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Report No. 95

5.10. Jurisdiction in West Germany.-

The (West) German Constitution has the following provision that defines the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court of the Federal Republic of Germany1 as under:-

"93. (1) The Federal Constitutional Court (of West Germany) shall decide:

1. On the interpretation of this Basic Law in the event of disputes concerning the extent of the rights and duties of a highest federal organ or of other parties concerned who have been endowed with rights of their own by this Basic Law or by rules of procedure of a highest federal organ;

2. In case of differences of opinion or doubts on the formal and material compatibility of federal law or land law with this Basic Law, or on the compatibility of Land law with other federal law, at the request of the Federal 'Government, of a Land Government, or of one-third of the Bundestag members;

3. In case of differences of opinion on the rights and duties of the Federation and the Laender, particularly in the execution of federal law by the Laender and in the exercise of federal supervision;

4. On other disputes involving public law, between the Federation and the Laender, between different Laender or within a Land, unless recourse to another court exists;

4a. On complaints of unconstitutionality, which may be entered by any person who claims that one of his basic rights or one of the rights under paragraph (4) of Article 20, under Articles 23, 38, 101, 103 or 104 has been violated by public authority;

4b. On complaints of unconstitutionality, entered by communes or associations of communes on the ground that their right to self-government under Article 28 has been violated by a law other than a Land Law open to complaint to the respective Land Constitutional Court;

5. In the other cases provided for in the Basic Law.

(2) The Federal Constitutional Court shall also act in such cases as are otherwise assigned to it by federal legislation."

Of particular interest is this provision in Article 93, paragraph 4 (supra) of the West German Constitution, entrusting the Constitutional Court with adjudication of disputes involving public law between the Federation and the Units, between the Units or within a Unit. This would obviously cover points of administrative law also. [Other disputes where they involve points of administrative law go to the Federal Administrative Court].

1. Article 93, Constitution of (West) Germany.

Constitution Division within the Supreme Court Back

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