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  • Article 20 of the German Constitution is the most Important Structural Principle within the Constitution


    Research Papers3 Law

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ID number:441392
Published: 11.03.2006.
Language: English
Level: College/University
Literature: 6 units
References: Used

Article 20 of the German Constitution
(1) The Federal Republic of Germany is a democratic and social federal state.
(2) All state authority is derived from the people. It shall be exercised by the people through elections and other votes and through specific legislative, executive, and judicial bodies.
(3) The legislature shall be bound by the constitutional order, the executive and the judiciary by law and justice.
(4) All Germans shall have the right to resist any person seeking to abolish this constitutional order, if no other remedy is available.

Article 20 of the Constitution is one of the most often cited articles, as it contain very basic ideas of German federal Republic. Most of them are not precisely and explicitly explained even within the Constitution, so it usually the duty of the Constitutional Court to solve and explain uncertainties.

Concerning the principle of ratio legis, from Latin its meaning is - Ratio legis est anima legis - the reason of the law is the soul of the law. It means that interpretation of the law is done according to according to the whole spirit of the law.

The first part of the Constitution provides 3 very important principles – democracy, which is referred to in the second part, as well federalism and social responsibilities of the state.

Concerning federalism, Germany is divided into 16 federal states, and articles 70 – 82 describe extent to which they have concurrent legislative power.

Social state means the following provisions:
important element of it is provision of help to those requiring it, when someone is hindered in his personal or social development. Help must be enough to provide dignified existence of the person.1
Provision of equal chances, it includes rights for education, creation of jobs and care that enough living space is provided for everyone.2
Addressees of the social state principle are only physical persons.

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