The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany is the Basic Law (Grundgesetz), and each of the Länder also has its own Land Constitution. Constitutional law occupies an important position in all spheres of life and law. The German Constitutions all contain:

1. guarantees of basic rights (e.g. Basic Law, Articles 1-19);

2. general regulations on the form of government and functions of the Federation (individual Land concerned), the Länder (districts) and the municipalities (e.g. Basic Law, Articles 20-37);

3. provisions on the tasks of the Parliaments, Governments and other constitutional entities and their standing with respect to each other (e.g. relating to the Federal Parliament, Federal Council and Federal Government in the Basic Law, Articles 38-69);

4. rules on legislation and legislative procedure (e.g. Basic Law, Articles 70-82) and on the execution of laws (e.g. Basic Law, Articles 83-91B);

5. provisions on judicial authority (e.g. Basic Law, Articles 92-104);

6. rules on the finance system (e.g. Basic Law, Articles 105-115); and also,

7. in the Basic Law, regulations on defence (Articles 115A-115L).

Under its Article 79, the Basic Law may be amended by a majority of two thirds of the members in both the Federal Parliament and the Federal Council. However, no amendment is admissible which would affect the principles (as enumerated in Article 79(3)) of human dignity and of the Federal Republic as a democratic social and federal state.

In cases relating to violation of the Constitution and constitutional rights, the competent or affected institutions or individuals may lodge an appeal with the Federal Constitutional Court.

Please note: the European industrial relations glossaries were compiled between 1991 and 2003 and are not updated. For current material see the European industrial relations dictionary.