The normative framework of cultural rights and ethics is laid down in the Basic Law (constitution). Articles 1 to 19 set out the fundamental rights. These include the right to the free development of personality (Article 2), equal rights for men and women (Article 3), freedom of belief (Article 4), freedom of assembly (Article 8) and freedom of association (Article 9).
Article 5 includes freedom of expression in speech, writing and pictures (para. 1), freedom of the press (para. 1), the rejection of censorship (para. 1), and freedom of art, science, research and teaching (para.3). The guarantee of artistic freedom of the Basic Law (Article 5 para. 3) establishes the artistic autonomy and the right of self-administration of cultural institutions and organisations, and their protection from directives and regulations of the state on content. As an objective value decision for the freedom of art, it is also understood as a mandate to the state to actively promote and support it.
There is no national objective for culture in the Basic Law, although there have been various initiatives to include a new article 20b “The state protects and promotes culture”, which, however, was not able to prevail. Following a debate among politicians involved in cultural, sports and legal affairs, the inclusion of a national objective for culture in the Basic Law remains controversial.