World Bulletin / News Desk
Germany's Justice Ministry has outlined a planned new law that will allow the circumcision of infant boys and end months of legal uncertainty after a local court banned the practice.
The ruling in June by a district court in Cologne outraged Muslims and Jews and sparked an emotional debate in the country, leaving an embarrassed government to promise legislation by the autumn protecting the right to circumcise.
Although the ban applied only to the Cologne region, doctors across the country refused to carry out operations because of what they saw as a risk of legal action.
The outline draft of a new bill states that the operation should take place "with the most effective pain relief possible" and only if parents have been fully informed about the nature of the procedure, a ministry spokesman said.
Generally doctors would carry out circumcisions but if the baby boy is less than six months old than it can also performed by another qualified person, such as a mohel, a Jewish individual specially trained in circumcising.
The ministry's outline bill, a first but critical step towards creating the new law, has been sent to Germany's federal states ahead of a consultation with experts due later this week.
According to the spokesman the outlines were based on parents' constitutional right to bring up their children and decide on all matters concerning them. The state, however, has a responsibility as watchdog to protect a child's wellbeing.
The speed with which national lawmakers agreed in July to pass a new law underscored sensitivity to charges of intolerance in a country haunted by its Nazi past. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany risked becoming a laughing stock if Jews were not allowed to practise their rituals.
Around 4 million Muslims, many of whom are from Turkey are registered as living in Germany along with about 120,000 Jews.
The Cologne court, ruling in the case of a Muslim boy who suffered bleeding after circumcision, said the practice inflicted bodily harm and should not be carried out on young boys, although it could be practised on older males with consent.
Mikhail Gorbachev hit with 5-year ban for support of Crimea annexation by Russia
Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico says he will continue to oppose an EU quota plan regarding migrants
Donald Trump reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president on Thursday,
'In all touristic towns, there is a slight recovery,' tourism minister says
German chancellor says canceling sanction against Russia may harm the G7's credibility
European Commission head warns a G7 summit with politicians such as Trump, Le Pen, Boris Johnson, Beppe Grillo would be 'a horror scenario that shows well why it is worth fighting populism'
US president believes the armed group's violence will continue despite new leadership
'If he meant returning Donbas for humanitarian reasons, this statement can be supported,' Kremlin spokesman says
Foreign Minister Lavrov says 'it is in the interests of Islam to ensure unity of all its branches'
If he succeeds Ban Ki-moon in January 2017, Lancak would be the first Easter European UN chief
Turkish TIKA agency reveals support for over 2,000 people fleeing Boko Haram insurgency
'Food supplies are limited and tightly controlled; medicines are exhausted and many families have no choice but to rely on dirty and unsafe water sources' in the ISIL-occupied city
'A rightful position of the Old Continent in the new international realities can only be secured by combining capacities of all European countries, including Russia,' Russian presdient says
Unless new economic resources are found, economic growth will stay near zero percent, warns Russian president
France hit with numerous workers strikes, are now dipping into its strategic oil reserves due to blockades at refineries with nuclear power workers threatened to join gathering protests against a labour law reform.
Anastasiades cancelled scheduled peace talks and cut short a visit to Turkey on Tuesday after a United Nations summit treated the rival Turkish Cypriot leader as a head of state.