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Constitution of the State of Baden-Württemberg: November 11, 1953 (as Amended to December 1, 2015) (Germany [de])

© 2019 Oxford University Press

From: Oxford Constitutions (http://oxcon.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved. Subscriber: null; date: 24 September 2020

 

Preamble

Conscious of their responsibility before God and mankind, animated by the desire to secure the freedom and dignity of men and women, to serve peace, to order the life of society according to the principles of social justice, to promote the economic progress of all, and determined to form this democratic State as a living member of the Federal Republic of Germany in a united Europe, whose structure complies with federal principles and the principle of subsidiarity, and to participate actively in the creation of a Europe of the regions as well as the promotion of cross-border cooperation, the people of Baden-Württemberg, solemnly subscribing to the inviolable and inalienable human rights and the basic rights of Germans, have given themselves, by virtue of their constitutional power through the Constituent State Assembly, this constitution.

Part I  Men and Women and Their Ordering

I.  Men, Women and the State

Article 1 

1.  Men and women are called to develop their abilities in the society surrounding them in freedom and in the fulfillment of the Christian moral law for the benefit of themselves and others.

2.  The State has the task of helping men and women to achieve this. It brings the persons living in its territory together in an ordered political unit, accords them protection and encouragement and achieves through laws and commands a balance between mutual rights and duties.

Article 2 

1.  The fundamental rights and civic rights that are set out in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany are an integral part of this Constitution and directly effective law.

2.  The people of Baden-Württemberg subscribe moreover to the inalienable human right to the homeland.

Article 2a 

Children and young people have, as autonomous personalities, a right to respect for their dignity, to a non-violent upbringing and to special protection.

Article 2b 

No-one may be disadvantaged because of their handicap.

Article 3 

1.  Sundays and officially recognized holidays are protected by law as days of rest and edification. The officially recognized holidays are established by law, whereby the Christian tradition is to be preserved.

2.  May 1 is an official holiday. It serves the belief in social justice, peace, freedom and understanding between peoples.

Article 3a 

1.  The State also protects, with responsibility for future generations, the natural bases of life within the framework of the constitutional order though legislation and, pursuant to the law, through Executive Power and Judicial Power.

2.  The State furthers equal living conditions, infrastructures and working conditions in the whole State.

Article 3b 

Animals shall be considered and protected as living beings and fellow creatures within the framework of the constitutional order.

Article 3c 

1.  The State, the communes and the associations of communes promote voluntary activity for the common good, cultural life and sport without prejudice to the autonomy of the responsible bodies.

2.  The countryside as well as the artistic, historical and natural monuments enjoy official protection and are under the care of the State and the communes.

II.  Religion and Religious Communities

Article 4 

1.  The Churches and the recognized religious and spiritual communities develop themselves in the fulfillment of their religious tasks free from state interference.

2.  Their importance for the preservation and strengthening of the religious and moral bases of human existence is recognized.

Article 5 

Article 140 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany applies to the relationship between the State and the Churches and the recognized religious and spiritual communities. It is an integral part of this Constitution.

Article 6 

The social welfare work of the Churches and the recognized religious and spiritual communities is guaranteed.

Article 7 

1.  The permanent obligations of the State for continuous services to the Churches remain basically guaranteed.

2.  The nature and extent of these services shall be governed by law or contract.

3.  A final general settlement shall be made by law or contract.

Article 8 

Rights and duties, which arise from contracts with the Protestant and Catholic Churches are not affected by this Constitution.

Article 9 

The Churches are entitled to set up and operate residences and seminaries for the formation of clergy.

Article 10 

Appointments to the chairs of theological faculties are made in consultation with the Church without prejudice to the contracts mentioned in Article 8 and without prejudice to different practice.

III.  Education and Instruction

Article 11 

1.  Every young person has the right to an education and training that is suited to his abilities regardless of origin or economic situation.

2.  The public school system is to be formed according to this principle.

3.  The State, communes and associations of communes have to provide the necessary resources, in particular also educational subsidies.

4.  More detailed provisions are set down by law.

Article 12 

1.  Young people are to be educated in reverence of God, in the spirit of Christian charity, to fraternity with all mankind and to a love of peace, in the love of the homeland and its people, to moral and political responsibility, to occupational and social reliability and to free and democratic convictions.

2.  The persons responsible for this education are, within their own areas, the parents, the State, the religious communities, the communes and the young persons organized in associations.

Article 13 

Young persons are to be protected against exploitation and neglect and against moral, mental, physical and spiritual dangers. The State, the communes and the association of communes create the necessary institutions. Their tasks may also be performed by private social welfare bodies.

Article 14 

1.  There is a general obligation to attend school.

2.  Instruction and educational materials are free of charge in public schools. The gratuitousness shall be introduced in stages. Private secondary and higher schools that work on the basis of the public good and which serve a public need, are recognized as pedagogically valuable and which accord a similar exemption from payment, have a right to compensation of the financial burden which thereby arises. Private composite schools that work on the basis the public good has the same right pursuant to Article 15(2). More detailed provisions are set down by law.

3.  The State has to compensate the communes and the associations of communes for the shortfall and additional costs arising from the loss of school fees and the gratuitousness of educational materials. The educational authorities may have to contribute to the shortfall and additional costs. More detailed provisions are set down by law.

Article 15 

1.  The public composite schools (primary and secondary schools) have the school form of the Christian non-denominational school according to the principles and provisions that applied on December 9, 1951 in Baden for the non-denominational school with a Christian character.

2.  Public composite schools (primary and secondary schools) in South Württemberg-Hohenzollern, which were set up on March 31, 1966 as denominational schools, may be transformed, at the request of the persons in charge of minors' upbringing, into state-supported private composite schools of the same religious creed. More detailed provisions are set down by law, which requires a two-thirds majority.

3.  The natural right of parents to have a say in the education and upbringing of their children must be taken into consideration when organizing the educational and school system.

Article 16 

1.  Children in Christian non-denominational schools shall be educated on the basis of Christian and Western educational and cultural values. Instruction shall be given in common with the exception of religious instruction.

2.  Where possible, the religious and philosophical convictions of the students shall be taken into account in the appointment of teachers at composite schools. Teachers who have no particular affiliation may, however, not be disadvantaged.

3.  If cases of doubt arise in interpreting the Christian character of the composite school, they are to be resolved in joint consultation between the State, the religious communities, the teachers and the parents.

Article 17 

1.  The spirit of tolerance and social ethics prevails in all schools.

2.  The school inspectorate shall be exercised by professionally trained full-time officials.

3.  Examinations by which a publicly recognized right is to be obtained must be deposed at official or officially authorized places.

4.  Parents or legal guardians participate through elected representatives in the organization of the life and work of the school. More detailed provisions are set down by law.

Article 18 

Religious instruction in public schools is a regular subject. It is given and supervised by their representatives in accordance with the principles of the religious communities and without prejudice to the general supervisory right of the State. Participation in religious instruction and on religious school celebrations is left to the wishes of the parents or legal guardians. The giving of the religious instruction is left up to the wishes of the teacher.

Article 19 

1.  The training of teachers for public primary and secondary schools must guarantee that the teachers are qualified to educate and instruct in accordance with the principles set out in Article 15. At State institutions it is given in common with the exception of the subjects mentioned in Section 2.

2.  The professors for theology and religious education are appointed in agreement with the relevant Church leadership.

Article 20 

1.  Research and teaching at university are free.

2.  Universities have, without prejudice to the supervisory role of the State, the right to a self-government that fits with their particular character within the framework of the laws and their officially recognized charters.

3.  They participate in the replenishment of the teaching body by the exercise of their right of proposal.

Article 21 

1.  Young people are to be educated in the schools to become free and responsible citizens and are to be involved in the organization of school life.

2.  Civics is a regular subject in all schools.

Article 22 

Adult education is to be promoted by the State, the communes and the districts (Landkreise).

Part II  The State and Its Organization

I.  The Bases of the State

Article 23 

1.  The State of Baden-Württemberg is a republican, democratic and social state based on the rule of law.

2.  The State is part of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Article 24 

1.  The State colors are black and gold.

2.  The State coat-of-arms shall be set down by statute.

Article 25 

1.  State power emanates from the people. It is exercised by the people in elections and referendums and through particular bodies of the Legislative, Executive and Judicial Powers.

2.  The Legislative Power is bound by the constitutional order in the Federation and the State, while the Executive and Judicial powers are bound by statute and law.

3.  The Legislative Power is vested in the legislative bodies. The Judicial Power is exercised by independent judges. The Executive Power lies with the Government and with self-administration.

Article 26 

1.  Every German is entitled to vote and be elected who lives in the State or is otherwise usually there and who has reached eighteen years of age on the day of the election or referendum.

2.  [Repealed]

3.  The exercise of the right to vote and be elected is a civic duty.

4.  All elections and referendums undertaken by the people in accordance with the Constitution are general, free, equal, direct and secret.

5.  In referendums voting is by yes and no.

6.  The day of the election or the referendum must be a Sunday.

7.  More detailed provisions are set out by law. It may make the right to vote and be elected dependent on a certain length of residence in the State and, if the entitled person has various abodes, on the principal residence being in the State.

8.  Article 72 applies to elections and referendums in communes and districts.

II.  The State Legislature

Article 27 

1.  The State Legislature (Landtag) is the elected representative of the people.

2.  The State Legislature exercises the Legislative Power and oversees the exercise of the Executive Power in accordance with this Constitution.

3.  The deputies are representatives of all the people. They are not bound by orders and instructions and are only subject to their conscience.

Article 28 

1.  The deputies are elected by a procedure that combines the election of an individual candidate with proportional representation.

2.  Any person entitled to vote may stand for election. Eligibility to stand for election may be made dependent on a certain length of time for citizenship and residence in the State.

3.  More detailed provisions are set down by law. It may make the allocation of seats depend on obtaining a minimum share of the votes validly cast in the State. The required share may not exceed five percent.

Article 29 

1.  Whoever seeks a seat in the State Legislature has the right to the leave necessary to prepare his election.

2.  No-one may be prevented from assuming and exercising the office of deputy. A dismissal from work or office for this reason is not permitted.

Article 30 

1.  The term of the State Legislature is five years. It begins with the end of the term of the previous State Legislature or, after a dissolution of the State Legislature, on the day of the new election.

2.  The new election must take place before the end of the term or, in the event of a dissolution of the State Legislature, within sixty days.

3.  The State Legislature meets at the latest on the sixteenth day after the beginning of its term. The first sitting is convened and presided over by the President by right of age.

4.  The State Legislature determines the end and the recall of its sessions. The President may summon the State Legislature earlier. He must do so if a quarter of the members of the State Legislature or the Government so request.

Article 31 

1.  The verification of the result of the election is a matter for the State Legislature. It also decides whether a deputy host lost his seat in the State Legislature.

2.  The decisions may be contested before the Constitutional Court.

3.  More detailed provisions are set down by law.

Article 32 

1.  The State Legislature elects its President and his Deputies, who, together with other members, constitute the Bureau, as well as the clerks. The State Legislature adopts its rules of procedure, which may only be amended by a two-thirds majority of the deputies present.

2.  The President exercises the right to decide who may enter and who must leave as well as the police powers within the building where the sittings take place. No search or seizure may take place in the building where the sittings take place without his consent.

3.  The President administers the financial affairs of the State Legislature in accordance with the law on the budget. He represents the State within the context of the administration of the State Legislature. He is responsible for the appointment and dismissal of employees and workers of the State Legislature and, in agreement with the Bureau, the appointment and dismissal of the officials of the State Legislature. The President is the highest authority for the officials, employees and workers of the State Legislature.

4.  Until the newly-elected State Legislature meets, the previous President continues to conduct business.

Article 33 

1.  The State Legislature operates in public. The public is excluded if the State Legislature, at the request of ten deputies or a member of the Government, so decides by a two-thirds majority of the deputies present. The request is considered behind closed doors.

2.  The State Legislature decides by a majority of the votes cast as long as the Constitution does not provide differently. The rules of procedure may permit exceptions for the elections to be undertaken by the State Legislature. The State Legislature is deemed to have a quorum as long as the President, at the request of one of its members, does not determine that less than one-half the deputies are present.

3.  No-one may be held to account for accurate reports on the public sittings of the State Legislature and its committees.

Article 34 

1.  The State Legislature and its committees may require the presence of any member of the Government.

2.  The members of the Government and their representatives have access to the sittings of the State Legislature and its committees and must be heard at all times. They are subject to the authority of the President and the chairs of the committees. The right of access of the members of the Government and their representatives to the sittings of the committees of enquiry and their right to speak in these sittings shall be governed by a statute.

Article 34a 

1.  The State Government informs the State Legislature at the earliest possible moment of all projects of the European Union that are of significant political importance for the State and affect either the legislative powers of the States or directly touch on essential interests of the State. It gives the State Parliament the opportunity to take a position.

2.  If exclusive legislative powers of the States are to be transferred, wholly or partly, to the European Union, the State Government is bound by positions of the State Parliament. If essentially exclusive legislative powers of the State are directly affected by a proposal of the European Union, the State Government is bound by positions of the State Parliament, unless important grounds touching on the interests of the State require otherwise. Section 2 also applies to decisions of the State Parliament requesting the State Government to work in the Federal Council1 towards having the Federal Council, in the case of a complaint of subsidiarity, or the Federal Government, in order to protect the legislative powers of the States, bring an action before the Court of Justice of the European Union. In addition, the State Government takes into consideration positions of the State Parliament to proposals of the European Union that significantly affect the legislative powers of the States.

3.  The details on the informing and participation of the State Legislature shall be governed by statute.

Article 35 

1.  The State Legislature has the right and, on the application of one-fourth of its members, the duty to set up committees of enquiry. The subject matter of the investigation is to be set down in the decision.

2.  The committees take evidence in public proceedings, which they or the applicants consider necessary. Evidence is to be taken if this is requested by one-fourth of the members of the committee. The public may be excluded.

3.  The courts and the administrative authorities are obliged to give judicial and administrative assistance.

4.  More detailed provisions on the setting up, powers and procedure of the committees of enquiry shall be set down by law. The confidentiality of correspondence, the mail, telegraph and telephone is not affected.

5.  The courts are free in their assessment and judgment of the subject matter that is at the basis of the investigation.

Article 35a 

1.  The State Legislature creates a petitions committee that is responsible for dealing with the requests and complaints addressed to the State Legislature pursuant to Article 2(1) of this Constitution and Article 17 of the national Constitution. Requests and complaints may also be referred to another committee in accordance with the rules of procedure of the State Legislature.

2.  The powers of the petitions committee to examine requests and complaints shall be governed by law.

Article 36 

1.  The State Legislature creates a Standing Committee, which defends the rights of the State Legislature as against the Government from the end of the legislative term or the dissolution of the State Legislature until the meeting of the newly-elected State Legislature. The Committee has during this time also the rights of a committee of enquiry.

2.  More extensive powers, in particular the right to legislate, to elect the Prime Minister (Minsterpräsident) as well as the right to bring charges against deputies and members of the Government, are not granted to this Committee.

Article 37 

A deputy may at no time be prosecuted or officially pursued or be held to account in any other way outside the State Legislature on account of the votes or utterances that he has cast or made in the State Legislature, a committee, a parliamentary party or otherwise in the exercise of his duties.

Article 38 

1.  A deputy may be questioned, taken into custody, detained or arrested for a punishable offense or for other reasons only with the permission of the State Legislature unless he is apprehended in the act of committing a punishable offense or, at the latest, in the course of the following day.

2.  Any criminal proceedings against a deputy and any detention or other restriction of his personal liberty shall be suspended for the duration of the legislative term on the demand of the State Legislature.

Article 39 

Deputies are entitled to refuse to testify about persons who have confided facts to them in their capacity as deputy or to whom they have confided facts in this capacity as well as about the facts themselves. Persons whose collaboration a deputy has called upon in the exercise of his duties, may refuse to testify about observations that they made in connection with this collaboration. To the extent that deputies and their collaborators have this right, the seizure of documents is not permitted.

Article 40 

Deputies have a right to suitable compensation that ensures their independence. They have, within the State, the right to use free of charge all State-owned means of transportation.

Article 41 

1.  Whoever is elected as a deputy, obtains the legal status of deputy on accepting the election. The elected person may refuse the election.

2.  A deputy may resign his office at any time. The resignation is to be declared in writing by himself to the President of the State Legislature. The declaration is irrevocable.

3.  If a deputy loses his eligibility for election, his term of office ends.

Article 42 

1.  If the strong suspicion arises that a deputy has abused his position as such for profit, the State Legislature may request proceedings before the Constitutional Court with the aim of revoking his mandate.

2.  The request for bringing the charge must be made by at least one-third of the members of the State Legislature. The decision to bring the charge requires the presence of at least two-thirds of the members of the State Legislature and a two-thirds majority, which must, however, amount to more than one-half the members of the State Legislature.

Article 43 

1.  The State Legislature may dissolve itself before the end of its term, at the request of one-fourth of its members, by its own decision taken by two-thirds of its members. Three days must elapse between the request and the vote.

2.  The State Legislature is also dissolved if the dissolution is demanded by ten percent of the persons entitled to vote and if the majority of the persons entitled to vote agree to this demand in a referendum that must take place within six weeks.

Article 44 

The provisions of Articles 29(2), 37, 38, 39 and 40 also apply to the members of the Bureau and the Standing Committee as well to their first replacements also for the period after the end of the legislative term or after the dissolution of the State Legislature until the newly-elected State Legislature meets.

III.  The Government

Article 45 

1.  The Government exercises the Executive Power.

2.  The Government consists of the Prime Minister and the Ministers. State Secretaries and honorary State Councilors may be named as further members of the Government. The number of State Secretaries may not exceed one-third of the number of Ministers. State Secretaries and State Councilors may be given a right to vote by a decision of the State Legislature.

3.  The Government decides on the portfolios of its members, without prejudice to the legislative power of the State Legislature. The decision requires the approval of the State Parliament.

4.  The Prime Minister may take over a portfolio himself.

Article 46 

1.  The Prime Minister is elected by the State Legislature by a majority of its members in a secret ballot without debate. Any person who is entitled to be elected as a deputy and has completed his thirty-fifth year may be elected.

2.  The Prime Minister appoints and dismisses the Ministers, State Secretaries and State Councilors. He appoints his deputy.

3.  The Government requires the confirmation of the State Legislature before it may take office. The decision must be made by more than one-half of the votes cast.

4.  The appointment of a member of the Government by the Prime Minister after the confirmation requires the approval of the State Legislature.

Article 47 

If the Government is not formed and confirmed within three months from the meeting of the newly-elected State Legislature or other disposal of the office of Prime Minister, the State Legislature is dissolved.

Article 48 

The members of the Government take the oath before the State Legislature on assuming office. It reads as follows:

“I swear that I shall dedicate my energies to the wellbeing of the people, increase their benefits, save them from harm, preserve and defend the Constitution and the law, carry out my duties conscientiously and exercise justice towards all. So help me God.”

The oath may be taken without the religious exhortation.

Article 49 

1.  The Prime Minister establishes general principles of policy and carries the responsibility for them. He presides over the Government and conducts its business in accordance with the rules of procedure to be adopted by the Government. The rules of procedures are to be published. Within the general principles of policy, every Minister discharges his portfolio individually on his own responsibility.

2.  The Government decides in particular on proposals for laws, the vote of the State in the Federal Upper House, matters for which a statute so provides, differences of opinion that affect the activities of several Ministers and on questions of fundamental or far-reaching importance.

3.  The Government decides by a majority of the voting members present. Every member only has one vote even if he directs several portfolios.

Article 50 

The Prime Minister represents the State externally. The conclusion of international treaties requires the approval of the Government and the State Legislature.

Article 51 

The Prime Minister appoints the judges and officials of the State. This right may be transferred to other authorities by a statute.

Article 52 

1.  The Prime Minister exercises the right of mercy. He may transfer this right to other authorities with the agreement of the Government as long as it does not concern serious crimes.

2.  A general amnesty and a general dropping of pending criminal proceedings may only be decreed by a statute.

Article 53 

1.  A statute governs the conditions of office of the members of the Government, in particular the salary and benefits of the Ministers and State Secretaries.

2.  The full-time members of the Government may not exercise any other paid office, no business and no profession. No member of the Government may belong to the management or supervisory board of an undertaking that is involved in commercial activity. The State Legislature may permit exceptions.

Article 54 

1.  The State Legislature may only withdraw its confidence from the Prime Minister by electing, by a majority of its members, a successor and confirming the Government formed by him in accordance with Article 46(3).

2.  At least three days must elapse between the request for removal from office and the vote.

Article 55 

1.  The Government and each of its members may announce their resignation at any time.

2.  The office of Prime Minister and that of the other members of the Government ends with the meeting of a new State Legislature. The office of a Minister, a State Secretary and a State Councilor also ends with any other disposal of the office of Prime Minister.

3.  In the event of resignation or any other termination of their office, the members of the Government carry on their duties until their successors assume office.

Article 56 

The Prime Minister must dismiss a member of the Government on a decision taken by two-thirds of the members of the State Legislature.

Article 57 

1.  The members of the Government may be indicted before the Constitutional Court on account of a deliberate or grossly negligent breach of the Constitution or another law by a decision of the State Legislature.

2.  The request for the bringing of a charge must be signed by at least one-third of the members of the State Legislature. The decision requires the presence of at least two-thirds of the members of the State Legislature and a two-thirds majority, which, however, must amount to more than one-half of the members of the State Legislature. The Constitutional Court may make an interim order that the accused member of the Government may not exercise his office. The charge is not affected by the resignation of the member of the Government or his revocation or dismissal whether this happens before or after the charge is made.

3.  If the Constitutional Court finds in favor of the accusation, it may revoke the office of the member of the Government; claims to benefits may be disallowed completely or partially.

4.  If an accusation within the meaning of Section 1 is made in public against a member of the Government, he may, with the consent of the Government, apply to the Constitutional Court for a decision.

IV.  The Legislative Power

Article 58 

No-one can be forced to an act, a forbearance or an acquiescence unless this is required or permitted by a law or a provision that is based on a law.

Article 59 

1.  Proposals for laws are introduced by the Government, deputies or the people by way of a popular initiative.

2.  The people may request the State Parliament to deal with matters of political policy-making within the jurisdiction of the State Parliament and also with a detailed proposal for a law that contains reasons. The State Parliament has to deal with the popular request if it is presented by at least 0.5% of the persons entitled to vote. The dissolution of the State Parliament is governed by Article 43.

3.  A popular initiative must be based on a detailed proposal for a law that contains reasons. A proposal for a law that is submitted as a popular request pursuant to Section 2, second clause may also be the subject of a popular initiative where the State Parliament has not agreed to it without changes. A popular initiative may not involve tax laws, salary laws or the State budget law. The popular initiative occurs if it is presented by at least ten percent of the persons entitled to vote. The popular initiative is to be submitted immediately to the State Legislature by the Government with its opinion.

4.  Laws are decided by the State Legislature or by referendum.

5.  More detailed provisions are set down by law.

Article 60 

1.  A proposal for a law that has been introduced by a popular initiative is to be submitted to a referendum if the State Legislature does not agree to the proposal without changes. In this case, the State Legislature may submit to the people its own proposal for a law for their decision.

2.  The Government may submit a law adopted by the State Legislature to a referendum before its promulgation if one-third of the members of the State Legislature so request. The referendum does not take place if the State Legislature adopts the law anew by a two-thirds majority.

3.  If one-third of the members of the State Legislature so request, the Government may submit to a referendum a proposal for a law that it has proposed but which the State Legislature has rejected.

4.  The request pursuant to Section 2 and Section 3 must be made within two weeks after the final vote. The Government has to decide within ten days from the receipt of the request whether it will call the referendum.

5.  A majority of the validly cast votes is decisive in a referendum. The law is adopted if at least twenty percent of the persons entitled to vote agree.

6.  No referendum may be held on taxation laws, salary laws and the State budget law.

Article 61 

1.  The authorization for issuing statutory instruments may only be granted by a law, in which case the contents, purpose and extent of the granted authorization must be determined. The legal basis is to be set out in the instrument.

2.  The Government issues the statutory instruments and administrative provisions that are necessary for the implementation of the laws, to the extent that the laws do not provide otherwise.

Article 62 

1.  If the State Legislature is prevented from meeting immediately because of the threat of danger to the survival or the free democratic constitutional system of the State or to the essential supplies of the population, as well as in the case of an emergency following a natural catastrophe or a particularly serious accident, a committee of the State Legislature exercises the rights of the State Legislature as an emergency parliament. The Constitution may not be amended by a law adopted by this committee. The committee does not have the power to withdraw confidence from the Prime Minister.

2.  As long as there exists a danger for the survival or the free democratic constitutional system of the State, elections and referendums to be carried out by the people do not take place. The decision that elections and referendums shall not take place is made by the State Legislature by a two-thirds majority of its members. If the State Legislature is prevented from meeting immediately, the committee mentioned in Section 1 makes the decision by a two-thirds majority of its members. The postponed elections and referendums are to be carried out within six months after the State Legislature has established that the danger is over. The term of office of the persons and bodies in question is extended until the end of the day of the new election.

3.  The determination that the State Legislature is prevented from meeting immediately is made by the President of the State Legislature.

Article 63 

1.  Laws that have been adopted in accordance with the Constitution are issued by the Prime Minister and promulgated in the Legal Gazette of the State within a month. They are signed by the Prime Minister and at least one-half of the Ministers. If the State Legislature declares them urgent, they must be issued and promulgated immediately.

2.  Statutory instruments are issued by the body that adopts them and, unless the law provides otherwise, are promulgated in the Legal Gazette.

3.  Laws adopted pursuant to Article 62 shall, if a timely promulgation in the Legal Gazette is not possible, be made known in another way. The promulgation in the Legal Gazette must be done later as soon as circumstances permit.

4.  Laws and statutory instruments shall determine the day on which they come into effect. If there is no such provision, they come into effect on the fourteenth day after the day on which they were published in the Legal Gazette.

Article 64 

1.  The Constitution may be amended by statute. A proposed amendment may not be inconsistent with the principles of a republican, democratic and social state based on the rule of law. The decision whether a proposed amendment is admissible is made by the Constitutional Court on an application from the Government or a quarter of the members of the State Legislature.

2.  The Constitution may be amended by the State Legislature if at least two-thirds of its members are present and a two-thirds majority is achieved, as long as this amounts to more than one-half of its members.

3.  The Constitution may be amended by a popular referendum, if more than one-half of the members of the State Legislature so request. Furthermore, it may be amended by a popular referendum pursuant to Article 60(1). The statute amending the Constitution is adopted if a majority of those entitled to vote agree to it.

4.  Laws that infringe provisions of the Constitution may not be adopted without a prior amendment of the Constitution.

V.  The Administration of Justice

Article 65 

1.  The Judicial Power is exercised in the name of the people by the courts that are set up in accordance with the laws of the Federation and the State.

2.  Judges are independent and only subject to the law.

Article 66 

1.  Full-time judges who have been properly and definitively appointed may only be dismissed before the end of their term of office or permanently or occasionally relieved of their duties or assigned to another position or retired against their will by virtue of a judicial decision and only on the grounds and in the manner set out by law. Legislation may set down age limits at which time judges appointed for life must retire. Where the set-up of the courts or their judicial districts change, judges may be transferred to another court or removed from office, but they keep their full salary.

2.  If a judge contravenes the constitutional order in the course of his duties or outside them, the Federal Constitutional Court may, on an application from a majority of the members of the State Legislature, order by a two-thirds majority that the judge is to be moved to another office or retired. In the event of a deliberate contravention, he may be dismissed.

3.  The legal status of judges shall in other matters be governed by a special statute. The law shall determine the oath of office of judges.

Article 67 

1.  If the rights of anyone are infringed by the public authorities, he may have recourse to the courts.

2.  Administrative courts rule on disputes within the meaning of Section 1 as well as on other public law disputes, as long as they do not by law come under the jurisdiction of another court.

3.  [Repealed]

4.  More detailed provisions are set down by law.

Article 68 

1.  A Constitutional Court is set up. It rules:

  1. 1.  on the interpretation of this Constitution on the occasion of disputes over the scope of the rights and duties of a superior State body or other bodies involved that are granted their own jurisdiction by the Constitution or the rules of procedure of the State Legislature or the Government;

  2. 2.  in the case of doubts or differences of opinion on the compatibility of State law with this Constitution;

  3. 3.  on the compatibility of a State law with this Constitution after a court has suspended the procedure under Article 100(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany;

  4. 4.  on other matters that are assigned to it by this Constitution or the law.

2.  The following are entitled to make application:

  1. 1.  in the cases set out in Section 1, number 1, the superior State bodies or the bodies involved within the meaning of Section 1, number 1;

  2. 2.  in the cases set out in Section 1, number 2, a quarter of the members of the State Legislature or the Government.

3.  The Constitutional Court comprises nine members, who are

  • –  three professional judges,

  • –  three members with the capacity to become judges and

  • –  three members who do not meet this requirement.

The members of the Constitutional Court are elected by the State Legislature for a period of nine years. A member from each group is to be newly elected every three years. If a judge withdraws prematurely, a successor is elected for the remainder of his term of office. One of the professional judges is to be appointed as President. The members may not belong to the Lower or Upper House of the Federal Parliament2 the Federal Government or the corresponding State bodies.

4.  More detailed provisions are set down by law, in particular the constitution and procedure of the Constitutional Court. It determines in which cases the decisions have the force of law.

VI.  The Administration

Article 69 

The administration is carried out by the Government, the authorities under its authority and by the bodies exercising self-administration.

Article 70 

1.  The organization, physical arrangement and powers of the State administration are governed by law. Tasks that can be carried out reliably and efficiently by subordinate administrative authorities are to be assigned to them.

2.  The details of the organization of the authorities is incumbent upon the Government and, on the basis of the authorization granted by it, the Ministers.

Article 71 

1.  The State guarantees to the communes and the associations of communes as well as the administrative unions3 the right of self-administration. They administer their affairs within the framework of the laws on their own responsibility. The same applies to other public bodies and institutions within the limits set by law.

2.  The communes are the bodies responsible for public tasks in their territory to the extent that certain tasks have not been transferred to other bodies in the public interest. The associations of communes have the same position within their area of jurisdiction.

3.  The performance of certain public existing or new tasks may be transferred to the communes or associations of communes by law. Provision is to be made at the same time for covering the costs. If these tasks, later changes in their size or in the costs of their performance made by the State or later changes in the costs of the performance of transferred compulsory tasks that are not made by the State but which result from instructions lead to a greater burden for the communes or associations of communes, corresponding financial compensation must be provided. The second and third clauses apply mutatis mutandis where the State changes voluntary duties of the communes or associations of communes into compulsory duties or establishes special requirements for the fulfillment of existing non-transferred tasks. More detailed provisions on the consultation of the joint bodies mentioned in Section 4 for the purpose of assessing the consequences for costs may be set out in a law or an agreement between the State Government and these joint bodies.

4.  Before general questions that affect the communes and associations of communes are resolved by a statute or regulation, they or their joint bodies are to be heard in good time.

Article 72 

1.  The people must be represented in the communes and districts by general, direct, free, equal and secret elections. In elections in districts and communes, persons who possess the citizenship of a Member State of the European Community, are entitled to vote and stand for election in accordance with the law of the European Community. They are also entitled to vote in referendums.

2.  If more than one valid nomination paper is deposed in a commune, the election must take place with due regard for the principles of proportional representation. The charters of communes may secure for small places a representation in the communal council. In small communes, a communal meeting may take the place of an elected representative body.

3.  More detailed provisions are set down by law.

Article 73 

1.  The State ensures that the communes and associations of communes are able to carry out their tasks.

2.  The communes and the districts have the right to raise their own taxes and other duties in accordance with the law.

3.  The communes and the associations of communes are given a share of the State's tax revenues while taking account of the tasks of the State. More detailed provisions are set down by law.

Article 74 

1.  The territory of communes and associations of communes may be changed for reasons of the public good.

2.  The territory of a commune may, by agreement between the communes concerned and with the authorization of the State, be changed by a law or on the basis of a law. The dissolution of communes against their will requires a statute. Before a change to the territory of a commune is made, the population of the directly affected territories must be heard.

3.  The territory of associations of communes may be changed by a law or on the basis of a law. The dissolution of districts requires a law.

4.  More detailed provisions are set down by law.

Article 75 

1.  The State monitors the legality of the administration of the communes and associations of communes. A law may lay down that the assumption of credit liabilities and guarantees as well as the alienation of assets shall be made dependent on the approval of the State authority responsible for the monitoring, and that this approval may be given or withheld from the perspective of an orderly economic management.

2.  In the case of tasks transferred from the State, the State may reserve to itself the right to give instructions according to more detailed provisions set down by law.

Article 76 

Communes and associations of communes may have recourse to the Constitutional Court where they allege that a law infringes the provisions of Articles 71 to 75.

Article 77 

1.  As a rule, the exercise of sovereign powers is to be transferred as a permanent task to members of the public service who are in a public law relationship of service or loyalty.

2.  All members of the public service are trustees and servants of the whole people.

Article 78 

Every official takes the following oath:

“I swear that I shall carry out my duties to the best of my knowledge and abilities, respect and defend the Constitution and the law and dispense justice towards all. So help me God.”

The oath may be taken without the religious exhortation.

VII.  Financial Matters

Article 79 

1.  All revenues and expenditures of the State are to be included in the budget; in the case of State businesses and special assets only the supplies or deliveries need to be recorded. The budget shall show a balance between revenues and expenditures.

2.  The budget is established for one financial year or several financial years, divided into years, by the budget law. It is established before the beginning of the financial year and, in the case of several financial years, before the beginning of the first financial year.

3.  The budget law shall contain only those provisions that relate to the revenues and expenditures of the State and the time period for which the budget is established. The budget law may prescribe that the provisions only cease to have effect once the next budget law is promulgated or, in the case of authorizations pursuant to Article 84, at a later period in time.

4.  Assets and debts are to be shown in an annex to the budget.

Article 80 

1.  If by the end of the financial year, neither the budget for the following financial year nor an emergency budget law has been adopted, the Government may, until the matter is legally settled, undertake the expenditures that are necessary to:

  1. 1.  support legally existing institutions and to carry out measures that have been legally taken;

  2. 2.  to fulfill the legally founded obligations of the State;

  3. 3.  to continue construction, procurements and other obligations or to guarantee the continuation of the funds for such purposes, in so far as monies have already been approved in the budget of a previous year.

2.  In so far the revenues provided for in a special statute from taxes, charges and other sources or the industrial reserves do not cover the expenses mentioned in Section 1, the Government may obtain the necessary credit for an orderly budgetary management. It may not exceed one-fourth of the final amount of the last budget plan.

Article 81 

Expenses over and above the budget plan require the approval of the Finance Minister. It may only be given in the case of an unforeseen and absolutely necessary need. The authorization of the State Legislature is to be obtained subsequently.

Article 82 

1.  Decision of the State Legislature, which increase the expenditures set down in the budget or entail new expenditures require the approval of the Government. The same applies to decisions of the State Legislature that entail a reduction in revenues. Coverage must be assured.

2.  The Government may require that the State Legislature suspends the taking of a decision pursuant to Section 1. In this case the Government has to submit to the State Legislature its position within six weeks.

Article 83 

1.  The Finance Minister has to account to the State Legislature every year for all revenues and expenditures as well as the assets and debts of the State for the discharge of the Government.

2.  The account as well as the whole budgetary and financial management shall be audited by the Court of Accounts. Its members enjoy the same independence as judges. The appointment of the President and Vice-President of the Court of Accounts requires the approval of the State Legislature. The Court of Accounts reports annually directly to the State Legislature and informs the Government at the same time. For the rest, the status and tasks of the Court of Accounts shall be governed by law.

Article 84 

Borrowing as well as the assumption of sureties, guarantees or other warranties require authorization by way of a statute. The revenues from borrowing may not exceed the sum of the expenses listed in the budget for investments; exceptions are only permitted to prevent a disturbance in the overall economic balance. More detailed provisions shall be set down by law.

Final Provisions

Article 85 

The Universities and colleges with the right to give doctorates continue to exist as they are.

Article 86 

[Repealed]

Article 87 

Social welfare provided by independent welfare associations is guaranteed.

Article 88 

State law within the meaning of Articles 68(1), items 2 and 3 and 76 is the also the law in force between the entry into force of this Constitution.

Article 89 

In the first election of the members of the Constitutional Court to be appointed pursuant to Article 68(3), one member each of the three groups mentioned shall be elected for a term of six years and a further member for a term of three years.

Article 90 

The organization of the police remains as it is until a new legal settlement.

Article 91 

Officials from the former States4 shall be employed in the Ministries and other higher State authorities in appropriate proportions.

Article 92 

Majorities or minorities of the members “of the State” shall be calculated within the meaning of this Constitution by the legal number of the members of the State Legislature.

Article 93 

1.  The deputies who were elected by the Constituent State Assembly pursuant to §13 of the Second Statute on the Restructuring of the States of Baden, Württemberg and Hohenzollern of May 4, 1951 (BGBl. I S 283ff) form the first State Legislature after the entry into force of this Constitution.

2.  The term of this State Legislature ends on March 31, 1956.

Article 93a 

In derogation from Article 30(1), clause 1, the term of the 14th State Legislature that began on June 1, 2006 ends on April 30, 2011, unless the State Legislature is dissolved beforehand. For the rest, Article 30(1) is unaffected.

Article 94 

1.  The Constitution drawn up by the Constituent State Assembly is to be issued by its President and promulgated by the interim Government in the Legal Gazette of the State.

2.  The Constitution enters into effect on the day of its promulgation. At the same time the constitutions of the States of Baden, Württemberg-Baden and Württemberg-Hohenzollern cease to have effect.

3.  Other law of the former State remains effective in its area of application in so far as it is not incompatible with this Constitution. Where in laws or regulations bodies of the former States are named, the corresponding bodies of the State of Baden-Württemberg replace them.

Footnotes:

This is the Bundesrat, which is the Upper House of the Federal German Parliament. It is made up of delegates from the various States, who thereby have a direct role in the federal governance.

Bundestag and Bundesrat, respectively.

The German term Zweckverband refers to an association of local councils cooperating to fulfill a particular function.

These were the States of Baden, Württemberg and Hohenzollern.