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Cover von: Viktorianer
Jannis Lennartz


Rubrik: Abhandlungen
Jahrgang 148 (2023) / Heft 2, S. 123-153 (31)
Publiziert 28.06.2023
DOI 10.1628/aoer-2023-0010
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  • 10.1628/aoer-2023-0010
The federal legislature has integrated requirements for the external appearance of civil servants into civil service law. They function as a duty of restraint, safeguarding the public's »trust and respect«. The duty establishes an expression barrier: It is not concerned with meaning – for example, a mark on the skin as a signifier of a questionable political attitude – but with expression as such. Expression is not a bad thing, but the concrete person should not shine through the office, but rather shyly step back behind it. Civil servants therefore have a Victorian duty, which finds value in concealment. The legal understanding of »trust and respect« is formalized as much as possible in order to reduce problems in the verbalization of morality: the duty bars no longer just the indecent, but also the conspicuous. The legislative decision in favor of a duty of restraint as an expressive barrier finds a constitutional basis in the role that the Basic Law assigns to the office of the civil servant. It is not only his voluntary, rewarded proximity to the state that is important, but also his distance from the citizen: civil servants are protected against the citizen, but also against the political leadership through their permanent employment. This speaks not only for their guidance by democratic law and elected officials, but also for a limitation in the expression of their individuality.