A German court has sentenced one of its own judges to prison for ruling against the government’s mask mandates.
In 2021, Judge Christian Dettmar struck down a local government ordinance that required schoolchildren to wear masks in the German state of Thuringia. The case made headlines across Germany.
Judge Dettmar is now set to lose his legal career and pension and receive a two-year suspended prison sentence for allegedly “perverting the law.”
During the pandemic-era lockdowns, the Thuringian state government ruled that all children were to wear masks while at school, stay a minimum distance from each other, and take virus tests.
The judge ruled that masks shouldn’t be mandatory for children at two schools in Weimar, Thuringia, after the mother of two children, aged 8 and 14, complained that the masks were giving them insomnia, nausea, and headaches.
‘I Saw Danger in Delay’
Judge Dettmar told the schools in Weimar that they could no longer enforce the order, as the mandates weren’t compatible with the welfare of the children involved.
His decision immediately sparked outrage in the state government, which called for his punishment and removal.
The judge’s ruling was overturned by the Higher Regional Court in Erfurt, following a complaint by the state’s education department, which forced students to once again wear masks in schools.
The district court in Erfurt stated that only an administrative court held the jurisdiction to make such a ruling and that Judge Dettmar’s decision didn’t fall under the scope of his court.
“The good cause of protecting children, which they may have had in the back of their minds, does not justify the way,” the district court judge said in his ruling.
Judge Dettmar defended his decision on the matter, arguing that he had merely consulted certified university experts.
“I still don’t know why I’m sitting here. I have three grown-up children myself. At that time, I was driven by the everyday life of the schoolchildren. I saw danger in delay. The reports I use come from experienced university professors,” he said.