THE HISTORICAL EXPERIENCE OF THE SURRENDER OF LEGAL positivism to the prevalence of injustice under the nazi regime and the concern to create a real federation led the founding fathers of the Federal Republic of Germany to create the most powerful Constitutional Court in the world for the control of the formal and material constitutionality of laws.
This Court, a supreme constitutional organ like the Bundestag and the Bundesrat, is organized in two chambers, called Senates. The First Senate has jurisdiction over basic rights, the Second Senate decides all questions of political disputes. Though the Court only acts on request, it does nevertheless play an active role in shaping politics and policy output. The jurisdiction of this Court is the ‘authentic interpretation of the Constitution’ and it cannot be qualified as normal jurisdiction, because many provisions of the Basic Law are open to different interpretations and call for a reference to sources and premises beyond the document itself.