Constitutional body

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Constitutional organ (also supreme constitutional organ and, in the case of states at the federal level, supreme federal organ ) a. in German constitutional law designates a state body whose rights and duties are laid down in the state constitution . A distinction must be made between the constitutional body and the person who is active in it ( organ administrator ).

Federal constitutional organs

The permanent supreme state organs of the Federal Republic of Germany

The five permanent constitutional organs at federal level are:

  1. the German Bundestag (Section III of the Basic Law , Articles 38-48)
  2. the Federal Council (Section IV of the Basic Law, Art. 50-53)
  3. the Federal President (Section V of the Basic Law, Art. 54-61)
  4. the federal government (Section VI of the Basic Law, Articles 62-69)
  5. the Federal Constitutional Court (Art. 92-94, 99 f. of the Basic Law)

The so-called non-permanent, i.e. H. non-central constitutional organs of the federal government are:

  1. the Joint Committee (Section IVa of the Basic Law, Art. 53a)
  2. the Federal Assembly (Art. 54 of the Basic Law)

The Federal Chancellor - and the same applies to the individual Federal Ministers (such as those of the Defense , who are given their own rights by Art. 65a GG) - is not itself a supreme federal body , but as head of government it has an outstanding position within the Federal Government, the only one Member he is elected by the Bundestag on the proposal of the Federal President. Originally (without deriving from the federal government as a college), it has in particular the key competencies according to Art. 64 Para. 1 (proposal for the appointment and dismissal of Federal Ministers), Art. 65 Para. 1 (authority to issue guidelines) and Art. 68 (proposal for the dissolution of Bundestag) GG.

In the party-state doctrine by Leibholz also are political parties constitutional bodies, as far as their rights under Art. 21 para. 1 Basic Law rich. The Federal Constitutional Court initially followed this view (cf. BVerfGE 1, 208 [223 ff.], Most recently 12, 267 [280]). Since the decision of BVerfGE 20, 1 (9, 29), however, parties have only been referred to as "having the rank of constitutional institution", but are still treated very similarly to the constitutional bodies in the process before the Federal Constitutional Court. In the jurisprudential literature, the classification as a constitutional organ has in part been heavily criticized.

The constitutional status of the Federal Court of Auditors is controversial, although it can be counted among the highest federal organs because of its mediating function between the Bundestag, Bundesrat and Federal Government - and thus capable of taking part in organ dispute proceedings (Article 114.2 of the Basic Law).

Expressly no organ position i. S. d. Art. 93 para. 1 no. 1 GG owns the territorial people , even if the people are named in the preamble, Art. 20 para. 2, 29 para. 1, 38, 146 GG.

Constitutional organs of the countries

Constitutional organs at state level are

  1. the state parliament ,
  2. the state government and
  3. the state constitutional court .

Privileges and privileges

The constitutional organs have certain privileges and privileges.

  • The constitutional organs and parts of organs in organ dispute process according to Art. 93 , para. 1, no. 1 of the Constitution party to .
  • In the federal budget, they have their own individual plan and are not to be managed from the individual plan of a federal ministry (for the Federal Constitutional Court only enforced by the status memorandum of June 27, 1952).
  • They have statutory autonomy to regulate their own internal affairs; By virtue of this autonomy of the statutes , the constitutional organs have given themselves rules of procedure that represent organizational approaches.
  • They are entitled to house rights in the area of ​​their buildings. For the Bundestag , Article 40.2 of the Basic Law also stipulates that the Bundestag has police power in the Reichstag building . It is exercised by the President of the Bundestag, who has set up his own police at the German Bundestag .
  • The vehicle fleets of the constitutional organs of the federal government are assigned to the vehicle license plate group for federal authorities " BD ".

Relationship between the constitutional organs, loyalty to the constitution

The existence of different constitutional organs and the clear delimitation of their competences is a result of the separation of powers (Art. 20.3 GG). The aim is a system of balanced checks and balances .

The constitutional organs are obliged to act in good faith with one another . This principle of loyalty to the constitution was developed by the Federal Constitutional Court according to the principle of federal-friendly behavior . However, he is not able to establish his own rights and obligations, but only acts as a moderator, i.e. In other words, it merely shapes the content of existing legal relationships in one direction or the other.


  • Klaus Joachim Grigoleit: Federal Constitutional Court and German Question. A dogmatic and historical investigation into the judicial part of the state administration (=  Jus Publicum . Volume 108 ). Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2004, ISBN 3-16-148367-7 , p. 118–167 (§ 5 Meaning and function of the term constitutional organ ).
  • Chr. Burkiczak: The Federal Assembly and the election of the Federal President - Legal foundations and state practice. In: Juristische Schulung 2004, pp. 278–282.
  • Roman Herzog, In: Maunz, Dürig: Basic Law. Comment. 2002, Art. 54, Rn. 29

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Christian Hillgruber, Christoph Goos: Constitutional law . 2. edit again Edition CF Müller, Heidelberg 2006, ISBN 978-3-8114-8004-9 , p. Marg. 337 .
  2. See federal organs on; analogous to earlier the "highest imperial organs".
  3. Constitutional organs on (PDF; 233 kB)
  4. See Klaus Stern , Staatsrecht II , p. 449 ff.
  5. ^ Christian Hillgruber / Christoph Goos, Constitutional Law , 3rd edition 2011, § 4 II 2 Rn. 339 .
  6. BVerfGE 13, 54 - reorganization of Hesse