October 10, 2012
BERLIN (Deutsche Presse-Agentur) -- The German government unveiled Wednesday new legislation aimed at overturning a court ruling banning the religious practice of circumcision.
The decision in May by a regional court in Cologne arguing circumcision could cause bodily harm provoked outrage from Germany's Muslim and Jewish communities.
Under the new law, circumcision is allowed in the country for young boys provided that it is undertaken by trained experts and that the child's parents have been notified of any risks.
The court's decision has united Jewish and Muslim groups, who argued that the practice was fundamental to their faiths, calling on the government to take action to overturn the ruling.
The original case involved a doctor who had circumcised a 4-year-old Muslim boy, leading to medical complications.
The court's move resulted in the German Medical Association calling on its members to stop performing circumcision because of concerns of prosecution.
Since the court ruling, officials in Germany have been working on legislation to ensure that the procedure was legal in the country. Religious freedom forms part of the German constitution.
The new law is expected to be passed by the nation's parliament before the end of the year.
Copyright 2012 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH