Germany draft bill allows circumcision

By Anna Sheinman, September 28, 2012
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Brit Milah (Photographer: Eliel Joseph Schafler)

Brit Milah (Photographer: Eliel Joseph Schafler)

Germany’s Justice Ministry on Wednesday moved to protect the rights of Jews and Muslims to carry out circumcisions, issuing a draft bill which allows the operation.

The development follows months of uncertainty following a Cologne district court ruling in May which banned religious circumcision.

The draft legislation says the operation must be carried out "with the most effective pain relief possible" and that parents must be fully informed of the nature of the operation. It has been sent to the federal states ahead of a consultation with experts next week.

Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, the President of the Conference of European Rabbis said: “The draft law is encouraging and shows that the German government is keen to address this problem but the Zentralrat Der Juden are very aware that this is an early draft and we will have to be wary of the detail as amendments are made to the proposal.”

Last updated: 2:32pm, September 28 2012