The Constitutional Jurisprudence of the Federal Republic of Germany

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Duke University Press, 1997 - Law - 620 pages
Kommers's comprehensive work surveys the development of German constitutional doctrine between 1949, when the Federal Constitutional Court was founded, and 1996. Extensively revised and expanded to take into account recent developments since German unification, this second edition describes the background, structure, and functions of the Court and provides extensive commentary on German constitutional interpretation, and includes translations of seventy-eight landmark decisions. These cases include the highly controversial religious liberty and free speech cases handed down in 1995.

 

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Kommers biggest contribution is that he makes German constitutional jurisprudence accessible to English-speaking audiences.
For my part, I found (through this book and in Kommers' other writings
) the German Basic Law's (German Constitution's) approach to right to life for pre-born babies absolutely fascinating, in that human dignity which is at the pinnacle of the German constitution also extends to pre-born babies and thus demands state protection of pre-born babies.
How different from most other jurisdictions! And as a non-German speaker, I could only get exposure to this through this book and Kommers' other writings (as well as from a very limited number of other German-speaking legal theorists).
 

Contents

WEST GERMAN CONSTITUTIONALISM
1
The Basic Law and Its Interpretation
30
CONSTITUTIONAL STRUCTURES
59
Separation of Powers
115
Political Representation and Democracy
166
BASIC RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES
239
Human Dignity and Personhood
298
Freedom of Speech
360
Freedom of Conscience and Religion
443
Appendix A
507
Appendix B
519
Table of Cases
591
Index
601
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About the author (1997)

Donald P. Kommers is Joseph and Elizabeth Robbie Professor of Government and International Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

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