Judicial Independence in Germany / სასამართლოს დამოუკიდებლობა გერმანიაში

Patrick C. R. Terry


The presentation will briefly outline the way by which Germany has attempted to safeguard judicial independence. Article 97 of Germany’s Basic Law, or Constitution, specifically refers to and guarantees judges’ independence without, however, granting an individual right. Rather, judicial independence is seen as a basic constitutional principle, which ensures the realisation of the rule of law.
In Germany, judicial independence does not only encompass a judge’s professional, but also his/her personal independence, because the latter is seen as an indispensable prerequisite of the former. Therefore, both concepts of independence are explicitly referred to in the German constitution.
Following an explanation of how these concepts are interpreted in Germany, the limits nevertheless imposed on judges’ freedom of conduct will be outlined.
These limits range from areas of their work in which judges cannot rely on the constitutional guarantee of independence to consequences for individual judges in cases of professional misconduct.
Lastly, some of the criticism levelled at the German system will be discussed, with reference to solutions found in other EU member states.


court; principle; professional;

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