display | more...
The Bundesverfassungsgericht is Germany's Federal Constitutional Court. It is the supreme judicial arbiter of constitutional issues in Germany, and is able to invalidate statutes and regulations as unconstitutional, in addition to hearing appeals from the lower courts and the other high federal courts on constitutional grounds. The BVerfG is the court of last resort for:
1. über die Auslegung dieses Grundgesetzes aus Anlaß von Streitigkeiten über den Umfang der Rechte und Pflichten eines obersten Bundesorgans oder anderer Beteiligter, die durch dieses Grundgesetz oder in der Geschäftsordnung eines obersten Bundesorgans mit eigenen Rechten ausgestattet sind;
2. bei Meinungsverschiedenheiten oder Zweifeln über die förmliche und sachliche Vereinbarkeit von Bundesrecht oder Landesrecht mit diesem Grundgesetze oder die Vereinbarkeit von Landesrecht mit sonstigem Bundesrechte auf Antrag der Bundesregierung, einer Landesregierung oder eines Drittels der Mitglieder des Bundestages;

2a. bei Meinungsverschiedenheiten, ob ein Gesetz den Voraussetzungen des Artikels 72 Abs. 2 entspricht, auf Antrag des Bundesrates, einer Landesregierung oder der Volksvertretung eines Landes;
3. bei Meinungsverschiedenheiten über Rechte und Pflichten des Bundes und der Länder, insbesondere bei der Ausführung von Bundesrecht durch die Länder und bei der Ausübung der Bundesaufsicht;
4. in anderen öffentlich-rechtlichen Streitigkeiten zwischen dem Bunde und den Ländern, zwischen verschiedenen Ländern oder innerhalb eines Landes, soweit nicht ein anderer Rechtsweg gegeben ist;
4a. über Verfassungsbeschwerden, die von jedermann mit der Behauptung erhoben werden können, durch die öffentliche Gewalt in einem seiner Grundrechte oder in einem seiner in Artikel 20 Abs. 4, 33, 38, 101, 103 und 104 enthaltenen Rechte verletzt zu sein;
4b. über Verfassungsbeschwerden von Gemeinden und Gemeindeverbänden wegen Verletzung des Rechts auf Selbstverwaltung nach Artikel 28 durch ein Gesetz, bei Landesgesetzen jedoch nur, soweit nicht Beschwerde beim Landesverfassungsgericht erhoben werden kann;
5. in den übrigen in diesem Grundgesetze vorgesehenen Fällen.

1. the construction of this Basic Law arising out of disputes with regard to the scope of the rights and duties of a supreme organ of the federal government or other parties vested with rights by this Basic Law or the Rules of Procedure of a supreme organ of the federal government.
2. for disputes or doubts as to the formal and substantive compatibility of Federal or State law with th is Basic Law or the compatibility of State law with other Federal law, upon the petition of the Federal government, a State government, or one third of the members of the Bundestag.
2a. in disputes as to whether a law meets the requirements of Art. 72 II, upon the petition of the Bundesrat, a State government, or the legislature of a State.
3. in disputes as to the rights or duties of the Federal government or the States, including without limitation the enforcement of Federal law by the States or the exercise of Federal supervisory power.
4. in other public-law disputes between the Federal government and the States, amongst the several States, or within a State, unless another court has jurisdiction.
4a. for constitutional appeals, which may be brought by any person claiming to have suffered a violation by a public authority of the rights enumerated in Art. 20 IV, 33, 38, 101, 103, and 104.
4b. for constitutional appeals brought by communities and other bodies politic arising out of the violation of the right to self-administration under Art. 28 by a law; provided, however, that this shall apply to State laws only to the extent that an appeal cannot be brought in the constitutional court of the State.
5. in other cases provided for by this Basic Law.
Art. 21 GG gives the BVerfG exclusive jurisdiction over proceedings to ban political parties, and the Bundestag may expand the BVerfG's jurisdiction by law.

The BVerfG is made up of two Senate, or divisions, each of which is responsible for different subject matter. The First Senat covers petitions for judgments declaring laws unconstitutional that are primarily based on violations of the fundamental rights (Grundrechte ) or involving public employment, "exceptional courts," due process (rechtliches Gehör), ex post facto laws (Rückwirkungsverbot), double jeopardy ("non bis in idem"), and unlawful custody.

The Second Senat has jurisdiction over proceedings to ban political parties, proceedings on the relinquishment of fundamental rights, decisions of the Bundestag concerning the validity of an election or membership in the Bundestag, indictments brought by the Bundestag or Bundesrat against the President, determination of the constitutional duties of a supreme organ of the federal government, determination of whether state legislation has been preempted by federal legislation, disputes as to the rights or duties of the Federal government or the States, including without limitation the enforcement of Federal law by the States or the exercise of Federal supervisory power, public law disputes between states or between a state and the federal government, constitutional appeals (Verfassungsbeschwerde), indictments brought against state and federal judges, disputes as to whether a rule of international law is incorporated into federal law, and disputes as to the continued validity of prior law as federal law, as well as for constitutional challenges to statutes and constitutional appeals that do not fall under the jurisdiction of the First Senat. See § 14 Bundesverfassungsgerichtsgesetz (BVerfGG - Federal Constitutional Court Act).

Currently, the BVerfG is composed as follows:
First Senat:

President Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Hans-Jürgen Papier
Renate Jaeger
Prof. Dr. Evelyn Haas
Dr. Dieter Hömig
Prof. Dr. Udo Steiner
Dr. Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Hoffmann-Riem, LL.M.
Professor Dr. Brun-Otto Bryde
Second Senat:
Vice-President Prof. Dr. Dres. h.c. Winfried Hassemer
Dr. Dr. h.c. Hans-Joachim Jentsch
Prof. Dr. Siegfried Broß
Prof. Dr. Lerke Osterloh
Prof. Dr. Dr. Udo Di Fabio
Rudolf Mellinghoff
Prof. Dr. Gertrude Lübbe-Wolff
Dr. Michael Gerhardt

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.