Federal Constitutional Court of Germany

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Group.png Federal Constitutional Court of Germany  
BVerfG Logo.png
HeadquartersKarlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
The supreme constitutional court for Germany

The Federal Constitutional Court (German: Bundesverfassungsgericht) is the supreme constitutional court for the Federal Republic of Germany, established by the constitution (Grundgesetz) of Germany. Since its inception with the beginning of the post-World War II republic, the court has been located in the city of Karlsruhe, which is also the seat of the Federal Court of Justice.[1]

The main task of the Federal Constitutional Court is judicial review, and it may declare legislation unconstitutional, thus rendering them ineffective. In this respect, it is similar to other supreme courts with judicial review powers, yet the court possesses a number of additional powers and is regarded as among the most interventionist and powerful national courts in the world. Unlike other supreme courts, the constitutional court is not an integral stage of the judicial or appeals process (aside from cases concerning constitutional or public international law), and does not serve as a regular appellate court from lower courts or the Federal Supreme Courts on any violation of federal laws. another review.


Historically, the court is known for banning political parties that were thought to be contrary to the German constitution by being anti-democratic. Most notorious is the banning of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) in 1956.

In an event held on May 22 2022 in the court and hosted by Chief Judge Stephan Harbarth, the panelists voiced the following opinions, which they broadly agreed upon[2]:

  • Harbarth said he only wants to talk with those who accept his "reality".
  • Plans for more censorship
  • Admission that "censorship" is currently practiced in Germany
  • Multiple insults to dissidents with terms such as "climate denial media" and "science denial"
  • Criticism of elections. Can only be held without freedom of expression, otherwise "danger that it will tip over"
  • Opinions must be "banned" by means such as data protection
  • there are better methods "than deleting individual posts"
  • Critics of abuse of office should be prosecuted
  • Claims that people in government "want to harm others" or "belong to a global conspiracy" should be prosecuted
  • Only a certain part of the citizens are "normal people"

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  1. Donald P. Kommers & Russell A. Miller, The Constitutional Jurisprudence of the Federal Republic of Germany (3d ed.: Duke University Press, 2012), p. 40.
  2. https://youtu.be/lft6RbzcQ3c video no longer available on YouTube as of May 2023