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German law: Courts

Subjects: Law, Law - German Legal

Judiciary & legal profession

 After successful completion of the first and second state examinations in law, the student can then choose between separate careers: Rechtsanwalt (lawyer - in Germany there is no barrister/solicitor distinction as in England), Staatsanwalt (state prosecutor), Notar (notary) or Richter (judge).

In contrast to English practice, it is not the case that German judges are drawn from the ranks of successful lawyers.

The appointment of judges of the Federal Constitutional Court is a special case. Half of them are elected by the Bundestag, and half by the Bundesrat. A two-thirds majority is required in each. The justices serve for 12 years. There is no possibility of re-election

Federal Germany's court structure

Besides the Federal Constitutional Court, there are other courts at federal level each with their own special remit: ordinary jurisdiction (ie civil and criminal matters ), administrative, labour, finance, social security and patent law. All are the final courts of appeal in their areas of law.

Links to the individual federal courts are below - and finally a link to a portal if you are looking for a state court.