Paul Kirchhof

  • Tasks and protection of the Federal Constitutional Court
  • Lecture

What has happened in the USA, Poland or Israel could also be considered in Germany. With a simple majority in the Bundestag, the highest court could be exploited for party political purposes, as the Basic Law does not regulate the organization of the Federal Constitutional Court. The number of senates and judges, the term of office or the required electoral majority are not specified by the constitution, which is, however, essential for the independence of the constitutional court.

In Germany, our strong constitutional court has earned enormous trust over decades thanks to its balance and independence. It would therefore be advisable to protect it from all conceivable dangers. But does the BVG stand on feet of clay?
As the USA shows, supposed protective measures can also be turned into their opposite.

Prof. Dr. Paul Kirchhof was a judge at the Federal Constitutional Court for over twelve years. He has taught public law at the University of Heidelberg since 1981, was previously Director of the Institute for Financial and Tax Law there and has played a decisive role in shaping the public debate on Germany’s tax and financial policy for decades.

In the series Potholes

Foto: F. Hentschel

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