Federal Legislative Powers

Article 70  General Principle
(1) The States have the right to legislate insofar as this Constitution does not confer legislative power on the Federation.
(2) The division of competence between the Federation and the States are determined by the provisions of this Constitution concerning exclusive and concurrent legislative powers.
 
Article 71  Exclusive Legislative Power
In matters within the exclusive legislative power of the Federation, the States have power to legislate only where and to the extent that they are given such explicit authorization by a federal statute.
 
Article 72  Concurrent Legislative Power
(1) In the field of concurrent legislative power, the States have power to legislate as long as and to the extent that the Federation does not exercise its right to legislate by statute.
(2) In the areas of Article 74 I No. 4, 7, 11, 13, 15, 19a, 20, 22, 25 and 26, the Federation has legislation if and insofar as the establishment of equal living conditions in the federal territory or the preservation of legal and economic unity necessitates, in the interest of the state at large, a federal regulation.
(3) If the Federation has used its legislative competence, the States may adopt differing rules by statute regarding:
  1. hunting (without the right to hunting licences);
  2. natural protection and land cultivation (without the general principles of natural protection, the law of species protection or of protecting the nature of the sea);
  3. distribution of land;
  4. zoning arrangements;
  5. protection of water (without regulation about substances or installations);
  6. university admission and university degrees.
  7. Federal statutes regarding these matters come into force, at the earliest, six months after their promulgation as long as the Senate does not decide otherwise. Regarding the matters of sentence 1, the latest statute takes precedence within the concurrence of federal and state law.
(4) A federal statute can stipulate that a federal regulation for which the conditions of Paragraph II no longer hold true is replaced by law of the States .
 
Article 73  Exclusive Legislation
(1) The Federation has exclusive power to legislate in the following matters:
  1. foreign affairs and defense, including the protection of the civilian population;
  2. citizenship in the Federation;
  3. freedom of movement, passport, registration and individual document matters, immigration, emigration and extradition;
  4. currency, money and coinage, weights and measures, as well as the determination of standards of time;
  5. the unity of the customs and trading area, treaties on commerce and on navigation, the freedom of movement of goods, and the exchange of goods and payments with foreign countries, including customs and other frontier protection;
  6. the protection of German cultural items against being moved abroad;
  7. air transport;
  8. the traffic of railroads owned completely or mainly by the Federation (railroads of the Federation), the construction, maintenance, and operation of railway tracks and railroads of the Federation as well as the charging for the use of these railways;
  9. postal affairs and telecommunication;
  10. the legal status of persons employed by the Federation and by federal corporate bodies under public law;
  11. industrial property rights, copyrights and publishing law;
  12. fight against dangers of international terrorism by the Federal Criminal Police  in cases where the danger is transcending State boundaries, where the competence of a State Police Agency is not established, or where the supreme State Agency asks for a discharge;
  13. cooperation between the Federation and the States concerning
    • criminal police,
    • protection of the free democratic basic order, of the existence and the security of the Federation or of a State  (protection of the constitution) and
    • protection against activities in the federal territory which, through the use of force or actions in preparation for the use of force, endanger the foreign interests of the Federal Republic of Germany,
    • as well as the establishment of a Federal Criminal Police Office and the international control of crime;
  14. statistics for federal purposes;
  15. laws on weapons and explosives;
  16. care for people handicapped by war, widowed or orphaned by war, and help for former prisoners of war;
  17. production and use of nuclear power for peaceful means, construction and operation of plants furthering these goals, protection against dangers resulting from exposition of nuclear energy or ionising rays, and disposition of radioactive substances.
(2) The consent of the Senate is necessary for statutes according to Paragraph I No. 9a.
 
Article 74  Concurrent Legislation
(1) Concurrent legislative powers cover the following matters:
  1. civil law, criminal law, the organization and procedure of courts (excluding the law governing pre-trial confinement), the legal profession, notaries and legal advice;
  2. registration of births, deaths and marriages;
  3. the law of association;
  4. the law relating to residence and settlement of aliens;
  5. [repealed]
  6. [repealed]
  7. refugee and expellee matters;
  8. public welfare (excluding the law on asylums);
  9. [repealed]
  10. war damage and reparations;
  11. war graves of soldiers, graves of other victims of war and of victims of despotism;
  12. the law relating to economic matters (mining, industry, supply of power, crafts, trades, commerce, banking, stock exchanges and private insurance) excluding the law on shop opening hours, restaurants, gaming parlors, human shows, exhibitions, expositions, and markets;
  13. [repealed]
  14. Labor law, including the legal organization of enterprises, protection of workers, employment exchanges and agencies, as well as social insurance, including unemployment insurance;
  15. the regulation of educational and training grants and the promotion of scientific research;
  16. the law regarding expropriation, to the extent that matters enumerated in Articles 73 and 74 are concerned;
  17. transfer of land, natural resources and means of production to public ownership or other forms of collective enterprise for the public benefit;
  18. prevention of the abuse of economic power;
  19. promotion of agricultural production and forestry (excluding the law on land consolidation), securing the supply of food, the importation and exportation of agricultural and forestry products, deepsea and coastal fishing, and preservation of the coasts;
  20. property sales according to town planning, land law (excluding the law of charges for development)and aid for rent, relief regarding old depts, aid for construction of apartments, miners' apartment construction law and miners' settlement law;
  21. measures against human or animal diseases that are communicable or otherwise endanger public health, admission to the medical profession and to other medical occupations or practices as well as the law on pharmacy, drugs, medical products, health products, narcotics and poisons;
  22. the economic viability of hospitals and the regulation of hospitalization fees;
  23. the law on food including animals for slaughter, the law on products of indulgence, articles of daily use, fodder as well as the protection of the sale of agricultural and forest seeds and seedlings, and the pretection of plants against diseases and pests as well as the protection of animals;
  24. ocean and coastal shipping, as well as sea marks, inland navigation, meteorological services, sea routes, and inland waterways used for general traffic;
  25. road traffic, motor transport, construction and maintenance of longdistance highways, as well as the collection of charges or fees for the use of public highways by vehicles and the allocation of revenue therefrom;
  26. railroads which are not railroads of the Federation, except mountain railroads;
  27. garbage collection, protection against air pollution and noise (excluding protection against voluntary noise);
  28. state liability;
  29. medically enhanced production of human life, research on manipulations of genes, and regulations for transplantation of organs, tissues and cells;
  30. rights and duties regarding the status of civil servants in the States , communes and other public law bodies as well as judges in the States excluding their career, remuneration and pensions;
  31. hunting;
  32. conservation of nature and landscape;
  33. distribution of real estate;
  34. land use planning;
  35. water supply;
  36. academic admission and academic degrees.
(2) The consent of the Senate is necessary for statutes according to Paragraph I No. 25 and 27.
 
Article 74a  [repealed]
 
Article 75   [repealed]
 
Article 76  Bills
(1) Bills are introduced in the House of Representatives by the Government or by members of the House of Representatives or by the Senate .
(2) Bills of the Government first have to be submitted to the Senate . The Senate is entitled to state its position on such bills within six weeks. If, for important reasons and particularly with regard to the volume of the bill, the Senate asks for deferral, the period is nine weeks. A bill which, on submission to the Senate , is exceptionally specified by the Government to be particularly urgent may be submitted by the latter to the House of Representatives  three weeks later, or, if the Senate asked for deferral according to Sentence 3, six weeks later, even though the Government may not yet have received the statement of the Senate's  position; upon receipt, such statement has to be transmitted to the House of Representatives by the Government without delay. The time limit for statements to bills changing this Constitution or delegating sovereign powers according to Article 23 or 24 is nine weeks; Sentence 4 is not applied.
(3) Bills of the Senate have to be submitted to the House of Representatives by the Government within six weeks. In doing so, the Government should state its own view. If, for important reasons and particularly with regard to the volume of the bill, the Government asks for deferral, the period is nine weeks. The time limit for a bill which is exceptionally specified by the Senate to be particularly urgent is three weeks or, if the Government asked for deferral according to Sentence 3, six weeks. The time limit for statements to bills changing this Constitution or delegating sovereign powers according to Article 23 or 24 is nine weeks; Sentence 4 is not applied. The House of Representatives has to debate about bills within adequate time and reach a decision.
 
Article 77  Legislative Procedure
(1) Federal statutes are enacted by the House of Representatives . Upon their adoption they have to be transmitted, without delay, to the Senate by the President of the House of Representatives .
(2) The Senate may, within three weeks of the receipt of the adopted bill, demand that a committee for joint consideration of bills, composed of members of the House of Representatives and members of the Senate , be convened. The composition and the procedure of this committee is regulated by rules of procedure to be adopted by the House of Representatives and requiring the consent of the Senate . The members of the Senate on this committee are not bound by instructions. Where the consent of the Senate is required for a bill to become a statute, the House of Representatives  and the Government may also demand that the committee be convened. Should the committee propose any amendment to the adopted bill, the House of Representatives again votes on the bill.
(2a) Insofar as a statute requires the consent of the Senate , the Senate , if no demand according to Paragraph II 1 was issued or if the committee for joint consideration has concluded its procedures without suggesting changes, has to debate about its consent within adequate time and reach a decision.
(3) Insofar as the consent of the Senate is not required for a bill to become a statute, the Senate may, when the proceedings under Paragraph II are completed, enter an objection within two weeks against a bill adopted by the House of Representatives . The period for entering an objection begins, in the case of the last sentence of Paragraph II, on the receipt of the bill as readopted by the House of Representatives , and in all other cases on the receipt of a communication from the chairman of the committee provided for in Paragraph II to the effect that the committee's proceedings have been concluded.
(4) Where the objection was adopted with the majority of the votes of the Senate , it can be rejected by a decision of the majority of the members of the House of Representatives . Where the Senate adopted the objection with a majority of at least two thirds of its votes, its rejection by the House of Representatives requires a majority of two thirds, including at least the majority of the members of the House of Representatives .
 
Article 78  Adopting Bills
A bill adopted by the House of Representatives becomes a statute where the Senate consents to it, or fails to make a demand pursuant to Article 77 II, or fails to enter an objection within the period stipulated in Article 77 III, or withdraws such objection, or where the objection is overridden by the House of Representatives .
 
Article 79  Amendment of the Constitution
(1) This Constitution can be amended only by statutes which expressly amend or supplement the text thereof. In respect of international treaties, the subject of which is a peace settlement, the preparation of a peace settlement or the phasing out of an occupation regime, or which are intended to serve the defense of the Federal Republic, it is sufficient, for the purpose of clarifying that the provisions of this Constitution do not preclude the conclusion and entry into force of such treaties, to effect a supplementation of the text of this Constitution confined to such clarification.
(2) Any such statute requires the consent of two thirds of the members of the House of Representatives and two thirds of the votes of the Senate .
(3) Amendments of this Constitution affecting the division of the Federation into States , the participation on principle of the States in legislation, or the basic principles laid down in Articles 1 and 20 are inadmissible.
 
Article 80  Government Ordinances
(1) The Government, a Minister or the State governments may be authorized by statute to issue ordinances. The content, purpose, and scope of the authorization so conferred must be laid down in the statute concerned. This legal basis has to be stated in the ordinance. Where a statute provides that such authorization may be delegated, such delegation requires another ordinance.
(2) The consent of the Senate [Bundesrat] is required, unless otherwise provided by federal legislation, for ordinances of the Government or a Minister concerning basic rules or charges for the use of facilities of postal affairs and telecommunication, concerning the basic rules for charges and use of facilities of railroads of the Federation, or concerning the construction and operation of railroads, as well as for ordinances issued pursuant to federal statutes that require the consent of the Senate or that are executed by the States  as agents of the Federation or as matters of their own concern.
(3) The Senate can submit such bills for ordinances to the Government that require its consent.
(4) Insofar as, by or on the basis of federal statutes, Governments of the States are empowered to adopt ordinances, the States are also allowed to regulate the matter by statute.
 
Article 80a   State of Defense
(1) Where this Constitution or a federal statute on defense, including the protection of the civilian population, stipulates that legal provisions may only be applied in accordance with this Article, their application is, except in a state of defense, admissible only after the House of Representatives has determined that a state of tension exists or where it has specifically approved such application. In respect of the cases mentioned in Article 12a V 1 & VI 2, such determination of a state of tension and such specific approval requires a twothirds majority of the votes cast.
(2) Any measures taken by virtue of legal provisions enacted under Paragraph I have to be revoked whenever the House of Representatives so demands.
(3) In derogation of Paragraph I, the application of such legal provisions is also admissible by virtue of and in accordance with a decision taken with the consent of the Government by an international body within the framework of a treaty of alliance. Any measures taken pursuant to this paragraph have to be revoked whenever the House of Representatives so demands with the majority of its members.
 
Article 81  State of Emergency
(1) Should, in the circumstances of Article 68, the House of Representatives not be dissolved, the President may, at the request of the Government and with the consent of the Senate , declare a state of legislative emergency with respect to a bill, where the House of Representatives rejects the bill although the Government has declared it to be urgent. The same applies where a bill has been rejected although the Chancellor had combined with it the motion under Article 68.
(2) Where, after a state of legislative emergency has been declared, the House of Representatives again rejects the bill or adopts it in a version stated to be unacceptable to the Government, the bill is deemed to have become a statute to the extent that the Senate consents to it. The same applies where the bill is not passed by the House of Representatives  within four weeks of it.s reintroduction
(3) During the term of office of a Chancellor, any other bill rejected by the House of Representatives  may become a statute in accordance with Paragraphs I and II within a period of six months after the first declaration of a state of legislative emergency. After the expiration of this period, a further declaration of a state of legislative emergency is inadmissible during the term of office of the same Chancellor.
(4) This Constitution may not be amended nor repealed nor suspended in whole or in part by a statute enacted pursuant to Paragraph II.
 
Article 82  Promulgation, Validity
(1) Statutes enacted in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution are, after countersignature, signed by the President and promulgated in the Federal Law Gazette. Ordinances are signed by the agency which issues them and, unless otherwise provided by statute, are promulgated in the Federal Law Gazette.
(2) Every statute or every ordinance should specify its effective date. In the absence of such a provision, it takes effect on the fourteenth day after the end of the day on which the Federal Law Gazette containing it was published.