 2005. All 27 member EU nations must approve the document for it to take effect.

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