D.he regulation of the appearance of public officials when it has religious references remains a topic of discussion: The entry into force of changes to Section 61 of the Federal Civil Service Act (BBG) and Section 34 of the Civil Service Status Act (BeamtStG), which regulate the performance of tasks and the behavior of civil servants, is imminent . According to the changed regulations, the wearing of certain items of clothing and symbols in the visible area can be restricted or prohibited by the highest service authority, as far as the functionality of the administration or the duty to respectful and trustworthy behavior requires this. Features of the appearance with religious or ideological connotations can then be restricted or prohibited if they are objectively capable of impairing trust in the civil servant’s neutral conduct of office. North Rhine-Westphalia recently passed a Justice Neutrality Act which, in order to strengthen the religious and ideological neutrality of the local judiciary, requires professional judges to wear religiously connoted clothing such as kippahs and headscarves in the courtroom and when exercising sovereign activity in which with a perception Third party is forbidden.
Two possible regulatory approaches can be seen here as examples. On the one hand, a specific area of the exercise of state power – the judiciary – is regulated. In the other case, the civil servant status is fully linked, regardless of the specific activity performed. A law that has an eye on the area to be regulated in each case represents the more convincing approach to resolving the corresponding conflicts within the framework of religious freedom, which is protected by fundamental rights: Workable solutions should fall back on area-specific regulations that allow or prohibit the wearing of religious symbols depending on the function. The focus should be on the value of government training and government control mechanisms. Both can effectively strengthen confidence in the impartiality and neutrality of state actors and institutions.