German Constitution

German Constitution in Europe

Constitutional Background

History related to the German Constitution

  • 27 Oct 1994: 42nd Constitutional amendment — a major revision introducing, among other rules, affirmative action for women (Art. 3) and environmental protection (Art. 20a).
  • 28 June 1993: 39th Constitutional amendment — a major revision restricting asylum provisions.
  • 24 June 1968: 17th Constitutional amendment — a major revision introducing emergency procedures.
  • 19 March 1956: 7th Constitutional amendment — a major revision (“Wehrpflichtnovelle”) re-introducing the draft.
  • 23 May 1949: Constitution adopted under the name “Basic Law” (“Grundgesetz”).

Philosophy

The constitution is rational, in so far as the State defines and differentiates its functions according to the nature of its concept.

Who shall make the constitution? This question seems intelligible, yet on closer examination reveals itself as meaningless, for it presupposes the existence of no constitution, but only a mere mass of atomic individuals. How a mass of individuals is to come by a constitution, whether by its own efforts or by those of others, whether by goodness, thought, or force, it must decide for itself, for with a disorganized mob the concept of the State has nothing to do. But if the question does presuppose an already existing constitution, then to make a constitution means only to change it. The presupposition of a constitution implies, however, at once, that any modification in it must take place constitutionally. It is absolutely essential that the constitution, though having a temporal origin, should not be regarded as made. It (the principle of constitution) is rather to be conceived as absolutely perpetual and rational, and therefore as divine, substantial, and above and beyond the sphere of what is made.

Subjective freedom is the principle of the whole modern world—the principle that all essential aspects of the spiritual totality should develop and attain their right. From this point of view one can hardly raise the idle question as to which form is the better, monarchy or democracy. One can but say that the forms of all constitutions are one-sided that are not able to tolerate the principle of free subjectivity and that do not know how to conform to the fully developed reason.

Since spirit is real only in what it knows itself to be, and since the State, as the nation’s spirit, is the law permeating all its affairs, its ethical code, and the consciousness of its individuals, the constitution of a people chiefly depends upon the kind and the character of its self-consciousness. In it lies both its subjective freedom and the reality of the constitution.

To think of giving a people a constitution a priori, though according to its content a more or less rational one—such a whim would precisely overlook that element which renders a constitution more than a mere abstract object. Every nation, therefore, has the constitution which is appropriate to it and belongs to it.

The State must, in its constitution, permeate all situations. A constitution is not a thing just made; it is the work of centuries, the idea and the consciousness of what is rational, in so far as it is developed in a people. No constitution, therefore, is merely created by the subjects of the State. The nation must feel that its constitution embodies its right and its status, otherwise the constitution may exist externally, but has no meaning or value. The need and the longing for a better constitution may often indeed be present in individuals, but that is quite different from the whole multitude being permeated with such an idea—that comes much later. The principle of morality, the inwardness of Socrates originated necessarily in his day, but it took time before it could pass into general self-consciousness. (1)

The Basic Law (Grundgesetz)

This unofficial translation of the German Constitution consolidates the text up to and including the 59th Amendment of 11th July 2012.

Note: some terms are translated specifically to prepare the text for search engines, e.g., ‘Länder’ as ‘States’, ‘Bundestag’ as ‘House of Representatives’, ‘Bundesrat’ as ‘Senate’, ‘Bundesbank’ as ‘Federal Bank’. This does in no way imply any similarity of those institutions with the respective U.S. institutions. German terms have been added in square brackets to clarify the matter and to distinguish references to single States [Länder] from the generic term ‘state’ (i.e., Federation and/or States).

Chapter I — Basic Rights

Main Entry: Constitutional (Basic) Rights.

Chapter II — Federation and States

See Federation in this Legal European Encyclopedia.

Chapter III — House of Representatives

See Bundestag in this Legal European Encyclopedia.

Article 38 [Elections]
See Elections in this Legal European Encyclopedia.

Article 40 [President, Rules of Procedure]
See Rules of Procedure in this Legal European Encyclopedia.

Chapter IV — Senate

The States [Länder] participate through the Senate [Bundesrat] in the legislation and administration of the Federation and in European Union matters.

Chapter IVa — Joint Committee

Article 53a [Composition, Rules of Procedure]
See Rules of Procedure in this Legal European Encyclopedia.

Chapter V — Federal President

See Federal President in this Legal European Encyclopedia.

Chapter VI — Federal Government

The Government consists (composition) of the Chancellor and the Ministers.

Chapter VII — Federal Legislative Powers

As a General Principle, the States [Länder] have the right to legislate insofar as the German Constitution does not confer legislative power on the (German) Federation and the division of competence between the Federation and the States [Länder] are determined by the provisions of the Constitution concerning exclusive legislative powers and concurrent legislative powers.

Article 73 [Exclusive Legislation]
See Exclusive Legislation in this Legal European Encyclopedia.

Article 74 [Concurrent Legislation]
See Concurrent Legislation in this Legal European Encyclopedia.

Article 76 [Bills]
See Bills in this Legal European Encyclopedia.

Article 77 [Legislative Procedure]
See Legislative Procedure in this Legal European Encyclopedia.

Article 78 [Adopting Bills]
See more information about bills adopted by the Bundestag.

Article 79 [Amendment of the Constitution]
(1) This Constitution can be amended only by statutes which expressly amend or supplement the text thereof. In respect of international treaties, the subject of which is a peace settlement, the preparation of a peace settlement or the phasing out of an occupation regime, or which are intended to serve the defense of the Federal Republic, it is sufficient, for the purpose of clarifying that the provisions of this Constitution do not preclude the conclusion and entry into force of such treaties, to effect a supplementation of the text of this Constitution confined to such clarification.

(2) Any such statute requires the consent of two thirds of the members of the House of Representatives [Bundestag] and two thirds of the votes of the Senate [Bundesrat].

(3) Amendments of this Constitution affecting the division of the Federation into States [Länder], the participation on principle of the States [Länder] in legislation, or the basic principles laid down in Articles 1 and 20 are inadmissible.

Article 80 [Government Ordinances]
See Ordinances in this Legal European Encyclopedia.

Article 80a [State of Defense]
See State of Defense in this Legal European Encyclopedia.

Article 81 [State of Emergency]
See State of Emergency in this Legal European Encyclopedia.

Article 82 [Promulgation and Validity of Statutes and Ordinances]
Main entries: Promulgation and Validity of Statutes and information about Ordinances in Germany.

Chapter VIII — Execution of Statutes and Federal Administration

As a General Principle, the States [Länder] execute federal statutes as matters of their own concern insofar as the German Constitution does not otherwise provide or permit.

See State Execution of Statutes in this Legal European Encyclopedia.

Article 86 [Direct Federal Administration] and Article 87 [Matters for Direct Federal Administration]
See Federal Administration in this Legal European Encyclopedia.

Article 87a [Establishment of Armed Forces] and Article 87b [Administration of Armed Forces]
See Armed Forces in this Legal European Encyclopedia.

Article 87c [Nuclear Energy]
Statutes enacted under Article 73 I No. 14 may, with the consent of the Senate [Bundesrat], provide that they are executed by the States [Länder] acting as agents of the Federation.

Article 87d [Aviation]
(1) Aviation administration is conducted as federal administration. Tasks of air-traffic control can also be conducted by foreign air-traffic control organizations accredited under the law of the European Community. Details are regulated by a federal statute.
(2) Through federal legislation requiring the consent of the Senate [Bundesrat], functions of aviation administration may be transferred to the States [Länder] acting as agents of the Federation.

Article 87e [Railroads]
See Railroads in this Legal European Encyclopedia.

Article 87f [Mail, Telecommunication]
(1) Regulated by a federal statute requiring the consent of the Senate [Bundesrat], the Federation guarantees a comprehensive and adequate coverage with mail services and telecommunication.

(2) Services in the sense of Paragraph I are organized as private law activities by those businesses originating in the special property Deutsche Bundespost. Sovereign tasks in the area of mail and telecommunication are organized as direct federal administration.

(3) Notwithstanding Paragraph II 2, the Federation, in the public law form of a direct federal agency, discharges certain duties regarding businesses originating in the special property Deutsche Bundespost, as are assigned to it by federal statutes.

Article 88 [Federal Bank]
The Federation establishes a noteissuing and currency bank as the Federal Bank [Bundesbank]. Its tasks and powers can, in the context of the European Union, be transferred to the European Central Bank which is independent and primarily bound by the purpose of securing stability of prices.

Article 89 [Federal Waterways]
(1) The Federation is the owner of the former Reich waterways.
(2) The Federation administers the federal waterways through its own authorities. It exercises those governmental functions relating to inland shipping which extend beyond the territory of one State [Land], and those governmental functions relating to maritime shipping which are conferred on it by statute. Upon request, the Federation may transfer the administration of federal waterways, insofar as they lie within the territory of one State [Land], to that State [Land] as its agent. Where a waterway touches the territories of several States [Länder], the Federation may delegate one State [Land] to be its agent where so requested by the States [Länder] concerned.
(3) In the administration, development, and new construction of waterways, the needs of land improvement and of water economy are safeguarded in agreement with the States [Länder].

Article 90 [Federal Highways]
(1) The Federation is the owner of the former Reich streets and Reich highways.
(2) The States [Länder], or such self-governing corporate bodies as are competent under State law, administer as agents of the Federation the federal streets and other federal highways used for long-distance traffic.
(3) At the request of a State [Land], the Federation may place federal streets and other federal highways used for longdistance traffic under direct federal administration insofar as they lie within the territory of that State [Land].

Article 91 [Internal Emergency]
See State of Emergency in this Legal European Encyclopedia.

Chapter VIIIa — Joint Tasks

Main Entry: Joint Tasks between States and the Federation.

Chapter IX — Judiciary

Article 92 [Court Organization]
Judicial power is vested in the judges; it is exercised by the Federal Constitutional Court, by the federal courts provided for in this Constitution, and by the courts of the States [Länder].

Article 93 [Federal Constitutional Court] and Article 94 [Composition of Constitutional Court]
See Constitutional Court in this Legal European Encyclopedia.

Article 95 [Highest Courts of Justice, Joint Panel] and Article 96 [Other Federal Courts]
See Federal Courts in this Legal European Encyclopedia.

Article 97 [Independence of Judges] and Article 98 [Legal Status of Judges]
See Judges and Judicial Independence in this Legal European Encyclopedia.

Article 99 [Disputes Concerning State Law]
The decision on constitutional disputes within a State [Land] may be assigned by State [Land] legislation to the Federal Constitutional Court, and the decision at last instance in matters involving the application of State [Land] law to the highest courts of justice referred to in Article 95 I.

Article 100 [Constitutionality of Laws]
See Constitutionality of Laws in this Legal European Encyclopedia.

Article 101 [Ban on Extraordinary Courts]
(1) Extraordinary courts are inadmissible. No one may be removed from the jurisdiction of his lawful judge.
(2) Courts for special fields of law may be established only by Legislation.

Article 102 [Abolishment of Capital Punishment]
Capital punishment is abolished.

Article 103 [Due Process]
(1) ln the courts, everyone is entitled to a hearing in accordance with the law.
(2) An act can be punished only where it constituted a criminal offence under the law before the act was committed.
(3) No one may be punished for the same act more than once under general criminal legislation.

Article 104 [Legal Guarantees to Protect Liberty]
See Liberty in this Legal European Encyclopedia.

Chapter X — Finance

Article 104a [Apportionment of Expenditure] and Article 106 [Apportionment of Revenue]
See Apportionment in this Legal European Encyclopedia.

Article 106b [Compensation for Transfer of Motor Vechicle Tax]
Starting 1 July 2009, the States [Länder] can claim a sum out of federal tax revenues for the transfer of the motor vehicle tax to the Federation. Details are regulated by a federal statute requiring the consent of the Senate [Bundesrat].

Article 107 [Financial Equalization]
See Financial Equalization in this Legal European Encyclopedia.

Article 108 [Revenue Administration]
See Revenue Administration in this Legal European Encyclopedia.

Article 109 [Budget Management]
See Budget Management in this Legal European Encyclopedia.

Article 109a [Stability Council]
To prevent budget emergencies, a federal statute requiring the consent of the Senate [Bundesrat] provides for
1. continuous control of the budget management of Federation and States [Länder] by a common body (stability council),
2. preconditions and procedure for the declaration of an imminent budget emergency,
3. principles for the establishment and implementation of restructuring programs to prevent budget emergencies.
The decisions of the stability council and the documentation of its deliberation have to be published.

Article 110 [Budget Law] and Article 111 [Interim Budget]
See Budget Law and Interim Budget in this Legal European Encyclopedia.

Article 112 [Excessive Expenditures] and Article 113 [Changing of Expenditures/Revenues]
See Budget Management in this Legal European Encyclopedia.

Article 114 [Audit]
(1) The Minister of Finance on behalf of the Government has to submit annually to the House of Representatives [Bundestag] and to the Senate [Bundesrat] for their approval an account, covering the preceding fiscal year, of all revenues and expenditures as well as of property and debt.
(2) The Federal Audit Office, the members of which enjoy judicial independence, audits the account and examines the management of the budget and the conduct of business as to economy and correctness. The Federal Audit Office submits an annual report directly to the Government as well as to the House of Representatives [Bundestag] and to the Senate [Bundesrat]. In all other respects the powers of the Federal Audit Office are regulated by federal legislation.

Article 115 [State Credit]
See State Credit in this Legal European Encyclopedia.

Chapter Xa — State of Defense

See State of Defense in this Legal European Encyclopedia.

Chapter XI — Transitional and Concluding Provisions

Article 116 [Definition of “a German”]
(1) Unless otherwise provided by statute, a German within the meaning of this Constitution is a person who possesses German citizenship or who has been admitted to the territory of the German Reich within the frontiers of 31 December 1937 as a refugee or expellee of German ethnic origin or as the spouse or descendant of such a person.
(2) Former German citizens who, between 30 January 1933 and 8 May 1945, were deprived of their citizenship on political, racial or religious grounds, and their descendants, are re-granted German citizenship on application. They are considered as not having been deprived of their German citizenship where they have established their residence in Germany after 8 May 1945 and have not expressed a contrary intention.

Article 117 [Articles 3 II, 11]
(1) Law which is inconsistent with Article 3 II remain in force until adapted to that provision of this Constitution, but not beyond 31 March, 1953.
(2) Statutes which restrict the right of freedom of movement in view of the present housing shortage remain in force until repealed by federal legislation.

Article 118 [Baden, Wuerttemberg]
A new delimination of the territory comprising the States [Länder] of Baden, WuerttembergBaden and Wuerttemberg-Hohenzollern may be effected, in derogation of the provisions of Article 29, by agreement between the States [Länder] concerned. Where no agreement is reached, the reorganization is effected by federal legislation which provides for a plebiscite.

Article 118a [Berlin, Brandenburg]
The new delimitation of boundaries between Berlin and Brandenburg can, differing from the provisions of Article 29, be constituted by agreement between both States [Länder] under participation of their electorate.

Article 119 [Refugees, Expellees]
In matters relating to refugees and expellees, in particular as regards their distribution among the States [Länder], the Government may, with the consent of the Senate [Bundesrat], issue ordinances having statutory effect, pending the settlement of the matter by federal legislation. The Government may in this matter be authorized to issue individual instructions for particular cases. Except where there is danger resulting in any delay in taking action, such instructions are addressed to the highest State [Land] authorities.

Article 120 [Occupation Expenditure]
See Occupation Expenditure in this Legal European Encyclopedia.

Article 120a [Equalization of Burdens]
(1) Statutes serving to implement the equalization of burdens may, with the consent of the Senate [Bundesrat], stipulate that they are executed, as regards equalization benefits, partly by the Federation and partly by the States [Länder] acting as agents of the Federation, and that the relevant powers vested in the Government and the competent highest federal authorities by virtue of Article 85 are wholly or partly delegated to the Federal Equalization Office. In exercising these powers, the Federal Equalization Office does not require the consent of the Senate [Bundesrat]; with the exception of urgent cases, its instructions has to be given to the highest State [Land] authorities (State Equalization Offices).
(2) The provisions of Article 87 III 2 are not affected hereby.

Article 121 [Definition of “Majority”]
Within the meaning of this Constitution, a majority of the members of the House of Representatives [Bundestag] and a majority of the members of the Federal Convention are the majority of the respective statutory number of their members.

Article 122 [Transfer of Legislative Powers]
(1) From the date of the assembly of the House of Representatives [Bundestag], statutes are enacted exclusively by the legislative bodies recognized in this Constitution.
(2) Legislative bodies as well as those bodies participating in legislation in an advisory capacity, whose competence ends by virtue of Paragraph I, are dissolved with effect from that date.

Article 123 [Validity of Old Law and Treaties]
(1) Law in force before the first assembly of the House of Representatives [Bundestag] remains in force insofar as it does not conflict with this Constitution.
(2) Subject to all rights and objections of the interested parties, the treaties concluded by the German Reich concerning matters which, under this Constitution, are within the legislative competence of the States [Länder], remain in force, provided they are and continue to be valid in accordance with general principles of law, until new treaties are concluded by the agencies competent under this Constitution, or until they are in any other way terminated pursuant to their provisions.

Article 124 [Sphere of Exclusive Legislative Power]
Law affecting matters subject to the exclusive legislative power of the Federation becomes federal law in the area in which it applies.

Article 125 [“Inherited” Federal Law]
Law affecting matters subject to the concurrent legislative power of the Federation becomes federal law in the area in which it applies:
1. insofar as it applies uniformly within one or more zones of occupation;
2. insofar as it is law by which former Reich law has been amended after 8 May 1945.

Article 125a [Old Federal Law as State Law]
(1) Law adopted as federal law which, because of changes in Article 74 I, insertion of Articles 84 I 7, 85 I 2 or 105 IIa 2 or because of the repeal of Articles 74a, 75 or 98 III 2, could no longer be adopted as federal law continues to be federal law. It can be replaced by State [Land] law.
(2) Law adopted on the basis of Article 72 II in the version valid until 15 Nov. 1994, but no longer admissible as federal statute because of the change in Article 72 II, continues to be federal law. Federal statutes can stipulate its replaceability by State [Land] law.
(3) Law adopted as State [Land] law, but no longer adoptable as State [Land] law due to Article 73, continues to be valid as State [Land] law. It may be replaced by federal law.

Article 125b [Framework Legislation, Deviation]
(1) Law adopted on the basis of Article 75 in the form valid until 1st September 2006 and still adoptable as federal law thereafter continues to be valid as federal law. In this respect, the States’ [Länder] powers and responsibilities to legislate continue to exist. Regarding the subjects mentioned in Article 72 III 1, the States [Länder] may adopt divergent rules, however, regarding the subjects of Article 72 III 1 Numbers 2, 5, and 6 only if and insofar as the Federation, after 1st September 2006, has used its legislative power, in the case of Numbers 2 and 5 on 1st January 2010 at the latest, in the case of Number 6 on 1st August 2008 at the latest.
(2) The States [Länder] may adopt rules diverging from federal statutes adopted on the basis of Article 84 I in the form valid until 1st September 2006, however, regarding administrative procedures only until 31st December 2008 and only if the administrative procedures in the respective federal statute have been changed after 1st September 2006.

Article 125c [Law Regarding Joint Tasks]
(1) Law adopted on the basis of Article 91a II in conjunction with Paragraph I Number 1 in the form valid until 1st September 2006 continue to be valid until 31st December 2006.
(2) Rules regarding financial assistance to communes and for rent-controlled apartments adopted on the basis of Article 104a IV in the form valid until 1st September 2006 continue to be valid until 31st December 2006. Special programs regarding financial assistance for traffic in communes based on § 6 I of the Statute About Communal Traffic Financing as well as other rules adopted on the basis of Article 104a IV in the form valid until 1st September 2006 continue to be valid until 31st December 2019, provided no earlier expiration date has been or will be set.

Article 126 [Applicability of Law as Federal Law]
Differences of opinion regarding the applicability of law as federal law are settled by the Federal Constitutional Court.

Article 127 [Bi-zonal Economic Administration]
Within one year of the promulgation of this Constitution the Government may, with the consent of the governments of the States [Länder] concerned, extend to the States [Länder] of Baden, Greater Berlin, Rhineland-Palatinate and Wuerttemberg-Hohenzollern any legislation of the Bi-zonal Economic Administration, insofar as it continues to be in force as federal law under Article 124 or 125.

Article 128 [Continuance of Powers to Give Instructions]
Insofar as law continuing in force provides for powers to give instructions within the meaning of Article 84 V, these powers remain in existence until otherwise provided by statute.

Article 129 [Applicability of Authorizations]
See Authorizations in this Legal European Encyclopedia.

Article 130 [Control Over Existing Institutions]
(1) Administrative agencies and other institutions which serve the public administration or the administration of justice and are not based on State [Land] law or treaties between States [Länder], as well as the Administrative Union of South West German Railroads and the Administrative Council for the Postal Services and Telecommunications of the French Zone of Occupation, are placed under the control of the Government. The Government provides, with the consent of the Senate [Bundesrat], for their transfer, dissolution, or liquidation.
(2) The highest disciplinary superior of the personnel of these administrative bodies and institutions is the appropriate Minister.
(3) Corporate bodies and institutions under public law not directly subordinate to a State [Land] nor based on treaties between States [Länder] are under the supervision of the competent highest federal authority.

Article 131 [Former Public Service Personnel] and Article 132 Public Service Rights]
See Public Personeel in this Legal European Encyclopedia.

Article 133 [Bi-zonal Economic Administration]
The Federation succeeds to the rights and obligations of the Bi-zonal Economic Administration.

Article 134 [Reich Property]
(1) Reich property on principle becomes federal property.
(2) Insofar as such property was originally intended to be used predominantly for administrative tasks which, under this Constitution, are not administrative tasks of the Federation, it is transferred without compensation to the agencies now charged with such tasks, and to the States [Länder] insofar as it is being used at present, and not merely temporarily, for administrative tasks which under this Constitution are now within the administrative competence of the States [Länder]. The Federation may also transfer other property to the States [Länder].
(3) Property which was placed at the disposal of the Reich by States [Länder] or communes or associations of communes without compensation again becomes the property of such States [Länder] or communes or associations of communes, insofar as it is not required by the Federation for its own administrative tasks.
(4) Details are regulated by a federal statute requiring the consent of the Senate [Bundesrat].

Article 135 [Property of Old States]
(1) Where after 8 May 1945 and before the coming into force of this Constitution an area has passed from one State [Land] to another, the State [Land] to which the area now belongs is entitled to the property located therein of the State [Land] to which it belonged.
(2) Property of States [Länder] or corporate bodies or institutions under public law which no longer exist passes, insofar as it was originally intended to be used predominantly for administrative tasks or is being used at present, and not merely temporarily, predominantly for administrative tasks, to the State [Land] or the corporate body or institution under public law which now discharges these tasks.
(3) Real estate of States [Länder] which no longer exist, including accessories, passes to the State [Land] within which it is located, insofar as it is not included among property within the meaning of Paragraph I.
(4) Where an overriding interest of the Federation or the particular interest of an area so requires, a settlement other than in Paragraphs I to III may be effected by federal legislation.
(5) In all other respects, the succession in title and the settlement of the property, insofar as it has not been effected before l January 1952 by agreement between the States [Länder] or corporate bodies or institutions under public law concerned, is regulated by federal legislation requiring the consent of the Senate [Bundesrat].
(6) Interests of the former State of Prussia in enterprises under private law passes to the Federation. A federal statute, which may also diverge from this provision, regulates the details.
(7) Insofar as property which on the coming into force of this Constitution would devolve upon a State [Land] or a corporate body or institution under public law pursuant to Paragraphs I to III has been disposed of through or by virtue of a State [Land] law or in any other manner by the party thus entitled, the transfer of the property is deemed to have taken place before such disposition.

Article 135a [Old Liabilities]
(1) The legislation reserved to the Federation in Article 134 IV and in Article 135 V may also stipulate that the following liabilities are not discharged, or not to their full extent:
1. Liabilities of the Reich or liabilities of the former State of Prussia or liabilities of such corporate bodies and institutions under public law as no longer exist;
2. such liabilities of the Federation or corporate bodies and institutions under public law as are connected with the transfer of properties pursuant to Articles 89, 90, 134 or 135, and such liabilities of these entities as arise from measures taken by the entities mentioned under No. 1;
3. such liabilities of States [Länder] or communes or associations of communes as have arisen from measures taken by these legal entities before 1 August 1945 within the framework of administrative functions incumbent upon or delegated by the Reich to comply with regulations of occupying powers or to put an end to a state of emergency due to the war.
(2) Paragraph I above also applies to liabilities of the German Democratic Republic or its legal entities as well as to liabilities of the Federation or other corporate bodies and institutions under public law which are connected with the transfer of properties of the German Democratic Republic to the Federation, States [Länder] and communes, and to liabilities arising from measures taken by the German Democratic Republic or its legal entities.

Article 136 [First Assembly of Senate]
(1) The Senate [Bundesrat] assembles for the first time on the day of the first assembly of the House of Representatives [Bundestag].
(2) Until the election of the first President, his powers are exercised by the President of the Senate [Bundesrat]. He does not have the right to dissolve the House of Representatives [Bundestag].

Article 137 [Eligibility of Civil Servants]
See the entry about Civil Servants in this Encyclopedia.

Article 138 [Southern German Notaries]
Changes in notarial institutions as presently existing in the States [Länder] of Baden, Bavaria, WuerttembergBaden and WuerttembergHohenzollern require the consent of the governments of these States [Länder].

Article 139 [Denazification Laws]
The legislation enacted for the “Liberation of the German People from National Socialism and Militarism” is not affected by the provisions of this Constitution.

Article 140 [Law of Religious Bodies]
The provisions of Articles 136, 137, 138, 139 and 141 of the German Constitution of 11 August 1919 are integral parts of this Constitution.

Article 141 [“Bremen Clause”]
Article 7 III 1 does not be applied in any State [Land] in which different provisions of State [Land] law were in force on 1 Jan. 1949.

Article 142 [Basic Rights in State Constitutions]
Notwithstanding the provision of Article 31, such provisions of State [Land] constitutions also remain in force as guarantee basic rights in conformity with Articles 1 to 18 of this Constitution.

Article 143 [Limitation of Deviations]
(1) Law in the territory specified in Article 3 of the Unification Treaty may deviate from provisions of this Constitution for a period not extending beyond 31 December 1992 in so far as and as long as no complete adjustment to the order of the Constitution can be achieved as a consequence of the different conditions. Deviations must not violate Article 19 II and must be compatible with the principles set out in Article 79 III.
(2) Deviations from sections II, VIII, VIIIa, IX, X and XI are permissible for a period not extending beyond 31 December 1995.
(3) Notwithstanding Paragraphs I & II above, Article 41 of the Unification Treaty and the rules for its implementation remain valid in so far as they provide for the irreversibility of intrusion on property in the territory specified in Article 3 of the said Treaty.

Article 143a [Railroad Administration]
See Railroad Administration in this Legal European Encyclopedia.

Article 143b [Deutsche Bundespost]
(1) The special property Deutsche Bundespost will be transformed into private law businesses according to a federal statute. The Federation has exclusive legislation over all related matters.
(2) Exclusive rights of the Federation prior to the transformation can be delegated preliminarily to businesses originating in the Deutsche Bundespost Postdienst and Deutsche Bundespost Telekom. The Federation may sell the majority of shares in the business originating in the Deutsche Bundespost Postdienst no earlier than five years after enacting the statute. For this measure, a federal statute with consent of the Senate [Bundesrat] is required.
(3) Federal officers of the Deutsche Bundespost are being employed by the businesses preserving their legal position and the responsibility of their former employer. These businesses exercise the rights of the former employer. Details are regulated by a federal statute.

Article 143c [Compensation for the Abolishment of Joint Tasks and Financial Support] and Article 143d [Consolidation Support]
See Financial and Consolidation Support in this Legal European Encyclopedia.

Article 144 [Ratification of the Constitution]
See Ratification of the Constitution in this Legal European Encyclopedia.

Article 145 [Promulgation of the Constitution]
See Promulgation of the Constitution in this Legal European Encyclopedia.

Article 146 [Validity of the Constitution]
This Constitution, which is valid for the entire German people following the achievement of the unity and freedom of Germany, ceases to be in force on the day on which a constitution adopted by a free decision of the German people comes into force.

Resources

Notes

  1. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, The Philosophy of Law (1832), translated by J. Loewenberg

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