As a nude hiker or sportsperson in the great outdoors, you have with regards to law, if at all, first contact with police. However, even then only, if some ignorant person has called the police, because (s)he is not informed about naktivities like hiking, biking, sport etc. in the buff or because of developing inappropriate fantasies. Therefore, we first give an overview of encounters.
Regulatory law partly addresses nudity in public. However, this concerns practically always behaviour in built-up areas. In general, Regulatory law defines, how people in the country live together in an orderly manner. Regulatory law includes
- (Local) law to ensure public order
- (Local) law governing the use of general resources (e.g. state forestry law)
- German regulatory law called “Ordnungswidrigkeiten-Gesetz (OWiG)”
Penal law contains sections named "exhibitionism" and "causing public nuisance". Often, people without legal knowledge wrongly quote them in context with nudity in public. Both terms describe sexual deeds in public. Indeed, these sections are not applicable to naturist activities like hiking or biking in the buff.
Property law is part of German civil law and regulated in the German Civil Code called “Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch (BGB)”. According to it, an owner may generally decide the use of own property in the nude or clothed.
Case law explains in detail, among others, the verdict of a trial against the “nude jogger of Freiburg”, Dr Peter Niehenke, who jogged in the nude in Freiburg end of the 1990s.