Federal Constitutional Court – staatsrecht.honikel.de

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The Federal Constitutional Court interprets the Basic Law.


Building of the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe


The Federal Constitutional Court is awake over the fact that the organs of the legislation and the executive consider and keep the constitution. The Federal Constitutional Court therefore protects the constitution.

Furthermore the Federal Constitutional Court interprets the constitution. The constitution is formulated generally and open and therefore must be laid out constantly.

It is in a sense the highest court of the Federal Republic, its judgements are obligatory to all. Against them no pleas are possible.

The residence of the Federal Constitutional Court is Karlsruhe

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The Federal Constitutional Court consists of two senates with 8 judges each. The Bundestag, and the Bundesrat elect with 2/3-majority in each case half of the judges of both senates (Article 94 I GG).

Article 94 I

The Federal Constitutional Court shall consist of federal judges and other members. Half the members of the Federal Constitutional Court shall be elected by the Bundestag and half by the Bundesrat. They may not be members of the Bundestag, of the Bundesrat, of the Federal Government, or of any of the corresponding bodies of a Land.

Electable are Federal High Court judges as well as persons with the capability to the justiceship, thus with both legal exams. They must be 40 years or older and they must have the passive right to vote the Bundestag. The members of the Federal Constitutional Court may belong neither to organs of the legislation nor organs of the executive of the Federation or the Laender. The term of office is 12 years (At the most until they are 68 years old), re-election ist not allowed.

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Its competence is regulated particularly in the Article 93 and 100 GG. The Federal Constitutional Court becomes active on request only. Whether the Federal Constitutional Court accepts a request or not, it decides itself.

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Kinds of complaint

Constitutional complaint

Constitutional complaints according to Article 93 I No 4 a GG could be made from everyone with the statement to be hurt by the state in one of his basic rights. This injury can take place for example via an act of the administration or a court decision. A constitutional complaint can be inserted only if the course of law is completed.

Furthermore constitutional complaints can be raised according to Article 93 I No. 4b GG from municipalities (municipality federations) because of injury of the autonomy of the municipalities from Article 28 GG.

Article 93 I

[The Federal Constitutional Court shall rule]...

4a. on constitutional complaints, which may be filed by any person alleging that one of his basic rights or one of his rights under paragraph (4) of Article 20 or under Article 33, 38, 101, 103, or 104 has been infringed by public authority;

4b. on constitutional complaints filed by municipalities or associations of municipalities on the ground that their right to self-government under Article 28 has been infringed by a law; in the case of infringement by a Land law, however, only if the law cannot be challenged in the constitutional court of the Land;

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Concrete standard control (Article 100 GG)

If a court, during a concrete, up-to-date treated case, has the opinion that the law which had to be used is not compatible with the Basic Law, then this court must interrupt the current procedure and wait for a decision of the Federal Constitutional Court.

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Abstract standard control (Article 93 I No. 2 GG)

The Federal Constitutional Court examines here upon the request of Federal Government, a federal state government or at least one quarter of the members of the Bundestag whether Federation law or law of the Laender autonomous of a concrete case is compatible with the Basic Law.

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Organ controversy (Article 93 I No. 1 GG)

In the case of constitution disputes between the highest federal organs the Federal Constitutional Court decides.

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Party prohibitions (Article 21 GG)

If parties offend against the liberally democratic constitutional structure, then they can be forbidden by the Federal Constitutional Court. The fact that parties unlike other organisation can be forbidden only through the Federal Constitutional Court is called privilege of parties.

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Authority problems Federation - Laender (Article 93 I No. 3 and 4 GG)

If the different Leander of the Federal Republic and the Federation are not united about their authority.

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