Council of Justice

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Justizrat (abbr. JR ) is a non-academic title that is awarded as an honorary title to lawyers and notaries in the federal states of Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate . In Baden-Württemberg , until the notarial reform, which came into force on January 1, 2018, the judicial council (BesGr.R 1) and senior judicial council (BesGr.R 1 with allowance) were designated as official titles by the state salary regulations for Baden's official notaries in the Baden legal area. The title should not be confused with the official title of Judicial Councilor for civil servants in the administration of justice.


In earlier times the Judicial Council was an honorary title for lawyers in several German states as well as the title of a councilor at the higher judicial authorities and at the higher courts. The title of Privy Councilor of Justice meant a higher distinction .

In Prussia , the Privy Councilor of Justice also meant a department of the Chamber Court in Berlin , before which the members of the royal house and the Hohenzollern family had their personal jurisdiction . The lecturing councils of the Prussian Ministry of Justice carried the title of Secret Higher Justice Council , the directors the title of Real Secret Higher Justice Council .

Today's awarding practice in Germany

Today the honorary title of Justice Council is only awarded in the federal states of Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate .


In Saarland, the award of honorary titles is regulated in the Ordinance on Titles of January 30, 1934 in the version of November 17, 2015.

It says that the title can be awarded to lawyers and notaries as a "symbol of recognition for special services to the Saarland and its citizens, for outstanding achievements or for any other special occasion". The award certificate is handed out by the Prime Minister , the President of the State Parliament or the Minister of Justice. In addition, the award will be announced in the Saarland Official Gazette . The award of the title should be used sparingly.


In Rhineland-Palatinate, the title of Justizrat is awarded to lawyers and notaries every two years by the Prime Minister. The selection of persons is based on suggestions from professional organizations, chambers and municipalities. Despite Article 18 (2) of the state constitution, which forbids titles that do not denote an office or profession, the award of the title is now considered constitutional in the literature, as it denotes a profession (that of a lawyer).

Criticism of the honorary title

In the past, parts of the legal profession have criticized the honorary title of the Judicial Council. The main reason for this was the assumption that the title would give the owners an unjustified competitive advantage. Reinhard Singer dealt with this in an essay and came to the conclusion that the awarding of the title was legally unobjectionable. Also because there is no risk of confusion with job titles for senior civil servants such as judicial councilor or district court councilor .

Individual evidence

  1. Ministry of Justice and for Europe Baden-Württemberg: Questions about the notarial reform at:, accessed on November 12, 2018
  2. ^ Meyer's Large Conversational Lexicon . Sixth, completely revised and enlarged edition. Tenth volume. Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig / Vienna 1908, p. 398, keyword "Justizrat"
  3. Judicial Council, Secret Justice Council, Secret Higher Justice Council, Real Secret Higher Justice Council On:, Meyers Konversationslexikon, author collective, Verlag des Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig and Vienna, fourth edition, 1885-1892, page 340, accessed on November 13, 2018
  4. Title ordinance of the Saarland on:, accessed on November 12, 2018
  5. Honorary title in Rhineland-Palatinate - Balm for the soul On:, accessed on November 12, 2018
  6. a b Reinhard Singer: Legal advertising with the title Justizrat / Justizratsin? (PDF) In: BRAK MITTEILUNGEN, Zeitschrift für Anwaltliches Berufsrecht, Bundesrechtsanwaltskammer, 06/2017, accessed on November 12, 2018
  7. ^ C. Grimm, P. Caesar: Constitution for Rhineland-Palatinate . Nomos Verlag , 2001, ISBN 978-3-7890-7071-6 , Art. 18 marginal number 13
  8. Hummerich in: L. Brocker (Ed.), M. Dröge (Ed.), S. Jutzi (Ed.): Constitution for Rhineland-Palatinate . Nomos Verlag , 2014, ISBN 978-3-8487-0266-4 , Art. 18 marginal number 9