Section VII: Administration of Justice

Article 78

The administration of justice shall be carried out in the spirit of this Constitution and of social understanding.

Article 79

(1) Judicial power shall be exercised in the name of the people by independent courts subject only to the law.

(2) Men and women shall be given a share in the administration of justice regardless of their social background and in accordance with the legal provisions.

Article 80

Judges shall be bound by the law.

Article 81

The right of pardon shall be exercised by the Senate. In cases to be determined by law it shall hear the Pardons Committee to be elected by the House of Representatives. The Senate may delegate its authority to the competent member of the Senate.

Article 82

(1) Professional judges shall be appointed by the Senate if their personality and prior work in the administration of justice can be taken as a guarantee that they will exercise their office in the spirit of the Constitution and of social justice. The elected highest judges shall have a right of proposal for their sphere of office.

(2) The Presidents of the Higher Regional Courts shall be elected by the House of Representatives upon the proposal of the Senate, with a majority of its members, and appointed by the Senate.

(3) Jurisdictions and procedures deviating from those described under para 1 and 2 can be determined by State Treaty in the case of courts shared by the federal state of Berlin and other federal states.

Article 83


Article 84

(1) A Constitutional Court shall be formed consisting of nine members (one President, one Vice President and seven Constitutional Court judges) three of whom must be professional judges at the time of their election, and three others of whom must be qualified to hold the office of judge. The members of the Constitutional Court shall be elected by a two-thirds majority of the House of Representatives.

(2) The Constitutional Court shall rule

1. on the interpretation of the Constitution of Berlin in disputes concerning the scope of the rights and obligations of a supreme Land body or of other parties concerned which have been vested with rights of their own by the Constitution of Berlin or by the Rules of Procedure of the House of Representatives, 2. in case of divergent opinions, or of doubt concerning the formal or material compatibility of Land legislation with the Constitution of Berlin, at the request of the Senate, or of one quarter of the members of the House of Representatives, 3. at the request of a borough in case of divergent opinions or of doubt as to the compatibility of the delimitation of the spheres of competence regulated by law between the central administrative apparatus and the boroughs with the Constitution of Berlin, 4. in cases delegated to the jurisdiction of the Land Constitutional Courts in accordance with Article 100 para 1 of the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany, on complaints of unconstitutionality where no such complaint has been or is to be lodged with the Federal Constitutional Court, 5. on other cases conferred on it by law.

(3) Details shall be the subject of an Act on the Constitutional Court (Gesetz über den Verfassungsgerichtshof).