Article 58 of the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany

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Article 58 of the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany regulates the countersignature of the Federal President's acts by members of the Federal Government .


Art. 58 GG reads:

Orders and rulings by the Federal President must be countersigned by the Federal Chancellor or the responsible Federal Minister in order to be valid. This does not apply to the appointment and dismissal of the Federal Chancellor, the dissolution of the Bundestag under Article 63 and the request under Article 69 paragraph 3.


The regulation ties in with the traditions of the constitutional monarchy . According to this, acts of the personally irresponsible head of state (emperor, king) generally required the countersignature of a minister , who thereby assumed legal responsibility.

However, the Federal President is now legally responsible for all his acts. He does not enjoy indemnity , only immunity . In accordance with Article 61 of the Basic Law, he can also be subjected to a presidential charge.

The exceptions mentioned in Art. 58 sentence 2 GG relate to cases in which the office of Federal Chancellor is vacant or acts that directly concern the Federal Chancellor are issued.

According to the prevailing opinion, the obligation to countersign all legal acts (appointments, dismissals, etc.) by the Federal President, but not real acts (speeches, notifications, etc.).

The execution of laws, on the other hand, does not fall under the order concept of Art. 58 sentence 1 GG. This results from the special provision of Art. 82.1 sentence 1 GG.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Roman Herzog : Basic Law Commentary . 79th expansion edition. 2016, GG Art. 58, Paragraph 23.