Federal Constitutional Court

The Federal Constitutional Court (German: Bundesverfassungsgericht [bʊndəsfɛʁˈfasʊŋsɡəˌʁɪçt] (listen); abbreviated: BVerfG) is the supreme constitutional court for the Federal Republic of Germany, established by the constitution or Basic Law (Grundgesetz) of Germany. Since its inception with the beginning of the post-World War II republic, the court has been located in the city of Karlsruhe, which is also the seat of the Federal Court of Justice.[3]

Federal Constitutional Court
JurisdictionFederal Republic of Germany
LocationKarlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Coordinates49.012422°N 8.40161°E / 49.012422; 8.40161
Composition methodElection by Bundestag and Bundesrat
Authorized byBasic Law of Germany
Judge term length12 years (mandatory retirement at 68)
Number of positions16
Annual budget37.17 million (2021)[2]
CurrentlyStephan Harbarth
Since22 June 2020
Vice President
CurrentlyDoris König
Since22 June 2020
Temporary building of the Bundesverfassungsgericht
Library (foreground) and Courtroom (background)

The main task of the Federal Constitutional Court is judicial review, and it may declare legislation unconstitutional, thus rendering them ineffective. In this respect, it is similar to other supreme courts with judicial review powers, yet the court possesses a number of additional powers and is regarded[by whom?] as among the most interventionist and powerful national courts in the world. Unlike other supreme courts, the constitutional court is not an integral stage of the judicial or appeals process (aside from cases concerning constitutional or public international law), and does not serve as a regular appellate court from lower courts or the Federal Supreme Courts on any violation of federal laws.

The court's jurisdiction is focused on constitutional issues and the compliance of all governmental institutions with the constitution. Constitutional amendments or changes passed by the parliament are subject to its judicial review since they have to be compatible with the most basic principles of the Grundgesetz defined by the eternity clause.[note 1]

50th Anniversary of the Bun­des­ver­fas­sungs­ge­richt (last coin in Deutsche Mark denomination)

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