D. Köpcke
Bibliographic info:
2nd European Blower Door Symposium, March 2007

A ‘standard’, as a quick look in a dictionary will tell us, is an ambiguous term: whereas technical standards refer to expertly developed and scientifically reasoned yardsticks for a comparative assessment of quality, legal standards refer to rules of law, i.e. regulations for conduct that are obligatory for people subject to this law by virtue of the state’s power to enforce law. Legislation in terms of a legislative act therefore always requires in Germany – as in all democratic, constitutional states – sufficient democratic legitimacy. Only those provisions are obligatory as legal standards, and therefore may be enforced by state power, which have been made by the accordingly elected representatives. The originators and creators of technical standards, however, do not require such legitimacy. Technical standards are instead rather an expression and result of scientific knowledge and, in themselves, cannot actually achieve more than define the result or course of technical processes so that, on this basis, a comparative, scientific evaluation of various products and results can be made.