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The FEDERAL COURT OF JUSTICE (German : Bundesgerichtshof, BGH) in Karlsruhe
Karlsruhe
is the highest court in the system of ordinary jurisdiction (ordentliche Gerichtsbarkeit) in Germany
Germany
. It is the supreme court (court of last resort) in all matters of criminal and private law . A decision handed down by the BGH can be reversed only by the Federal Constitutional Court
Court
of Germany
Germany
in rare cases when the Constitutional Court
Court
rules on constitutionality (compatibility with the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany
Germany
).

CONTENTS

* 1 History * 2 Organization and functions * 3 Judges

* 4 Presidents

* 4.1 Vice Presidents * 4.2 Presiding Judges * 4.3 Judges

* 5 Attorneys admitted at the Federal Court
Court
of Justice * 6 References * 7 Further reading * 8 External links

HISTORY

Before the Federal Court
Court
of Justice of Germany
Germany
was created in its present form, Germany
Germany
has had several prior highest courts:

As early as 1495 there was the so-called Reichskammergericht, which existed until 1806. As from 1870, in the time of the North German Confederation , there was the Bundesoberhandelsgericht in Leipzig
Leipzig
. Later, in 1871, it was renamed to Reichsoberhandelsgericht and its area of responsibility was amplified as well. This court was unsoldered by the Reichsgericht at October 1, 1879, which was also in Leipzig. On 1 October 1950, five years after the German Reich
German Reich
had collapsed, the Bundesgerichtshof —as it exists nowadays— was founded.

Together with the Federal Administrative Court
Court
of Germany
Germany
, the Federal Finance Court
Court
of Germany
Germany
, the Federal Labor Court
Court
of Germany and the Federal Social Court
Court
of Germany
Germany
, the Federal Court
Court
of Justice is one of the highest courts of Germany
Germany
today, located in Karlsruhe and Leipzig.

ORGANIZATION AND FUNCTIONS

Seat of the Federal Court
Court
of Justice in Karlsruhe
Karlsruhe

The Federal Court
Court
of Justice of Germany
Germany
is subdivided in twenty-five senates :

Twelve are civil panels (Zivilsenate), five are the criminal panels (Strafsenate) and eight are special panels.

The Federal Court
Court
of Justice is to protect the unity of the jurisdiction and to develop the law. It usually just reconsiders the legal assessment of a case as a court of last resort. To that effect, it can be differentiated in the area of responsibility of the Federal Court
Court
of Justice:

In civil law, it reconsiders decrees of the regional courts (Landgericht) and of the regional appeal courts (Oberlandesgericht). In some special cases, it reconsiders first-instance decrees of the local courts (Amtsgericht) and the regional courts. It can decide that an application for revision is improper the or that it is valid, when it decides the case.

In criminal law, it has to decide about applications for revision against first-instance decrees of the regional courts the regional appeal courts. It has to decide whether an application is blatantly unreasonable defendant. It can then decide without a main trial. In any other case, it decides the legal remedy after a main trial.

Finally, it decides the Vorlagesachen (submission cases). If a regional appeal court plans to differ from a decision of another regional appeal court or a decision of the Federal Court
Court
of Justice, it has to inform the Federal Court
Court
of Justice, which decides the case finally and protects the unity of the jurisdiction.

Since 2000, its decisions have been published on its official website.

JUDGES

Judges of the Federal Court
Court
of Justice are selected by an electoral committee, which consists of the Secretaries of Justice of the 16 German Bundesländer and of 16 representatives appointed by the German Federal Parliament ( Bundestag ). Once a judge has been chosen by this committee, he or she is appointed by the President of Germany
Germany
. Only individuals who possess German citizenship within the meaning of Art. 116 of the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany
Germany
, who are formally qualified to serve as a judge in accordance with § 9 DRiG and are at minimum 35 years of age can be appointed as a Judge at the Federal Court
Court
of Justice.

PRESIDENTS

NAME TOOK OFFICE LEFT OFFICE

1 Hermann Weinkauff (1894–1981) 1 October 1950 31 March 1960

2 Bruno Heusinger (1900–1987) 1 April 1960 31 March 1968

3 Robert Fischer (1911–1983) 1. April 1968 30. September 1977

4 Gerd Pfeiffer (1919–2007) 1 October 1977 31 December 1987

5 Walter Odersky (b. 1931) 1 January 1988 31 July 1996

6 Karlmann Geiß (b. 1935) 1 August 1996 31 May 2000

7 Günter Hirsch (b. 1943) 15 July 2000 31 January 2008

8 Klaus Tolksdorf (b. 1948) 1 February 2008 31 January 2014

9 Bettina Limperg (b. 1960) 1 July 2014

VICE PRESIDENTS

* Horst Hagen * Fritz Hauß * Burkhard Jähnke * Gerda Müller (jurist) * Joachim Wenzel

PRESIDING JUDGES

* Alfred Bergmann * Friedrich Blumenröhr * Katharina Deppert * Wolf-Dieter Dressler * Willi Erdmann * Wulf Goette * Werner Groß * Max Güde * Monika Harms * Gerhart Kreft * Klaus Kutzer * Heinrich Wilhelm Laufhütte

* Lutz Meyer-Goßner * Armin Nack * Gerd Nobbe * Eberhard Rinne * Ruth Rissing-van Saan * Rüdiger Rogge * Gerhard Schäfer * Herbert Schimansky * Wolfgang Schlick * Karl-Bernhard Schmitz * Ingeborg Tepperwien * Wilfried Terno

JUDGES

* Ekkehard Appl * Gerhard Athing * Clemens Basdorf * Jörg-Peter Becker * Rolf Bischoff * Peter Blauth * Bernhard Bode * Axel Boetticher * Hans-Peter Brause * Siegfried Broß * Hans-Joachim Brüning * Wolfgang Büsche * Erhard Bungeroth * Gabriele Calliebe * Ursula Safari Chabestari * Jürgen Cierniak * Hans-Joachim Czub * Klaus Detter * Hans-Joachim Dose * Renate Elf * Andreas Ernemann * Hans Joachim Faller * Detlev Fischer * Thomas Fischer * Ulrich Franke * Reinhard Gaier * Gregor Galke * Markus Gehrlein * Alfons van Gelder * Wolfgang Gerber * Ursula Gerhardt * Jürgen von Gerlach

* Jürgen-Peter Graf * Karl Haager * Joachim Häger * Ulrich Hebenstreit * Hartwig Henze * Monika Hermanns * Ulrich Herrmann * Dieter Hesselberger * Erwin Hubert * Gerbert Hübsch * Bernhard Jestaedt * Hans-Ulrich Joeres * Hans-Peter Kirchhof * Harald Kolz * Christine Krohn * Jürgen-Detlef Kuckein * Heidi Lambert-Lang * Reiner Lemke * Manfred Lepa * Gerhard von Lienen * Kurt Rüdiger Maatz * Heinrich Maul * Hans-Kurt Mees * Elisabeth Mühlens * Maren Münke * Wolfgang Neskovic * Wolfgang Pfister * Friedrich Quack * Rolf Raum * Angelika Reichart * Dietrich Reinicke * Karin-Huberta Ritter

* Ellen Roggenbuck * Wolfgang Römer * Hans-Jürgen Schaal * Wilhelm Schluckebier * Johanna Schmidt-Räntsch * Bertram Schmitt * Ernst Schneider * Otto Seidl * Helmut Simon (judge) * Joachim Siol * Daniela Solin-Stojanovic * Beate Sost-Scheible * Joachim Starck * Heinz Dieter Stodolkowitz * Christina Stresemann * Lutz Strohn * Rheinhold Thode * Ernst Träger * Karl-Friedrich Tropf * Gerhard Ulsamer * Gerhard Vill * Max Vogt * Thomas Wagenitz * Bernhard Wahl * Roland Wendt * Manfred Werp * Klaus Winter * Karl-Hermann Zoll * Jannpeter Zopfs * Horst Josef Zugehör * Lothar Zysk

ATTORNEYS ADMITTED AT THE FEDERAL COURT OF JUSTICE

In all civil cases heard by the Federal Court
Court
of Justice, the parties need to be represented by an attorney who has been specifically admitted to the Bar at the Federal Court
Court
of Justice (Rechtsanwalt beim Bundesgerichtshof). This admission is the only 'special' admission within the German court system, in that an attorney at the Federal Court
Court
of Justice for civil cases cannot appear in any other court in the country. Admission at the Bundesgerichtshof is highly selective; as of May 2015 there are only 46 attorneys so admitted. Candidates for admission are nominated by an electoral committee and are then chosen and appointed by the Federal Ministry of Justice .

The requirement for a representative specifically admitted to the Federal Court
Court
of Justice does not apply in criminal cases. Here, representation by any lawyer admitted to the Bar in Germany
Germany
suffices.

REFERENCES

* ^ http://www.bundesgerichtshof.de/docs/broschuerebgh_2007.pdf - page 4 (German) * ^ http://www.bundesgerichtshof.de/docs/broschuerebgh_2007.pdf - page 5 (German) * ^ http://www.bundesgerichtshof.de/docs/broschuerebgh_2007.pdf - page 6 (German) * ^ http://www.bundesgerichtshof.de/EN/TheCourt/TaskOrganisation/PositionFCoJ/positionFCoJ_node.html (German) * ^ http://www.bundesgerichtshof.de/EN/TheCourt/TaskOrganisation/AllocationJurisdiction/allocationJurisdiction_node.html * ^ http://www.bundesgerichtshof.de/EN/TheCourt/TaskOrganisation/taskOrganisation_node.html * ^ http://www.bundesgerichtshof.de/EN/TheCourt/TaskOrganisation/Proceedings/proceedings_node.html - point 1. * ^ http://www.bundesgerichtshof.de/EN/TheCourt/TaskOrganisation/Proceedings/proceedings_node.html - point 2. * ^ http://www.bundesgerichtshof.de/EN/TheCourt/TaskOrganisation/Proceedings/proceedings_node.html - point 3. * ^ "Entscheidungen des Bundesgerichtshofs" (in German).