The Federal Administrative Court has decided in its decision of 8 May 2019 in an appeal procedure conducted by Dr. Torsten Gerhard for the state of Baden-Württemberg that a civil servant's legal note on the public statement of a police officer regarding the police deployment in the Stuttgart Schlossgarten on 30 September 2010 (so-called “Black Thursday") does not constitute environmental information and that the plaintiff therefore has no claim to access to information in this respect. It has thus granted the state's appeal and reversed the judgment of the Administrative Court of Baden-Württemberg of 29 June 2017 in this respect. The Federal Administrative Court has rejected the Deutsche Bahn AG's appeal against access to two presentations on the corporate communications of Deutsche Bahn AG on the Stuttgart 21 project.
By order of 8 May 2019, the Federal Administrative Court - following the reasoning of the Land - also suspended the rest of the proceedings and referred fundamental questions on the interpretation of the Environmental Information Directive to the European Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling, specifically on the objective and temporal protection of “internal communications". In these proceedings, the European Court of Justice will make a fundamental decision on the scope of the right of access to environmental information, which is likely to be of considerable importance beyond the specific case. The press release of the Federal Administrative Court is available here.