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Report No. 95

5.13. Judges.-

The Judges of the Federal Constitutional Court of West Germany must be at least 40 years of age, be eligible for election to the Bundestag and possess the general qualifications for the judiciary. Half of the members are elected by the Bundestag and half by the Bundesrat. The Bundesrat undertakes the election in the plenary session by a two-third majority. The Bundestag first sets up a constituent Committee composed of twelve deputies on the lines of proportional representation.

This committee then elects the judges, a two-thirds majority also being needed. The election of the judges by political organs is regarded as justified because the Federal Constitutional Court is not only a court of justice but also a constitutional organ, and because its jurisdiction extends into the political area. The requirement of a qualified majority in the election of judges ensures that no specific political majority brings a one-sided influence to bear on the composition of the Federal Constitutional Court.1

1. Wolfgang Heyde Administration of Justice in Federal Republic of Germany, (1971), p. 89.

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