State law

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Under state law is in Germany and Austria right of a member state ( country , state ) as opposed to the total from the State ( Bund ) of this federal law understood. When it comes to a certain regulatory area, for example university law , state law also refers to the entirety of the relevant state law of all states, as distinct from federal law. The coexistence of federal law and state law is an expression of the principle of federalism .


In Germany , the federal government has the legislative competence for most important legal areas. In these areas, federal law according to Article 31 of the Basic Law (GG) always took precedence over state law until 2006 . This principle was softened by the federalism reform in some areas of law ( Article 72, Paragraph 3, Basic Law).

Differences between countries

State constitutional law

The state constitutions of the individual federal states differ considerably. While in a Christian federal state such as North Rhine-Westphalia, “awakening awe of God [...]” is anchored in the state constitution as the “primary goal of education”, Bremen has provided for a basic right to work.

Schleswig-Holstein was the only German federal state that did not have a state constitutional court until 2007 . Instead, Art. 44 of the Land Constitution of Schleswig-Holstein in conjunction with Art. 99 of the Basic Law assigned the Federal Constitutional Court the position of constitutional court for the Land of Schleswig-Holstein, although no Land constitutional complaint was made possible. Art. 44 new version in Schleswig-Holstein now allows municipal but not individual constitutional complaints.

Administrative structure

State administrative law

In terms of the administrative organization , a distinction can be made between countries with a two-tier administrative structure and those with a three-tier structure ( see also the state authority ).

Federal states with a two-tier administrative structure are Brandenburg, Bremen, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony (since January 1, 2005), Rhineland-Palatinate (since January 1, 2000), Saarland, Saxony-Anhalt (since January 1, 2004), Schleswig-Holstein and Thuringia. In Saxony-Anhalt, Berlin and Thuringia there is also a state administrative office with state- wide responsibility .

The administrative structure in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia and Saxony has three levels. These countries have set up administrative districts as intermediate authorities.

When comparing the administrative procedures , it should be noted that the structure of the general administrative procedure of the state of Schleswig-Holstein in the state administration law (LVwG) differs significantly from the administrative procedure laws (VwVfG) of the federal government and the other states. This is due to historical reasons: the LVwG was enacted in 1967, the Federal VwVfG only in 1976. The VwVfG of the other federal states have either adopted the Federal VwVfG - Baden-Württemberg (LVwVfG), Bavaria (BayVwVfG), Brandenburg (VwVfGBbg), Bremen ( BremVwVfG), Hamburg (HmbVwVfG), Hesse (HVwVfG), Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (VwVfG MV), North Rhine-Westphalia (VwVfG NRW), Saarland (SVwVfG), Saxony-Anhalt (VwVfG LSA) and Thuringia (ThürVwVfG) - or refer to them (Berlin, Lower Saxony (NVwVfG), Rhineland-Palatinate (LVwVfG), Saxony (SächsVwVfG)). There are only deviations in the respective area of ​​application, the final provisions, possible exceptions or in the wording.

Collections of laws

There is a collection of laws for each state law. In each case, the established standard work is specified, which is (alone) approved as an aid in the first state examination in law :

Dürig: Laws of the State of Baden-Württemberg , loose-leaf collection
Ziegler / Tremel: Laws of the Free State of Bavaria , loose-leaf collection.
Nikolaus Trojahn: The laws on the Berlin administration
von Brünneck / Härtel / Dombert: Brandenburg state law
Schefold / Ernst / Stauch: State law Bremen , collection of texts
Ulrich Ramsauer: Hamburg Laws , loose-leaf collection
Fuhr / Pfeil: Hessian constitutional and administrative laws, loose-leaf collection
North Rhine-Westphalia
von Hippel / Rehborn: Laws of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia , loose-leaf collection
Bernd Hoefer: Laws of the State of Schleswig-Holstein , 6th edition, 2016

Web links


In Austria , the federal government has the legislative competence for most important matters. The Federal Constitutional Act (B-VG), however, provides a general clause in favor of the federal states in Art. 15 (1) B-VG . They are assigned all matters that are not expressly assigned to the federal government by the federal constitution . This applies to both legislation and enforcement.

State laws are passed by the state parliament . The state constitution of the respective federal state determines the legislative path . For the state constitutions, Art. 99 (1) B-VG provides for relative constitutional autonomy, that is, the states are free in their constitutional legislation, as long as the state constitutional laws do not violate applicable federal constitutional law.

Administrative organization

In principle, the regulation of the administrative procedure is viewed as an annex matter , i.e. the legislature authorized to legislate on the basic matter is also competent to issue the corresponding procedural regulations. However, the federal government has made use of its competence in Article 11 (2) B-VG to regulate the administrative procedure uniformly. The EGVG, AVG, VStG and VVG are based on this. The federal states may deviate from these principles if and to the extent that this is necessary to regulate the matter. The Constitutional Court sees the criterion of necessity narrowly and interprets it as "essential". In addition to the simple legal regulations, there are also some provisions in the B-VG itself, which take precedence as a superordinate law.

The train of instances extends in principle - that is, unless the relevant legislature determines otherwise - from the district administrative authority ( district captain or mayor in statutory cities ) as the first instance to the state government as the second instance. Another instance is the administrative court.

Individual evidence

  1. Only two bound short editions are permitted in the state examination.
  2. VfSlg. 15.351 / 1998.