Federal High Court

the Federal High Court (BGH) is the highest tidy court in the Federal Republic of Germany and thus last instance in civilian and criminal procedures.

It is beside Federal Labor Court, Bundesfinanzhof, Bundessozialgericht and Bundesverwaltungsgericht one of the five highest Courts of Justice of the Federation.

Main entrance and new building
palace hereditary Grand Duke of the Friedrich

table of contents

establishment and seat

the Federal High Court 1950 one based. It has its head office in Karlsruhe. The 5. Criminal senate of the BGH has its seat in Leipzig(former seat of the realm court). Originally should pull after the reunification the entire BGH into the historical building of the realm court. However the judges refused leaving from Karlsruhe. As “remuneration” Leipzig received to the 5. Criminal senate, that before as only BGHSenate in Berlin sat. This was at that time the case, in order to be able to hold appeal proceedings in Berlin to have to transport and offenders not by the GDR.

court organization

of the BGH is arranged into senates, with ever one Chairmen Richter and four assessors are occupied. It gives:

for the decisions over determination requests of the Chief Federal Prosecutor in criminal procedure (z. B. House search, seizure, warrant of arrest) are as with everyoneCriminal court special determination judges orders. These judges are members of the criminal senates specified above. Their decisions can in certain cases (§ 304 exp. 5 StPO) by complaint to be contested, on which a criminal senate of the Federal High Court decides (small Devolutiveffekt).

Distribution of business

the distribution of the individual procedures on the different senates is regulated in the distribution of business plan of the court. The principle of the legal judge required that from the front in here is fixed according to abstract-general criteria, which senate in which occupation for a case responsiblyis, before the Federal High Court becomes responsible for a legal matter. In this way interest conflicts are to be far going impossible.

The distribution of business plan of the Federal High Court usually regulates the competence of the senates thereby in civil cases after the right subjects concerned in each case, in criminal actionsafterwards, which issued court the attacked decision. Additionally special competencies are assigned the criminal senates. So for instance that 3. Criminal senate, which is called therefore also state protection senate. The complete distribution of business plan is available on the sides of the Federal High Court to the Download.

At presentexist in the rough one the following competencies:

  • Civil court of appeal
    • I. Civil court of appeal: Copyright, trademark law, mean competition
    • II. Civil court of appeal: Corporate law
    • III. Civil court of appeal: State State of
    • IV. Civil court of appeal: Vomit
    • V. Civil court of appeal: Thing right
    • VI. Civil court of appeal: Quite bad actions
    • VII. Civil court of appeal: Building law
    • VIII. Civil court of appeal: Purchase right and rental law
    • IX. Civil court of appeal: Adhesion of the attorneys and tax counsel, insolvency law
    • X. Civil court of appeal: Patent, utility model, sort patent right, tasks of the BGH as common upper court in civil cases
    • XI. Civil court of appeal: Bank right
    • XII. Civil court of appeal: Family right and rental law
  • of criminal senates

the uniformity of law is to protect tasks the Federal High Court and train the right further by its iurisdiction.

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Order of the judges

the judges at the Federal High Court carry by the tasks stated above a special responsibility. The iurisdiction in the Federal Republic of Germany can be substantially affected by the selection of the judges. Therefore the selection of the judges of one becomes To judge election commitee made, this belong the Ministers of Justice of the countries and 16 further members selected by the Bundestag. The judges are appointed by the Federal President. The Federal High Court delivers a statement by its general committee to an applicant, this statement is however for thatJudge election commitee not binding.


before the Federal High Court can occur in civil cases in principle (apart from patent nullity proceedings) only particularly certified attorneys. The permission cannot be requested however so easily, there the number of the certified lawyers for reasons that“Preservation of the operability of the iurisdiction of the supreme court in civil cases” (quotation from the resolution of the BGH from 4.3.2002 - AnwZ the 1/01) is kept small.

Over the restriction of permission at present a discussion with partially clear words runs. In a lawyer magazine became recentlyfrom several authors position-took for restriction of permission printed, bspw. by an BGH attorney and a not certified attorney - see http://www.raeschke-kessler.de/downloads/roemermannrm1005.pdf and http://www.raeschke-kessler.de/downloads/raeschkekessler0905.pdf

to presidents of the Federal High Court

president of the Federal High Court since the establishment at the 1. October 1950
No. Name (life data) Assumption of office end of the term of office
1 Dr. h. C. Hermann Weinkauff (1894 - 1981) 1. October 1950 31. March 1960
2 Dr. Dr. h. C. Bruno Heusinger (1900 - 1987) 1. April 1960 31. March 1968
3 Dr. Dr. h. C. Robert Fischer (1911 - 1983) 1. April 1968 30. September 1977
4 Professor. Dr. Gerd Pfeiffer (* 1919) 1. October 1977 31. December 1987
5 Professor. Dr. Walter Odersky (* 1931) 1. January 1988 31. July 1996
6 Dr. h. C. Karl man Geiss (* 1935) 1. August 1996 31. May 2000
7 Professor. Dr. Günter deer (* 1943) 15. July 2000

relationship to the European Court of Justice

hasthe Federal High Court right of the European union to use, then he has to submit a still unsettled legal question first to the Court of Justice of the European communities (EuGH).

highest courts in other states

in Austria that corresponds to the German BGH Highest Court of Justice (OGH). By March 1934 to 1941 the Federal High Court was highest Administrative Court and highest constitutional court in Austria. 1941 it was attached the German realm Reich.

In Switzerland the Federal court decides letztinstanzlich.

meaning of the BGH for Austria

The BGH is also for the Austrian jurisprudence of importance: The Austrian commercial law, which knows the 1938 in Austria introduced German HGB as the most important law, orients itself in cases of interpretation preferentially at decisions of the BGH.

see also

Web on the left of

of Federal courts
Federal Constitutional Court
common senate of the highest Courts of Justice of the federation
Federal Labor Court | Federal Finance Court | Federal High Court | Federal Social Court | Federal Administrative Court
federal patents court | Troop service courts
also the reference to right topics consider Chief Federal Prosecutor please!

Coordinates: 49° 0 ' 21,62 " N, 8° 23 ' 47,58 " O


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