Federal Law (Germany)

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As federal law in are Germany those rules of law referred to at the federal level adopted or been adopted. Federal laws that the German Bundestag adopted, in accordance with Article 77 of the Constitution laws in the formal sense , while at the federal level adopted law regulations only laws in the material sense represent.

Material laws are those that have an effect on citizens. Federal laws can therefore be formal and substantive laws at the same time ( penal code ). They are only formal laws if they have no effect on citizens. This is the case with the federal budget, which is passed as a budget law, but has no effect on the citizen. It is only formal federal law. The literature sometimes goes even further with differentiation. Some legal doctrines are of the opinion that ordinances i. S. d. Article 80 of the Basic Law should not be called a (material) law at all.

Federal laws rank above all other German legal norms. In addition to the simple parliamentary laws and the corresponding ordinances, the federal laws also include the European Convention on Human Rights and the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany, which takes precedence over all other federal laws.

Federal laws break state laws ( Art. 31 GG) if they are allowed to coexist. Federal laws that were passed outside the legislative competence of the federal government are unconstitutional.

Federal laws take precedence over federal ordinances that have been issued by the federal government or a federal ministry on the basis of a statutory authorization under Article 80 (2) sentence 2 of the Basic Law, as well as the federal statutes .

Federal laws must meet the constitutional requirements for laws. The federal law must make an abstract, general regulation that is sufficiently specific about the material matter. The federal law must regulate everything essential; As a rule, however, details are to be determined by sub-statutory norms (statutory ordinances or technical regulations, statutes, administrative acts, if applicable ).

Typical formal-material federal laws are the penal code , the civil code or the code of civil procedure .

A typical material federal law is the road traffic regulations issued by the Federal Ministry of Transport .

A typical formal law is the budget ( Article 110.2 of the Basic Law) or the approval of some international treaties ( Article 59.2 sentence 1 of the Basic Law).

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Individual evidence

  1. See Christoph Degenhart , Staatsrecht I , 2005, Rn 126.