Constitution of Germany

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HomeBrud.gifLegal System of GermanyBrud.gifConstitution of Germany

German Federal Republic's Constitution of 1949 with Amendments through 2012

From the Constitution

Conscious of their responsibility before God and man, Inspired by the determination to promote world peace as an equal partner in a united Europe, the German people, in the exercise of their constituent power, have adopted this Basic Law. Germans in the Länder of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Hesse, Lower Saxony, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein and Thuringia have achieved the unity and freedom of Germany in free self-determination. This Basic Law thus applies to the entire German people.

I. Basic Rights

  • Article 1: Human dignity - Human rights - Legally binding force of basic right
  • Article 2: Personal freedoms
  • Article 3: Equality before the law
  • Article 4: Freedom of faith and conscience
  • Article 5: Freedom of expression, arts and sciences
  • Article 6: Marriage - Family - Children
  • Article 7: School system
  • Article 8: Freedom of assembly
  • Article 9: Freedom of association
  • Article 10: Privacy of correspondence, posts and telecommunications
  • Article 11: Freedom of movement
  • Article 12: Occupational freedom
  • Article 12A: Compulsory military and alternative civilian service
  • Article 13: Inviolability of the home
  • Article 14: Property - Inheritance - Expropriation
  • Article 15: Socialisation
  • Article 16: Citizenship - Extradition
  • Article 16A: Right of asylum
  • Article 17: Right of petition
  • Article 17A: Restriction of basic rights in specific instances
  • Article 18: Forfeiture of basic rights
  • Article 19: Restriction of basic rights - Legal remedies

II. The Federation and the Länder

  • Article 20: Constitutional principles - Right of resistance
  • Article 20A: Protection of the natural foundations of life and animals
  • Article 21: Political parties
  • Article 22: Federal capital - Federal flag
  • Article 23: European Union - Protection of basic rights - Principle of subsidiarity
  • Article 24: Transfer of sovereign powers - System of collective security
  • Article 25: Primacy of international law
  • Article 26: Securing international peace
  • Article 27: Merchant fleet
  • Article 28: Land constitutions - Autonomy of municipalities
  • Article 29: New delimitation of the federal territory
  • Article 30: Sovereign powers of the Länder
  • Article 31: Supremacy of federal law
  • Article 32: Foreign relations
  • Article 33: Equal citizenship - Public service
  • Article 34: Liability for violation of official duty
  • Article 35: Legal and administrative assistance and assistance during disasters
  • Article 36: Personnel of federal authorities
  • Article 37: Federal execution

III. The Bundestag

  • Article 38: Elections
  • Article 39: Electoral term - Convening
  • Article 40: Presidency - Rules of procedure
  • Article 41: Scrutiny of elections
  • Article 42: Public sittings - Majority decisions
  • Article 43: Right to require presence, right of access and right to be heard
  • Article 44: Committees of inquiry
  • Article 45: Committee on the European Union
  • Article 45A: Committees on Foreign Affairs and Defence
  • Article 45B: Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces
  • Article 45C: Petitions Committee
  • Article 45D: Parliamentary Control Panel
  • Article 46: Immunities of Members
  • Article 47: Right of refusal to give evidence
  • Article 48: Candidature - Protection of membership - Remuneration
  • Article 49: Deleted

IV. The Bundesrat

  • Article 50: Functions
  • Article 51: Composition - Weighted voting
  • Article 52: President - Decisions - Rules of procedure
  • Article 53: Attendance of members of the Federal Government

IVa. The Joint Committee

  • Article 53A: Composition - Rules of procedure

V. The Federal President

  • Article 54: Election - Term of office
  • Article 55: Incompatibilities
  • Article 56: Oath of office
  • Article 57: Substitution
  • Article 58: Countersignature
  • Article 59: Representation of the Federation for the purposes of international law
  • Article 59A: Repealed
  • Article 60: Appointment of civil servants - Pardon - Immunity
  • Article 61: Impeachment before the Federal Constitutional Court

VI. The Federal Government

  • Article 62: Composition
  • Article 63: Election of the Federal Chancellor
  • Article 64: Appointment and dismissal of Federal Ministers - Oath of office
  • Article 65: Power to determine policy guidelines - Department and collegiate responsibility
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  • Article 146: Duration of the Basic Law

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