The LA Times has this very interesting piece explaining how insulting someone in public is against the law in Germany. In 2015, over 218,000 complaints were filed under this legislation. Though rare, some cases have ended in court and fines can be imposed as punishment. Something to be aware of if you or your clients are spending time in Germany.

From the LA Times

In Germany, it can be a crime to insult someone in public

There were 218,414 cases of insults filed with prosecutors in Germany in 2015, down slightly from 225,098 in 2014, but far above numbers of around 150,000 recorded a decade ago. Americans and other foreigners living in Germany sometimes run afoul of the law, unaware of it, and end up being called into police or prosecutor’s offices to explain their side of the story, before their cases are usually dismissed.

Hardly anyone ends up in jail for insulting their neighbor in the midst of a heated dispute, or for flashing the middle finger — the Stinkefinger, or “stinky finger,” as Germans call it — at another motorist in heavy traffic. But cases do wind up in court and fines are sometimes handed down.

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